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Somehow we missed Logitech's update to its G15 Keyboard last year. It started showing up in our lab recently with a few high-end gaming PCs that spurred us to give it the full review treatment. We're glad we did. The new model improves on many facets of the original, elevating what was already a pretty good keyboard to Editors' Choice status. We're also happy to report that the online community has embraced the G15's unique, programmable LCD screen, and there's now a wide variety of useful mini apps available for download. All of these features will cost you more than your average keyboard, although real-world prices are lower than Logitech's suggested $99. Especially if you can find it for a good price, we recommend the G15 keyboard as our new favorite for PC gaming.
If you're familiar with the old G15, the new model is instantly recognizable, but it has a much more streamlined design. Instead of the many angles and beveled edges on the original, the new G15 is all smooth curves and flowing lines. The LCD screen no longer folds down on a hinge, but instead rises up gracefully from the top edge, permanently and prominently displayed. Logitech also moved from blue LED key backlighting to orange, and it also extended to the orange glow to the LCD screen. We find the orange easier to read in the dark, especially compared with blue on both the old model and the Razer Lycosa.
The other big physical change is the new model's smaller size. Down from 21.5 inches to 19.5 inches wide, the updated G15 lost a belt size or two at the expense of 12 "G-keys," or programmable hot keys. Now instead of 54 possible custom buttons (among 18 keys in three different modes), you now get only six G-keys and three different modes, for a total of 18 programmable commands. We were more than happy to compromise here, both for the reduced size, and also because we could never come up with 54 separate macros to begin with, let alone remember where they were. We're sure some of you might miss having so much flexibility, and if so, you're better off sticking with the original model.
You can use Logitech's software to program macros for specific games, and you can also use the built-in macro record key to set macros while you're playing. Logitech also lets you map custom scripts to the G-keys, and there's even a script editor built into Logitech's software for those of you handy with the Lua programming language.