Logitech G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and G603 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review
Uncompromising performance meets a revolution of wireless technology
Logitech’s wireless G613 and G603 may very well be the most exciting mechanical gaming keyboard and mouse I’ve yet reviewed. That’s a bold statement, especially as two devices don’t come with RGB lighting, an abundance of configurable buttons, or visually striking, modern aesthetics. Rather, my excitement comes from Logitech’s refinement of the company’s wireless gaming technology. Their HERO (High Efficiency Rated Optical) sensor and LIGHTSPEED latency solution feel like generational leaps forward. The result is freeing: cordless, lag-free experiences with battery lives that rarely require attention.
I’m not being hyperbolic, either. I’ve lost count of the times my wired mouse has thwacked up against the too-large monitor stand on my desk. The drag a cable creates can be annoying. And then there’s the cat that thinks every wire is a chew toy. I’m running out of duct tape wrapping every damn cord in the house. But wireless devices have traditionally provoked concerns about price versus performance. The ones that have gotten it right in recent years – Logitech’s own G900 Chaos Spectrum boasted an impressive 30 hours on a single charge when it released in 2016 – can be pricey. The Logitech G613 and G603 take efficiency to another level, however, while sitting at a slightly more enticing MSRP. Both peripherals claim a staggering 18 months of battery life, and 500 hours on the G603 gaming mouse if switching to its 1ms high performance mode.
I’ll be covering the underlying technologies for each and how they feel to the end user further into their reviews, so let’s not waste any more time and take a closer look at the Logitech G613, the very first wireless mechanical gaming keyboard.
Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The G613 is a full-sized gaming keyboard with a no-nonsense physical design. The full chassis measures 18.82 inches (L) by 8.50 inches (W). Contributing to its size are a column of six programmable G-keys near the leftmost edge and a non-removable wrist rest. The entire body is composed entirely of sturdy, matte gray and black plastic. It could pass for an office keyboard if it weren’t for the extra keys. That said, I found the G613 attractive in its own way due to the combined minimalism and contrasting shades.
Set up is quick and easy. The battery bay is located on the underside of the keyboard, along with two feet. The two-required double-A batteries come pre-installed. All that’s left to do is insert the included wireless USB receiver into a computer, turn on the power via a small, round switch, and Windows does the rest. You’ll also need an updated version of Logitech’s Gaming Software to customize profiles and the G-keys.
Because the G613’s wireless efficiency is one of its selling points, they keyboard does not feature backlighting. That’s certainly going to be a sticking point for some. We’ve almost been conditioned to expect lighting on practically every component, even down to the memory modules. For me, it ultimately wasn’t much of an issue. The white lettering on the key caps is bright enough to where I was never lost for placement.
You do get a full suite of dedicated media controls, though, which is always appreciated (I’m no fan of function keys). The only aspect of the keyboard I’m not 100% sold on is the non-removable wrist rest. It may limit placement for those with less room on their desk.
What I couldn’t find any fault with was the G13’s wireless performance. Logitech uses their proprietary LIGHTSPEED technology for wireless transmissions, advertising a blistering 1ms report rate. Every key stroke registered instantaneously. There was neither lag nor disconnects during my tests. It felt great to lean back in my chair with the keyboard on my lap, or to take my computer game sessions to the couch and television.
In my testing, I’ve often forgotten to turn the keyboard off. That would pose a problem for most wireless devices. Thankfully, not it seems the G613. Logitech estimates an 18-month battery life of aggressive use. I haven’t had the G613 for that long, of course, but it’s yet to show any signs of wearing down through the constant abuse I’ve put it through. The battery indicator displayed in the Logitech Gaming Software is still at a full bar.
In addition to LIGHTSPEED wireless, the G613 allows for Bluetooth connectivity, as well. They can be used at the same time and switched between with the press of their respective buttons. I encountered no delay when alternating between the two. And that leaves room for some fairly practical use-case scenarios. For example, the G613 ships with a phone stand in the box. Aside from the obvious application, you can pair the keyboard to your phone, place the latter upon the stand, and toggle between Bluetooth and wireless when you want to reply to a text and get back to your game quickly. That ability was something I never knew I wanted, and now I can’t imagine not having it.
Now the ultimate question regarding a mechanical keyboard is how do the switches feel? The G613 uses Logitech’s own Romer-G switches. They have a fast actuation speed, requiring very little force and distance (only 1.5mm) to register a click. They’re relatively quiet, too, compared to other switches I’ve used. I find loud mechanical keyboards a horrible distraction, so it’s no surprise then that Logitech’s Romer-G switches are my favorite.
Logitech G603 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse
It wouldn’t surprise me if every competitive PC gamer has at some point been frustrated with the tether between their mouse and computer. I’ve personally gritted my teeth at its obstructions – the weight, the pull, the constant re-adjusting of position. And while the G613’s freedom of movement is nice to have, a mouse is where the benefits of a wireless connection can truly shine. The Logitech G603 crushes concerns about battery life and latency to deliver a wireless gaming mouse that’s a phenomenal performer for a fair price.
The G603 features a classical, lightweight design, sharing a shape with the G403 and G703 mice. It doesn’t have a sexy, angular body like the excellent G502, but it’s nevertheless comfortable and ergonomic. In fact, I may actually prefer its smooth curves and soft body. It just fits in the hand so well, requiring little to no adjustment time.
You get six programmable buttons on the G603. These include the back and forward thumb buttons, the right and left click buttons, a scroll wheel, and a single DPI switch. The oversized thumb buttons are quite nice and I’m glad for the quietness of the scroll wheel.
The DPI switch progressively cycles through a possible total of five levels, all the way up to 12,000 DPI. Sensitivities, number of levels, defaults, and assignments are customizable in the Logitech Gaming Software. Settings can then be stored onto the mouse’s on-board memory. The G603 may not have any lighting to configure, but it does have a small LED above the aforementioned DPI switch to temporarily indicate selection.
The battery compartment is found below the palm rest. The G603 uses two double-A batteries, easily accessed by lifting the magnetic top case off. As with the G613, you can expect up to 18 months of battery life when operating the mouse in its standard or “LO” mode. Furthermore, the batteries are wired in parallel. This means you can remove one and continue to use the mouse. Doing so leads to a pretty substantial reduction in weight at the cost of half its battery life. But I can hardly complain about nine months of use out of a potential 18.
When it’s time to game, “LO” mode can be toggled to “HI” to get the most out of Logitech’s new HERO sensor. That bumps the polling rate from 125Hz/8ms to 1,000Hz/1ms. I spent a lot of time playing Battlefield 1 and Divinity: Original Sin 2 with the G603, and it tracked flawlessly without any spurious motions. Every click was precise and responsive. Better still, it was wonderful not having to fight any cable. You can toss the misconception that a wireless mouse must be inherently slower than a wired one. The G603 is a prime race horse, capable of leading the pack with the best of them.
Battery life is brought down to around 500 hours when using the “HI” mode aggressively. That’s more than 15 times as much as the next best performing wireless gaming mouse. If you are like me and you keep forgetting to turn the G603 off, the HERO sensor’s dynamic clock system will step down power usage if it hasn’t detected any input for some time. It ratchets itself back up instantly, and I never noticed any delay when putting my hand back on the mouse after an absence.
Logitech’s accomplishments with the G613 wireless mechanical gaming keyboard and G603 wireless gaming mouse are impressive. The G603 has even replaced the G502 as my go-to gaming mouse. The G613 is the more situational of the two; but if you can get over the non-removable wrist rest and higher price, it feels great to use and move around the house with. They may not have fancy lights, but their uncompromising performance and the jaw-dropping long battery life more than make up for it. Each device thus earns an easy recommendation for anyone looking to cut cords.
The G613 wireless mechanical gaming keyboard retails for $149.99. The G603 wireless gaming mouse retails for $79.99.
Disclosure: Samples were provided for review.