Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard Review
Gold standard…or old standard?
When the Logitech G Pro keyboard first launched way back in 2017, the market was much different. Mainstream TKL keyboards were harder to come by, and Cherry MX switches still dominated the scene, so the company’s faster actuating Romer-G switches were an exciting new alternative that had already been successful in a number of other less-sleek Logitech designs.
In 2019, the keyboard got a small revision thanks to an expanded partnership with Kailh for their switch technology, and they also launched a more expensive “X” model with swappable switches. Again, that feature was impressive at the time but is now much easier to obtain if you’re willing to buy an OEM keyboard.
Aside from the change to GX Blue clicky switches, the base model G Pro keyboard is still more or less the same as it was all those years ago. That may have been great back then…but now it’s a little bit boring and overpriced, in my opinion.
The Logitech G Pro keyboard sells for $129.99 (official site here) and comes with clicky GX Blue switches made by Kailh. There’s also a League of Legends tie-in model that comes with GX brown tactile switches, and has a cooler-looking case. For an extra $20, you can get the “X” model which has swappable switches, and of course Logitech would love it if you bought their official switch kits which run you another $50 each.
In the box, you get the keyboard itself, some documentation, and Logitech’s ancient ridiculous fork-shaped micro USB cable that feels like it’s the bane of my existence. I have no idea why Logitech continues to use this unwieldy cable on their modern gaming products when USB-C has become the norm. Even the upgraded X model is still stuck with this cable.
In today’s market, the standard model is priced too high, and the swappable model is more expensive than many keyboard kits you can find online, so if you’re looking to get into the enthusiast keyboard space and swap out some switches this isn’t a great value option.
That’s the biggest problem here, and it echoes throughout the entire keyboard. It’s a fine, well-built thing that has decent typing and gaming performance, but it’s priced high and using mechanical switches in a world where optical switches, cheap OEM models, and other fun trends like smaller layouts are the new norms in the gaming world. It’s no longer enough for a big company to just build a competent TKL keyboard, price it high, and call it a day. It has to wow users with a fair price, modern features, or some combination of both.
The GX Blue clicky switches perform fine. They have a nice tactile feel to their click, and although they have a small hint of rattle, they are comfortable for typing or gaming as long as you don’t mind the clicking sounds. Unfortunately, the key caps are made of coated ABS plastic and not the more durable PBT, which is now a disappointment at this price as even Razer sells several models in this same bracket that come with PBT key caps.
Further, as Logitech is seemingly unaware of optical switches, you’re not getting the “fastest” gaming performance compared to other models. Granted, the tiny differences in speed between different switch types may not be that noticeable to people who aren’t the twitchiest of gamers, but it’s weird that Logitech has multiple high end boards all still using good old-fashioned Kailh mechanical switches.
This is further complicated by the price of the keyboard. At $129.99, it’s forty dollars more expensive than the HyperX Alloy Origins Core, which is essentially the same keyboard but with a sturdier aluminum base and a detachable USB-C cable. The Roccat Pyro also comes off looking good at its $99 price, with its modern visual design, free wrist rest, and nice integrated volume knob.
The base is a mix of glossy plastic and hidden metal that feels quite heavy and sturdy. But the gloss rim and prominent logo on the top left of the keyboard have aesthetics that were already on the way out in 2017. And although the RGB lighting is very good and very bright, it also makes that prominent G logo stick out more than it otherwise would.
The G Pro range of peripherals are all getting old and creaky, but the other ones I’ve tried in a modern context have still held up thanks to their time-tested performance and subtle designs. The keyboard is different. It was designed for a different era, and it’s now priced too high to compete in the current field with its older set of features. It’s a fine keyboard that still performs well and feels good to use, but it’s not doing anything to deserve this price against many newer models in 2021.
I had a good time using this keyboard for ten days and then put it away in my closet as a good backup choice if any of my other more interesting models break. I’m in the middle of reviewing a Razer Huntsman Mini right now, and I’m enjoying it more with its faster dampened optical switches and lighting trick that highlights alternative function keys. During that entire ten days with this Logitech model I just kept thinking about how the HyperX Alloy Origins Core does all of the same things that the G Pro does, but with a sleeker design, more aluminum in the frame, and a price that’s much lower.
I also can’t get past the continued use of the micro USB-cable here. I don’t understand why Logitech’s “professional” wired gaming board doesn’t at least have an optical switch model as an option just to keep up with current trends. Kailh is Logitech’s long-time switch partner and they already make optical switches that the company could start integrating tomorrow. PBT key caps would also go a long way towards making this feel like a true modern “pro” keyboard.
Again, you could buy the HyperX model I keep mentioning and their PBT pudding keycap set…and still have spent less than the G Pro keyboard costs. Not to mention all the cheap kit-style OEM keyboards available online that will outdo the Logitech model for switch options, style, and cable connection.
The G Pro Wireless mouse is still a stellar performer in the modern world, in spite of its continued use of an old charge cable. It works just as well as newer designs, and it’s a true example of a timeless peripheral. The G Pro keyboard is a product out of time. It was wonderful for the market it launched in, but it has too many antiquated components to stand out today and a price that’s too high for what it’s offering.
If you’re invested in the Logitech ecosystem, this is still their best gaming option, and that’s a little disappointing. They have bigger models that have mechanical switches, but I think their designs are clunkier than this TKL model. And the more expensive wireless 900-series models use strange half-height low profile Kailh switches that I don’t think add much to the experience and may make it harder to replace key caps down the road.
This keyboard isn’t bad, but it has gone from being one of the most capable of the mainstream brand gaming models to one of the most unexciting in the space of the last four years. The market simply left it behind.