Greetings all, and welcome to the final Hardware Review of May.. We all survived another month, hooray (well most of us did anyways)!
We’re greeted on the front of the box by Mr. Faceless Soldier (made famous by the cover of Modern Warfare 3), a frontal shot of the keyboard, and a handful of features that MW3 G105 supports.
- Long-Life, Night-Vision Green LED Back-lighting
- Programmable G-Keys For Single Actions And Macros
- Multi-Key Input With 5-Key Rollover And Anti-Ghosting Capabilities
Moving to the back, Logitech gives us a more in-depth analysis of each of the features highlighted on the front of the box, as well as filling us in on a few more.
- Media Keys (with a dedicated function key like a Laptop Keyboard)
- Game/Desktop Mode Switch (a single button press disables the Windows key)
- Built For Gaming (basically telling you that Logitech Keyboards can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’)
Nestled safely inside the box is an ‘Important Information’ guide, plus a ‘Getting Started’ guide. Both are simple and to the point. There is no driver CD included, but you do need the software from Logitech’s website, so make sure to grab that.
And now the MW3 G105 Gaming Keyboard itself. Pulling it out of the box, I was stunned by the finish of the keyboard. Most companies either have a glossy finish or a rubberized finish (which is more commonly seen on high-end gaming keyboards), but the Mw3 G105 has an almost matte black finish, and it looks amazing. Not only will it not be a fingerprint magnet, it also matches a lot of the gaming cases being produced today. As you can see from the photo, the keyboard is quite long with there being an extra row of keys on the left side for the G-Functions. The WASD and Arrow Keys are both silver which makes for easy finger placement when gaming. A handful of companies do this, but most make it to where you have a set of regular color keys, as well as a contrasting pair, but alas the Logitech only has the single set. The MW3 G105 keyboard doesn’t have a braided cable or gold-plated USB connector. This surprised me a bit, since I’ve grown accustomed to it by the other major brands out there.
The G-Keys and Macro Keys visible at the top of the keyboard are used for setting up a slew of different macros and key bindings for all of your different games. Not only are there six basic programmable buttons, but also three different macro profiles, which means you can have a total of 18 different macros/combinations. This makes it near impossible to not have everything you want programmed right at your fingertips. Recording the macros is extremely simple; just use the Macro Record or ‘MR’ key at the top and then set it up. From left to right we have the Windows lock key, Modern Warfare 3 emblem, and the LED lighting Key (which features an off, low, and high setting).
The lighting on the MW3 G105 is excellent. Not only is the green lighting visually appealing, it’s also extremely bright (on high), and is very even. A lot of the mid-range gaming keyboards with LED lighting have an uneven amount of lighting in certain areas, but that’s not the case here. Sadly (for those who like multiple options) the green lighting is the only choice for the MW3 G105, but I find it quite refreshing from the market full of keyboards that only support either Red or Blue LED lighting.The M-Keys do light up orange for whichever one you have chose, and pressing the MR key will cause it to also light up Red, letting you know that the key is active and recording.
Wow.. The software for the MW3 G105 Keyboard is simply outstanding. When I first loaded it up, I was a bit apprehensive about the capabilities of the software, but after spending a mere five minutes with it, I knew I was using the most in-depth Keyboard software I have ever seen.
On the ‘Home’ page there are six different tabs along the bottom; Logitech.com, The Keyboard, Home, G-Keys, General, and Help. I’m assuming where it shows the keyboard icon would also be where they would show your Logitech Mouse or Headset if you use such products. Above these tabs is a large picture of the Logitech MW3 G105 Keyboard. You can either click on the G-Key section of the keyboard to have it instantly zoom into that section — or you could click the G-Key Tab at the bottom of the page — they both do the same thing.
Once zoomed in, you realize how many features these keys really support. After clicking on any of the six G-Keys, and then clicking on the ‘Edit’ command, you are greeted with a page that offers nine different pages of options to alter that specific key. You can make the key do a specific command, have it mimic another key, open up any program of choice, have an effect on a certain program (such as Ventrillo), setup complicated multi-key press macros for a single key, paste large chunks of text that you’ve saved to it. The options are near limitless. With Macro 1, I decided to setup my G-Keys for helpful Desktop functions: G1 – Open Email, G2 – Open Internet, and G3 – Calculator. With this setup I have complete control of my Desktop with a single button press. With also having the option of two more Macro pages, you can have one for Desktop commands, one for gaming, and one other for… Well, whatever you want. The choice is yours!
The General Page includes a General Tab and a Profile Tab. Here you can setup a custom Profile and also change some of the General Settings. The Profile tab allows you to setup a Default Profile, Persistent Profile, and to setup a hot-key to switch to a different Profile. It’s extremely simple and easy to use.
Perhaps you don’t like messing with different Profiles and G-Key commands. Well fear not, Logitech has you covered. With a single click the software will scan your computer and pick up all the games installed on your PC, and in-turn tell you if they have profiles already pre-built for said title. The scan was quick but not extremely accurate, only picking up roughly 50% of the titles installed on my PC.
This software is seriously powerful, and using it is intuitive and easy. By far the best software I’ve used to date.
Testing The Keyboard
Testing the MW3 G105 Keyboard was straight forward. I played Torchlight 2, Mass Effect 3, Serious Sam HD: TSE, and Modern Warfare 3… Duh..
Instead of breaking down how each game played with the keyboard (this isn’t a mouse review), I’ll give you the overall opinion of gaming with the keyboard, as well as general usage.
For gaming I found the MW3 G105 to be quick, responsive, and intuitive. As I said at the beginning of the review, I have been a long-time user of Logitech keyboards and am extremely familiar with the basic layout of their keyboards. I never felt at a disadvantage using this keyboard over a mechanical one when it came to gaming — in fact — the response time on the keys felt perfect. Logitech may not decide to transition into Mechanical keyboards anytime soon due to the fact that they have mastered their own design. Plus locking the Windows key is always a great feature. I hope somewhere down the line this becomes a standard on all keyboards.
General usage for the keyboard such as internet browsing and typing reviews feels great. The spacing between keys feels natural, and the lack of an NKRO (6+ Key presses at a time) found on mechanical keyboards wasn’t noticed in anyway. Using the function keys on the MW3 G105 is extremely simple. While holding down the FN key, you just press the corresponding F-Key at the top and voila, task is done. Reading the functions on the side of the F-Keys is a bit troublesome, but nothing major.
Overall, I went into this review with the expectation that Logitech would deliver a solid gaming keyboard in a price range more affordable to the average consumer (aka: me and you), and in this regard, they succeeded on all fronts.
The MW3 G105 may not have some of the flashier functions and features of other keyboards (including the higher-end Logitech models), but what is does have is a set of keys that feel great to type and game with, a gorgeous finish, good/even LED lighting, and a reasonable price tag. You really cannot go wrong with this keyboard.
The Software needs its’ own paragraph. I’ve never had the privilege of using better software to date. The amount of features that this software supports is staggering. For those really wanting to have full control over your keyboard, you will not find a better suite of options than the software for the Logitech MW3 G105 Keyboard.
In this price range, I have yet to use a better keyboard, period.
A quick explanation of the award system. We have the main award category with three awards; Bronze (Good Overall Product), Silver (Great Overall Product), and Gold (Excellent/Near Perfect Overall Product) as the highest. Then we have two different Sub-Categories, Internal Hardware Awards for performance; Yellow (Low-End Performer), Orange (Mid-Range Performer), and Red (High-End Performer) as the highest. The third and final Sub-Category is for both Internal Hardware and External Peripherals; Black (Enthusiast/Gamer Qualities), Blue (Exceptional Build and Design), Green (Terrific Dollar To Performance Ratio), White (Innovative But Flawed)
- The G-Keys Feel Near-Perfect
- Typing On The Keyboard Is A Dream
- Price Is Perfect For What You Get (Currently $59.99)
- Modern Warfare 3 Branding Is Not Overbearing
- LED Back-Lighting Looks Great
- Best Software I Have Ever Used
- Missing A Few Small Things That Feel Like Industry Standards Now (Braided Cable, Gold-Plated USB)
- No Option To Replace The Silver Keys With Matching Black Ones
- Only One LED Color Option (Night-Vision Green)
- So Cheap That I Am Required To Spend The Extra Cash On Loved Ones
You can pick up your’ very own MW3 Inspired G105 here!