If there is a downside to mechanical keyboards, it is that manufacturers have taken advantage of the category's popularity with inflated price tags. That is a shame because everyone who types should trash their squishy membrane plank and buy a keyboard with mechanical key switches. The good news is things are improving. Logitech, for example, just announced the G413, a sub-$100 mechanical keyboard for gamers that uses its fancy Romer-G key switches.
We haven't played with one in person yet, but based on the press photos Logitech gets kudos for building a normal looking plank. By that we mean it does not have a gaudy design. It is a refreshingly subdued, in least in terms of being aimed at gamers.
The G413 comes in two color schemes—carbon and silver. Both feature a brushed top case that is made from an anodized aircraft-grade aluminum-magnesium alloy. Logitech say it is the keyboard's backbone and it was shooting for a minimal design balanced with a full set of features.
"We spent a lot of time carefully designing and engineering this keyboard to deliver advanced performance with just the right feature set, at the right price point," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech G. "We created this keyboard with features like USB pass-through, backlit keys and a metal finish. With the G413 we believe we’ve achieved the perfect balance of high-performance features and attractive design."
The dedicated USB pass-through provides full power and USB 2.0 data speeds. There are no dedicated macro keys, though the G413 does allow you to bind micros to any of the keys. It also features media keys built into the Function row, 26-key rollover, anti-ghosting, the ability to disable the Windows key, and a set of 12 extra keycaps with inclined edges to replace commonly used keys for gaming.
Backlighting glows red on the carbon keyboard and white on the silver model. Both are adjustable to five fixed brightness levels. Logitech says it purpose built the keycaps to allow for precise and clean lighting without bleeding around the edges.
Of course, mechanical keyboards are all about the key switches. Logitech's Romer-G switches offer up a short-throw actuation with 1.5mm of key travel. They're relatively new switches sourced from Omron, which is know for its mouse button switches.
The Logitech G413 in carbon or silver is available now for $90.