Review: Logitech G413 Carbon Keyboard and Harmony Elite Remote

Visualize the scene; it’s a darkened room lit primarily by the glow of a large computer LCD monitor. A person is hunched over a keyboard watching the screen intently as objects move around, seemingly randomly. Every so often, he (or she) reacts to something they have seen and stab at a key or a mouse button.

Occasionally, there is a grunt of satisfaction. Or it may be of annoyance and despair.

Sound familiar?

You nod your head sagely. You see this every night as your spouse, partner, son, daughter, father – whoever – is caught up in the realms of their favourite video game.

Except that it’s not!

This is also the world of the world of the video editor as many will attest. And at least one of the issues of the regular nightly gamer is shared by us – being able to see the keyboard in order to press the right letter for the command we want at exactly the right time.

For many months, I envied my partner Jacqui’s Mac laptop with its seductive backlit keys, while I toiled away with my trusty and well loved – but unlit – logickeyboard Vegas Pro dedicated keyboard under glaring overhead light. Until the Mac turned up its toes the other week anyway.

Now it does a good impression of my boat anchor.

But then, by accident, I discovered the Logitech G413 Carbon Gaming Keyboard.

Orange keysYes, complete with proper mechanical keys you can feel, a solid metal casing and joy of joys, snazzy backlit orange lettering on the keycaps, the G413 answers every prayer for the video editor who prefers their edit suite to be bathed in the low light of their monitor(s) in order to see those lovely moving pictures all the better.

Sure, it takes up two USB slots due to the extra power needed (I imagine), but in this day and age, there is usually no shortage of USB ports (my Dell tower has 10!) so it is a small price to pay.

And as a pure keyboard for typing on, it takes me back to the glorious days of the original IBM PC keyboard – or even better, the best keyboard I have ever used, the one on my still working Tandy Model 100 portable. (A close second was the Tandy Model 2000 by the way).

At AUD$149.95 RRP the G413 (which you can get in black or silver) is not inexpensive I’ll grant you. But put this side by side with a run-of-the-mill plastic unit and it’s like a Range Rover Sport versus a Great Wall ute.

No contest. And built like a tank, it’ll last for years. Go and try one.

Oh and if you are also a gamer, there are many more benefits you can read about here.

Logitech G413 Carbon

Harmony Remote

While we are about it, have a count of all the devices you have with a remote to control them that are within your immediate vicinity. Mine adds up to 10 with TVs, DVD players, PS4, satellite TV receiver (we are in the bush), air-conditioning, FETCH TV box and so on.

That’s a lot of remotes to lose and a shed load of ‘AAA’ batteries every 6 months or so! Not to mention simply being a simple pain in the A!

Logitech Harmony EliteSo, investing in a Logitech Harmony Remote control seemed like a Bloody Good Idea. You see, I can now power and control all these devices (and with plenty of room to add more – up to 15) with a single unit that is powered by a simple hub plugged into the mains when it needs recharging.

Apparently so I read, the Harmony Elite works with over 270,000 entertainment and smart home devices right out of the box. Certainly, none of mine stumped it, including the satellite receiver for which I was initially sceptical.

As well as DVDs, TVs and the like, the Harmony Elite is also good for those new-fangled smart lights, locks, doors, thermostats etc so you can lower the blinds and dim the lights as well as fire up Mad Max or the latest Chick-Flick.

Or control a camcorder or other camera that supports a remote unit of course.

‘You can also create “activities”, combinations of commands, much like a macro works in Excel or Word.

The Harmony Elite has a AUD$449 RRP price tag, but once you have it all programmed and primed, I reckon you’ll think it is a price worth paying for ease of use, functionality and convenience.





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