Logitech G915 Lightspeed Keyboard Review
Is it just me or are gaming keyboards becoming way too expensive? Definitely not just me. Today we have a really interesting product from Logitech, the G915 Lightspeed wireless mechanical gaming keyboard.
I feel like Logitech is setting the new standard for what the low profile keyboard should be in terms of the base, in terms of the switches, and the key caps. They have done a lot of things right with this keyboard.
Keyboards: Bigger the Better
Despite my favoritism towards TKL boards – this thing is absolutely massive, and I don’t like this form factor – I do acknowledge that many people do. In one of our Twitter polls, as you can see above, the majority of people prefer still full-sized gaming keyboards for gaming. And also an interesting fact, according to Logitech, the sales for full-sized keyboards represent 90% of all sales compared to 10% for TKL models. So it makes sense for them to focus on larger boards that people will actually buy instead of catering towards the really loud minority that want TKL, including myself. And I am hoping that we’ll see a low-profile TKL version of this, but right now full-size makes sense in terms of what Logitech is selling and what people are requesting.
As you guessed it based on the intro, the price point I would say is the caveat and would be the main turnoff for the mainstream consumer market because at $249 USD it’s expensive. The G815 which is the wired version is $199 USD and has a USB pass-through port. It’s obviously not wireless, so Logitech believes that wireless convenience is worth a $50 premium.
New Switches: GL Series
Now I want to focus my attention on the low profile nature these keyboards, because they’ve done a fantastic job in terms of minimizing the actual frame size of the bottom. This is because the new GL switches, which come in three flavors. There is Linear, Tactile, and the Clicky. As you can see above we have the low profile switch on the right and the height difference is pretty significant versus your standard mechanical switch on the left. This difference is what allows them to create something low profile like the G915 or G815. These switches have been co-developed with Kailh and it’s great to have three variations of this type of switch right at the start, but Kailh also has their own variations of the switch that will hopefully be more widely available in other keyboards too.
This whole low profile movement is starting to grow. As for the specs, they’ll have a 50 gram actuation force, 1.5 million actuation points and 2.7 millimeter travel distance. For a low profile keyboard those specs are pretty incredible. The Tactile and Clicky switches feel really nice, while on the Linear switch I could use a little more travel distance because I’m guessing I’m used to that.
As for the actual base of the keyboard that is thinner than my iPhone with a case on it, which is pretty incredible. I do like the aluminum frame and the little curved sidelines, but the edges of the frame are really sharp so if you’re doing any flicks, just be careful with the thumbs because it might be painful. Now some of you may be thinking what’s the point of a low profile keyboard when the base and the actual footprint is so large. And I agree with you in comparison to my Ducky One 2 SF this thing is like more than two times the size, and that’s pretty much because we have five additional G Keys on the left side so you can record macros and stuff, and the actual forehead of the keyboard is pretty tall to accommodate those additional keys like your profile switches, your macro key, the connectivity and the lighting and the gaming key.
And just to give you a comparison on the how thin the keyboard is, here it is next to the Ducky One 2 SF which is pretty low profile in my opinion and then here it is next to the Apex Pro which is slightly larger and taller. There are two height adjustments on the G915 and it can lift the back to roughly the same height as your standard mechanical keyboard. It does give you a nice height elevation though for typing.
When it’s completely flat it almost like feels like it’s built into the desk, but when you raise it on that maximum level it gives you nice angle for typing. Also because of this you do not need the wrist rest because the bottom keys are so low to the desk, so the desk is your wrist rest. In fact, when Logitech was designing these keyboards they determined that a wrist rest would actually cause you fatigue and discomfort.
I do like the dedicated media controls on the right side plus a very smooth volume wheel that has no tactility whatsoever. It seems like there’s a bit of a delay between when you actually touch the volume wheel and when that volume appears on screen in Windows. You can play around with it and see the volume wheel catching up to whatever you set it to.
As for the the key caps, they’re incredibly low profile and that is the third point that made the whole low profile nature of this keyboard so good. The frame, the switch and the key cap. Many of you are probably expecting PBT key gaps for this price point, but they are not. However, they’re extremely solid and sturdy. There’s no flex whatsoever.
The main keys are shine through and it looks beautiful because the LED that is right underneath it. However, the second characters are not shine through, therefore they’re left blank, which is kind of nice because there is no gradient in the illumination. The issue with the key caps however is that they’re almost proprietary and finding replacements is not easy, especially right now with this whole early movement of low profile keyboards and the switches in particular. Unfortunately I broke one of the legs on the key cap when I was inserting it back into the switch very gently. I heard a snap and unfortunately the N key is now super wobbly and has no stability whatsoever without one of the legs on it. Interestingly, Logitech tells me they’ve never had one break in their own internal testing, so that’s kind of interesting. If that happens to you, if you are replacing key caps or like removing them for cleaning or something, you can call Logitech Support and they will send out replacement keys that you can purchase yourself.
By the way, I love the font. Super clean, nice boldness, this is the way forward for gaming boards. They also tell us they have a special coating on top of the key caps to prevent them from wearing out the top layer because a finger oils. I’ll keep you guys updated in a few months from now, make sure to follow us on social media. So the lighting is absolutely beautiful, super bright, vibrant color accurate to what you set in the software, which is awesome. And my only complaint here would be the M1 to M3 keys – which are for profiles – and they are set to yellow and you can’t change them.
Battery Life & Charging
You power on the keyboard with a switch on the top left, you charge is with a micro-USB port on the top right, and the battery life on this thing is absolutely insane. You’re looking at about 1,200 hours of continuous usage without any lighting on. The lighting here is of course the culprit for killing battery life. At full brightness you’re looking about 30 hours of continuous usage or like a full week on a normal basis.
The keyboard comes with a low profile LIGHTSPEED USB receiver that has the G915 text on it, which is great, and when you need to charge you simply unplug the cable from the receiver and plug it into the keyboard. You’ll always have the USB receiver pretty close, so when you need to charge the keyboard that micro-USB cable should always be nearby.
So the wireless aspect is super fantastic, especially for a keyboard that large. Of course that comes with a price, but we also have a Bluetooth mode for connecting to other devices. It connected to my iPhone literally without any issues. So I can switch between Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz on my computer without any issues with the simple click of a button.
Easy Macro – With or Without Software
I do like that we have a macro key on the keyboard itself, so you click that, you select which G key want first, you type in your command and you click the macro key once again to record that macro to the G key. Super simple on-the-fly macro recording without needing the software.
And speaking of the software, I really enjoy G Hub. Nice and simple UI navigation. In terms of setting your presets or customizing your lighting per key and key assignments. We can further customize what those G macro keys do. And then the Game Mode, interestingly you can disabled other keys outside of your Windows key in case you’re accidentally constantly pressing them and you don’t want to have them be registered in-game. This is something you can do now.
And so the keyboard is a really good low profile example in the market. In terms of the frame, the switches, the key caps. I don’t appreciate the large form factor, I’d like it to be smaller to compliment the whole compact nature of it, but that’s just my bias. Let me know if you agree. My only complaint here would be the key cap legs where one of them broke and I don’t know how, I was very gentle with it and the replacements are not easily found. And the volume wheel, this thing just doesn’t have any tactility to it and there’s that weird lag in Windows. I do appreciate the Game Mode and disabling certain keys outside of your Windows key. The only thing that I don’t like about the frame are the really sharp corners because of the aluminum frame and where it meets the plastic frame. I wish that was rounded instead of the sidelines being rounded.
In terms of the switches, I love the Tactile and the Clicky for gaming. The Clicky one in particular feels like a softer Razer green switch. The clicky point is soft, but it’s very pronounced, while the Browns feel really nice as well. I’m just really used to Browns. The linear switch I feel should have a bit more travel distance for my game style, but it’s nice to have all three flavors available. And so it really comes down to whether or not you want such a low profile keyboard that is also massive. It’s kind of like a Catch-22, but hopefully more custom key caps will be available in the market, and then you can swap these out in case they break. Overall though, I am pleased with this keyboard. It’s not necessarily my style in terms of being so large, but the switches are very good.