If your keyboard doesn’t make a loud, satisfying click every time you sit down to type, it’s time to change things. Mechanical keyboards offer better feedback, comfort, and durability than the soft membrane model you’re currently using, and while they’re often aimed at gamers, I’d argue that almost anyone who spends most of the day typing will have one should use.
I’ve been a mechanical keyboard user for a long time, starting with my trusty Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum, which still works like a charm even after years of heavy use. However, since the G810 is no longer sold, I decided to try some newer models to get a better feel for what is actually on the market right now. And that led me straight to the Logitech G915 TKL – a keyboard that made my home office even better with a compact, wireless design that still touts the eye-catching backlighting and punchy keys that I have come to expect from the company.
At $ 229, the G915 TKL is not the cheapest of the bunch. However, if you’re willing to invest in a high-end wireless mechanical keyboard that will fit nicely in your home office or gaming den, it’s well worth the premium price. Here’s why.
Mike Andronico / CNN
Mechanical keyboards differ from other models in that they have switches under the keys that activate each time they are pressed. Membrane keyboards (like those found on many laptops and cheap desktop keyboards like the Logitech MK320 for $ 27) detect keystrokes through pressure-sensitive pads under the keys. And while each type of keyboard has advantages and disadvantages, mechanical keyboards offer a satisfactory level of tactical feedback that makes membrane models appear mushy in comparison.
Mechanical keyboards certainly take getting used to as they are generally louder and feel heavier than most slide options. But after having been fully mechanical for a few years, I find that there is nothing better than the instant, clacking feedback that comes from hitting a mechanical keyboard quickly while writing stories, playing games or frantically answering emails goes hand in hand.
Mechanical keyboards are not only more comfortable and pleasant to use, they also last longer. While the pressure-sensitive materials inside membrane keyboards are very susceptible to wear, the individual key switches on mechanical keyboards can remain resilient for around a decade. Mechanical keyboards generally can withstand more than 50 million keystrokes, which can mean up to 10 or more years of frequent use, according to switchandclick.com. To put this in practice, I used my Logitech G810 heavily for a solid two and a half years (including a full year from home). took it out of the box.
The keycaps on mechanical keyboards are easy to remove and replace, and with a little technical expertise, you can even repair and replace the actual switches. The difficulty of swapping out your keycaps and switches varies by model, but if you have a hot-swap keyboard you can use a key puller to pull it out and insert new ones.
“I find mechanical keyboards are much easier to maintain than membrane keyboards,” says Florence Ion, a Gizmodo employee and podcaster who currently uses the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini but also has several keyboards that she has customized. “They’re pretty easy to take apart, and once you understand that they’re just wires connected to a circuit board, it doesn’t seem like a tedious task to go in and tinker with, around one to repair botched keys. ”
While mechanical keyboards aren’t cheap, they’ll stay with you much, much longer than the generic plastic membrane keyboard that likely came with your desktop.
Mike Andronico / CNN
I’ve used and loved a variety of mechanical keyboards, but the Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum has been my workhorse for many years. It’s a big, wonderfully clattering keyboard with customizable RGB lighting, convenient media controls, and keys that keep my hands comfortable during long days at home. And although I wanted to recommend this model to the world, it is quite old and is no longer sold.
So I decided to try out some of Logitech’s newer models and found that the company’s gaming keyboards just got better.
I used the Logitech G815 for $ 169 and the Logitech G915 TKL for $ 229 – the former is a wired keyboard with a full number pad, while the latter is a wireless model that overrides the number pad for a more compact design. Both are even a huge step up from my beloved G810, with much sleeker designs and flatter keycaps that still provide great feedback whether I’m pulling out articles in Google Docs or dodging demons in Doom Eternal. It took me a while to get used to the latest Logitech keys, but now I can’t imagine going back.
Mike Andronico / CNN
Regardless of which modern Logitech keyboard you buy, there are three switches to choose from: GL Clicky, which offers a loud click and the most tactile feedback; GL Tactile, which offers softer and quieter feedback; and GL Linear, which is designed for the smoothest, softest keystroke. I’ve tested the Clicky buttons on the G815 and the tactile buttons on the G915 TKL and I definitely prefer the former.
As I tap Logitech’s Clicky switches, I feel like I’m using a futuristic typewriter, with a satisfying, audible sharpness that accompanies every keystroke. On the other hand, I have the luxury of living alone without anyone complaining about me pounding on a clicking keyboard eight hours a day. Though they feel a little squishier than the clicky switches, the tactile buttons offer a nice middle ground that still gives you bouncy feedback without making your home office sound like a busy newsroom.
While the G815 and G915 TKL both delivered a similarly great typing experience, it is the G915 that has become the new centerpiece of my home office. It’s completely wireless and more compact than the G815, which made it easy to integrate the keyboard into every corner of my workspace. It worked fine with both my Windows tower and my 24-inch iMac, and it was a breeze to switch between them. The G815 has some handy additional macro keys that you can program to perform all kinds of functions and benefits from a full number pad, but it takes up even more horizontal space than my full-size G810.
Mike Andronico / CNN
And while wireless keyboards run the risk of being slow or prone to short battery life, I didn’t have any of these issues with the G915 TKL. The keyboard lasted more than a week of heavy use before I had to juice it up, and even then I was able to type and charge at the same time using the included micro-USB cable (USB-C would have been nice). The G915 is rated for 40 hours of battery life at full brightness and promises a full charge in under four hours, two claims that came very close to my tests.
Thanks to the so-called “Lightspeed” radio technology from Logitech, which is integrated into the wireless USB adapter, I did not notice any delay as I quickly flipped through work documents and Slack chats. Better still, the G915 TKL also has Bluetooth support, which means I can pair the keyboard with my iMac (via USB) and my PC (via Bluetooth) at the same time and switch between the two at the touch of a button. As someone who jumps back and forth between multiple computers a lot, I’ve found this feature to be an absolute game changer. If you’re not looking to spend $ 229, Logitech’s standard keyboards like the K380 also offer multipoint connectivity for $ 29.
Aside from the improved designs, the G915 and G815 also keep everything I love about Logitech keyboards. The Logitech G Hub software (for Windows and macOS) makes it easy to customize the keyboard’s chic RGB lighting – you can program all sorts of neat rainbow-like patterns, but I go for a solid purple glow these days – syncing instantly You can do your effects with other accessories, such as my $ 39 Logitech G203 mouse.
The built-in media controls and volume knob come in really handy when I’m firing Phoebe Bridgers on my iMac, and the easy-to-remove keycaps give me the peace of mind that I can easily replace a key should I ever lose or damage one. If you need to replace your keycaps, there are a variety of replacement kits available online for less than $ 50. Both keyboards I tested had an attractive and subtle dark carbon finish, although the G915 is also available in white for people who want a little more pop.
Mike Andronico / CNN
There are lots of great non-mechanical keyboards out there – I love Apple’s Magic Keyboard, and the built-in options on laptops like the Dell XPS 13 and Surface Laptop 4 are fantastic. However, if you spend most of the day typing, investing in a mechanical keyboard is worth it, even if you’re not a gamer. These keyboards offer better feedback than your standard off-the-shelf model and often last many, many years longer than a flimsy old membrane set.
And as a longtime mechanical user who spent nearly a month with the $ 229 Logitech G915 TKL, I can confidently say it’s worth it for those looking for a high quality wireless option. Its compact design fits into even the tightest of workspaces, its RGB lighting is attractive and highly customizable, and most importantly, the snappy keys feel great to tap for hours on end.
If you’re looking to spend a little less or want a full number pad, the $ 169 Logitech G815 has the same great features and typing experience in a larger wired model. I’d also recommend considering the Logitech G Pro for $ 129 if you’re looking for a more affordable, streamlined option that’s a little lighter on specific features.
Regardless of how you do it, switching to mechanical keyboards opens up a wonderful new world of satisfactory and comfortable typing for you. Your hands will thank you – even if your roommates might not.
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