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Keyboard: Logitech G19

Tom's Hardware's 2009 Gift Guide: Part 2, System Add-Ons
By: Devin Connors

Since 2005, the G-series of peripherals from Logitech has included the objects of many gamers' affection. High price tags aside, the G- keyboards, headsets, speakers, and mice have typically served as a benchmark by which other gaming peripherals are measured. The new G19 board is no exception.

At $200, the G19 is admittedly one of the most expensive gaming-oriented keyboard you can buy. The extra money spent gets you a keyboard that’s chock full of extra features, though.

The G19's marquee differentiator is definitely its LCD GamePanel. The 320x240 tilting display supplies you with a plethora of pertinent data, including in-game stats, system info, VoIP server data, and image and video playback.

The G19 has more than just a sweet-looking screen, however. For all the WoW junkies and Excel power users out there, the G19 comes with 12 G- buttons on the left side of the QWERTY block. The keys can be set to any number of different macros, including spreadsheet shortcuts, database formulas, and, of course, MMO-based actions.

The G19 also comes with two fully-powered USB 2.0 ports. Extra USB ports on a keyboard are fairly common these days, but the ports are data-only most of the time. The ports on the G19 are powered, so feel free to plug in and charge whatever gadget sits on your desk.

An interesting feature that you don’t see on other boards is integrated cable management for your other peripherals. If your desk looks like mine, your headset, keyboard, and mouse cables are all over the place. The G19 has dedicated routing on its underside to help keep everything looking nice and organized.

If there’s one thing I love in a keyboard, it’s a robust wrist rest. Most keyboards leave you to the wolves on this, so you have to go spend $20 on something more comfortable. The G19 has a detachable wrist rest built-in, so carpal tunnel will be the least of your worries when trying to get the game-winning frag. Other great features include customizable backlight colors, Game and Desktop modes (this disables the Windows button while in-game), a media button suite, and multi-key input for up to five keys pressed at once.

If you can get beyond the steep price tag, the G19 is one of the best, most fully-featured keyboards available today. The GamePanel and custom backlighting makes it a must-have for any hardcore gamer this holiday season.

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