Mechanical keyboards: A beginner's guide
Whether you're engaged in typing tasks, immersed in intense gaming sessions, or in the creative zone, your choice of keyboard can significantly impact your productivity, comfort, and overall satisfaction. As such, many users recommend Logitech's G series keyboards, which stand out as a favoured selection tailor-made for those seeking top-notch yet budget-friendly gaming keyboards. Logitech, a Swiss company renowned for its commitment to crafting cutting-edge and high-performance peripherals for personal computers, has established itself as a go-to brand for keyboard enthusiasts worldwide. Having personally put these keyboards through their paces, in this article, I will share my firsthand experiences and insights and try to help you find the one that fits your budget and style.
Why mechanical over membrane
Consider a mechanical keyboard if you are looking for a keyboard that can enhance your gaming, coding, or writing. Unlike membrane keyboards that use rubber domes that can wear out, fail to register your keystrokes and become unresponsive, mechanical keyboards use individual switches for each key that can last for millions of presses. Mechanical keyboards give you a more accurate and responsive typing experience. You don't have to press the key all the way down to register it, as mechanical keyboards have smoother switch actuation. Switches are the heart of your keyboard and make typing fun and exciting. You can choose from three main types of switches: linear, tactile and clicky, depending on your preference for feedback and sound. Linear switches are smooth and quiet without any bump or click. They are great for gaming, as they enable fast and repeated keystrokes. Tactile switches have a noticeable bump that lets you know that the keystroke has been registered. They provide a satisfying and comfortable typing experience. Clicky switches are similar to tactile switches, but they have both a bump and a click sound when the key is pressed, which are preferred by enthusiasts who love the audible 'clicky' sound and the retro typewriter feel. Switches can make a big difference in your typing experience, so choose what best fits you!
Which one to pick
A decent choice for beginners: If you are looking for a gaming keyboard that won't break the bank, the Logitech G213 Prodigy might be the one for you. It has a sleek and comfortable design, with a spill-resistant plastic frame and rubber dome switches that simulate the feel of mechanical switches. You can customise the zone-lit RGB backlight across five zones and enjoy the built-in wrist rest and adjustable feet for extra comfort. Moreover, using the Logitech G HUB software, you can customise the function keys with macros or shortcuts, giving you more control and convenience. The keyboard also has a built-in wristrest and adjustable feet to type comfortably for hours. The Logitech G213 Prodigy is a well-designed and versatile gaming keyboard that suits both beginners and professionals.
However, the high pre-travel distance and low tactile bump of the keys may not give enough feedback to some users. The backlighting only covers five zones, not individual keys, limiting your customisation options. The brightness is low and uneven, and there is no brightness control. The wristrest is fixed to the keyboard, making it bulky and less portable. Additionally, the keyboard does not have a USB passthrough port, which may be inconvenient for some users. Despite these flaws, the Logitech G213 Prodigy is a decent gaming keyboard for those who want a simple and affordable option.
Great value for money: If you are looking for a mechanical keyboard that is simple, sturdy, elegant, metallic design and affordable, you should check out the Logitech G413. This keyboard has three versions, all with tactile switches, with a low actuation force of 50g and a short actuation distance of 1.9mm. You can also swap the keycaps for gaming and use the G HUB software for customisation. The TKL SE version is perfect for those who want a smaller keyboard without the Numpad. The TKL and full-size SE have white backlit keys that contrast nicely with the dark frame. However, if you want a more premium and sophisticated keyboard, The Carbon Edition is the most premium and sophisticated version, with a brushed aluminium finish, red backlighting, and a USB passthrough port.
However, the G413 may not be the best keyboard for everyone. It only has one colour option, and macros are only available on function keys, which may not work well for some games. The carbon edition also needs 2 USB ports on your PC, while the SE and TKL SE versions do not have a USB passthrough port. Moreover, there is limited software support, like macro recording and lighting synchronisation are only available on Windows PCs, and the narrow keys may feel cramped for some users, which could limit customisation options.
A wholesome package: The Logitech G512 Carbon is a mechanical gaming keyboard that has it all: style, performance, and durability. It has a gorgeous and sturdy anodised brushed aluminium alloy top plate, giving it a premium look and feel. This is a step up from the G413 Carbon. It also has a full RGB backlight that can display up to 16.8 million amazing colours and create stunning effects. You can personalise the lighting, macros, gaming mode button that disables the Windows key and more with the Logitech G HUB.
The keyboard lets you choose from three types of switches: GX Linear, Tactile, and Blue. These switches are all proprietary and designed to give you the best gaming experience. The switches have a low actuation force of 50 g and a short actuation distance of 1.9 mm, which makes them ideal for quick and accurate keystrokes. The keyboard also has anti-ghosting and N-key rollover features, so you can press multiple keys simultaneously without any errors or delays. The keyboard also has a USB passthrough port.
The only downside of this keyboard is that it does not come with a wrist rest, which might make your wrists sore after a while. It also needs two USB ports on your PC to power the keyboard and the USB passthrough port, which is also a slow USB 2.0 with no onboard memory and dedicated macro keys. However, these minor issues might not be a deal breaker for you.
Wireless macro master: If you're looking for a wireless mechanical keyboard that delivers excellent performance, convenience, and versatility, you must check out the Logitech G613. It's the only keyboard in this list that doesn't need a cable to provide a responsive and comfortable gaming experience. The keyboard uses Logitech's exclusive Romer-G tactile switches, which have a low actuation force of 45 g and a short actuation distance of 1.5 mm, giving it a fast and responsive feel.
The G613 also boasts a Lightspeed wireless connection with an astonishingly low latency of 1 ms, which lets you switch to Bluetooth mode and connect with other devices seamlessly. It runs on two AA batteries that can last up to 18 months, and you can monitor the battery status with a dedicated button. However, I wish it had a rechargeable option instead of these batteries.
The Logitech G613 keyboard features six customisable macro keys on the left side, which you can program custom commands or shortcuts using the Logitech G HUB. It also has separate media buttons on the top-right corner, which are useful for MMO players or productivity enthusiasts who want to optimise their workflow. However, its bulky design and lack of backlighting may not appeal to everyone's taste.
Portable and professional: If you're looking for a keyboard to keep up with your eSport spirit, check out the G Pro from Logitech. This keyboard was specially designed for competitive gaming and shows in its features. By far, G Pro has the most visually stunning RGB lighting of all keyboards I have witnessed. Its durable and ergonomic design and TKL layout save space and make it easy to carry around. The keyboard also has a detachable micro-USB cable for extra convenience. The switches on the G Pro are GX Blue Clicky, which have a low actuation force of 50 g and an actuation distance of 2 mm. This means you can type faster and more accurately, giving you an edge in your games. The keyboard also has a three-step angle adjustment for optimal comfort. The G Pro keyboard looks good and feels great, perfect for any esports enthusiast.
Of course, the G Pro could be better. It doesn't have a USB passthrough port, which limits your connectivity options. It also doesn't have a numeric keypad, which may be a drawback for some tasks or if you're used to a full-sized keyboard. It is the most expensive keyboard in the G series. But if you're willing to pay the price, you'll get a keyboard that can handle any challenge you throw at it.
Which one should you buy?
You will appreciate the Logitech G series if you love keyboards as much as I do. They offer amazing typing and gaming experiences and eccentric features. If you are on a budget and want a relatively comfy gaming keyboard, the G213 Prodigy is a solid choice. If you prefer a simple, sleek, and sturdy mechanical keyboard at an affordable price, the G413 Carbon fits the bill. For those who are into premium keyboards with RGB lights and switches, the G512 Carbon is definitely made for you. If you want a wireless keyboard that balances performance and convenience, the Logitech G613 is a suitable option. Finally, if you're a Pro who wants a top-notch and portable powerhouse, the Logitech G Pro is the one. To finish, one final note for Logitech Bangladesh is to let potential customers try out their keyboards to make an informed decision before buying.