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Logitech G613 & G603 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard & LIGHTSPEED Mouse: The Speed of Light

By Christopher Coke on January 15, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Logitech G613 &  G603 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard & LIGHTSPEED Mouse: The Speed of Light

Over the years, our team has looked at many wireless peripherals and being worried about battery levels always drags down the experience. Well, for Logitech fans, the days of worrying about batteries may be over.

They first surprised us with the world’s first wireless charging system that actually let you use your mouse while being charged. They’re at it again, this time with a wireless mechanical keyboard and high performance gaming mouse that promise an astounding 18 months of battery life. This is our review.

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Specifications

G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

  • MSRP: $149.99
  • Key Switch: Romer-G
  • Durability: 70 million keypresses
  • Actuation distance: 0.06 in (1.5 mm)
  • Actuation force: 1.6 oz (45 g)
  • Total travel distance: 0.12 in (3.0 mm)
  • Keycaps: ABS, Pad Printed Legends
  • Battery Life: 18 months
  • Connectivity: Wireless, Bluetooth

G603 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse

  • MSRP: $69.99 ($59.97 on Amazon as of this writing)
  • Sensor: HERO
  • Resolution: 200 –  12,000 dpi
  • Max. acceleration: tested at >40G3
  • Max. speed: tested at >400 IPS3
  • USB data format: 16 bits/axis
  • USB report rate: HI mode: 1000 Hz (1ms), LO mode: 125 Hz (8 ms)
  • Bluetooth report rate: 88-133 Hz (7.5-11.25 ms)
  • Microprocessor: 32-bit ARM
  • Main buttons: 20 million clicks with precision mechanical button tensioning
  • Battery life: HI mode: 500 hours (non-stop gaming), LO mode: 18 months (standard usage)
  • Weight: 3.14 oz (88.9 g) mouse only, 4.79 oz (135.7 g), with 2 AA batteries

G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

As a keyboard enthusiast, the thought of having a wireless mechanical keyboard immediately appealed to me. I know, I know… they’ve been out for a while. Still, I was a huge fan of Logitech’s G910 Orion Spectrum which also packed their Romer-G switches, so being able to have them, and wireless, and 18 months of battery life was exciting. The row of macro keys on the left side also have me the warm fuzzies remembering my first mechanical keyboard, the Logitech G710+.

The G613 packs a pretty large footprint, partly due to those keys. The other reason is that it features a non-removable wrist-rest. Having a little extra size is nothing usual for a gaming keyboard, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re coming from a TKL.

I was also surprised by the heft of the keyboard. I suppose because of its wirelessness, I assumed it would be more lightweight, but make no mistake, this is a mechanical keyboard like any other, sans the wires. This lends the keyboard an air of quality many wireless keyboards just lack. It doesn’t flex or feel cheap. Thanks to the rubberized rear feet, it also stays planted even where you’re hammering away mid-match. It’s more than I expected given my last wireless keyboard experiences.

The other nice thing about the keyboard is that you’re not sacrificing the amenities of a premium gaming keyboard. You still have dedicated media controls. You still have programmable macro buttons. You still have those excellent Romer-G switches. I’m going to quote myself from the G910 Orion Spectrum review here:

I love these switches. Really, I adore them more than I ever expected to, and to be very clear, I despise “mushiness.” I would even disagree that they feel like a membrane keyboard. Instead, they feel like a cross between Cherry Browns and Speeds dampened with rubber O-rings, which is a common practice to keep the clack at bay. Tomato tomahto, I know, but it’s an important distinction keyboard enthusiasts will understand. The Spectrum is also by far the quietest mechanical keyboard I’ve ever used.

I stand by that today. The actuation point on the Romer-Gs is slightly higher than a Cherry Brown and the travel distance is reduced, giving them a unique but very responsive feel. If your computer is in a room shared with anyone else, too, they’ll appreciate just how much quieter they are.

I’ve only had the G613 for a couple weeks, so I can’t comment on Logitech’s claims to 18 months of battery life other than to say this: in the weeks I’ve had it, the keyboard has seen extensive use. In that time, the battery indicator hasn’t dropped a single bar. Will it last 18 months? I’m not sure, but running on just two AA batteries, it’s already out performing any other wireless keyboard I’ve used. Logitech achieves their battery life goals with new HERO technology, which is also featured in the G603.

To get that extended battery life, you do have to give up any kind of illumination. The only two LEDs on the keyboard are for your caps lock and battery, and unless the battery is at 15% or lower, it stays off. I dread low battery lights, but if Logitech’s 18 month estimate pans out, that should still give you a solid two months of use before running down to zero, so it’s not exactly as anxiety inducing as other peripherals. There’s also no off switch on the keyboard, so it has to “go to sleep” at some point, but if it does I haven’t been able to tell. There has never been a delay or lag in the keyboard’s responsiveness, which is really rather neat.

G603 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse

The other half of the HERO equation is the G603 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse. I used it in tandem with the G613, seeing how a HERO desktop would play out. Logitech has had a great track record with their peripherals and the results were unsurprisingly good.

The G613 uses two new forms of technology. HERO, of course, which accounts for the battery life, but also Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED communication system. In short, Logitech has found a way to cut wireless latency to where it’s indistinguishable from wired peripherals. The G613 is the third LIGHTSPEED mouse I’ve tested and I feel confident saying that these claims are true. Side by side with wired gaming mice, the G613 lacked nothing.

By appearances, it looks simple. The gray and black exterior belies the fact that this is indeed a gaming mouse - which made it perfect for bringing into the office once I realized how nice it was. It feels great in the hand and its slightly larger size makes it a good fit for palm grip users. It glides easily on any surface I tried it on and is very lightweight, even with two AA batteries installed.

For gaming, it works like a charm. I play a mix of MMOs, RPGs, and shooters. I miss having additional side buttons, but this isn’t a genre specific mouse, so going with the standard two makes sense. If you opt to install the Logitech Gaming Software, you can customize your DPI from 200-12000, as well as map those side buttons for specific games. If you didn’t look, you would never know this was a wireless mouse.

The G603 features a HI and LO mode to preserve battery life. In HI mode, the report rate spikes to 1000Hz for a 1ms response time. In LO mode, that rate drops to 125Hz or 8ms response times. HI mode will net you 500 hours of game time before needing to swap the batteries. LO mode kicks that up to 18 months, just like the G613. For normal use, like browsing the internet, LO mode is perfect. In games, I always turned it up to achieve the best performance. This means that I will very likely fall short of the 18 month estimate but still far surpass any other wireless mouse on the market. That’s a win.

Final Thoughts

With the Logitech G613 and G603, you’re getting a high-end set of peripherals without the tether of yesterday’s wires. There are some sacrifices, like the lack of backlight, but if you play in a lit environment, the trade-off is more than worth it. Between the POWERPLAY charging system and now HERO technology that expands battery life so drastically, Logitech is staking its claim as one of the key innovators of 2017, and I’m excited to see what this year brings.

Pros

  • High performance
  • Both peripherals feel great to use
  • Few sacrifices other than backlight

Cons

  • Backlights are sacrificed for battery life
  • Fairly expensive

The products discussed in this article were provided by the manufacturer for purposes of review.

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.