Introduction & Closer Look
Model: G410 Atlas Spectrum
UK Price: £119.95 @ Amazon UK (At time of review) – Click here to purchase!
US Price: $129.99 @ Amazon US (At time of review) – Click here to purchase!
Mechanical keyboards are now one of those niche products SSDs were a couple of years ago, but if you step back and look at the market, they are absolutely everywhere; dominant from every point of view. Most peripheral companies have already released their renditions for the consumer to lap up like a kitten does a saucer of milk, but how many companies are actually paving the way for the future?
Well following on from our review of Logitech’s G910 Orion Spark back in 2014 (that long ago?), we have Logitech’s latest mechanical offering which features their custom in-house made Romer-G switches. The Logitech G410 Atlas Spectrum takes a lot from the G910 in terms of design, build and switch type, but this particular keyboard is different on many levels; it features a tenkeyless design! Designed for gamers with restricted space, or for those who simply don’t care for a numpad, Logitech have set their sights on the more bespoke customers who will appreciate all the performance of a mechanical keyboard, but with needs such as easy portability and space saving features.
So what’s the big deal? Well the Logitech G410 has a very simplistic design overall, although not so much when compared to regular bog standard Filco or PKR models, but it does include a carry handle to the left hand side; useful? It depends on the situation. On first looks, it looks pretty regular, but the specifications really do suggest otherwise so it should make for some interesting testing!
One of the main features of the G410 is the support of Logitech’s Gaming software (we will take a look at this later on in the review) and the inclusion of the ARX application support for IOS and Android. We did take a look at it in our previous review of the Logitech G910 Orion Spark and in all honesty, not much, if anything has changed at all since we had last seen it. The G410 does however come with the same device holder, but like the G910, lacks any power inputs to make it as functional as it could potentially be.
At the top right of the G410, we have a “game mode” button which essentially disables the Windows key; many a time I have accidentally pressed it in League of Legends and tabbed back in to find myself dead!. There is also a button for turning the RGB LEDs on and off, as well as 2 different levels of brightness.
Virtually every keyboard has them, but we figured it would be best to point these out to you just in case it influences your buying decision at all; the back DOES feature retractable keyboard risers which put the keyboard in a more “ergonomical” position for typing on.
The back of the G410 Atlas Spectrum has a Logitech information sticker which aptly classes this as a mechanical keyboard; we also classify it this way! Also included is the model number, power rating information and of course all those European safety logos which are required by law? Or are they?
Touching more on Logitech’s choice of mechanical switch, the Romer-G, it isn’t your usual Cherry MX “copy” like a lot of recent keyboards have used. Instead, Logitech developed and created their own with the aim of being the best and producing the best performing boards. According to Logitech’s marketing information, the Romer-G switches feature a 5.0ms actuation time, where as a standard mechanical switch has a 6.7ms, with the traditional rubber dome featuring a 9.0ms time. It has to be noted that this is at a standard finger speed of 300mm per second according to Logitech, so it will vary person to person.
The Romer-G switches only require 45g of actuation force to activate each key stroke, which is very similar to Cherry MX Reds or Browns; these switches don’t have a “click” either.
What we have here is a tidy little tenkeyless keyboard with plenty of technological features which some others don’t. The question is, can they give the G410 an advantage and put Logitech ahead of the game? Let’s find out, starting with the specifications…
Specifications & Features
- 2-Year Limited Hardware Warranty
- Windows® 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7
- Powered USB port
- Internet connection for optional software download
- Arx Dock
- User documentation
- Height: 185.2 mm (7.3 in )
Width: 390.5 mm (15.4 in)
Depth: 35.5 mm (1.4 in)
Weight: 830 g (1.83 lb) with cable
Weight: 794 g (1.75 lb) without cable
- Connection Type: USB
USB Protocol: USB 2.0
USB Speed: Full-speed
Indicator Lights (LED):Yes
Special Keys: Game Mode, Backlight on/off
Other Features: Exlusive Romer-G Mechanical Switches
Cable Length (Power/Charging): 1.8 m (6 ft)
DISABLE UNWANTED KEYS
Activate game mode to prevent you from accidentally leaving your game by hitting the windows button.
AUDIO CONTROL AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Function Media Controls
Built-in audio controls allow you to play, pause, stop or skip tracks right from your keyboard. You can also control your audio volume or mute your audio without having to leave your game.
VITAL INFORMATION AT A GLANCE
Repositionable Arx Control dock
Logitech Arx Control app for Android and iOS adds second screen capability that allows your mobile device to display in-game info, vital system statistics, and more. For ease of access, Atlas Spectrum’s removable Arx Control dock is stored conveniently in your keyboard and can be placed anywhere on your desk.
Software & Illumination (RGB)
Here we have the Logitech Gaming software which is readily available for download from the Logitech website. This allows you to not only customise the RGB effect on your G410, but set different gaming specific profiles which are forever being released as each new game comes onto the market.
Below is a screenshot of each of the main and relevant screens which range from macro customisation, RGB lighting customisation and a nifty heat map to show analysis of your keystrokes etc.
To show how the software works with the actual keyboard itself, we figured it would be a good chance to show off the RGB function of the G410 in a cohesive state; meaning what is on the software, is displayed on the keyboard etc.
The software itself is very simple to use and has many options for customising each particular key; RGB is big business and Logitech have jumped on it in a big way in our opinion. We especially like the way you can customise each individual key to a different colour which is fantastic for creating vibrant and funky colour combinations.
Performance and Testing
If we were to go off the specifications and judge performance based solely on that, then every review would probably be rendered pointless; the specifications never tell the full story, whereas real world testing obviously shows up any flaws and of course, any issues with a product. The flip side is, it can overwhelm us with joy to use, but each product has its different merits and talking points; just with anything!
When I first set the keyboard up (plugged it in) and installed the Logitech Gaming Software, it offered me an update on the firmware of the G410. This is pretty standard with new products as they have their firmware’s updated before they even hit the shelves; something I recommend you do is update the firmware immediately for extra features and of course, better support throughout.
With all of Logitech’s G range being aimed at the gamer, I dived in face first into a varied range of gaming genres from MMO’s, to FPS, even to strategy just to get a feel for the keys and the new switch type. We have had this keyboard for nearly a month and with it being a complete change in switch design, I felt this was ample to shake off the familiarity with Cherry MX switches; which I am used to typing with on a daily basis.
Having personally got to grips with the G910 towards the end of 2014, I have to be brutally honest and say it took me a lot longer than normal to acclimatise myself with the Romer-G switch. Although it has the same actuation force as a Cherry MX Red and Brown switch, it doesn’t give a click either… but it feels pretty easy to type on during gaming with various options in the software to configure it to a specific game. You could even use one of the pre-defined profiles, which are based on games the software automatically detects as being installed currently on your system.
NKRO and a shortened actuation time make it very suitable for fast pace gaming and I had no bad experiences on that front, but the keys sound very cheap to press on. It kind of sounds like a blue clack without the click and with the G410 being very very lightweight, I would question how robust it is without actually attempting to break it. Of course most mechanical keyboards have a solid steel plate across them which allows for mounting of the Cherry MX switches, but this also gives it a heavier, more premium feel… something I feel is missing here.
I’m currently using the G410 to type this entire review and without holding back (got to be honest), it sounds terrible. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a good or bad keyboard however, it’s actually good to use and is supported by Logitech’s fantastic software, but I do feel it’s missing a certain element that I would expect from a keyboard costing £100+.
Although the sound is off putting, the feel is a different ball game altogether and I actually like the Romer-G switch type. It’s a simple design, is effective in its job and is a pleasure to type on – if you can stand the noise however.
It’s very clear and apparent that the Logitech G410 is a small and stylish option to those looking for a desk-space saving mechanical keyboard, but does it really do enough for its £120 price tag to be justified as a good value option? There is a lot of competition on the current keyboard market, but Logitech aren’t exactly “newbs” in peripherals and the G410 really does make for an interesting debate.
First of all, Logitech took a real step in their own direction when they decided to create their own mechanical switch (Romer-G). It has a reminiscent feel to a Cherry MX Red/Brown switch, but it does have a very clacky sound; not to be mistaken for a Cherry MX Blue which actually clicks. Other than Logitech, Razer are the only top level tier peripheral brand to release their own switch and Razer haven’t really faced a backlash for it; Logitech shouldn’t even begin to fear this either. Even though the Romer-G switches require the exact same level of actuation force as a Cherry MX Red/Brown switch (45g), the keys don’t feel as good in my opinion. Of course, Cherry MX switches are probably the most popular mechanical switch type on the market currently and Cherry themselves don’t see the Romer-G as competition; in fact I don’t even think you can compare the two.
That all being said, the Romer-G performs like it says it does and on the G410, they do feel good; it’s just in my opinion that they sound very cheap and this put me off a little! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the G410 is a bad keyboard, far from it in fact… but I have to be honest and give as much feedback as I can; it is a review after all and not a marketing brochure!
Aside from the Romer-G switches, Logitech have armed the G410 Atlas Spectrum with full RGB functionality including the ability via the Logitech Gaming Software programme to customise each key cap LED to a different colour; we loved this about the G910 and I’m sure everyone is glad nothing has changed this time around. In fact, the Logitech Gaming software is probably one of the best peripheral software suites on the market as well for ease of use, as well as for stability.
Touching on the pricing, I feel £119.95 in the UK and $129.99 leaves a little to be desired in my opinion. Sure, the American pricing point is virtually spot on, but it’s been a while since we have seen such an imbalance between currency; the board constitutes good value in the US, but whereas in the UK it doesn’t. For £120, you are touching into Ducky territory and if anyone has ever owned a Ducky reading this, you know you get your money’s worth! Logitech could more aggressively price the G410 to sub £100 levels which would make this tenkeyless mechanical keyboard a lot more of hit among gamers and consumers.
If it was my money, I wouldn’t spend more than £100 on this keyboard, but it’s not all bad…Logitech have done a fantastic job and I believe with certain retailers, you can even get a copy of Tom Clancy’s: The Division which does add extra value in there; this is at time of writing the review of course. Overall the Logitech G410 Atlas Spectrum feels good, looks great and has a lot of variable features such as full RGB key customisability, media friendly keys and of course, comes with a solid software suite. The only let downs are the cheap sounding key/switches and of course, the price. Other than that, the Logitech G410 is a super solid mechanical keyboard which I am proud to bestow our Silver award too.
Huge thanks to Logitech for sending the G410 Atlas Spectrum in for review.
– Fully customisable RGB lighting options via Logitech Gaming Software
– Tenkeyless design is currently very popular
– G410 builds on the success of the previous G910
– Romer-G switches are very good switches in our opinion
– Carry handle isn’t entirely relevant
– very lightweight, but could be mistaken for feeling cheap
– Switches sound like a cheap generic brand
– Pricing could be a bit more competitive
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