In 2022, the best gaming keyboards often feature unique features which jack up the price a lot. Looking to cover more ground in the gaming space, Logitech’s recently released the budget-oriented Logitech G413 SE. But there are cheaper boards that do enough to give you the competitive edge you want, like the base Logitech G413 ($59.98). The company’s new SE version paradoxically costs $30 more and does substantially less.
|Switches||Logitech Romer-G Brown|
|Lighting||White LED only|
|Onboard Storage||1 Profile|
|Media Keys||With FN|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||435 x 127 x 36.3mm|
The Logitech G413 SE is a mechanical keyboard with a full-size footprint that retails for $79.99. The G413 SE is targeted toward the budget-conscious gamer who is maybe unsure about the hype surrounding gaming keyboards or mechanical keyboards in general.
Since this is a budget-friendly board, don’t expect per-key RGB or ridiculously high polling rates with it. You do get a few features that are preferred by gamers with this board, like Logitech Romer-G Brown switches for fast yet tactile actuation and an aluminum plate for sturdiness and style, but that’s it.
The keycaps on the SE are unlike anything that I have ever seen– the characters are near invisible without the backlight enabled. It’s kind of like in a video game when you’re asked to adjust the brightness slider until you can almost see what is on the left side of the screen. When you plug the keyboard in, the white backlighting illuminates the board as any shine-through keycaps do, but these are still slightly different. When I removed one of the keycaps, I noticed that there isn’t any diffusing underneath the keycap, so the cutout that allows the light to shine through is 100% translucent. But while this is odd, it isn’t necessarily bad, because the white backlighting is very bright and you can adjust the brightness of the LEDs via FN keys.
Despite their unusual legends, the keycaps on this board are PBT, although they aren’t double shot, which would help make the legends clearer and longer-lasting. Most of the time, gaming keyboards are equipped with PBT keycaps because they hold up longer than ABS and have a coarse texture, which provides a better grip.
Unlike many budget mechanical boards, this board comes with an aluminum plate, which feels sturdy and has the Logitech logo stamped on the right-hand corner in a chrome finish. While it looks clean, I would’ve preferred a plastic plate if it meant more budget for a braided cable (the cable here is just a standard rubber, and is non-detachable) and better keycaps.
Typing Experience on the Logitech G413 SE
The typing experience on the G413 SE is all too familiar despite its in-house Logitech Romer-G Brown switches. In practice, they feel similar to something like a Gateron Brown switch, which is a popular third-party switch solution. Many gamers prefer Brown switches because they’re not too loud, have a slight amount of tactility thanks to a bump at the top of the switch and are still fast with a 45g actuation force.
My experience with the Romer-G Brown switches was just like using any other MX Brown clone: subtle tactility, accompanied by the sound and feel of friction from the lack of lubricant.
Despite the budget-friendly price of this board, the overall feel of its PBT keycaps is just like any other PBT gaming keycap: slightly coarse. But because these aren’t double-shot, you lose out on durability.
Because this isn’t an enthusiast-grade board like the Wuque Studio Mammoth75 or the CannonKeys Bakeneko60, don’t expect buttery switches or ASMR-like sounds from it. Instead, the sound of the G413 SE is not pleasant at all; there’s a ton of ticking from the stabilizers and the switches have an immense amount of ping to them. Though, the amount of ping on the G413 SE isn’t nearly as bad as it is on the Corsair K70 RGB Pro, which costs $80 more.
If I were to compare this board’s typing experience to that of any other budget mechanical keyboard, I would say that it sounded a bit similar to the MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic, which is another full-size mechanical keyboard that costs $30 more at the time of this review. I liked that board for its per-key RGB, dedicated media keys and included wrist rest, which are all features that the G413 SE lacks.
Gaming Experience on the Logitech G413 SE
The Gateron Brown switch is beloved by gamers because it’s light with just a pinch of tactility. While the G413 SE doesn’t use Gateron Browns, its in-house Logitech Brown switches feel remarkably similar to Gaterons. For testing them, I wanted to play a game that forced me to be quick. So I played Sifu, a sort of Kung-fu movie simulator, and it is by far the hardest game that I have tested a keyboard with.
Sifu is very hard– you need to be fast when it comes to making the right movements and timing your parries. When it came to bobbing and weaving out of the way of enemy attacks, I was able to do so with limited resistance from the light switches. This game is all about finding your rhythm, so getting that timing down is crucial, making the brown switches ideal. In a game like this, you’re not just using W,A,S and D to move. You need to combine inputs to land certain attacks, similar to in a more traditional fighting game. The G413 SE was able to keep up with me, which put me at ease despite the game’s difficulty.
I typically use a 60g switch, so the 50g actuation force requirement here did cause me to subconsciously press harder on the board when playing, but after about 20 minutes, I was much quicker and the tactility was so acute that I never felt fatigued.
Surprisingly, this board does not support software, which I found to be very strange because this isn’t a no-name brand– it’s Logitech. Granted, this board doesn’t do much more than just type characters onto your screen. Besides the mechanical switches and white backlighting, there isn’t much that separates this board from a cheap keyboard that comes included with most PCs.
And the lack of lighting options this board’s hardware provides makes software a little less necessary. But it would still be nice to be able to program macros and remap keys.
The Logitech G413 SE is a budget mechanical keyboard, but it just doesn’t have much to offer for its price. At $80, I still expect high-quality keycaps and a braided cable— not a rubber one that’ll kink after a year or so. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a mechanical keyboard but you’re on a budget, I would say to do your best to save an extra $30 to get the Razer BlackWidow V3 (opens in new tab), because you’ll get RGB and a wrist rest. Or, if you’re open to membrane keyboards, then for $45 you can get the impressively comfortable SteelSeries Apex 3 (opens in new tab). As long as this keyboard sticks at or close to its $80 price, the Logitech G413 SE isn’t worth it. There are better options available for a little more, and cheaper options are often nearly as good.