We all have our keyboards and mice, as well as game controllers, which we use on a daily basis. Some of the newer keyboards, especially those made for gamers, have backlit keys and mechanical key functionality. But what about game-pads? PC Gamers generally use/don’t use a game-pad when they play, and its all up to choice. Some games play better with a game-pad. There are lots of choices in order to suit almost anyone’s needs. Several years ago I stumbled upon a very interesting game-pad that once I had in my posession, it turned into one of my most used pieces of PC equipment. This review is about that piece; The G13 by Logitech.
The G13 isn’t an ordinary game-pad. It is classed as an advanced gameboard. It features 25 fully programmable keys (programmable 3 different times for a total of 75 combinations) , a backlit LCD screen (for displaying in-game stats) and a mini joystick. So what does all this mean? Well it means you have a powerhouse of controls, right under your left hand.
Typical PC gamer’s generally rely on the WASD keyboard movement for the majority of games. The G13 keys have small indents in the center layout in order to facilitate this, but it also allows you to put custom macro’s in the surrounding keys to enable you to react faster, move quicker and shoot better, just when you need it. But this just isn’t for FPS style games, you can program the buttons to basically do anything, including multi-key macro’s which means this gameboard will work for pretty much every game on the market, and any game coming to the market.
For me, I never liked the WASD controls much, but I do like them better than a standard controller. Sometimes you need to change the way you control a game, and this is where the mini joystick can come into play. You can reprogram the mini joystick into a WASD control, which can be fluid and smooth for certain games. I generally use this for games like Skyrim or Half-life, allowing me quicker movement response over the WASD. I tried it with World of Tanks, but it didn’t work right and was frustrating, as with a tank, you need a more precise and definitive style of control.
The overall construction of the G13 is very well done. It is contoured to fit your
hand comfortably, and has a textured palm rest to prevent your hand from slipping. It also has great rubber feet and a bit of weight to it, so it also won’t be sliding around on your desk. The keys are all backlit, as is the LCD display, and you can customize the colors to any of the 16 million different choices available, all through the software. It has a fairly long USB cord (10ft) which connects to one of your computers USB ports in order to function
The software is easy to use and allows you to customize the keys to suit any game. Using ‘Profiles’ you create for each game, you can have the software detect when you open any particular game and it instantly loads the key profile for that game. You can record macro’s in the software for each key, but you can also record keys or macro’s ‘on the fly’ while in the game by pressing the MR (Macro Record) key on the gameboard.
I’ve found the backlit LCD a bit small, and generally a nusance. While it is handy to have it display stats or health while in a particular game. I generally don’t ever look at it, since it is off to the side and down on my desk, and my attention is focused on the game screen. You can set it to display certain PC stats also, like CPU temp, memory usage which can be handy since those items are not generally displayed while in a game, but that’s all up to you. Its there, so feel free to use it how you wish.
I’ve had my G13 for a very long time now, and it doesn’t show any signs of wearing out. Should my G13 decide to fail, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another one. I would highly recommend one to everyone, and to atleast try one out if you are into PC gaming. They do take a little time to get used to using but once you do, you won’t ever look back.