Mechanical-keyboard enthusiasts are intense about their love of loud, clicky keys — and most know exactly the kind of mechanical switch that they like (Cherry MX Blue for me). But Logitech believes this space has room to grow, along with introducing different kinds of switches from companies that aren’t named Cherry. It’s making that argument with the G810 Orion.

Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

  • Pricing: $160
  • Availability: Out now

The Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum keyboard is a $160 device that’s out now and features the Romer-G switch that Logitech has the exclusive rights to. This is still a mechanical actuator — unlike the membrane keyboards that use a rubbery, squishy dome material — but it feels and sounds different. But while it is somewhat unfamiliar, the G810 has some benefits that are worth exploring. It has 26-key rollover (meaning you can hit 26 keys simultaneously and the computer will receive all of them), great media controls, and Logitech’s Spectrum RGB lighting — and you shouldn’t dismiss those switches without trying them.

What you’ll like

Nice Romer-G switches with respectable keycaps

A Romer-G switch in action.

Above: A Romer-G switch in action.

Image Credit: Logitech

Let’s talk about those Romer-G switches. If you don’t know why you should care about this, you probably won’t. But a lot of people are serious about the kinds of switches used in their mechanical keyboards, and they are not all the same.

Cherry switches connect the keycap (the plastic part your fingers touch) with the switch using a tiny cross that sits in the center of the switch. With Romer-G, the key connects to a border piece that supports it on all four corners. This creates a lot more stability for the keys, so they don’t feel as wobbly as many Cherry MX devices. But this also means those switches don’t have quite as much life in them as some may want.

For me, I’ve grown to appreciate the sound and feel of typing on the G810. The Romer-G switches don’t pop as a Cherry Blue or Brown do, but they still feel great to type on. Additionally, the keycaps feel really sturdy and high quality. That’s often a piece of the mechanical-keyboard puzzle that companies ignore — but Logitech didn’t. The keycaps aren’t custom or specialized, they just feel like strong, thick plastic material that your fingertips will appreciate.

Attractive look     

Logitech is going for something simple with the G810. It has a nice matte-black finish for the plate cover around the keycaps. I also like the relatively minimal bezel around the sides and bottom of the keyboard. This should enable shooter players to get in right on top of their keys without bumping their wrists.

I also think the Romer-G switches enable Logitech to do something impressive with its Spectrum RGB LED lighting. Since the switch is a border, Logitech can put the LED right into the core of the keyboard. This enables the light to burst evenly through the top of the key, and that creates a mesmerizing effect when you see some of the more active lighting settings. Whether the keyboard is rapidly flipping through the rainbow spectrum or reacting to a Spectrum-compatible video game, the illumination is always bright and beautiful.

What you won’t like

Proprietary connection for the caps

While Logitech has nailed this keyboard’s design, it will annoy some people that you can’t replace the keycaps on the G810. The Romer-G switches are proprietary, and that means you can’t go online and buy some really nice caps of your own. You’re stuck with Logitech’s standard set — which isn’t terrible considering their quality.

Conclusion

A lot of people are going to have a bad first impression of the G810 because they aren’t used to the Romer-G keys. But if you aren’t immediately turned off, you should consider this keyboard because it does everything else.

Logitech provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for the purposes of this review. It is out now for $160.