G19 keyboard goes way beyond typing

Mar 25, 2009 By Craig Crossman

It seems like the ordinary is no longer acceptable when it comes to the ordinary things we attach to our computers these days. For example, I'll bet the computer mouse you are using is at the very least an optical, cordless model. I'm even willing to bet it's one of those sleek, ergonomic models that sport extra buttons that can fire off macros with a simple click. That screen you're staring at is probably a flat panel display that may even be capable of displaying high definition television images.

My point is that we're taking these devices for granted. They are no longer considered to be state-of-the-art but rather the norm. It was only a few short years ago that these peripherals were considered to be exotic, top-of-the-line devices that came with a healthy price tag. Now I can't imagine using my computer without them.

The computer has been no slouch either when it comes to enhancements. But while there are many extreme, even exotic keyboard designs, for some reason they remain pretty much the same on most computers. I'll take another bet and guess that the keyboard you use is a pretty straight-forward one with a row of at the top and a at the right. I'll even bet that it's a corded model. For some reason, you don't see fancy keyboards on many computers out there. Still, I'd like to point out a new keyboard that was recently introduced from Logitech called the G19. In a word, it's amazing.

Officially it's called the G19 keyboard for Gaming and while gaming is really what it's designed for, you may still want to own one even if you never plan to play a single computer game. Each and every key on the G19 is backlit and you can even select the color of the glowing keys. This is nice if you type in a dimly lit room or even in the dark. It also sports a detachable palm rest. On the left side, there are 12 programmable G-keys to which you can assign up to three different sets of macros. A macro is a pre-defined series of that will activate when pressing a single G-key.

Other features include cable management, one-touch controls that let you control volume and media playback and two powered USB ports. But I've saved the best feature of the G19 for last and that's its built-in video display. That's right, this keyboard has a color display Logitech calls their Tiltable, color GamePanel LCD. This is a small 320 by 240 display that sits at the dead center top of the keyboard. It swivels so that you can adjust it to the optimal viewing position. The idea here is that you can look down at the keyboard and still acquire needed information about the game you are playing. Depending on the game, you may see things like game statistics, Voice Over IP communication data information, scores and navigation data. Other supported applications and utilities may display video playback or slideshow images. To see a list of all of the supported games, utilities and applications, Logitech maintains a special web page (www.logitech.com/gamepanel) that lists their titles.

The G19 ($199.99) is one very cool-looking keyboard that can really enhance your typing experience. Yes, it's not for everybody but then again, neither is that cordless mouse you're using. Some will still prefer a corded mouse and a big cathode ray tube display. Hopefully, you're not one of them.

(Craig Crossman is a national newspaper columnist writing about computers and technology)

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(c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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User comments : 6

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MrFred
5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2009
Advertisement? What the...!
RFC
5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2009
Basically a product review. If this site is going to do that (and it has), I suggest having an actual product review section.

Personally, I don't think that's the way to go for this site, but it's an option.
LWM
5 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2009
Quote: "Supported applications and utilities may display..."
In other words, your game/applications all have to support it or it is only good for the clock shown in the picture. $200!!! Worthless.
RayCherry
5 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2009
The 'reviewer' might have considered the awareness of the readers on this website, and toned down their enthusiasm for an expensive market-limited computer peripheral, and not criticised the cabled mouse when it avoids the use of cells/batteries for independent power.

However ... keyboards with backlit keys could be useful in dark situations. I would like to see similar cheaper models 'reviewed', not advertised.

Further ... on the point of cordless peripherals, I have noticed that the batteries last a good while in the keyboards and mice, indicating that they require little operating energy. How about replacing the bateries with kinetic energy generation?

An optical mouse with the old-fashioned ball in the base could use the ball exclusively to capture and relay movement to two small dc generators that maintain a capacitor with enough charge to power the mouse.

The keyboard I am typing on has a engineered amount of key-push resistance that could be converted to pizo-electric generators, gathering a small amount of energy from every single key-push.

Those would be worth $200 in saved batteries. ;-)
KBK
not rated yet Mar 31, 2009
Computer games have not changed one whit from the first analog 'flight simulators':

When you get the dot you control ....to line up with the dot the system controls... your press a button.

For all the fancy graphics, storylines, and interfaces..it remains identical ---to this day.
plasticpower
not rated yet Apr 17, 2009

Further ... on the point of cordless peripherals, I have noticed that the batteries last a good while in the keyboards and mice, indicating that they require little operating energy. How about replacing the bateries with kinetic energy generation?



An optical mouse with the old-fashioned ball in the base could use the ball exclusively to capture and relay movement to two small dc generators that maintain a capacitor with enough charge to power the mouse.



The keyboard I am typing on has a engineered amount of key-push resistance that could be converted to pizo-electric generators, gathering a small amount of energy from every single key-push.



Those would be worth $200 in saved batteries. ;-)


Now there is a sound idea.