With Logitech's newest keyboard, the G413, the company is nudging in a new direction, design-wise.
The last gaming keyboard Logitech produced, the Logitech Pro, is essentially just a TKL version of the G810 Orion Spectrum; the G610 models are also nearly the same as the G810 Orion Spectrum, but with Cherry switches instead of Romer-G switches, and without RGB lighting. They’re all unassuming black rectangles. We affectionately refer to them as your dad’s gaming keyboards.
Design Changes And The Domino Effect
The G413 models show that Logitech is expanding its design language to please more users. First, gone is the all-black finish; instead, you can get the G413 in Carbon or Silver. (The model we have on hand is the Carbon, which is about as black as you get without actually being black.) Second, instead of the more traditional backplate-and-top-cover design, Logitech has followed much of the keyboard market by creating the G413 with a top plate design, with the switches mounted on top of an anodized aluminum plate.
Functionally, this change is cosmetic, but once you start fiddling with how your keyboard is built, you get a bit of a domino effect. For example, we’ve noticed in the past that Romer-G switches on Logitech keyboards are a little noisy--there’s quite a bit of “ping” when you’re clacking away. The older design abated this somewhat, but with the switches sitting on the top plate, the noise is significantly more pronounced. To be sure we weren’t imagining things, we pulled out the G810 Orion Spectrum to compare; it’s not even close.
The other notable change that comes with the new design concerns the lighting. Logitech’s lighting system is excellent, largely due to the through-stem lighting design of the Romer-G switches that ensures all keycap legends are evenly and brightly lit. The same is true of the G413, of course, but you now also get an under-key glowing effect. Whether or not that appeals to you is a matter of preference, but note that it’s there.
Another couple of key changes concern the chassis and extra dedicated hardware buttons. Regarding the latter--there are none. By contrast, the G810 and G610 keyboards have dedicated media and brightness controls, as well as a long and wide volume roller. Even the sawed-off Pro model kept a couple of those dedicated buttons.
Logitech still included those controls on the G413 but added them as secondary functions of other keys. For example, F9 doubles as play/pause, F10 is stop, PrtSc is mute, and so on. That means you’ll have to press the Fn key to use them. (Conversely, you can set them to the media functions by default via the LGS software.) Further, because these secondary legends are stuck onto the sides of the keys, they’re dimmer than the primary legends.
Without the dedicated buttons, though, Logitech was able to shave down the chassis size. Whereas the G810 is 153 x 443.5 (HxW), the G413 is 132 x 445 (HxW). The height (in this case, “height” meaning the distance from below the Spacebar to above the F keys) is the metric of note here.
Their depths are also quite different. For some reason, Logitech’s spec sheets state that both are 34mm deep. We measured with calipers and found that, from the rubber foot to the top of the chassis, the rear of the G810 is 24.4mm; it’s 20.2mm at the front. The G413 is 19.4mm at the back and 15.6mm at the front. In sum, the G413 is smaller than the G810, except they have nearly the same width.
The G413’s plate also has a slight lip running around its edge, whereas the top of the G810 has none.
Another noteworthy change is that the G413 ditched the G810’s three-angle foot design. You can set the G810 to 0 degrees, 4 degrees, or 8 degrees; the G413 lets you have the feet up or down only. Further, whereas the G810’s feet run width-wise, as you’d expect, the G413’s feet open 90 degrees from that; in other words, the G413’s feet are parallel to the left and right edges of the keyboard.
There’s also now a USB passthrough port--a feature missing from others in Logitech’s family--as well as underside cable management troughs.
Nods To Gamers
Certainly, the new chassis design is a little nod to gamers who perhaps are less keen on Logitech’s more conservative-looking keyboards, but there are a couple of other features that wink at that as well.
In lieu of RGB lighting, the G610 keyboards have white LEDs only, but the G413 Carbon has red LEDs only--seemingly the standard “gaming enthusiast” color. (The G413 Silver has white LEDs.) The G413 also comes with a set of alternate key caps (QWER, ASD, and 12345) that feature the funky look and feel of some of the keys on the G910 Orion Spectrum. Logitech calls this a “faceted design,” but whatever the name, they have sharper, inward-facing angles.
You likely wouldn’t want to leave them on while you’re typing, just because they’ll feel different than the rest of the keycaps, but if you feel like they up your gaming skills, then by all means slap them on when it’s fraggin’ time.
The G413, predictably, comes with the Logitech Gaming Software (LGS) as well as Overwolf, which “gives in-game access to anything from PC performance statistics and monitoring to game-specific tools like LoL Wiz and CS:GO Stats.”
With LGS, you have control over the couple of lighting options the G413 affords, assign commands (including macros) to all 12 F keys, disable any key you want when you’re in Game Mode, and get a heat map of your gameplay.
Either of the G413 models will cost you $90, although the Silver model is actually a Best Buy exclusive. In any case, $90 is a great price if your heart’s set on a Logitech mechanical keyboard. For comparison, the G910 ($180), G810 ($130-$160), G610 ($120), and Pro ($130) all cost significantly more.
Logitech G413 Carbon
|Type||Full size, 104-key|
-Total travel: 3mm
|Sensing Method||Conductive (metal)|
|Polling Rate||1,000Hz (USB)|
|Lighting||-Red LEDs (Carbon), White LEDs (Silver)|
-Breathing effect, brightness levels
|Cable||6-foot, braided, two USB ends|
|Additional Ports||USB passthrough x1|
|Key Caps||ABS, lasered, translucent characters on black keys|
|Dimensions||132 x 445 x 15.6-19.4mm|
|Software||-Logitech Gaming Software (LGS)|
|Construction||Plastic (chassis), aluminum (top plate)|