Logitech G915 TKL Keyboard Review
Logitech has finally done it! The new G915 TKL is the tenkeyless version of the standard G915 Lightspeed gaming keyboard, and I love it since this is my favourite keyboard size from my play style. I feel like they should have launched this version first because of the amazing wireless performance with Logitech LightSpeed and the insanely low-profile design that compliments a small TKL footprint on your desk.
Price & Design
I’m happy to say that there are several improvements on the keyboard frame, the packaging is now more environmentally conscious with an 88% reduction in plastic, and battery life is much better too. However, unfortunately my statement on keyboard pricing from 9 months ago still stands true today. I have felt that gaming keyboards were becoming way too expensive and that continues today. The G915 TKL will make your wallet suffer, it is only $20 cheaper versus the original, and it’s almost like you are forced to buy the bigger one because it’s such a bad deal. To be fair though, the $20 difference between full-size and TKL keyboards is common. There is currently no keyboard on the market that is competing with the G915 lineup, which is to say low-profile, delivers amazing wireless performance, gives you Bluetooth as well, and comes in TKL and full-size options, and this lack of competition is why this thing is so pricey.
While this is a keyboard that I wanted 9 months ago I’m still happy to be able to share my full experience with it today. First, I appreciate Logitech’s commitment to environment protection with better packaging and I hope more brands follow suit. As for the keyboard, it’s basically identical to the original but in a TKL format, without the G-Keys on the left, no Num pad, and the profile keys have moved into the F-keys. The depth and height of the frame have stayed the same, which means that it is very low to the surface and thus requires no wrist pad. I don’t find it particularly comfortable when it’s totally flat, it feels like I’m typing on my desk instead of a keyboard, so the dual angle adjustment at the bottom is necessary for better ergonomics.
They have smoothed out the edges on the corner, so the aluminium is not so sharp. That is one improvement on the frame versus the original, and they have also added a USB compartment at the bottom to store the receiver that is clearly labeled to avoid confusion. This USB pocket is appreciated given the travel friendly size of this keyboard.
The media keys are once again rubber and round and there is still a cool looking volume wheel that absolutely has no tactility or resistance behind it. This is the cheapest feeling element on this keyboard, however, they have removed the whole latency issue that I’ve experienced with the original so the volume adjustments in Windows are instantaneous.
Same Old, Same Old
It still charges only via micro USB, so this is another disappointment but not a surprising one since none of their gaming peripherals have embraced USB Type-C. The power switch has shifted to the top. Now both Mike and Eber have expressed how they don’t really like this really tall forehead. It’s almost disproportional to what this whole compact low-profile keyboard is trying to achieve. I agree with them, but I don’t particularly mind it. The slightly taller forehead is there to accommodate the wireless controls, and the intent wasn’t really to create the smallest TKL keyboard either, but the thin profile and no cable is an awesome desktop experience. If you are after that clean wireless look it is the keyboard I would get.
Switches & Illumination
The low-profile Kale switches come in three flavors with Tactile being my favorites. A word of caution on the key caps because the legs could snap if you take them off and you are not super careful which is what happened on my original G915. The bottom row isn’t standard so you’re unlikely to even find replacement keycaps. Now these are regular ABS plastic, which is another disappointment for the price point. They are kind of shiny and stand out from the lighter aluminium frame underneath. The secondary characters are not illuminated and pretty much all of the larger keys have some form of rattle. It is audible if I shake the keyboard…yikes.
The RGB illumination is absolutely gorgeous and is always accurate to what you select in the software. I like the option to customize the media controls and the illumination toggle too, which is something different. You can even turn off the G in the corner for a subtle look, which might just help a tiny bit with endurance because RGB eats away at your battery. Check out the time difference between the three brightness settings. It is nice to see endurance improve over the original to 40 hours of runtime at a 100% brightness, but I would run it at 25% or 50% to get a nice battery boost and keep the inactivity lighting at default for battery savings. I recharged from 30% to 100% in 3 hours, which is not bad.
Lastly, only the F-keys are customizable through the G Hub software, either remapping, creating macros, or enabling G-Shift that adds a second layer of commands when the G-shift key is pressed, but that also can only be mapped to the F-keys so it’s very awkward to use. I love the option to disable any key you find annoying when Game Mode is enabled.
The reason I wanted this keyboard 9 months ago is because the low-profile nature compliments the compact footprint on your desk, which is why TKL makes sense and why the gigantic full-size G915 doesn’t. As far as the gaming experience goes, I love this smaller footprint on my desk. I like the low-profile switches because the travel distance is much shorter versus your traditional full-size switch. My only complaint with regards to the handling of the keyboard are the key caps, because they are not exactly fully stable inside the switch and that’s just the nature of the switch and the key cap design. As a result, they do have a bit more wiggle play and motion than I’m used to, but perhaps the wireless nature compensates for that.
To conclude, the G915 TLK comes with some minor improvements like the smoothing out of the edges on the frame and the additional USB pocket, however it’s still not budget-friendly. I would say that it is the best wireless low-profile gaming mechanical keyboard that exists on the markets. Many gamers have expressed how much they wanted the TKL form factor and I’m happy that Logitech is delivering on that promise, it’s just very expensive. The next thing that I would love to see from Logitech would be the same frame but with full-size mechanical switches – and maybe those switches being hot swappable – that would make the killer wireless gaming keyboard on the market.