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Logitech G Pro X Gaming Keyboard Review: Swap Your Switch

By Christopher Coke on October 09, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Logitech G Pro X Gaming Keyboard Review: Swap Your Switch

Logitech has been on a roll this year, refreshing their line-up of accessories that seem directly drawn on what fans have been asking for. At the same time, they’ve kept their ear to the ground and their engineers in R&D to develop new features to carry the industry forward. Today, we’re looking at their latest keyboard and one of the most personally exciting releases I’ve gone hands-on with all year. This is our review of the Logitech G Pro X Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.


Specifications

  • Current Price: $149.99 (G Pro X), $129.99 (G Pro), $49.99 Per Switch Kit
  • 1 ms report rate
  • 12 programmable F-keys
  • Pro-inspired tenkeyless design
  • 1.8 m (5.9 ft) detachable cable
  • 3-angles and rubber feet
  • LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting
  • Onboard lighting profiles
  • User-swappable GL mechanical switches
    • GL Brown Tactile Switch
      • Feedback Type: Tactile
      • Actuation Distance: 1.9mm
      • Actuation Force: 50gf
      • Total Travel Distance: 4.0mm
    • GL Red Linear Switch
      • Feedback Type: Smooth
      • Actuation Distance: 1.9mm
      • Actuation Force: 50gf
      • Total Travel Distance: 4.0mm
    • GX Blue Clicky Switch
      • Feedback Type: Audible and tactile
      • Actuation Distance: 2.0mm
      • Actuation Force: 50gf
      • Total Travel Distance: 3.7mm
  • Dimensions
    • Length: 153 mm (6.0 in)
    • Width: 361 mm (14.2 in)
    • Height: 34 mm (1.3 in)

It was only six weeks ago that Logitech unveiled their latest keyboard, one I considered the new flagship. By pricing, maybe that’s correct, but I honestly consider the Logitech G Pro X Gaming Keyboard to be easily on par with that release. While the G915 was fantastic for it’s low-profile design, the Pro X has another trick up its sleeve: hot-swappable switches.

Design and Features

Hot-swappable Switches Go Mainstream

If you’re new to the world of mechanical keyboards, the important thing to know is that switches - the mechanical part under the keycap - come in all different flavors usually defined by color. Speaking broadly, reds are usually lightweight and linear, great for gaming. Blues are clicky and type-writer like. Browns drop the click but keep the tactile bump to let you know when the key is pressed. Those colors aren’t hard rules depending on the manufacturer but they do apply here in the case of the G Pro X. Until now, if you bought a keyboard from a major gaming brand, you were stuck with whatever switch you chose because they were physically soldered into the board. For newcomers, there’s a lot of pressure to make sure you choose right because once you buy it, you’re stuck with it.

In the enthusiast scene, things have started to change over the last few years. Popular switch-maker, Kailh, who also makes the GL switches used here, released “hot swap sockets” that could be soldered onto a board. The allure of the socket was that they would allow switches to be plugged and unplugged at leisure, freeing builders up to change switches without breaking out the soldering iron. To date, these sockets have been limited to minor brands and enthusiast pre-mades. Until now.

The Logitech Pro X Gaming Keyboard finally brings these switches to the mainstream and it is an absolute breath of fresh air. Ask anyone who has used a mechanical keyboard for any length of time and they’ll tell you the same: after a while, you get curious about other switches and whether you might like them better. This is especially true since there are many, many more switches available than the standard Red, Blue, and Brown found in most gaming keyboards.

With the Pro X, you don’t have to be limited and you don’t have to buy a whole new keyboard to sate your curiosity. Using the included keycap/keyswitch puller, you simply remove the cap, pinch the switch on the top and bottom and pull it out. The new one presses into place and works. You don’t even need to unplug the keyboard (though I always do since the PCB is exposed once the switch is removed).

Curiosity aside, why would you do this? First and foremost, trying new switches is fun. I’ve long held that your keyboard is your main interface to your PC and you should enjoy every second you use it. To that end, exploring new things you might enjoy is exciting. The bigger reason, though, is that it will save you from having to replace your whole keyboard when you’re ready for something new.

Right now, Logitech sells extra sets of Red, Blue, and Brown switches for $49.99. Compare that to the $149.99 it would cost to replace the whole board. The G Pro X is also compatible with any PCB mounted switch, too, so you’re free to explore outside the Logitech ecosystem. My favorite switch is an obscure Kailh x Novelkeys BOX Jade, which is like a GL Brown on which a much heavier bump. You’ll never find that on a mainstream board. Zealios, Cherries, Gaterons, Outemus, of every flavor are fair game and buying a set of any of those will be cheaper than replacing a whole board. With this feature, you can make your keyboard feel completely different with less money and time than visiting your local Best Buy.

It’s a killer feature and I am pumped to see Logitech bringing it to the masses.

A closer look at Logitech G Pro X

The rest of the Logitech G Pro X falls in line with what I’ve come to expect from Logitech. That is to say, sleek, refined, and solidly built. The keyboard throws out the floating key design found on the G915 (and, to be fair, most gaming keyboards) and instead includes a more traditional top case. The switches are hidden and the lighting is much more isolated, giving it a very clean aesthetic that’s reminiscent of the lighting on their G910 with Romer-G switches.

Despite being made entirely from plastic, the keyboard has a nice weight to it, so I’m guessing there’s a nice steel mounting plate (though I didn’t disassemble to be sure). The keyboard also has a nice natural angle to it; the case is thicker than many and really bucks the low profile trend that’s popular at the moment. Around the back there’s a pair of dual-stage tilt feet to provide three different angles of use. Tilt feet seem like such a small feature but I always miss them when they’re gone, so it’s nice to see they’ve gone the extra mile here.

The cable is also detachable and nicely braided. Like hot-swap sockets, this is a feature I’m happy to see become more standard. It’s nice to know that if you ever break or damage your cable, you can easily replace it. The only downside is that it connects to the keyboard with a micro-USB header; however, it’s housed in a molded head to provide lots of reinforcement and prevent breakage. I’d still like to see USB Type-C for long-term durability but these seems like a good solution in the interim.

Like all recent Logitech G keyboards, the G Pro X is fully programmable in both lighting, macros, remaps, and shortcuts. When it comes to lighting, the programming isn’t as deep as solutions like Razer’s Chroma Studio or Corsair’s iCUE, but there are a number of presets to get your keyboard customized and looking good fast. You can also set your own completely custom lighting schemes using G Hub’s user-friendly interface.

When it comes to macros and shortcuts, however, Logitech has earned my respect with one of the most intuitive yet rich programmability suites on the market. Recording macros and remapping keys is simple, but I find myself most impressed with how easily you can map Windows commands and shortcuts. Mapping media controls and other hotkeys is as easy as selecting them from a robust list. Logitech is leading the industry here and it’s great to see. I still wish there were dedicated media controls but I’ve grown used to secondary layers, so I didn’t much mind their absence.

Finally, what’s it like to actually use the keyboard? When it comes to typing, the experience is sublime. Logitech uses slightly thicker keycaps than many of its compatriots, so typing sounds are light and satisfying. When it comes to gaming, the G Pro X is a beast. The combination of easy programmability, responsiveness, and defaulting the F-row to macro keys makes for gaming sessions that are immediately natural and empowering.

As a bonus, the hot-swap sockets also allow you to devise interesting switch combinations. You might prefer GL Brown switches on most of the key set and Cherry MX Silvers (speed switches) on your WASD cluster. You could also take a cue from Topre’s Realforce line and invest in heavier switches for your center key set and lighter ones for keys you’d press with your ring finger or pinky.

Final Thoughts

It’s been a good year for mechanical keyboards. We’re finally moving beyond pure RGB as a selling point and are instead seeing new features and layouts. Split keyboards, low-profile, PBT keycaps, sixty-percents, and now hot-swappable key switches. Whether or not the Logitech G Pro X is considered a “flagship” in pricing, I definitely consider it one of the best keyboards available in the mainstream if you’re at all curious about trying new switches.

Pros

  • Hot-swappable key switches
  • Isolated, tasteful lighting
  • Detachable USB cable
  • Solidly built, good weight and feel
  • Easy, rich programmability

Cons

  • No dedicated media controls
  • Still using single-shot ABS keycaps

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.


Christopher Coke / Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight