A Begrudged Step Toward Current Game Hardware
I grew up in the 80’s. I had an Atari 2600, just like many people my age. I was still “young” in the early age of computers, and came in right around the time Apple introduced the first Macs. Over the summer of my Junior/ Senior year, I was sent to learn about the new Macs at a special camp. So, to me, a keyboard has always been a nothing but a tool for productivity.
Sure, the new keyboards had fancy lighting, special keys for macros, and a slightly better build quality (I don’t know how people can break keyboards, I’ve never broken a single one that I can remember.
I’ll admit it. I was one of “those” people. I dismissed gaming and mechanical keyboards as hype, and a way to charge someone way more than a keyboard was worth. I stuck with cheap, basic keyboards because of my inability to see what others would herald; the arrival of a new tool of incredible utility!
In the past, my keyboard requirements were simple: correct connector, size and shape, the keys, and the ability to type quiet.
Then came the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard. I had just sold my laptop, and had gotten my first tablet, so there was a need for the keys to be flat. This keyboard fit the bill. I struggled to get past the $80 price point for it, but I loved that it had a backlight that also caused the letters and numbers to be illuminated.
Needless to say, the money was well spent. I fell in love with the flat keys and the backlit keyboard. I’d used it for the better part of the last five years, and I have to say I could not be more pleased.
However, of late- as with all things- it had begun to show its age. The lighting on the letters had begun to dim, and the keys didn’t press and spring back as nicely as they used to. So I had to ask myself one question: Did I feel lucky? The answer was no. I’ve never had the kind of luck where electronics that began to show their age would last. If I skipped on an immediate replacement, it was always a decision I would later regret.
So, I did my research. I watched videos, read reviews, even asked my followers on Twitter their thoughts.
Then an event happened that put my interest in a new keyboard on the back burner.
My sister decided to move, and as luck would have it, I was available to assist. I was one of two drivers (one for the moving truck, one for the others that would help with the task. No sooner had I gotten on the Highway, and my car’s dash was emblazoned with an alert: LOW TIRE PRESSURE.
I thought “Are you serious?”
Before anyone starts in, I did check the tire pressure the day before, and it was fine. I even pumped them up a little over just to be safe. This was just my luck.
As fate would have it, my car survived the trip, and a friendly attendant at the U-Haul pointed out the issue. There was a crack in the side of my tire that I’d not seen in my inspection.
Long story short, new tires: $300. That included an alignment which was the cause of the cracked tires in the first place, and thus my plans for a new keyboard were dampened.
Or so I thought!
After I paid off the tires, I found I still had some money left over from Christmas, so I resumed my investigation. Another thought entered my mind at this point, perhaps a gaming keypad should be thought about in place of a new keyboard.
I did more research to see what the recommendations were on the keyboards vs keypads argument. Turns out, yes; keypads were very useful for MMO players. However, the support for a mechanical keyboard seemed to overwhelm.
I didn’t quite understand. What could a mechanical keyboard possibly do that my beloved keyboard could not? Macros? DDO has built-in keybinds that can be customized. Fancy programmable backlights? I’m too old and practical to care about that. Game Mode? I never really hit the keys that that mode disabled.
So what, then? What was it that won me over? The answer, in short, was a smaller, heavier, awesome switched keyboard that was easier to clean and far more durable!
The final answer was the Logitech G413 Silver. This keyboard had (almost) all the features I desired. If this keyboard was just a slight bit bigger, it could accommodate the one feature I found absent.
The presence of G-keys is what this beautiful piece of keyboard technology lacks.
Available in two colors, carbon and silver, the G413 is a marvel to behold. Made from aircraft grade brushed aluminum, it laughs at drops and other accidents. There’s a pass-through USB so that gamers can plug in their phones, mouses, or- as in my case- wireless headset adapters.
The carbon option is glorious in its own right, but for me the dark red backlight was a bit of a brow furrow. My Illuminated keyboard had a white backlight, which made the search for the appropriate keys a snap. The lack of a bright backlight makes just such a search much more difficult.
The silver version, on the other hand, doesn’t just have the same color as my former keyboard, but is brighter. The light is in the middle of the Romber-G switch (which I shall discuss in a bit), which makes the letters and numbers vibrant. This backlight also spills out onto the face of the keyboard, showing off the lustrous plate even when the room is at its darkest.
The Romer-G switch is what, for me, makes this board so magnificent. Despite all the other attractions this board offers, these are what has me sold. The Romer-G switch is a nice middle-ground, which makes key presses for games or for text their utmost comfortable. I wanted a keyboard that wasn’t as loud as most others, but still had the tactile feel. I believe that Logitech has this part nailed.
I’ve now typed two blog posts on this keyboard, both of them around a thousand words, and the spring with which these keys bounce back is a joy. The Illuminated keyboard was nice to type on, too, but about halfway through a post, my fingers felt fatigued.
So far, on the G413, the fatigue is far less, indeed almost non-existent. I can see that for next week’s post, I will be quite excited. The thought of typing for extended periods of time doesn’t make me want to make new holes in my head with a drill, and that in itself is an achievement!
In summary, if you have yet to get a mechanical keyboard, be it for games or for productive purposes, I would give a very high recommendation. Also a gaming keypad is still possible, though the need is no longer as immediate.
What do you use for your game based needs? Do you use a keyboard or a keypad? Let us know in the comments section!
Have a great day, and I hope you’ll return for next week’s post. Thank you so much for the time you took to read this post. I appreciate you and your patronage.
Edit: edited for the proper spelling of epiphany. Curse my muddled brain!