Tech Review: Logitech G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

One of the rarer finds in PC gaming peripherals has always been the combination of mechanical keys and a wireless keyboard. The two schools haven’t played well together historically and a lot manufacturers stopped trying to blend them into a single board years ago. Too much input lag, not enough flash, not enough clack. Gamers didn’t want them.

Logitech, apparently, didn’t get the memo. Or maybe they saw the memo but chose to ignore it.
Logi seems to have known what they were up against with this board. Its design philosophy seems to be “if they can come up with a complaint to throw at us, lets have an answer ready.” Like a lot of Logitech’s boards, the G613 has no time for the gimmickry of the market for peripherals aimed at the hardcore. There’s no flashing lights, there’s no obnoxious keys that thunder with the clack of a WWII-era typewriter, no hard-edged designs. In fact, anything that could be considered an unnecessary drain on the battery has been jettisoned entirely. The only lights on the entire board are a connection LED that switches off after confirmation, the caps lock key and a light that lets you know when the battery’s getting low.

This is a board that puts function squarely ahead of aesthetics. The colour scheme is back and grey with a splash of blue on the programmable G keys along the left hand side. Keyswitches are Romer-G, producing a typing experience that is soft and quiet. The switches themselves are a collab between Logi and Omron.

One of the things that bugged me when I reviewed Hyper-X’s otherwise very good mechanical boards was the lack of wrist rest. Logi have made this a fundamental part of the G613, and it means being able to place the board on my lap and use it there as well as at my desk. Friends, as someone who uses his home PC for daily writing as much as for games, this is life changing.

Elsewhere on the board, you have a number of buttons and switches for turning off the Windows key and controlling media. The programmable G-keys on the left side are a bit of a stretch to get to and it means they might not see a lot of play unless used for what is apparently their intended purpose — pre-programmed keybind profiles for individual games. If I play a lot of Overwatch, maybe bind those controls to G1. Hop over to Civilization 6, lets bind that hotkey profile to G2, and so forth. My only complaint is that their positioning is such that I keep hitting G1 when I meant to hit Escape. A minor thing but a habit I still haven’t broken. Finally, you have buttons that let you select between Bluetooth connectivity and Logi’s proprietary LightSpeed tech. I used LightSpeed for the bulk this review as my desktop doesn’t have Bluetooth,

I bring this up because it’s one of the more noteworthy facets of this keyboard. If Logitech is to be believed, and after using this board I have no reason not to, LightSpeed somehow wrestles the wireless input lag down to under 1ms. That’s bonkers for a wireless board, almost unbelievable, and yet here I am without a single example of input lag to give you. Between the battery life and the lack of input lag, it’s actually really easy to forget that you’re on a wireless board.

Taken for what it is, the G613 is a smart, elegant mechanical board and the LightSpeed tech is truly eyebrow raising. If there’s one point I have trouble getting on board with, it’s the asking price. The RRP on this board is $169.95, a price I’d wince at if it were attached to a far more feature-rich board. That Logi believe they can get away with it on a no-frills board like this is rather astounding. You can, and you should, find this board for a lot cheaper than that around the traps but as for their asking price I’d like to take this opportunity to tell Logitech they’re dreamin’.

For those who prefer a little distance between themselves and their computer for gaming, finally, a solution. The same goes for those who like to hook their gaming PC up to their TV’s but can’t find a decent answer for playing on the couch. Great work, Logi.

Score: 8.5 out of 10
Highlights: No input lag; Stoic design; Lovely key feel
Lowlights: Pricey; Zero bells and whistles to please the hardcore
Manufacturer: Logitech
Price: $169.95 AUD
Available: Now

Reviewed with a product sample provided by the manufacturer.


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David Smith

David Smith is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.

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