Gear Review: Logitech G613 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Untethered freedom is a beautiful thing when you are able to attain it, but in PC gaming wireless technology hasn’t quite reached the point of ubiquity in terms of matching wired performance keystroke for keystroke, mouse movement for mouse movement. Logitech’s Lightspeed technology is flipping that script in a huge way.

The G613 keyboard pairs Logitech’s signature Romer-G mechanical switches with the Lightspeed wireless system that debuted with the company’s Powerplay mouse pad and gaming mice. Having that same technology in a keyboard is fantastic, especially when it works this flawlessly. I haven’t noticed a hitch of latency or any other sign of performance drop-off compared to any other wired keyboard I’ve used. Every keystroke lands with precision and immediate response.

The wireless signal is quite strong, too. I haven’t measured an exact distance, but for the sake of testing I took the keyboard from my PC, on the second floor, downstairs to the first floor and moved to the opposite wing of the house, and when I came back upstairs all of my blind typing had been correctly inputted.

The G613’s battery life is impressive to say the least. It’s been my primary keyboard, for daily typing and gaming, since early in the year, and the Logitech Gaming Software is still showing it at full charge. According to the box, the battery life tops out at a staggering 18 months, operating on a pair of AAs (which are included in the box). After at least six months of use so far and still no sign of lost juice, I’d say that 18 month cap is a legit claim.

Of course the tradeoff for a long-lasting battery is a total lack of LED backlighting, which is a disappointing but at the same time understandable omission. You know it’s funny, before I started using a lot of gaming keyboards with LED keys, I always dismissed the feature as being superfluous; all show with little utility. But now after using nothing but backlit keyboards for a while now, going back to a keyboard without lit keys makes me appreciate the value of backlighting all the more, especially since I inevitably end up doing a lot of my PC gaming late at night in the dark.

For maximum battery preservation, an auto-standby mode kicks in after about five minutes of inactivity. Or there’s an on/off switch to control power manually. While the wireless response is seamless during active play, there is a delay in certain keystrokes registering when waking the keyboard from its auto-off slumber. Regular character keys seem to track just fine, but for some reason if a function key is the first key pressed when coming out of standby the key won’t register. I discovered this the hard way when, coming back from A.F.K., I started getting password entry errors when logging into certain apps/programs/clients. At first I thought there was something wrong with a bad key, but then I noticed it was only happening with passwords that started with a capitalized character. My initial Shift hold was failing to register. It’s not a huge deal now that I understand the cause, I just have to remind myself to tap a key first to wake the keyboard up before proceeding.

In terms of ergonomics, the G613 features all standard keycaps, subtly concave to deliver the sensation that your fingertips are ever so slightly being cupped. Media controls are provided in the form of flat, oversized buttons at the top-right corner, which lie close to flush with the keyboard surface. Six programmable G keys are provided as well, though their placement is a bit weird for my tastes. On other keyboards these G keys are typically offset from the ESC, but here the G1 key is aligned right next to ESC. Even after months of use, I still occasionally find myself accidentally reaching too far over and hitting G1 while intending to hit ESC.

For added comfort, the keyboard has a built-in wrist rest strip–though sadly it’s not removeable for those who prefer a more streamlined form factor. Thick, heavy duty rubber footpads on the bottom lock the keyboard to the desktop to reduce skidding, while a pair of legs can be flipped out sideways to elevate the keyboard at a slight angle. A USB extension cable is also included, should you need to reposition the sensor or bring a USB port to within immediate tabletop reach.

I’m not sure how prevalent a need it is, but one of the unique traits of the G613 is the ability to seamlessly swap between Lightspeed and Bluetooth wireless signals, and thus multiple devices, at the push of a button. So, for example, if you pair the keyboard with a tablet, you can be typing on your PC, hit the Bluetooth button to switch to typing on the tablet, and then tap the Lightspeed button to reconnect back to the PC. The transition is nearly instantaneous; it’s remarkable. A little stand even comes with the keyboard so you can dock your smart device in upright position on your desk. Again, I haven’t personally found any use for this particular functionality, but then again I’m not much of a multi-tasker or smart device user. I suppose for folks who want to game or do work on their PC while leaving Twitter or a companion app of some kind open on their phone, the ability to control both with one keyboard is probably a nice perk.

The G613, like all Logitech gaming gear, is a beautifully designed piece of kit. It’s sturdily constructed for durability and high performance in all the necessary areas, while offering high-end wireless connectivity on par with its traditionally superior wired counterparts. I will say, though, that the G613’s more focused feature set and expensive pricing narrow the target audience specifically to PC gamers who are willing to pay a premium for wireless freedom and the ability to multitask between computer and smart device. I’m not sure how large of an audience that is, but if you’re in it this is the keyboard to get.

Buy From: Amazon or Logitech for $149.99.

Disclosure: Product sample for the G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard was provided to VGBlogger.com for review consideration by Logitech.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!