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Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard Review - Evolution or Dud?

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Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech
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Introduction


The keyboard has been a mainstay of PC controllers for decades, but its reign has always been one of obvious convenience rather than practicality. The keyboard has many buttons, which can be useful, but it also has many disadvantages. No joysticks, no D-pads, no trigger buttons, no function selectors. Just a bunch of keys, arranged in rows, four of which (WASD, of course) take more abuse than they deserve.

This is a formula that has room for improvement, yet few attempts have been made throughout the years. While this may partly be due to a lack of creativity, it is more likely the result of the keyboard’s widespread popularity. Everyone has a keyboard, so it simply makes sense to program a PC game’s controls to take advantage of it. Any potential replacement has to deal with this obstacle. 


Logitech therefor seems like a natural choice for answering the challenge of finding a replacement for the keyboard. A well-known peripheral company, Logitech makes everything from keyboards to webcams to racing wheels, and is generally well regarded. The G series of gaming peripherals has many successful products in its portfolio, and among them is the G13, which Logitech calls an “Advanced Gameboard.” That’s a fancy way of saying “keyboard replacement.”

Credentials aside, this is no easy challenge. Replacing a commonly used controller is like reinventing the wheel. Is it really possible to create a better solution to PC gaming than the keyboard? And even if the answer is yes, is the solution good enough to justify its pricetag?

June 19, 2011 | 11:13 PM - Posted by Frostbite (not verified)

I've been using a G13 for about 1.5 years now and have become so accustomed to it, I couldn't play any FPS games without it. It felt awkward at first for sure, then I grew into it just like a new controller for a new system back in the day. It's more comfortable than any keyboard and I have nearly 0% missed buttons when using it and feel as if it has actually improved my reaction abilities over time. The thumb stick I only use for macros, though. It's not useful for actual movement in my opinion, unless you like the awkward placement and feel of the skinny thing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this unit takes a good month to set in before you love it completely. It is NOT a replacement for a keyboard, but a great companion for a regular one like my cheapo Logitech Classic. I have plowed through every game from UT99 to Just Cause 2 and CS with this thing. Highly recommended now that it's available a good chunk cheaper all over the web.

February 2, 2012 | 01:33 PM - Posted by Tankgeezus (not verified)

Wow, I'm surprised to see such a negative review. I'm so glad I didn't read this as I believe this device to be the best computer accessory besides the Razer Naga. Maybe it's using these 2 products together that changes it for me. The thumbstick is awkward at first, but once you get used to it, it's great. Freeing 4 fingers for keys is huge, especially in Age of Conan (best mmo ever), and I can never go back.

February 20, 2012 | 03:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

To put it simply, this reviewer clearly did not know the full capability of the G13.

For example: "the G13’s primary keypad has only 22 keys".

The key pad has actually has 25 customizable keys, with a programable analog stick. It also has three different "game modes" that you can bind keys or macros to for whatever game you are playing. These can also be saved as profiles so you do not need to recreate them over and over again.

All he had to do was switch between the profiles and he would have been able to have around 87 bindings he could have used with WoW or any game for that matter. Also, the profiles can be custom color coded so you know which profile you are in at the time.

I would suggest a different source with better knowledge of the device.

June 1, 2012 | 11:26 AM - Posted by MissPsychoKill (not verified)

Dude, you just cannot convince me you are a gamer. Any peripheral, and I mean ANY peripheral, used in WoW should be used in conjuction with key modifier (Alt, Ctrl, Shift).
My 85 has just as many abilities plus all the macros that I have made and I have used the Nostromo n52 as well as the G13 without having to shift out of the first mode. It only took one key on the mouse.

You can't remember your keybinds? It's really quite simple, you practice them on a target dummy until it's automatic.

You sound like you are looking for gaming peripheral that will play the game for you...

I have used both the Nostromo and the G13 (I prefer the G13) on many MMO's from WoW, SWTOR, FF, GW and now Tera online. Sure I have a keyboard but using a gamepad has enchanced my gameplay to the max. Setting up complex macros to handle every function and then having them bound to one hand seperate from the larger cluster of keys on a keyboar and arranging them to my style is just super. I even use my gamepad to run complex music software like cubase, ableton and protools as well as onstage live. I think you should just stop writing reviews.

June 1, 2012 | 03:07 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

If you only play MMOs then you are not a gamer.

There, I said it.

August 11, 2012 | 08:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

excellent review, I wish I had read it before buying, because I wouldn't have

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