Back in 2017, Logitech gave us the G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It was a sleek tenkeyless keyboard designed for pro gamers. It featured a disconnectable cord, RGB lighting, and a focus on durability. A year and a half later, Logitech is refining that idea in a big way with the Logitech G Pro X mechanical gaming keyboard.
While the keyboard is available in clicky, tactile, and linear GX switches, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Using an included tool, you can yank out any of the micro switches on this keyboard and drop in a new one of the same variety or either of the other two options.
Smaller outfits have offered this before, but Logitech is a massive, mainstream peripheral company. That should tell us that there’s some demand here and that the tech is mature enough to make it appealing for a company focused on “user experience” like Logitech.
Way easier than pulling teeth
The headline feature of this keyboard is the ability to swap out not just the keycaps but the key switches themselves – the part that defines how the keyboard feels more than any other. If you pick up a clicky keyboard and then decide a year later that you want tactile, you need a whole new keyboard. Or maybe you play League of Legends or Dota 2 for hours and hours per night and you can feel the Q, W, and E keys starting to take a beating from the hammering they take.
That’s the idea behind the Logitech G Pro keyboard. It’s kind of like an F1 racecar of keyboards. When you need to make a change, you don’t throw out the whole car (or, if you’re that rich, please email me). You fix the parts that aren’t working and replace the ones that you want to change.
Think of the keycaps and switches as new tires and steelies for your keyboard. Instead of buying a whole new keyboard, you can order a set of switches from Logitech and replace the ones you want to, whether that’s all 88 keys or just a few troublesome keys.
The board comes with a tool specifically for this, and every set of key switches comes with one, too:
More fun than pulling teeth, too
To really give this feature a workout, I decided to swap out the whole keyboard at once to give myself an opportunity to get good at it and to see how much room for error there is. Logitech sent me a keyboard with blue, clicky keys, but I prefer the brown tactile ones that have a little bit of texture without so much noise. My gaming partners don’t need to hear that clickity-clack, and neither do I.
This mostly went smoothly. The whole process took about 50 minutes all told, and I did indeed become better at it by the end. I got the hang of how much pressure to use when dragging keys out and where to place the grabber to pull keys out with the least hassle. I also got better at finding the lead holes that the switches’ inserts slide into before clicking into place.
Left: Logitech GX Blue / Right: Logitech GL Switches
While going through this process, I did run into a couple of problems that I think are worth mentioning. Once, about halfway through, one of the switches’ leads bent, giving me a flashback to installing CPUs back in the day. I’m not too worried about this. First, I was able to straighten the pin without trouble, and it didn’t feel any weaker for it. Further, the box of switches comes with 5 extra switches in case you mess one up, drop it into the garbage disposal, or your cat bats one under who knows what (you know what you did, Quigley).
More concerning is that the original box doesn’t include any extra keycaps for the return trip. With these separate boxes of switches offering a few extra “just in case” switches, I’m surprised that the keyboard itself doesn’t have even one extra packed in.
I ran into one other issue rooted not in the switches themselves, but in the keyboard. The wider keys, like the shift and spacebar keys, have support posts on either side of the switch to help stabilize the key and give it an even press anywhere along the length of the key. On my left shift, these posts seem especially wiggly. I wouldn’t want them to be too stiff; that would interfere with the texture of the switch. But the imprecise nature of the posts made it difficult to line up a couple of these keys, and they took a couple tries to get in.
Once in, the keys felt as steady as they did on the clicky keycaps the plank rolled out of the shop with for the most part. It’s hard to tell if I’m hyper-aware, though; a few times I saw the P key repeat, but that could just be from the way I type.
The ideal use case
The most sensible use case for this keyboard that I can come up with is the idea of having a dedicated gaming keyboard separate from your “daily driver.” I think it’s unlikely that many people are going to sit down and replace all the switches on this thing, and very few people are going to actually wear out the switches.
The more likely scenario I can see is someone taking this keyboard and a new set of switches and swapping out certain switches to give different keys a unique feel for better response and no-look operation. This would be miserable to type on but could be a great way to improve one’s gaming experience, hence the idea of a dedicated gaming keyboard.
A standard mechanical keyboard
Speaking of the keyboard itself, there’s not very much to say. It’s a tenkeyless gaming keyboard from Logitech. It has a solid feel to it with almost no flex.
There are three total angles of incline if you include it laying down flat on the table. Like the previous Logitech G Pro keyboard, this is a wired keyboard, but the USB Micro cable can be unplugged for when you’re on the go and don’t want to damage the connection between the keyboard and the cable.
The whole thing has a matte-black finish on top, while the sides are glossy. There are no dedicated media keys. The keyboard does offer media functions through the F9-F12 and Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause keys.
They’re not terribly intuitive, however, and I again found myself thinking of this keyboard as being more akin to an Xbox controller than, say, the G915. Once again, I’m disappointed that Logitech doesn’t make better use of this FN key by allowing self-programmed macros or offering other shortcuts, but at least the media keys are here.
This isn’t so much a new product as it is an optimized one. It’s virtually identical to the original Logitech Pro keyboard, but with the ability to swap switches. It’s hard to tell right now how much of an audience there is for that kind of functionality, but I think it’s a good thing all the same. This keyboard allows you to replace the keys and the cord. When you strip off all the keys, it’s just some PCB in a black plastic case. What you do with it from there is up to you.
In a world where our devices are getting harder and harder to repair, it’s cool to see a company like Logitech offering up a device that a layman can fix themselves; no soldering iron needed. I hope Logitech will look seriously at selling smaller groups of keys, though. I’d love to see a five or ten-pack of key switches for a lower price. That will only increase the value of the Pro X keyboard. It’s a keyboard that can grow with you.
If you’re looking for a keyboard that offers both a sleek RGB-enhanced look and lots of options for self-service, the Logitech G Pro X mechanical gaming keyboard is a very solid choice.