4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 19, 2018 10:24 AM by JJMack

    Gaming Keyboards

    Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

      Forum regulars will know I am a fan of the programmable keys that come with gaming keyboards like Logitech G910 that I use.  I've been trying to track down a Logitech G13 keyboard ever since hearing about them from JJ who has one, but they seem to be discontinued, and while I have seen the odd one advertized, it's never been by anyone who ships to NZ.  Just recently JJ suggested alternatives to the G13, like those made by Razer, and I ordered a Razer Orbweaver that same day after reading a few reviews.  It arrived a few days ago, so I thought I'd give you guys first impressions.


      Razer Orbweaver

      Logitech G13


      Programmable keys are only as good as the software that drives them.  I've been using Logitech's Gaming Software (LGS) for years with the G910 keyboard, the G110 keyboard I used before it, and the G602 mouse which I have taken to after using Performance MX variants for years.  It is easy to use, and has a lot of options, including one that the Razer Synapse software does _not_ have — that being the ability to paste a long text string to be triggered by a single G-key.  I used this with my last computer, to paste often used URLs into forum posts, like Jeff Tranberry's Troubleshooting FAQ below.  There is no easy way to do this with Razer Synapse.  You have to manually type it in character by character, and if you make a mistake, there is no option other than to delete and start again. Grrrrrr.

      Razer Synapse appears to have a lot of options, but IMO they are not as useful as LGS. 

      My G910 keyboard has just nine G-keys, which can be switched between three profiles.  I don't know if the G13 is similarly restricted, but of it is, then the Obweaver has a big advantage here as you can set up as many Profiles as you like.  I also find that Synapse is better than LGS regards linking profiles to applications.  With LGS I find I need to manually switch profiles.  With the Orbweaver, I just need the cursor to be within the application window for that application's profile to become active.  Seeing as the whole idea of these tools is to streamline workflow, that is a major plus.


      The sort of functions I use G-keys for range from stepping backwards (Ctrl Alt z) to switching and resetting workspace (via Actions) to toggling Lazy Nezumi Pro on/off.  I love the Michael Ninness Power Shortcuts (from MAX 2013) so I trigger several of those with a single G-key

      Something I have taken to doing when answer forum requests, is including cut down panels with the screen shots, so I am planning to make a new workspace with that in mind, and use it within an Action that opens a new 'Saved' document preset that I call Scratch Pad.  So that's something that will work well from a G-key.


      I even use them for Windows Alt codes like the m-dash (Alt 0151) —, degrees symbol (Alt 0176) °.  Those are the ones I use the most, but with application context working so well, I might set up a profile to include more of them, providing I can easily toggle to it with another G-key.  

      The same thing applies to Windows shortcuts, although less useful as they are mostly just two finger shortcuts.

      A lot of the Photoshop functions I use the G-keys for are via Actions, which is problematic because there are no unused shortcuts.  So the way I get round that is to use Trevor Morris's extensive list of Photoshop CC shortcuts, and look for workspace specific shortcuts.  Having the option to save custom shortcuts along with custom toolbars, in custom workspaces means I can borrow the 3D shortcuts, for instance, and have them revert to defaults with the appropriate workspace.  With the Michael Ninness power shortcuts, that means Essentials, and usually for Free Transform Step & Repeat (Shift Ctrl Alt T) and variations that Michael Ninness advocates for Window > Arrange > Tile, float, and Consolidate back to Tabs.

      I think these keyboards are designed with gaming in mind, so they are meant to take a hammering.  The Orbweaver uses mechanical keys (Cherry Blue) which I am sure will last forever, but by heck they are loud with a resounding CLACK with each key press.  Twice as loud as my G910 keys, subjectively.  The Logitech G13 uses membrane keys, which I have feeling is why it has been discontinued — nice and quiet and with a soft landing, but with a possible durability issue with gamers in mind, but ideal for the more limited use content creators would subject them to.


      I'll update this thread as I get more experience with the Orbweaver.

        • 1. Re: Gaming Keyboards
          JJMack Most Valuable Participant

          I was very surprised you did not order the G13 from Amazon like I did.  Yes Logitech was still marketing them when I did. I buy stuff from Amazon for they are often cheaper from Amazon then from Dell and Logitech.  The G13 was $62USD back then from Amazon The Logitech Gaming software for the G13 is the same software  you use for your keyboard and mouse and may even be  better with the G13 because of the extra 3 keys for switching profiles and the MR key.   I cand not write I used the MR key.  You can rapidly switch between three profiles for an application like Photoshop and you can have  many sets of three profiles for Photoshop.   You can create a List of Command for applications like Photoshop and assign them to keys. I can not write that I use the LCD apps that can be used like the stopwatch or RSS feed etc.  In the States the G13 is still available on Amazon but not from Amazon and they command a premium price now..


          The software he you like ...

          • 2. Re: Gaming Keyboards
            Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

            Goodness that really is premium price.  The Orbweaver turned up in just a few days thanks to Amazon setting up in Australia last year.


            I am convinced that the Logitech software is better than Razer's, and I still think I'll by a G13 if I can find one that ships to NZ.


            Did you notice my comment about the Logitech Gaming software not automatically recognising linked applications?  With Razer Synaps I just need to place the cursor inside a Photoshop window and it performs the assigned functions.  I have not set up my G910 since getting the new computer, but I am fairly sure that did not used to happen with the Logitech software.


            Hah!!!  I thought I'd better recheck Amazon Oz after mentioning it, and there was indeed a G13 available.  I think I'll send this link to Logitech and suggest that is people are selling the keyboard at such crazy prices, would it possibly be worth them putting them back into production? 
            Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard: Amazon.com.au: Toys & Games

            • 3. Re: Gaming Keyboards
              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

              I have just seen this in the Amazon user reviews for the G13, so it could well be an issue with LGS and not user error on my part.  So in this respect at least, Razer Synapse has a clear advantage.


              Thinking some more about editing the Synapse Macros to fix mistakes rather than starting again, I don't think there is going to be a workaround as Synapse stores profiles in the cloud. So you can't locate and hack a file on your hard drive.


              The problem is that there is no way to paste long strings into a Synapse Macro.  If you type Ctrl v, your macro reflects those key strokes.

              If you use the mouse while recording a macro, then that is similarly recorded.

              Typing this it occurs to me that all I need do is use the G910 G-keys to record long text strings, and the Razer Orbweaver to record keyboard shortcuts and trigger Actions.  I am not about to pay $647.49 for an $80 keyboard (surely that is a misprint), so I'll put some effort into making my current situation work.

              • 4. Re: Gaming Keyboards
                JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                I would not state that Logitech Profile switching does not work. I would state that it can work if you only have three set of keys for an application like Photoshop that are stored in a single Profile.  Logitech Gaming can switch to that profile when you switch to Photoshop.  However, is in not as easy as with Wacom that seems to only key off the exe file name Photoshop.exe.  The Logitech software seems to key off the full path. Therefore you need to link the  profile to each version of Photoshop you have installed.  Its not hard to do.  You can have addition profiles for Photoshop that have additional set of keys setup. But the profile should not be linked  to Photoshop you can use buttons on the G13 to  switch to any profile and lock it active.  I only use the G13 with Photoshop and lock its profile so it is the current profile always. It would normally switch to a default Profile that is not associated with any application. You could also most likely set up a key on the keypad to change to some other profile(s) for your Photoshop Game...