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Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard

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A Closer Look

When we look closer at the G13, Logitech’s naturally contoured design is readily apparent.  This dramatic wave shape promises a more comfortable gaming experience with less fatigue.

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A quick look at the left and right sides of the gamepad show you the huge expanse of palm rest (in textured rubber for a grippy surface) and the 4 way control stick and its mouse-button like companions.

(click for more detail)
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The bottom of the G13 displays a large badge, the usual logos and certifications, and 6 large rubber feet.  These pads ensure that the gamepad stays right where you want it, even on smooth desktops.

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The G13 sports multi-color backlight that you allows you to set almost any combination of colors (after software installation). Each “M” key (for modes) can be assigned a separate color (as well as each profile).  This way you can instantly know which set of macros is assigned to your G13. 

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(click the animations for a higher quality image)
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If you look closely at the keyboard section, keys G4, G10, G11, and G12 all have circular indents.  These keys are intended to be what I call the “gamers home row” or WASD cluster.  The indents make it easy to quickly find these central keys and also indicate Logitech’s intentions for their use.

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The other “special” part of this product is the 4 way controller.  Although advertised as a “programmable analog stick” this controller is limited (in software?) to only register 5 distinct states: the left, right, up, down, and pushed in state (what I call “click”). Though more than one can be active at once (for instance down/right is possible) it registers  as multiple key-presses, not a separate function.

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Installation

The installation process for the G13 is quite simple and fast, it took me less than 5 minutes from start to finish on my Vista (64 bit) machine.  First off, you pop the included driver CD in, and it will pop up your first window, which has a few bundled extras for you to install if you wish.

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You click on the “Install” button next to the GamePanel software, and it will ask you to select the installation language, then agree to the End User License Agreement.  You wait for a few minutes, and it will launch you into the product demo.  In the demo you click on one of the various features of the G13, and there is a short video clip about each segment. (in the screenshot, I clicked the USB cable and it is showing how you can store profile information on the G13 itself)

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After exiting the demo, you can access the two pieces of software installed by default: the Logitech G-series Key Profiler and the Logitech LCD Manager.  These two titles seem self explanatory, one controls the buttons, the other controls the GamePanel LCD screen.

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Immediately after installing the software, you will want to visit the Logitech support website and download the newest version of the driver software.  Normally, I would recommend doing that instead of using the included CD, but for some reason, when I attempted this, I could only install the LCD manager part of the software, it just did not install the key profiler.  The newest version (3.02 instead of 3.00 on the CD) fixes a major bug with scripting support on the G13.

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