Sunday, July 21, 2024

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The very best low-profile TKL keyboard now has a mercifully extra inexpensive cousin

Learn sufficient of our {hardware} articles and also you’ll ultimately come throughout somebody, most likely me or Katharine (RPS in peace), banging on concerning the Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wi-fi. After half a decade on cabinets, it’s nonetheless the perfect low-profile mechanical gaming keyboard going, and fairly presumably the perfect wi-fi keyboard in addition – whereas the tenkeyless model, the G915 TKL Lightspeed, is simply as pretty to make use of.

Between their nimble efficiency, crisp mech switches, and impeccable construct high quality, the one manner through which the G915 duo underwhelms is their excessive pricing – very a lot the sort you’d wish to await a Prime Day or Black Friday to uninteresting the ache of. Now, although, there’s an alternate: the brand new Logitech G515 Lightspeed TKL. I’ve been utilizing it. It’s good!

Nearly instantly, you inform it’s a extra pared-back keyboard proposition. The bodywork is plastic relatively than metallic, whereas the G915 TKL Lightspeed’s devoted media controls and (weirdly satisfying) quantity curler have been minimize. All in service of that extra attainable value, after all: £140 / $140 may nonetheless plant the G515 Lightspeed TKL within the land of fans, however contemplating the G915 TKL Lightspeed (no, I don’t know why the flipped the ‘TKL’ and ‘Lightspeed’ bits) is formally listed at £219 / $230 and has solely dropped to £159 / $159, it’s a relative snip.

A side view of the Logitech G515 Lightspeed TKL gaming keyboard, showing its low-profile design.

Nearly as importantly, the G515 isn’t truly a straight downgrade. Take the switches, that are a more recent model of the Logitech GL Low mechanical switches used within the G915 collection, tweaked for higher stability and simpler keycap removing. In addition they take much less drive to depress, whereas concurrently decreasing the actuation level from 1.5mm to 1.3mm and deepening the overall journey distance from 2.7mm to three.2mm. This, to my fingers, is the perfect of all worlds, producing a lighter and extra responsive enter that additionally provides the switches a bit extra room for bottoming out.

The G515 remains to be a real low-profile ‘board, measuring the identical 22m skinny because the G915, however the typing expertise is simply that bit nearer to the decisive, gratifyingly chunky really feel of a traditional keeb. I’d’ve favored the Tactile switches, which I’ve been utilizing, to have extra of a tangible bump, however they nonetheless have the refined really feel {that a} mech swap ought to have. And though I can’t communicate for the non-bumpy Linear variants, I like the subdued sound of those Tactile switches – there’s sufficient audible suggestions for touch-typing however no distracting clickiness or ringing on a full press, the interior damping foam probably serving to with the latter.

The G515 is hardly missing for options, both. Per-key binding and lighting customisations are nonetheless accessible in Logitech’s G Hub app, and the G515 matches one other G915/G915 TKL social gathering trick in with the ability to act as a wi-fi receiver for suitable Lightspeed mice. I paired up a Logitech G Professional X Superlight 2, and will play snappy shooters simply as certainly as if the dongle was within the PC. Besides it wasn’t, thus liberating up a valuable USB port. Intelligent. And the Lightspeed connectivity tech is simply as dependable it’s all the time been, with Bluetooth as bonus possibility must you ever wish to hook up with a TV or Steam Deck.

The Logitech G515 Lightspeed TKL gaming keyboard, paired with a wireless Logitech mouse.
Picture credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

Battery life is respectable as nicely. Logitech say you’ll rise up to 36 hours with the backlighting at full brightness; I haven’t measured by the hour however I can personally go three to 4 days on a single cost, together with on a regular basis I spend at my desk on this {hardware} enhancing lark. That basically leaves little to make the G515 look stingy subsequent to the G915 TKL, besides perhaps the construct, which does certainly present a number of plastic for £140. However then it’s a tricky, hard-wearing plastic, with no trace of creaking or flex.

Consider the G515 Lightspeed TKL, then, not as a half-arsed imitation of a greater keyboard, however as one thing that actually and earnestly takes the qualities of a higher-end mannequin and easily makes them extra obtainable. It’s a Squier Stratocaster to the G915’s shop-built Fender, or a Polo by Ralph Lauren shirt. Simply with RGB.

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