The Logitech G Pro X keyboard ($150) is a bit of a mystery to me. On the one hand, it’s a compact, comfortable and colorful gaming keyboard with an extremely creative central concept. The G Pro X isn’t just a tournament-grade keyboard; it’s also a customizable powerhouse, letting you swap out every single key switch in pursuit of the perfect gaming setup.
On the other hand, the G Pro X already costs quite a bit of money for a tenkeyless keyboard – and if you want to experiment with alternative switch types, the cost could balloon by another $100. And while swapping out key switches is a great feature on paper, in practice, it’s a tedious, exhausting process that’s somewhat prone to failure.
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As a stand-alone product, the G Pro X works fine, although not significantly better than cheaper keyboards from Logitech and similar competitors. As an experimental model, it’s novel, but it introduces just as many complications as opportunities.
On its surface, the Logitech G Pro X is quite similar to the Logitech G Pro Keyboard from a few years back. It’s a tenkeyless peripheral with a plain black chassis and full RGB lighting. There are no extra keys, just two buttons up top for a game mode (which disables certain keys during gameplay) and brightness. There’s also a detachable USB cable, making the device easier to transport.
Things don’t really get interesting until you pry off the key caps – and the key switches underneath. The G Pro X is Logitech’s first keyboard with swappable key switches, meaning you can customize the feel of each one of the device’s 87 keys.
When you first purchase the G Pro X, you can decide what kind of switches you’d like as a baseline: quiet, linear GX Reds; quiet, tactile GX Browns; or loud, tactile GX Blues. (I personally like the Blues the best; your mileage may vary.) But you can also purchase Red, Brown or Blue key-switch sets, which include 90 switches of the desired color. Each set costs $50.
As such, if you want to mix and match Red, Brown and Blue switches to suit your play style, you can – as long as you’re ready to dish out $250 for the privilege. The swapping process is simple in theory and a little complicated in execution.
As stated above, you have a choice between Logitech’s three types of key switches when you purchase the G Pro X, and you can further customize the peripheral with extra key-switch kits. Logitech sent us all three switch types, and they all feel pretty good.
Compared with Cherry MX switches (the industry standard), Logitech G’s switches are a little bit stiffer and more resistant, but they’re still quite comfortable. On a typing.com test, I scored 121 words per minute with 98% accuracy with the G Pro X. Compare and contrast with 109 words per minute with 97% accuracy on the Logitech G915, and it seems clear that the G Pro X keys take a lot less getting used to than Logitech’s low-profile switches.
Since the G Pro X targets an esports audience, it features a removable micro USB power cord and a tenkeyless design for easy travel. That’s all pretty similar to the original G Pro model.
What’s new is the fact that you can swap out the mechanical switches. If you pick up the GX Blue model and later on decide that Reds would suit you better, you can spend $50 instead of buying a whole new keyboard. Or — and this is the fun part — if you want different levels of feedback on your letter, number and function keys, you can mix and match three different key-switch types any way you see fit.
Granted, I don’t think most gamers would find this feature very useful. Everyone has tactility preferences, true, but I don’t know how many people feel strongly about, say, the A key feeling loud and clicky and the spacebar feeling quiet and resistant. It’d also be quite expensive, particularly if you wanted all three types of switch.
Then there’s the process of swapping switches. It’s relatively easy, that’s true. You get a plastic puller that works on both the key caps and the switches. You don’t need to pull too hard, but you do need to position it pretty precisely each time. To swap a key switch, you pull a key cap, pull the switch, insert the new switch and replace the key cap. To make matters more complicated, it’s extremely easy to bend the switches’ metal contacts by accident and extremely difficult to jimmy them back into place if you do.
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Do it once, and you’ll think it’s a pretty novel feature for a big-name gaming keyboard. Do it 87 times, though, and you’ll wind up with a hand cramp and tunnel vision. Swapping out every single key took me 50 minutes, almost on the dot. It’s not something you’d want to do very often; you’re probably better off just picking a style of switch you like and sticking with it.
The G Pro also runs on the Logitech G Hub software, which is a fairly simple way to program the function keys, control RGB lighting and set up profiles for individual games and apps. My one criticism here is that you can’t reprogram every key, only the function keys. This isn’t really a problem in other Logitech keyboards, but the whole point of the G Pro X is that you can customize every key physically. It seems strange that you can’t reprogram them, too.
I tested the G Pro X with an eye toward esports, paying special attention to games like Overwatch and StarCraft: Remastered. The keyboard performed as well as any other recent Logitech peripheral — which is to say, very well. The keys were quick and responsive, whether I was gunning down foes in a first-person shooter or constructing a base in a real-time strategy game. Since you can choose your own switch type, every gamer should find something that suits.
My only criticism here is that the G Pro X isn’t that great for everyday productivity, particularly if you’ve become reliant on media keys and a number pad. That’s not really the audience that Logitech is courting with this product, but it’s something to keep in mind before you drop $150 on a keyboard.
I don’t know how widespread the Logitech G Pro X’s appeal is. Being able to swap switches is cool, but $50 as well as 50 minutes is probably more than most gamers want to spend on the project. The peripheral works well for esports, but it’s pretty expensive, particularly considering that you can often get tenkeyless models for $100 or less.
But at its core, the G Pro X is a solid enough product, and at least it offers something that no other major gaming keyboard has tried yet. If you want a tenkeyless gaming keyboard, I’d try to pick up an original Logitech G Pro, particularly since its price might decrease as the G Pro X becomes more widely available. But the G Pro X will get the job done, if you’ve got the money to spend.