G310 Atlas Dawn: Good effort but needs more work

The Logitech G310 Atlas Dawn keyboard.
The Logitech G310 Atlas Dawn keyboard.PHOTO: LOGITECH

The G310 Atlas Dawn is Logitech's second attempt at building a mechanical keyboard based on its proprietary Romer-G switches.

Its first outing, the G910 Orion Spark, was packed with features, including macro keys, a volume roller and RGB lighting.

The Atlas Dawn is a stripped- down tenkeyless - it does not have a number pad - version of that, with no extra macro keys, and plainer white backlights.

Overall, the Atlas Dawn feels like a shoddy and unsuccessful attempt at riding the mechanical keyboard wave and trying to appeal to the gaming crowd.

Logitech's Romer-G switches have a 45g actuation force and a 1.5mm actuation distance, which in theory sounds agile and responsive. But in practice, it lacks the precision and solidity we have come to expect from mechanical switches.

The Atlas Dawn is a stripped-down, compact tenkeyless - it does not have a number pad - with no extra macro keys...

Overall, the Atlas Dawn feels like a shoddy and unsuccessful attempt at riding the mechanical keyboard wave and trying to appeal to the gaming crowd.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $179

    FORM FACTOR: Tenkeyless

    SWITCHES: Romer-G, 45g actuation force and 1.5mm actuation distance

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 2/5

    PERFORMANCE: 2/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    OVERALL: 2/5

The Romer-G switches have a tactile bump - a point of slight increase and then a decrease in resistance - akin to Cherry MX Browns. But one major problem is that the tactile feedback translates to a keypress very erratically.

After testing out the switches slowly, I realised that it was very possible to trigger the bump without actuating the key and vice versa, and I found this big disparity very frustrating.

The form factor of the keyboard also needs work, as it clearly sacrifices function for appearance.

Its asymmetric design seems to be there for no good reason other than to look good. The wrist rest is large on the left, and almost non- existent on the right, and juts out such that I cannot use my own wrist rest even if I had wanted to.

It also hovers above the table instead of sitting on it, which means any pressure on the left side causes the keyboard to lift slightly.

However, despite the Atlas Dawn being crippled by some major issues, I found the keyboard surprisingly sophisticated in its attention to details.

I really appreciate how the wire stabilisers under the modifier keys are embedded in the board itself, and so are much easier to work with versus the stabilisers on something like a Filco board, which are loose.

The Romer-G keycap stems are also four-pronged, leaving the middle of the keycaps clear, unlike the stems of a Topre or Cherry MX cap. This design works wonderfully with the board's LED backlights, as the shine comes through very evenly and brightly, and only diffuses on the bigger modifier keys.

Despite these merits, Logitech's Romer-G mechanical keyboards need more iterations before they reach the level of refinement I have come to expect from the Logitech range.

Until then, I would advise anyone hunting for a good mechanical gaming keyboard to look somewhere else.

• Conclusion: Logitech's Romer-G mech keyboards are still in their infancy, and need a lot more work before becoming a credible mechanical gaming keyboard.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2015, with the headline 'G310 Atlas Dawn: Good effort but needs more work'. Print Edition | Subscribe