Having dominated the mice and keyboard market for several years with its range of basic to high end products, Logitech looks to want to do the same with the mechanical keyboard segment and in comes the G910 Orion Spark. Having known about the brand’s reliability and quality, I was excited to light up the keys to see how well the company would perform.
Opening the outer packaging, I was greeted with another elegant, premium looking box emblazoned with the Logitech “G” logo in its signature light blue. Talk about a flashy start.
After making the right connections to my PC, the first task would be to download all the latest drivers. Although Logitech provided a mini-CD with drivers on it, I decided to get the latest ones online.
After jumping through all the hoops, including reaching to the back of the PC to re-plug the keyboard during the firmware install process, I was finally rewarded with the ability to tweak the lights to display a rainbow of colours and it certainly did not disappoint.
The Keyboard Lights
I have to emphasize once again that this is a beautiful keyboard. Every single key, including the media keys, are lit on the Orion Spark keyboard. This made playing around with the lighting engine very satisfying as there are a variety of lighting modes to tweak. With 4 modes of lighting, the keyboard’s drivers allows one to customize the keyboard’s lighting to the hearts content, they include:
- Freestyle mode, where one could set the color of any key individually.
- Zone mode, where one can set the lighting colors for preset zones such as the WASD cluster, and the number row.
- Command Mode, where the keys would only light up the keys used by a particular game.
- Effects mode, where u can set an animation sequence to the lights such stars effects, breathing effect and the psychedelic color wave effect. For the colour wave, the drivers was able to control if the direction and speed of the lights.
If you can appreciate the aesthetics of the multicolored lights, this definitely justifies topping up $40 to buy the Orion Spark with multi-colored back-lighting, instead of the Logitech G610 with single color lights.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
The Orion Spark Mechanical keyboard does not bend or flex easily and has a heft to its weight. This makes the keyboard solid and durable. I could see that there was much thought given to the design of the ergonomics of the keyboard, it has 2 legs at the bottom to adjust the height to suit one’s preference, and a comfortable palm rest at an optimum angle.
The keyboard has large rubber pads at the bottom to prevent slipping of the keyboards during vigorous gaming sessions which sometimes involves mashing of keys. While the USB cable is rubber coated instead of a braided cable, it should factor little as braided cables are only mostly for aesthetics and the keyboard should not move around much for the cable to matter. Also, I appreciated that the top of the keyboards were a matte finish thus making is an anti-fingerprint magnet.
The Orion Spark Mechanical keyboard uses Logitech’s proprietary Romer G keys, which are tactile. The keyboard feels similar to the widely used Cherry MX brown keys . With a lighter actuation force and less travel distance, the keyboard was comfortable to use even after long periods of gaming. Logitech claims that the keys will last longer than regular mechanical keyboard and each key is able to actuate 70 million times before breaking down. I tested the keyboard’s ability to handle multiple key presses at once and the keyboard did exceptional well to handle more then 10 key presses at once, this is definitely good enough unless your hand has more than 10 fingers.
Unique to the keyboard would be its lighting system. Usually the traditional key cap’s light is lit from under the keyboard’s key. However, Logitech as redesigned the keys from ground up for the keyboard to be lit from directly underneath the key caps. This focuses the light to each individual key cap only. While some gamers prefer the light to leak underneath the keyboard to greater illumination, the contained lights in the Orion Spark gives the keyboard a minimalist and elegant look. The image below illustrates how the light is diffused in the center instead of a single light bulb next to the key stem.
Besides the standard keys for typing and gaming, The Orion Spark Keyboard’s has extended its layout with 9 macro keys, 5 located at the left side and 4 above the F1 to F4 keys. Reaching out to hit these keys feels natural as they were positioned in-line with the regular keys. The keyboards has also 3 macro profile keys which enables one to switch profiles on the fly. I found this particularly useful to switch key configurations quickly when swapping to different vehicles in Star Wars Battlefront.
The keyboard includes a scroll wheel to adjust the media volume. With the scroll wheel, I could control the volume more finely in a single smooth motion, rather than hitting a key multiple times. In case of emergencies such as an incoming phone call, there is a quick mute button located next to the scroll as well.
The ARX App
The ARX App converts an Android OS mobile phone into an LCD screen for the keyboard. Linking the ARX app to the PC, is fuss free. One would have to simply ensure that both the mobile phone and PC are on the same network, and the app will automatically link the mobile phone to the PC. The app is able to display the computer’s performance stats, control some basic functions on the PC , and tweak the keyboard and G-series mouse settings. Although most mobile phones would fit nicely into the dock, it would have been a nice touch for some room to fit a charging cable so that the screen would not run out of battery.
The Gaming Software
I could tell that Logitech has placed great emphasis on their gaming software to support the keyboard. The software’s user interface is accessible and easy to use. It also includes a library of preset profiles designed for various games.
There were other nifty features such as the keyboard heat map feature, which gives you a graphical representation of the keys pressed on the keyboard. Most importantly, the Gaming Software allows almost every key to be customized to light up any colors, and to be programmed to record and playback multiple keystrokes on to a single key. One such use for this would be if you play Street Fighter using a keyboard, you could program the required keystrokes into a single macro key to do a quarter circle punch movement to throw a fireball.
The Logitech G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Keyboard features great ergonomics, comfortable for long hours of gaming. Built solid and durable, I am confident that the keyboard would definitely last you quite a while. If you are looking for a mechanical keyboard and features gloriously animated multi colored lights this is the one for you. The only downside is its premium price, which can be easily justified, especially if your nights are spent in front of a computer hacking away on the keyboard.