Design and features
Logitech's G13 is an interesting add-on for those who don't have enough macro keys already — particularly the WoW crowd or laptop gamers.
Designed to sit on the left-hand side of your keyboard (as is evident from the thumb stick being placed on the right and being non-removable), it features 28 customisable buttons (22 "G" keys, a four-way thumb stick and two buttons on either side of this) which through Logitech's software can be assigned either single keystrokes or user-definable macros. You can also set how often the macro repeats (that is, whether the button needs to be held down or whether it's a toggle), insert unicode supported text blocks, assign a shortcut, or set it to be an email, web browser, media player, calculator or My Computer quick launch button.
You can disable some keys if you keep hitting a button by accident, rather than swearing uselessly at it or setting a key that no one hits.
Macros can be recorded including delays, delays and mouse events can be inserted, events deleted, and even new events recorded before or after a specific entry, yet for some reason the edit option is greyed out, meaning you're unable to edit any mistakes — you have to delete the error, and restart the recording from the correct point. You can also get the screen to display the macro name if you need confirmation. If you're particularly hardcore, you can associate LUA scripts with each button, and a script editor is included to help achieve this.
Logitech's software is easy to use. Click on the button you want to customise, and follow the prompts. Clicking on the running man saves your profile to the device, while clicking the M buttons let you set backlighting colour. (Credit: CBS Interactive)
The four directions on the thumb stick can be similarly customised, as can the two buttons on either side of it, and you can switch the pad between three different modes, opening up a potential 84 custom buttons if you need them. Each mode can be assigned a colour, and this changes the colour of the screen and the backlighting of the keys accordingly. Next to these is the MR button, which can be used to quickly record a macro to any of the "G" keys — just hit it followed by one of your G keys, perform the key sequence then hit MR again, and the new macro will be stored to that G key. Despite their usefulness, the mode buttons are quite hard to see despite being lit, as they are positioned facing away from the user.
At the top is a screen based on Logitech's GamePanel technology, also seen in its G15 range of keyboards. At the outset it can display CPU/Memory usage, an RSS feed, time/date/email, media player display or a countdown/stopwatch, however, more modules can be added through the user community or game developers.