Monday, October 26, 2020

Logitech’s perfect keyboard doesn’t need a number pad

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Finding the perfect keyboard is not always easy. If it should be compact, useful additional keys are usually missing. If it is to be wireless, the battery is often too small or Bluetooth is too slow. If it is also suitable for playing, it can sometimes be quite unsightly. The Logitech G915 TKL, like the larger model G915 Lightspeed, tries to satisfy as many people as possible who can do without a number pad and additional macro keys.

Our tester has been using the G915 Lightspeed for almost a year and has therefore tried the compact model directly for a short test. But why should we spend 230 euros and thus even more money on a keyboard that is less functional?

  •  In the first part of the test, we look at the wireless function and the good battery life.
  • The second part looks at the very good mechanical keys and the fiddly software.
  • Finally, we draw our conclusion.

We can say that the TKL is the better choice, especially for people who like to play a lot away from typing and chase their mouse over the table. But it is also ideal as a keyboard for the couch, as it is far less bulky than the G915. It also offers less scope for incorrect entries. More on that later.

In fact, the G915 TKL is 36.8 cm much shorter than the original model, which comes to 47.4 cm thanks to the macro keys and the number pad. Due to the quite high weight of 810 grams, it also negates a problem of compact and light keyboards and does not slide around too much. We can also set up the keyboard at two angles on the back of the stand.

One advantage of the compact format is that we have more space on the right side of the table. This is an advantage especially in games in which we move the mouse jerkily. The general layout also requires less familiarization, since there are no macro buttons on the left side, which are unusual for the left hand.

What is rare with compact keyboards: Logitech’s product has both a – somewhat shorter – analog volume control and multimedia keys for playing music and videos. The mute function is particularly useful in various situations if we do not have to take the detour via the taskbar in Windows 10.

In addition to these buttons, there is also a button for adjusting the brightness of the RGB lighting and a game mode switch, which locks special buttons such as the Windows button as required. Two switches for wireless connection are possible on the far left. The special keys have soft rubber caps and therefore feel rubbery.

Bluetooth or dongle

The G915 communicates via a 2.4 GHz dongle, which we can also store on the underside of the keyboard – or optionally via Bluetooth. The former practically enables delay-free typing and gaming without cables. The second is more for typing with longer battery life or if we want to use the keyboard with a tablet or smartphone. This is very practical, but the slow Bluetooth protocol is unsuitable for games. Switching between the two modes worked without any problems in our test. For example, we can switch between an Android smartphone and a Windows PC.

Although the battery of the TKL is slightly smaller than the energy storage of the G915, the runtime is still impressive: We can use the keyboard without charging with a daily use of about twelve hours for about five days. With Bluetooth and the lighting switched off, theoretically even better runtimes are possible. It is a pity, however, that Logitech did not take the opportunity and installed a USB-C port. Instead, we continue to connect micro USB cables, the plugs of which are far more fragile and last less.

When it comes to typing, the keyboard does everything right.

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