Keys To Success: Mechanical Keyboard Round-Up With ASUS, G.Skill, Aorus, Logitech

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Logitech G910 Orion Spark Design

Logitech is the 800-pound gorilla in this roundup with decades of experience in the computer peripherals market. After 34 years in the industry, it's still making mice and keyboards, it's newest of which is the G910 Orion Spark, a mechanical plank with a unique key switch that isn't of the Cherry MX family. More on that in a bit.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark

As with all the rest of the keyboards in this roundup, the G910 Spark Orion is a full-size plank, only it's a little larger than the others because of a wrist rest area that runs the length of the bottom. You can pop the wrist rest off, but the frame that it snaps into remains in place so there's really no advantage to removing it (unless you prefer the semi-naked look). If you like the aesthetics of the G910 but prefer a tenkeyless option, Logitech also offers the G410 Atlas Spark. For all intents and purposes, the G410 Atlas Spark is a G910, with the numpad removed.

There's a lot going on here in terms of look and feel. While not without some heft—it weights 3.3 pounds—the G910 Orion Spark doesn't scream out, "Hey, I'm a premium product!" However, it does present a variety of interesting visuals. The plastic used throughout is different at every turn, from the top plate that almost feels like a thin aluminum slab to the different textures and patterns around the casing. including the glossy frame.

It's also an RGB keyboard with per-key backlighting, meaning you can adjust the color and illumination of each individual key. Out of the four keyboards represented here, the LED lighting is the most uniform on the G910 Orion Spark, and that's not by accident. Whereas many backlit keyboards with mechanical key switches place the LED bulb towards the top of the key switch, the unique design of Logitech's G-Romer key switches allows it to sit in the middle, and that results in more even light distribution up through the entire keycap. The only places where slight fading is visible is on some of longer (horizontal) labels, like Enter and Shift.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark Keys

Most of the keycaps slant upwards on the sides and top. The effect creates a pit for your fingers that takes some getting used to, particularly for regular typing. Logitech designed them as such to prevent mistyping. It's part of what Logitech calls a "Performance Facet Keycap" design and layout that spent more than a year in development with thermal imaging and high-speed camera game-play studies. Sounds super fancy and technical, and while we don't want to downplay any science involved, the result is a keycap that feels different and will take some getting used to.

The angled designs of the keycaps are also there to help your pinky finger quickly identify and reach. Does it work? We'll get into that in the performance section.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark G Keys Logitech G910 Orion Spark Media Keys

There are five dedicated macro or "G" keys stacked in a column on the left-hand side of the keyboard plus four more directly above the F1 through F4 keys. That gives you a total of nine G keys to program macros. You also have three profiles you can toggle, giving you a total of up to 27 commands. There's also a button for recording macros on-the-fly.

Dedicated media controls sit on the right side of the keyboard situated above the number pad. They consist of play/pause, stop, back, and forward buttons, plus a smooth scrolling volume roller and mute/unmute button.

Slightly to the left of the media controls is a button to turn the LEDs on and off, and a Windows Lock key.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark Arx Control

You won't find an integrated LCD panel in the G910 Spark like Logitech has done before, but you're welcome to bring your own. Sitting top center is a blue plastic clip that pulls out so you can dock your Android or iOS phone or tablet. It's part of Logitech's Arx Control platform that uses your mobile device as a second display for supported games and monitoring system for your rig.

While optional, the Arx Control scheme is a differentiating component of the G910 Orion Spark and one that could prove a big advantage, depending on how developers ultimately take advantage of it. To help facilitate that, Logitech has made available an Arx Control SDK with Java support that's freely available to download.

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