A Peripheral I’ve had for over three years now is my G13 Advanced Gameboard, it’s become a useful part of my day-to-day activities especially making games easier to play and more enjoyable as well as having a nice streamlined comfort feeling to it. So read on below to get the full picture of this great Logitech product.
The G13 is another fantastic product by Logitech to hit the shelves, as it fills a much needed but not essential role for gamers, this role is a comfortable, portable gaming keypad with programmable macro keys for all those repetitive tasks you would normally hate to do. Over the years i’ve grown more and more attached to my gamepad, creating new macros, reassigning keys just they way I want them for maximum comfort and a fair advantage while playing most of my favourite games such as Modern Warfare 2. In the second picture below you can see I’ve reassigned the number keys to below the typical movement keys which I’ve found to be very useful over the life of my G13, as I hated the stretch up to the larger numbers on a typical keyboard.
22 Programmable Buttons
Multi-Colored LED backscreen
3+ Keys pressed without ghosting
Ability to add macros in-game
I purchased my G13 from MSY for $65 which in retrospect was a tremendous bargain back in 2008, however they don’t appear to sell them anymore but if they did the price today should be around $50 from most computer shops. The feature I love most about the G13 is the light up keys and the ability to have the back-light any color you wish, from green, to cyan to magenta to sort of black. Upon opening the packaging the first thing I did was rapidly change through the colors to see how fast they would change and assign ridiculous key combinations for certain buttons, for example typing a whole sentence by pressing one button on the device. The macro buttons are extremely useful as well especially the ability to assign keys mid-game if your in the heat of battle and wish to try a new combo. The buttons are also able to be assigned as left or right mouse clicks which I spent another few hours playing with in Modern Warfare 2 shooting all my Barrett shots within half a second, although people got pretty angry and asked how I was doing it.
The G13 is also surprisingly small and portable, there was minimum hassle packing it up and setting it up at lans, due to the fact you only really have to plug it in to get it working. It is also moderately heavy coming in at 650g, although it provides increased stability when playing games in addition to the foamy feet to stop it sliding around the table. It’s very well built with no flimsy parts on it and the movement keys have a nice indent in them to re-align your hand without looking if you lose your fingering.
The only actual practical use for this device is for gaming however, you aren’t really able to type with it other than saying predefined phrased assigned to macro keys. Other than gaming the only plausible other use for this device is a nice light that’s able to be colourised to basically any color. Oh while i’m on the topic of the lighting, there’s a small button which turns on and off the key’s and LED’s lighting which I’ve found to be very useful when I’ve gone to bed and needed it pitch black.
There are a few disadvantages to using the G13, one visually noticeable one is the fact it can really only be used by right handed people with the gamepad in the left hand. This shouldn’t really be a problem with most of you out there being right handed, although a detachable thumb stick would be a great feature in future designs. While typing up this review the G13 actually didn’t work while I was fiddling around with the drivers. I tried to update to the latest drivers however I soon found out they are incompatible with Windows 7 64Bit and caused all sorts of problems. So if you’ve bought one and have Windows 7 64Bit don’t update the drivers although the solution is simple, just print-screen your keys so you remember what settings you had and uninstall the drivers and use the disc you received with the device to install them again. If you’ve lost the disc i’d be happy to send a copy of mine to you via email or via other media. Other than those two I really can’t think of any other problems I’ve had with the device, although mine does get fairly dirty with so much use as well as dusty so a good idea would be to place a cloth over it every night to stop dust particles getting between the keys.
Here’s the final product score out of 100%:
The higher the score the better.
Size/Weight: 75% (Higher is more compact and lighter)
0% – 25% = Terrible Item, The item will break shortly after purchase and will leave you with a paperweight only left for discarding.
26% – 50% = Meh Item, A very poor item that you would use and forget about after a few months of use, or may break quickly and degrade over that time.
51% – 75% = Good Item, This item would satisfy your needs for a long time but isn’t the best quality around and may need replacing or become outdated after a year or so.
76% – 90% = Fantastic Item, An item that you need but may either cost lots or wear out over time and may eventually need replacing after 2 or so years.
91% – 100% = Amazing Item, An extremely durable item that will suit all your needs for the device and more, as well as lasting many many years.