This article is more than 1 year old
Logitech G915 TKL: Numpad-free mechanical keyboard clicks all the right boxes
Yes, clicks. You can feel it, says Vulture who got his claws on one
Review Regular readers will know this correspondent is rather partial to mechanical keyboards. The latest to join my collection is Logitech's G915 TKL, launched by the Swiss peripherals makers just last month.
The G915 TKL is aimed at gamers. You don't have to take my word for it, just check the flickering RGB lights buried under the keycaps. That said, I can't help but think Logitech has missed a step here.
With a spacious layout, small desk footprint, and excellent key-switches, this keyboard is nothing short of a joy to write on. If you can forgive the aesthetic – which feels more appropriate for a LAN party than it does an office – there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to use this for form-filling and code-crunching.
The Logitech G915 TKL treads a different path to other mechanical keyboards on the market, which typically use Cherry's venerable key-switch design. Instead, Logitech has opted for its own in-house GL switches, which it created in conjunction with Kalih. These come in three different flavours: Linear, Tactile, and Clicky. These respectively compete with the Cherry MX Red, Brown, and Blue switches.
Logitech shipped me a unit with GL Clicky switches – although that's just because I prefer noisy keyboards (much to the chagrin of my wife). My personal favourite is an IBM Model M clone, with buckling spring switches that produce more noise than an Iron Maiden concert.
How do these compare? Well, there's a lot to love. When compared to traditional Cherry switches, you don't have to use much actuation force to register a keypress. There's also a bit less travel than you'd get with a standard mechanical key-switch, thanks to the low profile of the board. As a result, typing feels light and breezy, and it's easy to work your way into a faster cadence than you’d otherwise get.
Despite that, the "clicky" key-switches don't feel particularly compromised. They're wonderfully noisy, allowing you to get the audible feedback that some people find helpful when typing.
In short, the Logitech G915 TKL is great to write with.
This effort doesn't come with the usual numerical "tenkeys," resulting in a board that's nicely compact. That said, the individual keys don't feel especially constricted. They're of the perfect size, and well spaced. There's also no sign of the usual compromises made in order to shrink a keyboard, such as a diminished return or space key.
At the top, there's a "scrollwheel" (for lack of a better term) that allows you to easily adjust the volume. Adjacent to that are a set of volume controls. These are rubbery and presumably membrane-based, and they don't feel quite as nice to press.
The Logitech G915 TKL allows you to connect to your computer wirelessly, either through a receiver or Bluetooth, which makes it handy for those times you're working from the couch. It fits elegantly on your lap.
The internal battery is rechargeable, and you can get 40 hours of continuous usage with the RGB lights switched on. Turn it off, and that battery life is measurable in weeks.
I was a little surprised to see the keyboard come with a micro USB connection. Micro USB feels increasingly antiquated in 2020, particularly when you consider that Logitech has already moved its top-drawer MX Master and MX Keys mouse and keyboard to the USB-C format.
Punters will also likely balk at the price. With a pre-order price of £199.00, this isn't cheap. It's vastly more expensive than other mechanical keyboards, like the various Unicomp Model M clones, the Corsair K70, or the Das Keyboard 4. I'd even go as far to say that this is arguably the most expensive mechanical keyboard I've ever used.
But I'd also argue that the Logitech G915 TKL justifies its eye-watering price. The GL key-switches feel elegant and modern. The build quality is solid, with excellent industrial design and a metallic chassis that screams premium. You also get wireless connectivity, along with a half-decent battery.
And while it's easy to gripe about the inclusion of micro USB, ultimately that's just a small blemish on what's otherwise a lovely bit of kit. ®