Logitech G915 TKL Review: Skinny but Solid

Evaluation:
7/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Warm garbage from Sorta
  • 3 – Highly imperfect design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Excellent, but not the best in its class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $ 229.99

Logitech G915 TKL
Eric Schoon

It’s been about 10 months since the original Logitech G915 was released, and has been welcomed since then for its impressive low-key design, dedicated multimedia controls, and the integration of Logitech’s “Lightspeed” wireless technology. Logitech returns with the G915 TKL, a keyless version of the G915. This compact and slim card seems ideal for those with limited office space, but let’s first see if it can live up to its high asking price of $ 229.99.

Here’s what we like

  • Ultra-slim and compact design
  • Dedicated multimedia controls
  • Fantastic appearance and build quality

And what we don’t do

  • Too sensitive buttons
  • Logitech G Hub in general
  • Expensive

Aspects and layout

The G915 looks great; the dark gray brushed aluminum body perfectly compliments the all-black keyboard keys (which, thankfully, use nice captions) and buttons. In addition, RGB lighting under each Logitech button, button and logo. The lighting is bright and vivid, and there is a lot of customization to be done using Logitech G Hub.

Of course, the main difference between the original G915 and the TKL version is the layout. I’m a big fan of the keyless layout because it opens up a lot more room for mouse movement without cutting anything too large. If you’ve never used a keyless card before, it’s just a normal keyboard with the numeric keypad cut off (as you can see in the image above).

G915 layoutEric Schoon

On top of that, the only other notable thing about the layout of the G915 are the various buttons scattered across the top of the card. Before I talk about their functions, I want to talk about the buttons themselves. Because these things are way too sensitive. Just swiping it seems to activate them. It’s not huge but it’s annoying every time you have to move or pick up the keyboard.

If you put it aside, the buttons are still useful. You will frequent the group of buttons on the right side of the map because this is where the multimedia commands (i.e. skip the track, pause / play and mute) are located with the wheel oh-so-smooth volume.

Meida controls the G915
Eric Schoon

The right side has another group of buttons. This is where you can activate the “gaming” mode (which, by default, deactivates the Windows, FN and Menu keys – more information below), adjust the brightness levels of the lighting and switch between Bluetooth standard and Logitech Lightspeed wireless.

Faster than light

G915 Lightspeed WirelessEric Schoon

Speaking of Wireless Lightspeed, this is one of the most attractive features here for gamers. Lightspeed wireless promises ultra-low latency while remaining wireless, which should mean the keyboard is viable for use in competitive matches. However, you can also plug in the detachable MicroUSB cable to use the G915 in wired mode (in addition to charging it).

But how good is Lightspeed really? While I was using the keyboard (for gaming and typing), I honestly couldn’t feel a difference between wired, Lightspeed and Bluetooth modes when it came to latency. But the feelings are not very scientific, so I spent a little time on a reaction time test in all three modes to see if I could get more concrete data.

My reaction time (on average) was the lowest in wired mode at around 220 milliseconds, then in Lightspeed mode at around 270 milliseconds, and finally, in Bluetooth mode where I got around 375 milliseconds. Unsurprisingly, wired mode is still the way to go if you want the lowest possible latency (it was also the least variable). However, Lightspeed is a legitimate improvement over standard Bluetooth wireless for players who wish to cut the cord.

Solid construction, shallow switches

Logitech G915 TKL side viewEric Schoon

Thanks to the aluminum frame, the G915 feels remarkably solid in the hands for its finesse (about an inch thick). There is no flex of any kind (believe me, I tried) and the weight (1025 grams) is the balance between being light enough to move easily without moving when used. The foldable rubberized keyboard feet located at the bottom of the card also help ensure that the keyboard does not move during use.

With the delicacy and solidity of this keyboard, you can safely throw it away without worrying too much. And, don’t worry, the slim bezel does not lead to reduced battery life, as this keyboard can last up to 40 hours in Lightspeed wireless mode with the backlight on, with a duration of approximately 45 days with the lighting off according to Logitech G Hub.

But when it comes to the build quality of a keyboard, the important thing, in the end, is the typing experience. The G915 is a mechanical keyboard, but it doesn’t use standard MX-style mechanical switches. To achieve the ultra-thin design, Logitech designed the range of low profile GL switches. They measure about half the height of standard mechanical switches and use a completely different rod design (so most aftermarket key caps are prohibited).

GL touch switch on G915
Eric Schoon

So how do they feel? My device has GL Touch switches, which are your standard brown style switches (the most popular are Cherry MX Brown switches). Comparing them to the Gateron Browns I was dragging, I was impressed by the similarity they felt, even if the difference in travel distance was immediately apparent. Of course, this short travel distance is ideal for competitive games, but even for typing, the switches are quite pleasant to use. They don’t match the satisfaction you get from standard mechanical switches, but for what they are, they are more than perfect.

Like I said, my device has GL Touch switches, so I can’t say too much about the GL Clicky or GL Linear switches which are also available. However, I think it’s safe to say that they will feel fairly similar to the other blue and red style switches respectively, with the exception of the travel distance.

The (bad) software

Logitech G Hub

So far, everything on the G915 has been great, but if it has one major weakness, it’s the software. The G915 forces you to use Logitech G Hub to customize anything about it. This limitation, in itself, is very good, but it would be much easier to swallow if G Hub felt like software that was worth using. G Hub can be difficult to navigate, and it seems difficult to use overall. It has this drag and drop design which, although in theory is a good idea, looks terrible to use thanks to the laggy interface. But, of course, the user interface of G Hub being bad is hardly an original complaint.

But it’s all dressed up, functionality is what matters most. Unfortunately, G Hub doesn’t impress either. The biggest problem I have with the G Hub is the key reprogramming options. You have great options, such as specific program actions (for example, you Discord); the creation of program-specific profiles (which are triggered automatically when the program is launched); and a macro creator that, while unpleasant to use, offers everything you need to create complex macros. (It even records mouse input from non-Logitech mice.)

Reprogramming keys in Logitech G Hub

The annoying part is that the only keys you can reprogram are the function keys. You can switch between three layers on the fly, which technically represents 36 keys in total, but being able to reprogram things like the Scroll Lock or Pause keys (keys I never use) would have been nice. You can also not reprogram any of the additional buttons or the volume wheel, which is a shame considering the usefulness of a reprogrammable scroll wheel.

If we compare that to the competitors of Logitech, for example, Razer, which for years has allowed users to reprogram each key in depth using its Synapse software, G Hub just feels dull in this regard.

Lighting settings in Logitech G Hub

Things start to get a little better when you look at the lighting. The user interface is still boring to use, but the options presented are solid. You can choose between different effects and presets, or color each key individually. Lighting profiles are also the only things that can be flashed into card memory (which means they will be saved even when using a computer without G Hub installed), which is nice to see.

While G Hub doesn’t allow you to do anything like combine multiple effects to create something more unique, the options presented here are still enough for most people to adjust the lighting as they see fit.

Game mode options in Logitech G Hub

The last main option of G Hub is to change the activated and deactivated keys when you switch to “game” mode. I never use this type of mode on any keyboard, but for users who do, there is a strange limitation here. By default, the game mode deactivates the Windows, FN and Menu keys. So far this is normal, but you are not allowed to reactivate these keys in game mode. This is particularly strange since all other keys can be freely activated and deactivated at your convenience.

Conclusion

Eric Schoon

The Logitech G915 TKL is a strange keyboard for me. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a good keyboard, but for the high asking price, it becomes difficult to recommend it. You have to put a high value on all of the G915’s unique features for the price to be worth it. Because, to be honest, it’s the only low-profile mechanical keyboard I can think of that uses the keyless layout, has fully dedicated multimedia controls, and at that level of build quality.

If you don’t care about the low-key nature, better options exist for less, which can give you a better typing experience with full mechanical switches, or more customization features.

Evaluation: 7/10

Price: $ 229.99

Here’s what we like

  • Ultra-slim and compact design
  • Dedicated multimedia controls
  • Fantastic appearance and build quality

And what we don’t do

  • Too sensitive buttons
  • Logitech G Hub in general
  • Expensive

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