A baby keyboard for your baby fingers
When Logitech started their G Pro Gaming line with a mouse, I found it to be a simplistic but efficient device that would work well for eSports. Well, at least, I think it would. I’m not good enough for tournaments. I’m happy just to finish a match in any game without someone yelling at me about how I’m a shitstain on this Earth and I don’t even deserve to play.
Logitech now has a tenkeyless keyboard specifically designed for eSports, which I’m going to pretend I am qualified enough to judge.
Product: Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard
Input: USB 2.0
The G Pro Gaming Keyboard (hereafter known as the GPGK because why not) looks like Logitech got one of their G610 Orions and hacked four inches off the right, including the numpad. It’s about fourteen inches from left to right. This definitely makes it more portable and thus more desktop-efficient, especially in a tournament setup where you’re not sure if you’re going to have the space you’re used to. It also makes it feel incredibly weird at first, if you’re like me and use the numpad constantly for excel sheets or password inputs. But since you most likely won’t use those in any kind of tournament setting, I understand that this is possibly a huge draw.
In keeping with the theme of portability, the braided USB cable is also detachable for better storage. I’m a fan of this, since in the few times I’ve lugged past keyboards around I’ve wrapped the cable around the board itself, which can eventually lead to permanent damage. I do think a carrying slip, even one made of a light mesh material, would have been a good pack-in since the whole idea is that you’re going to take it around with you, especially at $130.
RGB lighting is included, which I wouldn’t have thought would be a priority for eSports players, but you can choose light profiles that’ll make it easier to see what you’re doing for specific games. There’s also on-board memory for one profile so that you can take it with you and use it even if you use someone else’s computer. Most tournaments check your gear for performance-enhancing software, so it’s good that you can at least keep your pretty, pretty lights. This is all set up through the consistently great and free Logitech Gaming Software.
Key-wise, you’re looking at Logitech’s own Romer-G switches, which are quiet but still tactile. There’s more of a “thunk” than a “click,” so if you’re looking for that tell-tale mechanical keyboard sound associated with Cherry switches, you may not be satisfied. I personally find them to be a comfortable mix of sensitivity, loudness, and tactility. Romer-G’s are supposedly a little faster, but that’s beyond my non-eSports playing self.
I eventually found myself getting used to not having the numpad, but I just have a hard time recommending this for everyday use unless you’re actually an eSports player and portability and size matter that much to you. As reductive as this seems, paying for 3/4 of a keyboard and not really having any bells and whistles is hard to swallow at $130. Logitech’s own G610 Orion Brown is $79 right now, and though you lose portability and those RGB lights, you get dedicated media keys (mmmbaby that volume rocker) and Cherry Brown switches.
If you absolutely need the extra space on your desk, the GPGK is a well-made keyboard that works in all the ways that count, but if you’d be using it for non-eSports activities, I’d recommend other boards by Logitech.
[This review is based on a retail build of the hardware provided by the publisher.]