It's hard to imagine a better wireless gaming keyboard than the Logitech G915 ($250). It's a sleek, attractive peripheral with satisfying mechanical switches, cool low-profile key caps, a full media bar, two kinds of wireless connectivity and generous battery life. Moreover, it's not a tenkeyless model, it doesn't require AA batteries and it doesn't require tedious keyboard shortcuts to record macros.
Aside from a missing wrist rest (and really, a keyboard this thin and this expensive should come with one), there's very little to criticize in the G915. It's absolutely everything I wanted to see in a wireless gaming keyboard, and one of the best mechanical keyboards you can buy. However, $250 is a lot of money, even for such a luxurious model, so weigh your options accordingly if you think you can live without a wireless setup.
When Logitech first showed me the G915 via video chat, an engineer held up a dime next to the keyboard's chassis, in order to demonstrate that the coin was wider than the device. I was sure this was a trick of the webcam, but it wasn't. When I got the G915 in my hands, I held it up to my own pocket change and realized that it was, indeed, thinner. That's an impressive feat for a fully mechanical model.
The keyboard itself is gorgeous, with a brushed-metal-style finish over a sturdy plastic chassis. Each key has an ultrathin key cap over a small mechanical switch, much like the fantastic Roccat Vulcan. There's a column of macro keys on the far left as well as three macro-proflie keys and a macro record button above the F1 to F4 keys. Above the F4 to F8 keys, you'll find buttons for USB dongle and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as Game Mode (which disables certain buttons during play) and RGB lighting brightness.
And, off on the upper right, there's a full media key section, complete with a volume dial. Every keyboard needs one of these, and the buttons work beautifully on the G915.
One quibble here is that the five extra buttons on the left are, for most players, only situationally useful. Including them extends the keyboard's length to 18.5 inches — a full inch more than some other full-size gaming keyboards on the market. It can make a difference if your desk space is limited.
Furthermore, the G915 doesn't come with a wrist rest, which is a problem when you're dealing with such a thin, low-to-the-ground keyboard. Even using third-party wrist rests isn't necessarily a solution, since most of them are higher than the keyboard itself.
The G915 uses a brand-new kind of switch — or, more accurately, it uses three. Just as gamers can purchase Corsair keyboards with their choice of Cherry MX Red, Brown or Blue switches, they can also choose between GL Linear, GL Tactile and GL Clicky switches on the G915. These new, low-profile mechanical switches aim to give just as much key travel as Logitech's Romer-G switches, but in a much smaller, more stylish package.
As a fan of Blues, I set myself up with the GL Clicky and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with them so far. Each switch features a key travel of 2.7 millimeters, an actuation distance of 1.5 mm and an actuation force of 50 gf, but the feel of each switch is a little bit different. The GL Linear is quiet and requires you to press it all the way down to register commands, the GL Tactile is quiet and actuates before you hit the bottom and the GL Clicky is noisy and actuates before you hit the bottom.
It's worth pointing out that the Clicky keys seem to be a little quieter — or at least a little less intense — than Cherry Blues. I sit right next to my boss, so asked him if I should change them out for a quieter peripheral. He said that they sounded like "white noise" to him, which is high praise as keyboard sounds go.
However, the low-profile switches do take a little getting used to. On a Typing.com test, I scored 104 words per minute with 94% accuracy on the G915, compared with 108 words per minute with 98% accuracy on my usual Logitech G613. The smaller key caps made it easier to accidentally hit an adjacent button, and the Clicky keys felt a little more resistant than the Brown-style Romer-Gs.
The G915 runs on the Logitech G Hub software, which is pretty good as these programs go. You can program a variety of different color effects, from per-key lighting to reactive rainbows that ripple across the keyboard when you type. You can also record macros and set up profiles for individual games and programs.
Unlike some competitors' offerings, the G915 doesn't allow you to reprogram every single key on the device. But since you have up to fifteen extra macro keys (five extra keys, three macro profiles) to work with, I'm not sure you'd really need to. You can also customize which keys you want to disable during Game Mode, which should help reduce your risk of tabbing out of a game by accident.
Beyond that, the G915's biggest feather in its cap is wireless connectivity. You can connect the device via a USB dongle (which works flawlessly) or Bluetooth (which also works flawlessly — depending on how well your devices handle Bluetooth connections). Theoretically, this means you could have it hooked up to a PC and a smartphone simultaneously, or whatever other device combination strikes your fancy. Switching between them is as simple as pressing a button, and both connections work from dozens of feet away.
Then there's the battery life. Logitech claims that the device will run for up to 12 days of play (8 hours per day) with RGB features turned on or up to 135 days with lighting turned off. It was hard to gauge these numbers for ourselves, since we had less than a week to review the device. However, I drained about 10% of the keyboard's battery after two days of moderate use, so the numbers sound about right. Better still: Recharging it won't throw off your experience, since a keyboard is a stationary device anyway.
The G915 handled every game I threw at it with ease. Each time I activated a special ability in Overwatch, or selected an army in StarCraft: Remastered, or fired off a magic spell in Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, the G915 parsed my commands accurately and instantaneously. For gamers who play competitively, I imagine the low-profile key caps may help them slam important keys quickly and repeatedly without as much spring-back time as larger switches.
When Logitech released its first wireless mechanical keyboard, the G613, I was intrigued, but also a little underwhelmed. It didn't have a rechargeable battery, or RGB lighting or a volume wheel. Now, the G915 has all of those things, plus an incredibly attractive design. However, it's hard to get around the G915's price tag — you could get a wired keyboard with most of the same features for about $100 less.
Truthfully, I'm not sure I would dish out quite so much money for a keyboard, particularly since, unlike a mouse, it's a stationary device. Wireless connectivity is a luxury, not something that's going to change your level of performance.
However, as a wireless mechanical gaming keyboard, the G915 nails almost every feature perfectly. If you're serious about an uncluttered gaming setup without sacrificing any functionality, this is the peripheral you'll want as a centerpiece.