Price (RRP): $249.95
Are you familiar with the work “Tenkeyless”? I wasn’t, until I started looking into several of Logitech’s latest gaming keyboards. It means keyboards without the block of numbers, and related keys, at the right-hand end of the keyboard. That makes for a more compact keyboard. But that’s just the most obvious of the things that set the Logitech Pro X keyboard apart.
Review: Logitech Pro X gaming keyboard
- Australian Website here. Switch kits here.
- Support page here.
- Price: A$249.95
- From: Legitimate retailers and direct from Logitech.
- Warranty: 12 months
- Country of Manufacture: China
- About: Logitech is a Swiss computer peripherals company, founded at the dawn of the PC way back in 1981. It is jointly headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland and Newark, California. Its brands include Blue Microphones, Jaybird and Ultimate Ears.
About the Logitech Pro X
In many ways, the Logitech Pro X is similar to the Logitech G512 keyboard which we recently reviewed. It has similar key mechanisms – more on that soon – but again the main difference is the omission of the numeric keys on the right-hand end of the board.
If you’re an accountant, bookkeeper or engineer, you should get a G512. You’ll miss those keys (as I did, a little, while preparing for my quarterly goods and services tax statement). But for many others, especially gamers, losing the number keys delivers a positive performance advantage. If you’re a rightie, your mouse will be closer to hand than with a full-width keyboard.
In many ways this keyboard is similar to the G512. It’s wired, not wireless. The keys stand proudly up, they’re multi-colour backlit and you have exceptional control over the lighting using the Logitech G Hub software. And it uses GX key switches. I’ll come back to those shortly.
What it doesn’t have is the USB socket and seems to be built of a nicely solid plastic or ABS, not metal alloy.
Like the G512, the Logitech Pro X has the main character markings on the keys at the top and these are backlit. The secondary characters – “&” which you get with Shift-7, for example – are printed underneath the main characters and are not backlit. Because they are printed in a medium grey colour, they are hard to read. That’s doubly the case for the seven “FN”-shift functions of the keys from F9 to PAUSE. These are for controlling media. Best to memorise their functions because the markings on the leading edge of the keys are qujite hard to make out.
Clicks and feels and linearity – three types of keys
You can order the Logitech Pro X with your choice from among three different key mechanisms. All are mechanical, using GX switches. The choices are
- GX Blue Clicky,
- GX Red Linear, and
- the GX Brown Tactile
Logitech supplied me with the keyboard with GX Blue Clicky keys installed. But they also provided Switch Kits for the other two kinds. Each Switch Kit includes 92 replacement switches and a plastic grabbing tool you can used to get the keys and switches out. Since there are 87 keys on the Logitech Pro X, there are a few spares.
The keyboard has two control buttons as well as the 87 keys. One toggles between backlight on and off, and one toggles gaming mode on and off. Gaming mode disables certain keys. By default, it disables the two Windows keys and the “FN” key, but you can specify any other keys that you wish. The idea is that certain keys just get in the way of effective games play. (Hit the Windows key, for example, and it’ll pop up the main Windows menu over your game.) You can save multiple profiles in the G Hub software, so if you have different key-killing requirements for different games (and different lighting setups, and different programmed macros) you can have different profiles for each of them.
The Logitech Pro X keyboard gives you your preferred typing angle because its rear legs allow three different heights.
Logitech Pro X – GX Blue Clicky
The GX Blue Clicky keys were the ones installed on the keyboard as delivered. These felt excellent. The “click” was certainly present, but tended to be drowned out by the sound of the keys bottoming. Perhaps that was due to my heavy-handedness in typing.
When I typed more gently, the click point seemed to coincide with the “Tactile” point, and both seemed to be just a couple of tenths of a millimetre above the actuation point at 2mm. I found it impossible to click without producing a character on screen. Not that you’d want to. I’m merely trying to describe the feel here.
Initially the space bar felt a little soft and giving compared to the character keys. That may have been due to its width (the switch is in the middle, but there are two spring-loaded supports at either end), or possibly a little more give in body of the keyboard towards the middle.
It took me about over an hour to change the keyboard from one type of switch to another. It’s an exacting process, and I managed to get a least one key wrong – it is the only one which failed to work. Pulling off the key and switch again, I found that through some accidental misalignment, I’d managed to bend one of the terminals over. A quite straighten with a pair of pliers, followed by a reinsertion and all was fine.
After I’d completed the changeover a small number of the keys tended to double-register. That is, you’d hit the key and its character would appear twice. This was particularly problematic when I tried to enter my password to open up a secret document on my computer. One false entry is not uncommon. I almost never make two failed attempts. And three?