LOGITECH G915 TKL WIRELESS GAMING KEYBOARD REVIEW | MacSources
Amazing keyboard for gaming and everyday use.
Keyboards are sort of a collector’s item for me. have a nice collection of them because I’ve been searching for the ideal mechanical keyboard for gaming as well as my everyday uses. Mechanical keyboards are widely popular with gamers worldwide, but they can also be great for regular computer tasks. So, for a number of years I have been testing out a variety of keyboards trying to find one that has a lengthy battery life, connects wirelessly to my MacBook Pro and Windows laptop, is compact in size, provides a remarkable clicky sound and feel from the keys, and, of course, built-in RGB backlight. The most recent keyboard I’ve tried out is the G915 TKL from Logitech. It’s a tenkeyless Wireless RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that features LIGHTSPEED wireless technology.
The Logitech G915 TKL Wireless Mechanical Keyboard is designed to enhance the gameplay experience for gamers. It features low-profile mechanical switches (half the height of standard mechanical switches) and is made with aircraft-grade aluminum for durability. Users have the choice of three different switches — Clicky for tactile feedback, Linear for smooth keystrokes, and Tactile for a discernible bump. On a single charge, the G915 TKL can have up to 40 hours of use time and it provides low battery warnings at 15% via the keyboard LED indicator and a pop-up notification from the G Hub software. The keyboard has dedicated media controls for easy access to play, pause, advance, rewind or mute your media.
There is a G915 keyboard that includes the number pad, but part of the reason this keyboard was developed was to provide more room for mouse movement while gaming. The keyboard is designed to work with a wide array of computers included both Window and Mac operating systems. This is one of the reasons I continually seek out new keyboards. I want to have one that can work seamlessly with my Windows laptop (used exclusively for gaming) and my MacBook Pro (used for both gaming and productivity). I don’t like having to bounce back and forth between two keyboards when I switch between systems. The G915 TKL provides me the option to switch back and forth between systems easily with either the Bluetooth connection or the LIGHTSPEED Wireless USB receiver.
Dimensions: 15.2″ x 5.9″ x 0.9″
Weight: 810 grams
Cable Length: 6 feet
Low Profile GL Clicky Key Switches
Actuation Distance: 1.5mm
Actuation Force: 50 grams
Total Travel Distance: 2.7mm
Battery Life: 40 hours (100% brightness)
Onboard Memory: 2 lighting profiles, 3 macro profiles
LIGHTSYNC RGB, per-key lighting
Dedicated media control and edgeless volume wheel
LIGHTSPEED Wireless: USB port and Windows7 or later, macOS X 10.11 or later
Bluetooth: Bluetooth enabled device with Windows 8 or later, macOS X 10.11 or later, Chrome OS, or Android 4.3 or later, iOS 10 or later
Logitech provides a software package called “G Hub” for users to customize their keyboard experience. This is pretty typical for gaming keyboards and even though I use my for ‘everyday’ use and not just gaming, I had some fun customizing different profiles and changing the function keys around. I do want to point out that in order to use the functionality of G Hub you must remain connected to it. That means, you have to be connected using the LIGHTSPEED wireless feature either through the USB receiver or by direct wired connection through the provided Micro USB cable.
I found it interesting that Logitech does not have the G915 TKL or its predecessor listed as support keyboards in the list for G Hub. Once I figured out that Bluetooth mode was incompatible, I didn’t have any issues with using G Hub. Therefore, I assume that Logitech just hasn’t updated their compatibility list in a while.
One of the main features I really appreciate with the G Hub software is the dashboard. With the dashboard, you can view all the details of your connected devices and make quick updates to firmware with just a few clicks. The main settings you can control within G Hub (at least for the G915 TKL) include:
- LIGHTSYNC: The ability to customize lighting effects and control how they are displayed on your computer.
- ASSIGNMENTS: This was probably the feature I had the most fun with. Within Assignments, you can map the F keys to control different system commands, create macros, assign actions (if available), place commands on a specific key, and even drag/drop system controls onto the keyboard.
- GAME MODE: The third main feature within G Hub for the G915 TKL was customizing Game Mode. This feature really just allows you to ignore keys for gaming that normally ‘get in the way.’
Because I like to keep my desk set-up clean and free of clutter, I LOVE the low-profile nature of the keyboard. It sits approximately one inch tall and doesn’t have a large case surrounding the main keyboard. I really love this design choice. The media keys are a nice touch, but since you can customize your F keys in the G Hub software, they could essentially be eliminated. There is a scroll wheel included for the volume control and a place on the underside of the keyboard to store the USB receiver when it’s not in use. I also really like the choice to use aluminum for the case because it makes the keyboard lightweight while still being very robust and well-weighted. There are small feet that angle the keyboard approximately 4º, which is great for typing and gaming.
As far as the switches go, my personal preference is usually geared towards Blue switches or switch types that are similar. The mechanical switches that are included in the G915 TKL are Logitech’s advanced mechanical switches designed specifically for gaming. They are called “GL” and they come in a few varieties. Since I typically prefer the Blue switch variety, GL Clicky is the version I chose for this keyboard. It has gentle tactile feedback when you press down on it and the best ‘clicky’ sound as you type.
The keyboard does not come with a key puller and from what I’ve read, isn’t really designed for easy key replacement. One article I found stated that the legs beneath the keys are easy to snap off and it may be unlikely to find replacement keys if they get broken. I was able to pull them off quite easily myself, but the feet are indeed fragile and I wouldn’t recommend using a lot of force when removing keys.
The lighting effects are stunning on this keyboard. It shows off vibrant colors and the brightness can’t be beat. I love that you have the option to customize these effects (even on a Mac) to your specific preference. One of the reasons that I love being able to customize the lighting effects is because the RGB settings can greatly effect the battery life of the keyboard. That said, I typically keep my keyboard at 100% brightness (what can I say? I like colored lights) and I’ve still been very happy with my battery life.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
One of the features of this keyboard that really surprised me was the fact that it charges with Micro USB and not USB-C. Since most modern devices are moving toward USB-C as the ‘standard’ for charging and connectivity, it’s really shocking that such a state-of-the-art keyboard like the G915 TKL would take such a monumental step into the past for it’s main method of external charging and connection. Now, if you look at other Logitech gaming peripherals it’s clear that they haven’t embraced it as a charging standard yet, but I am still going to wonder why because other Logitech products have embraced USB-C.
Another feature that would really make Mac users happy is if this were a ‘true’ Apple keyboard. Even though the keyboard works with macOS computers, it doesn’t have Mac keys included. While this is a very minor criticism, I feel like it’s something that would really make this keyboard spectacular for all users.
JUST PLAYING AROUND
When it comes to gaming, this keyboard is the best option around for one big reason — timing. Thanks to the ultra slim profile of the keyboard, a gamer’s travel distance is much shorter than traditional mechanical keyboard. It’s also great to have lag-free wireless connectivity thanks to the LIGHTSPEED wireless technology. With that wireless boost, users can actually move a decent distance away from the computer and still have a lag-free experience. Another factor that makes this keyboard ideal for gamers is the absence of the num pad and G Programmable buttons. The full size G915 measures in at 475mm wide and the TKL version is only 368mm wide. That big of a difference does make it easier for gamers to coordinate between the keyboard and mouse in an action scenario.
In addition to gaming, the G915 TKL is also an amazing daily-driver. It’s comfortable to type on and because of its compact size it is perfect in an active workspace. I know that throughout the day I will sometimes spread out paperwork and other items across my desk. With that in mind, it’s wonderful to be able to have a smaller footprint on my desk so that I can still work actively and not have to rearrange my desk in order to do it. As far as typing speed goes, I was able to average around 60WPM on the G915 TKL. This is slightly slower than I normally type at, which is an average of 65WPM. I think this has more to do with getting used to the keyboard. The keys are comfortable to type even after long periods of time and long-form documents.
There is no doubt that this a premium mechanical keyboard and you will pay a premium price for it. At $230 (at the time of publishing), the G915 TKL is currently Logitech’s second highest priced keyboard — second only to its predecessor, the G915. There are certainly more expensive mechanical gaming keyboards out there, but most of them that are of the same caliber as the G915 TKL are between $150-$200. As an afterthought, I don’t think the price would bother me so much if USB-C were used over Micro USB.
I’ve been very happy with the G915 TKL. It’s got remarkable battery life and despite the fact that it uses Micro USB to charge, it’s a very solid keyboard for any type of use. Aside from the price, it’s probably the best wireless low-profile keyboard around and gamers should be incredibly excited about it since Logitech is answering a call that has been out there for quite some time. I can recommend this amazing keyboard to any type of user. It is worth the investment.