Gear Review: Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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The new trend in mechanical gaming keyboards seems to be the simple and clean approach to design that provides the features the average gamer craves in specialized hardware with more streamlined and traditional design sensibilities rather than all of the over-gamer-ized aesthetical flourishes that generally range from decently cool to unnecessary to downright hideous. Logitech’s G810 Orion Spectrum, a straight black keyboard devoid of even a single distinguishing visual characteristic, is about as minimalistic as keyboards get. Don’t judge a book by its cover, because this is one hell of a sophisticated and professionally crafted keyboard that does exactly what it’s supposed to do without wasting space on extra keys or gimmicky chassis elements.

The Orion Spectrum uses Logitech’s exclusive Romer-G switches, which I would say fall somewhere between membrane and rubber-dome switches and clicky mechanical switches. With a supposed 25% faster key actuation than competing mechanical switches, the Romer-Gs fire at rapid speed, with a shorter travel distance that requires very little finger pressure to depress. Somehow the keys feel both soft and firm, providing a subtle tactile bump at the actuation point accompanied by a pillowy thump that still gives satisfying feedback without the loud clicky-clacky sound of other mechanical keys. Also expect nothing but simple comfort as the subtle curves of the keycaps lightly caress the fingertips.

The speed and precision of the Romer-G keys is great for boosting gaming performance, especially in games that require a lot of quick movements and reactions like first-person shooters. For typing, the higher sensitivity of the keys may lead to typos, depending on your personal typing skill as well as how heavy-fingered you are on the board. Personally, I’ve had no issue typing up reviews, tapping through the daily email grind, or playing games with typing mechanics. In fact, I felt like my words per minute rate only increased in games like Epistory as soon as I began testing this keyboard. 26-key rollover is supported as well, so ghosting with multi-key input is not a concern.

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While the keyboard casing and framing is rather ordinary looking, full spectrum key backlighting, which can be turned on or off using an onboard light switch, packs a vibrant punch of color and pizazz. The key lettering is bold and clearly defined without the lights, but when illuminated the once unassuming keyboard glows to life in spectacular fashion. Logitech’s Gaming Software application offers robust customization options, including 16.8 million colors, a wide range of effects patterns–fixed color, breathing, star effect, color cycle, color wave, and key press–and both freestyle and zone lighting modes, allowing you to manually set the color for each individual key or specific key groupings. The software even features a tool that will scan your system to detect any games you own that have support for pre-built zone lighting color scheme profiles. The existing list of available profiles is quite extensive, though mostly for higher profile titles. Of the thousands (literally) of PC games that I have across various digital download clients, only seven have custom profiles available (those would be Medal of Honor, Mirror’s Edge, Torchlight II, Terraria, Magicka, The Division, and Madballs in Babo: Invasion). Sadly, it doesn’t seem like profile updates are keeping current with newer releases. Skimming through the list, I don’t see any new profiles since the release of The Division.

In addition to lighting, the software allows for mapping hotkey commands to the 12 function keys. Unlike some of Logitech’s other keyboards, this one does not have the nine extra G-keys dedicated to custom macros, which may be a drawback for some players who like to maximize their hotkey loadouts. The keyboard also has Game Mode functionality for tapping a dedicated button, labeled with a joystick, to instantly deactivate unnecessary keys while playing games, primarily that pesky Windows key that always seems to stir up problems at the worst possible moment. If there are any other keys you want to avoid hitting by accident during game play, the software allows for building loadouts of disabled Game Mode keys. The same games that offer pre-set lighting schemes also provide custom commands and hotkey profiles tailored to their unique mechanics and movesets.

Seemingly inconsequential at first blush, the Orion Spectrum offers two other elements that I now hope to see become standardized features in keyboard design moving forward. First is the volume roller. Along with dedicated media controls (mute, play/pause, stop, fast forward, and rewind), which are small round buttons that sit with a lower profile closer to being flush with the keyboard case than the regular keys, is an elongated scroll wheel, a little less than two inches across, that is used to adjust volume up or down by simply rolling the wheel in either direction with a quick flick of the finger. The rolling action isn’t notched or clicky like a mouse scroll wheel, but rather a smooth and effortless glide, allowing for even easier volume adjustment than clicking or holding a button. Believe it or not, but the volume roller may actually be my single favorite thing about this keyboard.

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Another great touch is the three-tiered angle adjustment. The keyboard’s two feet are actually four feet that collapse into each other. With the feet completely folded back, the keyboard sits on the desktop at zero degrees. A pair of smaller feet can be pulled out to raise the back of the keyboard to a 4-degree angle. A second, larger pair of feet can then fold out to increase the angle to 8 degrees while the smaller feet snap into a groove inside the larger feet. Combined with the oversized rubber grip pads on the underside of the chassis, the keyboard stays firmly planted in place on the desktop. It does not slip even a little under heavy typing; you purposefully have to push or lift the keyboard to move it, it’s that rock solid.

Logitech’s G810 Orion Spectrum is a gaming keyboard for the PC gamer who wants to upgrade their performance without a lot of extra bulk or rarely used buttons cluttering things up. The Romer-G switches are super fast, responsive, and accurate, built first and foremost for gaming yet perfectly capable of fulfilling a dual purpose role for typing and general PC use. The keyboard has exceptional heft and a sturdy build quality, instilling confidence that it will hold up to the rigorous pounding of long gaming sessions tap, tap, tapping away at those lovely Romer-Gs. I also love the understated yet clever functionality things like the volume roller and collapsible, multi-angled feet bring to the overall package.

While I’ve grown to prefer the Romer-Gs to other switches nowadays, Logitech does offer versions of this same keyboard with Cherry MX Brown or Red switches (and lesser lighting capabilities), for users who are familiar with and prefer Cherry MX. They’re substantially cheaper as well–$119.99 versus $159.99. PC gamers who want a more stylized, gamer-y case and key design, as well as customizable G-keys and some other bells and whistles, have the option to go whole hog with the even pricier G910 model of the Orion Spectrum for a whopping $179.99.

Buy From: Amazon.com or Logitech for $159.99.

Disclosure: G810 Orion Spectrum sample product provided to VGBlogger.com for review testing by Logitech.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!