The Logitech G915 TKL gaming keyboard is a familiar sight for yours truly—I've been using the Logitech G915 for my past 50,000 words or so, and the G915 TKL brings the same wireless technology and sleek design to the fore, bar numpad. With only minor design tweaks and discounts, much of what I think about the G915 also stands for its miniaturised sibling, too.
This should be easy, then. Obviously the biggest shake-up with the G915 TKL is lack of numpad and macro keys. The TKL comes in at just 368mm to the full-size G915's 475mm, and leaves a bounty of desk space for you to chuck around your mouse. If you're anything like me that might mean coming to terms with a lack of alt codes, but for gaming alone it's an easy switch to make.
Macro functionality has been loosely retained with the G915 TKL, but it has been shifted to a secondary program of the Function keys. This can be flipped via the Logitech G gaming software in order to prioritise macro functionality first, in which case the Fn key will revert F1-12 back to the original input.
A Logi spokesperson made it clear that full macro functionality for every key is something that's being considered (although didn't make the cut for the G915 TKL), so here's hoping it comes through with the next iteration—if only for these increasingly compact boards.
So what else have you got in the G915 TKL? Wireless capability powered by Logitech's Lightspeed tech, for one. It's a simple set-up, just plug the USB receiver into an available USB Type-A port and you're away. There's not a drop of lag or latency about it, and I found I could get away with using the keyboard far enough away from the receiver that I could no longer read the text I was typing, which is sure to cover most realistic scenarios.
While the USB receiver remains the same tiny device as ever, one of the few changes introduced with the TKL is a small USB storage slot on the underside, built to accommodate the dongle when not in use. Potentially handy for a wireless device as small as the G915 TKL that might actually be carried between places often. You really don't want to lose that tiny dongle, either, you'd never find it.
Even though you'll want to stick with Lightspeed for the most part, thus ensuring the most stable connection, wireless can also be delivered via Bluetooth, and is swiftly accessible at the press of a button.
The 40 hour battery life with RGB per key lighting enabled (a little up from the full-size G915 due to the lack of RGB LEDs) keeps Logi's wireless tech in the good books, too. That's actually a 135-day battery life without lighting enabled, but who's counting?
That ticks all the checkboxes for wireless connectivity, but the point still stands that a wireless keyboard isn't high up on my must-have list. It keeps my desk clean, and I find it convenient for my adjustable standing desk sans cable routing, but it's far less important than, say, a wireless gaming mouse. I could go without a wireless gaming keyboard but I won't willingly return to a wired headset without very good, almost exclusively audiophile, reasons.
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And at $230 (£199) a pop, the G915 TKL certainly makes you think about what you really need. It's a big price tag for a small keyboard. You'd usually find tenkeyless designs coming in at a lower price point than full-size kit, yet we're looking at just $20 between the G915 TKL and G915 Lightspeed. It's not a huge saving considering how much has been shaved off from the core G915 design.
At least some of the best bits of the G915 have been retained with the G915 TKL. The Logitech GL switch, a variant of Kailh's low-profile Choc, is superb. My review unit came equipped with the tactile variant (an analogue to Cherry's Brown switch), and while I don't find it quite as responsive and as much of a joy to use as the clicky GL switch, it's probably the least clunky low-profile tactile switch I've come across. The choice is yours, anyways. The G915 TKL is available in tactile, clicky, and linear.
The switches are mounted right onto a piece of 5052 aluminium alloy with a brushed finish. It's as practical as it is gorgeous, and ensures there's absolutely no flex through the G915 TKL's slim and compact case and plastic underbelly.
You'll also find four feet on the underside of the keyboard, capable of 4° and 8° adjustments. The low-profile design is amicable to whichever you fancy.
The media controls have also stayed put with the shift to tenkeyless, they've just been either moved or miniaturised. The four dedicated media keys—play/pause, forward, backward, and volume mute—remain in place, they've merely been shifted over to the left. That's to make way for the ¾ size volume wheel, which is functionality identical to the G915's, or pretty much any other premium gaming keyboard for that matter, so retains solid marks here.
Which all goes to say that the G915 TKL excels in almost every way—if only it were a few bucks cheaper still than the full-size G915. This is an incredibly expensive keyboard. And while I've not let that put me off before, there doesn't seem to have been a great deal done on Logitech's part to slim down the price tag—$20 for a significant reduction in keys, switches, and materials doesn't fill me with a great deal of confidence as to how pricey the original G915's part list was to begin with.
If that's the price of wireless, you're going to need good reason to buy in. A few justifiable use cases spring to mind, but not many that will be shared by all. If you really must cut the cord, however, then the Logitech G915 TKL is a sublime, if a little lofty, wireless gaming keyboard.