I personally believe that keyboard are way more important than touch screens or mice or any other pointing devices. Why? That’s because the keyboard has been invented first, and all commands done by clicking can mostly be done by using a keyboard. Then PC gaming came and shifted the entire keyboard market. Welcome to the gaming keyboard era – where keyboards are made not just for typing, but also for gaming purposes. This one of those gaming keyboards – the Logitech G series’s G310 Atlas Dawn – a tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard.
Here I’ll run you through the entire keyboard itself, and straight to the point.
But first, here’s a video summary!
Beautiful cardboard box! Rather heavy too.
Opening up, all you see is a keyboard wrapped in plastic. Take that out and you have nothing left inside. Just this one small manual though.
The Atlas Dawn sacrificed the number pad for a smaller form factor, and hence the the “compact” part comes in – being tenkeyless. Actually to be more specific, it’s much more than ten keys.
Despite being so tiny, it does pack some space-wasting features like the small little loop thing at the left side of the board.
What is this for? To put your fingers through and carry it together? My fingers can’t even enter one tiny bit inside!
Then there’s the non-removable USB cable. Not a huge deal, but do note that the cable outlet is biased to the right side and this will screw up many customers’ desk cable management. Either way, at least give a method to route the cable all the way to the left side a little more neatly?
Then there are these cheeky little buttons at the top right corner. One is a joystick – it’s very difficult to see, and my brother asked “why is the keyboard button flipping the bird?” – and another “settings” button which only cycles through the brightness of the blue LEDs on the keyboard. I do wish that Logitech G would do one thing – make more keys to occupy the top row. Make those multimedia keys independent rather than integrating them into a function key.
To which I say that the multimedia keys are actually designed pretty well – all printed at the side of the keycaps instead of occupying all the space at the top.
Back to the LED – the keyboard features only blue LED with a total of 5 brightness levels. You can either turn them all off, or set it to breathing mode. Though there clearly is a lack of lighting effects compared to other keyboards, it’s okay for me, since I don’t like lights on my keyboard anyway.
Also, the ARX Dock is included too – and it differs from its elder brother the G910 Orion Spark as the ARX Dock can be taken out all together.
[nextpage title=”Using the G310 Atlas Dawn”]I’ll start off with one of the buttons which I don’t know why it’s there, but it is – the earlier “joystick” button is actually the “gaming mode” button. Press it, and it lights up, then gaming mode is on.
“What does it do?”, I asked myself. I left it on and found out that one of my usual shortcut keys aren’t usable anymore – the Windows key. Ahhh, I know where this is going – disabling the Windows key outright to prevent any mishaps whilst having a jolly good gaming time. Nice touch!
The keyboard itself has this weirdly shaped keycaps, and they’re the same as those from the G910 Orion Spark too, and that really tells us something – Logitech G doesn’t seem to be wanting to throw these keycaps away.
They’re polarizing users across the globe – as far as I’ve seen, many people liked it, but there are many who liked it too – including myself. There is another problem about the keycaps – the left half side has a total of 3 facets, but the right half of the keyboard only has both two facets, the left and right side.
I found that they’re made with gaming in mind – but then again, if I am to type on it, it actually feels great. The key height difference between rows are amazingly subtle too.
That’s where the typing experience comes in – the G310’s Romer G keys feel like I’m typing on a membrane keyboard. Not those usual membrane keyboards, but those which are actually made out of a very specific feel to it.
It felt like when you type, a certain amount of force is needed to make it go down, but that’s all the force you need for the key to register, and definitely no need to bottom it out.
It feels a little like my beloved membrane keyboard from the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 300 keyboard+mouse set. That keyboard is made out of some high quality membrane keys and I can really touch-type an essay without using much force to type each key.
So what is the meaning of all these squabble about the keycap? Personally speaking, I don’t know. The Lenovo AccuType keycaps are actually great too, yet those keycaps have some shape to it. To be honest, the keycaps on this Romer G switches are not bad actually, and can get use to it rather quick.
On the 10 Fast Fingers typing test, I can still manage to get about 92 words per minute when I whipped this keyboard out and laid it out on my desk. Not bad!
This is where the experience of the Logitech gaming keyboards come to a convergence – the Logitech Gaming Software, or LGS for short, is one of the easiest to use out there. Although it might seem to be a little too easy to be used, the features it packs is rather amazing.
Firstly you can control your lighting intensity and whatnot. Sure, this is rather usual for other keyboards too but then again G310 only comes with blue LED.
Then comes the macro keys and profiling, which LGS handles them pretty nicely. Create profiles, set one as default and then dedicate a key as the profile cycler.
Also, firmware updates! That’s what I like to see!
Then comes the ARX Dock capability. The main purpose of it is to be an auxiliary or a peripheral vision monitor for all the in-game information to be displayed.
Does it work? Yeah, but a little distracting sometimes. That’s why I set it to monitor my computer’s hardware stats. It really did tell me what I needed to know, and with real-time monitoring when I’m playing game too. Take Trine 3 here for example – it showed that my hardware is probably thermal throttling already. Too bad it’s a laptop and not much can be done 🙁
Well I still give the LGS an A+ for the interface design and also the ARX Dock functionality. It’s handy – though not particularly for me, but I can see many games can make use of this monitor and display way more information that anyone ever needed, adding more value to the game and also to the keyboard.
If you just like the keyboard itself and not much of a gamer, hey – the ARX Dock is a nice stand for your phone or tablet too!
I really want the Romer G switch to be available to other manufacturers too. The switch feels familiar, yet different enough to make it worthwhile to get a brand new keyboard entirely. Though the biggest caveat of the Logitech G G310 Atlas Dawn being the most important deciding factor of all – the price
RM499. Harsh pricing for a non-RGB backlit keyboard. Romer G switch doesn’t really have the fame that Cherry MX or Kailh switches have too, partly due to its exclusivity. Thus the price, and the lack of exposure and people talking about it.
Still, I like the Romer G switch and the keyboard. ARX Dock is neat. Keycaps are fine, typing is great. Recommended? Definitely.
And here’s our giveaway!
Since we have a brand new look to our site, we thought hey – why not have a giveaway!
We specially thank Logitech for sponsoring us the Logitech G G310 Atlas Dawn keyboard!