Logitech’s G15 Keyboard with adjustable-tilt LCD display and extra programmable keys
By Mike Hanlon
August 12, 2005
August 13, 2005 For a technology almost certainly destined for the scrapheap as some people might have you believe, the keyboard is sure getting a lot of attention. In recent times we've reported on the VisiKey, DAS, Keyscan, Maltron, Matias, orbiTouch, Optimus, SureType and Virtual keyboards. Logitech's G15 keyboard does not wish to replace the methodology of the keyboard - just significantly enhance it. Designed to provide an unprecedented level of programmability and control, the Logitech G15 keyboard is the the ultimate keyboard for serious PC gamers. The first keyboard in the G-series family of gaming-grade peripherals, the Logitech G15 keyboard features a built-in auxiliary LCD display, 18 programmable keys, and advanced software, making it easy to set up custom commands for every game. The adjustable-tilt, backlit LCD can be programmed to display vital in-game information, or data from other applications, without interrupting game play.
"PC gamers are continuously tweaking their systems to achieve peak performance and enhanced speed for that added edge to defeat an opponent," said Ruben Mookerjee, Logitech's director of product marketing for interactive entertainment. "The Logitech G15 keyboard offers gamers unmatched levels of programmability, giving them a tactical edge in their quest to dominate. Also, the built-in LCD display provides game developers with a whole new way to display critical game information without distracting from the game itself."
Logitech's first-of-its-kind LCD display will be supported by several new games later this year, providing game information such as score, times, health status, and ammunition levels. Out of the box, the LCD panel can be programmed to show information from other applications, such as incoming e-mail alerts, CPU speed, or even media player information, without interfering with the game on screen. A software development kit (SDK) will be included on the installation CD, allowing gamers to write their own programs for customized information to be displayed on the LCD screen. When not in use, the LCD panel folds down to protect the screen and offers maximum portability -- perfect for transporting to a gaming session at a friend's house.
The LCD and Logitech's gaming keyboard software also help make it easy for gamers to set up custom macro commands, which combine multiple keystrokes into one button press without leaving the game. On the left side of the Logitech G15 keyboard, gamers will find 18 fully programmable keys, called the G keys, and three mode keys: M1, M2, and M3. Within each mode, each G key can be programmed to represent a different keystroke or macro, meaning a total of 54 different commands that can be customized. For example, this means that World of Warcraft(R) players can program the G keys to access their spells more efficiently. Different combinations of keys can be programmed for every game and the G15 will default to these game-specific settings when the title is launched.
By installing Logitech's software drivers, the LCD will also display media information such as track names and times while music is playing on a PC. Below the LCD, the keyboard features convenient media controls that make it easy to control volume during game play or to control playlists and tracks while listening to music.
The Logitech G15 keyboard also features backlit keys -- when backlighting is turned on, a light from underneath the key illuminates the character on top of the key. A button on the keyboard turns on the backlighting with two possible brightness levels, providing easy viewing in any lighting condition -- including late-night gaming marathons.
The keyboard has two full-speed USB ports built in, making it easy to plug in a mouse, a headset or another peripheral, without filling up all the ports on the PC. The keyboard also features a gaming mode switch, which, when turned on, disables the Windows(R) key so gamers won't get dropped out of a game if they accidentally press it.
Pricing and Availability
The Logitech G15 keyboard will be available online and at retailers in the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia beginning in October. The keyboard will have a suggested retail price of US$79.99 in the U.S. More information on the Logitech G15 keyboard, as well as on Logitech's other G-series PC gaming products, is available at www.logitech.com.