The Logitech G610 Orion Gaming Keyboard is a departure from the conventional ‘Gaming Keyboard’ design, and what we have instead is a very minimalistic and professional look, which will work well both with a gaming setup, and at the office.
This keyboard is actually almost identical to the G810 Orion Keyboard by Logitech, except that it doesn’t have the RGB back-lighting, and has Cherry MX Switches instead of the Romer G ones made by Logitech, which is what makes this keyboard so compelling in the market, because you are getting ‘The mechanical’ switch, Cherry MX in Brown or Red flavours, at a cheaper price point than the G810, with the tasteful white LEDs, which many people prefer over RGB ones.
So the build of this keyboard is very premium. It is much more heavier than it looks like, which is probably due to a metal plate in the frame. The top has a nice matte texture, but the sides are glossy, which is a bit odd, but it looks good as long as it does not have your fingerprints all over it.
The texture at bottom is a very nice touch, and gives this keyboard a premium feel, and the large rubber feet secure it very well on a table. The two feet at bottom can be adjusted to 4 or 8 degrees, which also have rubber strips in them for better grip.
The cable is braided and feels very rugged. The keycaps are double injection shot ABS keys, and have a balanced shape, they also feel very smooth, almost too smooth sometimes, but they feel really great to type on.
The media keys aren’t mechanical, and personally for me, their feel, placement, and shape feel a little inconsistent for this keyboard’s aesthetics. But they do their job, and Logitech didn’t do anything funny with them. Logitech has used a ‘gamery’ font on this, which is one of the very few things on this keyboard that would indicate that it is intended for gaming.
The volume adjustment wheel in really wide, but has very low resistance, and doesn’t have any tactile feedback. But It’s very useful when you are playing a game or watching a movie and can’t control the volume using mouse, or have your speakers out of reach.
So I think Logitech has done a great job in the build department, and have kept everything minimal but functional, and the combination of all that gives it a very professional look.
The keyboard I have with me has Cherry MX Brown switches, but it also comes in Red switches, which you can go for if you prefer to not have the almost difficult to feel tactile bump in Cherry MX Browns.
THE BROWN SWITCH
Brown has to be my favourite switch type, as it combines the tactile nature of Blue switches, and silence of the linear ones. If you’re coming from a blue switch like me, you’ll find it to be almost too easy to press, while coming from a membrane keyboard will be a very natural transition as I find the 45 grams of actuation force to be close to a membrane keyboard.
I personally think that for typing beyond a certain speed, the browns are better than blues, because the clicks on blues get too loud when they are pressed rapidly, and the lower actuation force of browns also makes your hand movements smoother. But If you are a person who frequently presses the neighbouring keys by mistake, or you have unusually big or heavy hands, or you just come from a keyboard that requires more force, you might want to go with a heavier switch.
Typing experience is great, and will feel like a big upgrade if you’re coming from a membrane keyboard. The only thing that keeps the typing experience from being perfect is lack of a wrist rest. Even though use of a wrist rest incorrectly can be risky, and bad ergonomics shouldn’t be taken lightly, I think it is good to have an option because not all people have to keyboard at a perfect height, and the keys on this keyboard sit pretty high to begin with, so a wrist rest would’ve been a great add-on, especially for gaming, even if it doesn’t go with its minimalist aesthetics.
Speaking of it, gaming experience is also great, and I did not encounter any special button mashing sequence that would make me feel that the tactile bump on browns is a getting in the way.
One issue that people seem to have with this keyboard is that Logitech has switched the Primary and Shift input indicator on the keys to have the primary inputs lit in a better way. I personally think that you get used to it very quickly, but there have been better implementations to handle this situation.
[Watch the video review embedded above for typing test]
The LEDs are bright, and light up the keyboard very well. There’s some uneven lighting observed on keys like Enter and Shift. Even keys like Insert and Delete aren’t evenly lit. But I think that this is the best you can get from this type of switch, if the even-ness of lighting is your biggest concern, you may want to go with a Cherry MX RGB switch, or a Romer G switch in the G810. You can also customize the level of brightness in num, caps, and scroll lock indicators, the Logitech G logo, and even the media keys which is a nice touch.
The included effects are good, but I was expecting more of them. The only problem is that this keyboard doesn’t have internal memory, so everything is handled by the Logitech gaming software.
If you want to control the lighting without using the Logitech software, you can set different patterns by pressing the brightness toggle key with number keys, and can also control the speed of different effects. You don’t get the reactive effect without the software, but you get this whole column flash reaction which isn’t available through software. Which is a little odd to be honest.
One problem I have with this is that even the brightness setting is not remembered by the keyboard, and has to be configured in the software, and if you’re on Linux, then you may need to switch to your desired pattern or brightness every time you turn your PC on, that is unless you really love this default wave effect and its brightness level.
Logitech’s gaming software is one of the best out there, and offers very easy and powerful customization of different effects and lighting. You can even set different lighting profiles for different games, and can customize the keys to functions or macros of your liking according to the software that is active. It’s very useful in everything, from browsing to professional work, and personally I think it is the biggest reason to prefer a ‘Gaming’ keyboard to anyone who has to work on a PC.
The biggest problem is that you can only customize the working of 12 keys, from F1 to F12. This is a big limitation, as the top row is not the easiest to reach while gaming or editing in a software, and the competition offers this functionality.
This bothered me so much that I wrote to Logitech about this, and they said that they can actually add this feature, if they get enough request. So if you feel the same way I do, you could sent them an e-mail regarding this.
One very important thing that you should do after buying this keyboard is upgrade the firmware. This keyboard used to make a faint whine when set on lower brightness levels which I was going to mention in this review, but surprisingly, they had a firmware update to fix that.
You should also check out the Aurora software if you want more functionality with the lighting. It offers features like showing volume level, RAM usage, and even CPU usage on a backlit keyboard, and it makes up for all the shortcomings I felt the Logitech Gaming software had, which this software pairs through.
Aurora also has the music visualization effect, but If you just want the visualization feature that I showed before the intro, you can download the software I have linked to in the description to make the keyboard light up with the music output from your PC
I think that this keyboard is VERY competitive at this price point. It has all the features and customization that a power user or a gamer could need, and it comes with a very sober and tasteful design and backlighting which would make fit in an office too. The choice of Cherry MX Brown switches really complements the overall style of this keyboard, and I think this is a very good and versatile choice for a wide variety of consumers. It isn’t perfect but the issues it has would bother a very small set of people, so I could recommend it to most people easily.
I hope Logitech adds customization support to all keys, and if they could also start offering the G810 Orion with Cherry switches, which could make that keyboard a preferred choice for many consumers.
This keyboard is a good value for money, but of course, no keyboard can take the ‘value for money’ crown from TVS Bharat Gold Keyboard which offers Cherry MX Blue keys for just 30 USD, You can check out my review of it, though, it’s only available in India.
If your taste is different or you want more features, you can also check out the G.Skill RIPJAWS KM780 RGB Keyboard which has the option of RGB lighting, and more gamer oriented features, including an extra set of macro keys, the only problem that keyboard seems to have is lack of an easy to use software, and some odd decisions about their lighting.