* Prices may differ from that shown
I used to be a big WoW gamer (not so much these days) and figured I wanted a keyboard that would give me a few more options than the standard. Looking around the G19 immediately caught my eye with its LCD screen and backlit keys.
This isn't a small keyboard, and considering the LCD screen it sits about 2.5 inches tall, so if you are planning to put it onto a slide-out keyboard drawer on a desk, make sure you have the clearance. With its black finish, and backlit keys, you really wouldn't want to hide it away though. The LCD can be tilted to suit you, and Logitech learned from the weaknesses of previous hinged for the screens, and the G19's is attached to a solid metal bar making it strong and resilient.
Naturally the G19 has all the standard alphanumeric keys, but also a number of additional ones. There are 12 G-Keys on the left which are all programmable, 3 keys that change profiles and backlighting colour (also programmable), the LCD control keys, and the multimedia keys (play, mute, volume, etc.). The programming of the G-Keys is done via the Logitech software provided and allows you to assign computer functions, keystrokes, or macro's to each key. You also change the backlight colours here. The M-Keys on the top left are basically your profile keys - I had a different colour backlight set for each profile (there are 3 M-Keys) and had different sets of macro's set per profile: M1 for standard PC use, M2 for playing WoW, M3 for playing SW:TOR. The backlight also makes gaming in the dark perfect as you can still see the keys. When gaming there is a gaming switch that toggles the windows key on and off, so no more minimizing the game to the desktop accidentally.
There are two powered USB 2.0 ports at the back of the keyboard, just to the right of the LCD. The LCD is 320 x 240 pixels, and again is controlled by the Logitech software included. By default this can be used to play youtube video's, check RSS feeds and email, display a clock, calendar, picture viewer, or system stats. There are also 3rd party apps that will run on it, like EGVA Precision for monitoring GPU temps. Some games will also display on the LCD - my WoW character stats are displayed when I play WoW. You can set which apps you want running on the LCD, and also how they are controlled. I have mine set to always display my GPU temps, but I can use the keys on the keyboard to scroll through the other functions I have running. You can also set it to run through the sequence of apps you are using automatically, so the display changes every 2 minutes.
There are only two downsides to the G19. First, it needs power - it will work as a basic keyboard just by plugging the USB into your PC, but to get the fun stuff it needs to be plugged into a power socket. Secondly, the price: I paid £150 for it a couple of years ago, and you would be hard pushed to find it new for under £100 now.
Overall, a great keyboard, especially for gaming, and I love being able to program the keys and backlight, but considering the cost I wouldn't rate it as very good value, hence 4/5.
When I was looking for a new keyboard, all signs pointed to this keyboard. It is an excellent keyboard, but you would expect so for the price tag. It has a full size qwerty keyboard, with extra assignable G1-6 keys which can come in handy as you can assign many functions to each one e.g. Print. A great feature on this keyboard is the LCD screen at the top, along with the media controls (pause, play etc). You can assign what is shown on the LCD, from mail in your inbox, current music playing to an analogue clock. It is quite large in size so if you have a small working space this is not recommended. Although it says 'Gaming' keyboard I will still recommend this to those like myself who rarely game, as it is very comfortable to type with and even has backlit keys so you can see in the dark!
Logitech keyboards and mice have a good reputation for quality and price, and the G19 Keyboard is no exception to this rule.
The primary selling point of this keyboard is it's full colour, 320x240px LCD display. This display can be used in a wide range of games to show "Heads-up" information, as well as being used as a full colour Windows Side-show device under Windows Vista.
Additionally, each key on the keyboard is independently back-lit, and the back-light colour can be set to any colour that can be selected from a normal Windows colour-wheel... so, pretty much any colour in the rainbow!
As a keyboard, the G19 is quite responsive - not quite as solid as the old IBM PS/2 keyboard that so many people grew up with, but with a good range of motion and a solid "click" for each key as it is pressed; Not a "laptop" style keyboard, and not one of the new "soft-touch" keyboards that are becoming popular.
The additional buttons include 12 programmable buttons on the left - conveniently labelled G1-G12, these can be set to perform any keyboard combination or sequence, and re-mapped on the fly. There is also a set of 3 "Mode" buttons above these, giving a total of 36 available macros at any one time. The fourth key here is a "record" button, allowing you to record a new macro at any time.
The macros themselves are defined per-application; the included software (or, better yet, download the latest drivers direct from the Logitech website) lets you configure a set of 3 profiles for each application, which will be switched to automatically when the application is detected.
As well as these keys, there is a rolling volume control, a mute button, and a standard set of "media" keys with Back, Pause, Play and Next. These are all located on the top right of the keyboard, and work well with most standard Windows media applications, including Media Player and iTunes.
For gamers, there is a sliding switch to disable the "Windows" key, to prevent accidentally exiting a game by hitting that key.
The remaining keys are all about the display and back-lighting. To the left of the display is a 4 way "D-pad", with an "OK" button in the middle, and a settings button; these are used exclusively to control options on the LCD display. To the right of the LCD is a button that toggle all lighting on the keyboard (unfortunately, both the LCD and back lighting; these cannot be separated); this is useful for leaving your PC on overnight without lighting up the house...
The keyboard offers 2 powered USB2 ports, at the back right. These are fine to use, but a bit fiddly on the angles - I wouldn't want to be plugging things in too frequently.
A mains adaptor is included, this connects to one side of the Y-shaped lead coming from the keyboard, the other side going to the USB port on your PC. The mains power is required for the LCD and the backlighting, but the keyboard can be used "normally" without external power - useful if you've got it connected to a laptop, and mains power goes...
Some reviews indicate some interference on the LCD from mobile phones etc. - I've not experienced this, but would add that to reset the keyboard in this situation, all you need to do is pull the power for the keyboard (don't just reboot the PC!).
The range of Display panel applets is not massive, but the main MMORPGs are supported (World of Warcraft, EVE online, LOTRO etc.), as well as a number of FPS and RPG games - there is also a reasonably active community developing add-ons, and any that worked on the G15 keyboard will also work on this one.
Finally, you should note that the UK model has a proper UK layout, with a large Enter key and the pound, double-quote and dollar signs in the correct places. This does not match the picture on this site, but is a typical UK layout.