This is a review of the Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard. I bought this product about two months ago and began experimenting with different profile setups. Once I got used to the key placement and got a good custom profile made, I fell in love with this device. I never want to game without it anymore! This is the first piece of gaming hardware I have gotten in awhile that I haven’t found some minor or major flaw with. I don’t know if I can give this a perfect score, but its definitely hard to find anything that I don’t absolutely love about this gameboard.
Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard
I’ll save you some time and say to just click the amazon link at the bottom of this page and buy this thing, you won’t regret it. But I guess if you want more information first, go ahead and read on. I’ll try to cover everything in detail, even though my hand is getting cranky from being off my G13 for too long.
Quality – 10/10
So lets get down to business and see how this thing holds up to a quality check. First lets start with the size and feel of the gameboard. If you’ve looked at pictures of the G13, I almost guarantee it is larger and heavier than you think it is. It’s definitely not too big and the size of the board lets your hand move across the keys more naturally without feeling cramped. Also, the weight of the board is really helpful because combined with six rubber feet on the bottom, it doesn’t slide around one bit. Now when it comes to comfort and feel of the G13, Logitech has really outdone themselves this time. The board is designed ergonomically to flow with the natural curve of your hand and wrist. The front of the board has a nice rubber material that you rest your palm on while being within reach of all the keys without having to reposition your hand.
The only buttons you may have to reach for are the non-G keys at the back of the board. These operate the functions of the LCD screen so they aren’t really needed on the fly so this isn’t a problem. Also, the actual keys themselves feel great as well. Oh, and if you didn’t know, they are all backlit! The 4 center keys (WASD position) have circular indents in them so you can find your positioning easily without having to look down at the board. One feature that I like about this device, which is something that I have seen some people complain about is the thumbstick. I’ve found it to be very useful. It is small, sturdy, and positioned very well to be able to full rotate it without having to stretch your hand at all. I read one person’s post saying that their thumbstick was starting to stick, but mine hasn’t shown any signs of this, and I’m sure if you keep it clean and blow some canned air in their once in awhile, it should be perfectly fine. But when it comes to the actual keys and buttons, everything feels good and works really well!
The only other thing to look at on this device would be the lcd screen. I’ll cover more on how it works in the next section, but as far as functionality goes, it works as intended, looks awesome, and is fairly useful. Also, one thing I am glad they added is the ability to change the backlight color of the screen and the keys to literally anything on the color wheel in the software. Speaking of software, Logitech did a good job here as well. The user interface looks nice and makes it easy to create and customize profiles and play around with the functions of the lcd screen. And before I forget, the G13 comes with on board memory so that your profiles are saved on the device itself in case you decide to take it to another computer. Anyways, the G13 is a quality piece of equipment for any gamer and it is definitely just as amazing to use as it is to look at!
Performance – 10/10
When it comes to looking at how the G13 actually performs, I couldn’t be more pleased. One thing I have seen is people who write this thing off as a bad piece of equipment when they first start using it and aren’t used to it. One thing everyone should know is that there is a small learning curve on the G13, especially if you are switching from gaming on a standard keyboard. However, this is true for any gamepad on the market to some extent. I was coming from using the MercStealth keyboard by Steel Series which has a gamepad built in on the side. When I switched to the G13, it did take three or four hours of gaming while creating a custom profile to finally get used to using it. However, after getting used to where the keys were and finishing a profile that I liked, using this device made gaming so much more a comfortable and easy experience. This thing is so ergonomic in its design and makes it so you don’t even feel a bit of soreness even after hours and hours of constant gaming. (Now I just need to find a better mouse)
Moving on, the keys feel and work great, no sticking, no nothing. The thumbstick is a great feature and also works really well. I play MMORPGs regularly and I have it bound to my WASD keys to move and it doesn’t slow me down one bit, but frees up the rest of my fingers to do other things. The rest of the buttons are nice, with two next to the thumbstick for whatever you want and the function buttons at the back of the board next to the screen. There are three profile buttons that allow you to switch between profiles quickly, as well as a button for recording macros on the fly. The other buttons beyond that are for controlling the lcd screen, its functions, and button to turn the backlight on and off. Whatever type of gamer you are, the G13 will definatley make any game a more seamless and fun experience. I have used it for many MMORPGs as well as some FPS and RTS games and it works great all around!
The software that comes with the G13 is done well. There isn’t anything particularly crazy or exciting but it does make using the gameboard really easy and quick. I don’t think I need to remind anyone to of course go download the newest version of the software from Logitech’s website instead of using the one provided out of the box. The user interface on the software is really slick. It looks good and makes it easy to navigate around and quick to make a new custom profile or tweak an existing one. There is a screen in the software for managing the “applets” that you want to access on the lcd screen on the gameboard. The built in ones are pretty standard, such as a clock, timer, media display, cpu/ram performance and a few others. While I do use the media display one for listening to music, most of the applets that are actually useful are the ones programmed for specific games.
Most of the popular titles already have a built in applet that is loaded when the game is run and they come with a few different features. For example, when I play World of Warcraft, the applet lets me switch between the different stats of my character, or display my stats in a pvp battleground. Logitech also provides an SDK for those programmers who want to mess around with creating custom applets for themselves or others. There is of course a screen for creating key profiles and its all drag and drop which is very nice and easy. The last screen is for setting the backlight color. You set it on a color wheel so you can really have any color you want. The backlight color is also bound to profile, so you can have different colors for different profiles which is awesome. The software does its job well and it looks really nice!
Value – 9/10
I bought the G13 for $80 brand new and while it is rather expensive, I still think its worth every penny! However, it looks like you can get it on amazon now for less than $70! I just want to say again that this gameboard is very durable. I plan on using it for a long time! I also want to mention another similar product that I was considering buying instead of the G13 and many of you may be comparing to it as well. This other gamepad is the Razer Nostromo (otherwise known as the Belkin n52). I was lucky enough to have the chance to try the Nostromo for awhile a few weeks ago. I can honestly say that it doesn’t even compare to the G13. It isn’t poorly made or anything, it simply has to do with comfort and ease of use. The Nostromo (n52) just feels cramped. It is smaller than the G13 and it doesn’t feel nearly as natural when using it for a little while. Also, while the thumbstick does allow you to do eight directions instead of four, it also just doesn’t feel as good to use. I’m not saying its a bad product, but the G13 is scores above it in terms of comfort and design. To sum up, if you have been looking for an alternate to using a standard keyboard for gaming, get the G13 by Logitech! It is an amazing piece of equipment and will not leave you hanging. It’s definitely worth the money and believe me, your wrist will thank you after a couple hours.
If you’ve gotten this far, I don’t see how there would be any doubt in your mind that you need the G13 right about now. But lets go over all the goodies once more. The G13 is a quality piece of equipment and will last a really long time. It’s solid and weighs enough to keep it from sliding around your desk. The ergonomic design, the rubber pad, and the well made keys and buttons make this thing the most comfortable way to game! The thumbstick is awesome and this gameboard really makes everything much easier when you get used to it. The lcd screen is sweet and is more than just a cool factor, and also the backlight on the screen as well as all the G keys make this thing look amazing, especially at night. The included software has a good UI, is easy to use, and allows for a lot of customization in the way you want to use your gameboard. To sum up, go buy the G13, now!