While a gaming keyboard cannot be the sole element for poor gaming performance by individuals, for higher end gaming, it can make the split-second difference when titles are on the line. Over the past few years, I’ve managed to review a few gaming keyboards, all of which could get the job done much better than my current wireless setup, but at the same time, didn’t make enough difference at my level of expertise to warrant the switch. In addition, gaming keyboard often look garish with the limited options of neon blue or red backlighting, which didn’t quite match your desktop setup. Logitech has taken a few steps in correcting these failures by introducing the G910 Orion Spark, a gaming keyboard crammed to the brim with technology, features, add-ons, and plenty of colours.
Design and Build
As with most gaming keyboards, the Orion Spark isn’t much different in the size and weight division. To be exact, the dimensions for the unit is 243.5x505x35.5mm, which all weighs a hefty 1.5KG. Removing the armrest support does make the keyboard a slightly more lightweight and compact, but doesn’t provide much benefit in having it removed. For any keyboard that would just be absurd, but in this case, provides additional poise and stability when gaming intensity heats up and keys are being depressed in anger (along with a few expletives for those really pressure situations). Under normal circumstances, it isn’t advisable to be smashing keys whenever things erupt, but the mechanical keys on the G910 can handle all the added stress. We’ll discuss this in more detail in the below, Features, section.
The letters on the keys are quite a lot larger than is standard, but given the fact that it doubles to emit light, it’s no surprise. Each key has a three-sided indentation (flat key with two raised edges) to provide distinct separation of the different keys. Speaking of lights, each key is able to emit distinct colour, which is programmable via the downloadable software. Again, we’ll touch on the full list of light display options in the section below. The standard gaming keys, that being W, A, S, D, and the arrow keys, have slightly different designs from the rest of the keys, making them easier accessible, if the glaring lights aren’t enough at the time. Aside from many of the standard keys, along with a few media keys thrown in, the Orion Spark also add additional G-keys, ranging from G1 to G9, all of which are macro-programmable. The remainder of the keys include three profile buttons that allow gamers to switch profiles and lighting patterns, the macro record buttons does what it says, a gaming button to disable the windows and non-use keys during gaming, and a backlight button to enable/disable lighting.
Performance and Features
This section has been specifically added due to the amount of features added on the Logitech G910, and while we may not be able to cover all, it will give you a pretty good idea of the amount of extras bolted onto the unit. The Orion Spark’s keys use Logitech’s new Romer-G™ mechanical switch, which triggers at a distance of just 1.5mm. Logitech claims that this is a distance 25% shorter than regular gaming keyboards, which makes it faster and more responsive. Additionally, the keys have low-force triggers, which requires only 45g actuation for “near-instant” response. The Romer-G™ tech produces similar results to the standard gaming convention of using Cherry MX switches, but yields results that aren’t as loud. Many would suggest that the Cherry MX switches outperform that of the Romer-G™ mechanical switches, but without the overly intricate lab tests under closed conditions, the argument rages on. Be that as it may, even if the Romer-G™ wasn’t as adept as the Cherry MX, I’m sure having a softer key depress under strained gaming conditions is more than welcome.
Already touched on previously, the backlighting is one of the most customisable features included on the keyboard. Not only are you able to set specific colours for individual keys based on the game profile loaded, you can set a screensaver-type colour pattern. This pattern ranges from a sliding rainbow effect, to a starry night that depicts actual flickering stars. Explaining the differences in effects doesn’t paint the full picture, so I’ve included a few images for demonstration.
Still on the topic of lighting, the downloadable software includes a features, which allows users to record a gaming session, and provide a host of stats once completed. The stats even include a heatmap of the keys used during the session, and displays the keys (on the keyboard itself) used more often by a level of intensity based on colour.
The software discussed above is the central point for all the added features and functionality. From here, users can change colour schemes, add and change gaming profiles, and even scan for the list of games on your rig along with the typical setup and frequent button use highlights. Macros can also be set for games that use a combination of keys to perform tasks. While some gamers would deem this to be an unfair advantage, it makes quite a difference in hitting one key repeatedly, instead of a combination of four or five different keys. Recording a macro command is just as easy: simply hit the dedicated record button, select the G-key you wish to assign, perform the given key sequence, and hit the record button again to save. The only truly tricky part is remembering which macro was recorded for each of the nine G-keys, and then still having different macros for each of the game profiles. If at any point you come across a game not already added, you can simply build your own profile for it.
Unlike some of the other gaming keyboards with the added display for gaming modes, the G910 offers a slight variation on achieving this, with much better results. On the rear of the unit, there is a blue slider, which is actually a dock of some sort for your smartphone. This isn’t simply to keep your phone close at and, Logitech has added an Arx Control application to Play Store and iTunes, which, when connected, provides additional statistics on the fly. To connect, simply connect both your PC and smartphone to the same Wi-Fi, and have the G910 connected and software installed. Running the app will then automatically connect itself, and provide the added support. The lists of statistics include everything from CPU and GPU stats while in-game, as well as make it easier to switch profile and know what G-keys have been assigned for the specific game. Additional features include watching videos, controlling media, and even have a few game-specific add-ons.
The Logitech G910 is a pretty impressive all-round gaming keyboard that does a lot more than just increase the speed at which each key is depressed. While we didn’t touch on performance that much, the keyboard performs its tasks well, no matter the type of game put in front of it. While the colour pattern displays are a little bit of a gimmick at first, they still perform a function whenever you have some friends over, albeit a bit flashy.
While the Orion Spark may be the perfect gaming keyboard for your every need, there is one major issues to bypass…the cost. There’s no way to break this easily, but the unit retails between R2,499 and R2,999. And that’s pretty steep for any gaming peripheral, let alone a keyboard. But this isn’t your standard keyboard, though. This is more of a gaming companion, if such a title exists. If you’re serious about gaming, and serious about your gaming peripherals, you won’t find many, if any, better than Logitech’s G910 Orion Spark.