Logitech G413 SE mechanical keyboard review: Affordable, but not cheap enough | GeekComparison

Logitech G413 SE on a glass table.
enlarge Logitech G413 SE mechanical keyboard.

Sharon Harding

Specifications at a glance: Logitech G413 SE
Switches Long Hua Brown
Tests PBT plastic
Connectivity Options USB-A cable
Backlight white
Mate 13.98 × 5 × 1.43 inches
Weight 1.43 pounds (650 g)
Guarantee 2 years
Price (list price) $80

A common complaint about mechanical keyboards is that they are expensive, especially if you prefer an established brand. But Logitech is challenging that with its new G413 SE, one of the company’s cheapest mechanical keyboards. At $80, it barely squeaks into the budget category, and there’s a $70 tenkeyless version too.

Logitech comes through with a high-quality, somewhat unusual typing experience. The conservative design of the G413 SE will also convince users who feel that mechanical keyboards, especially gaming devices, have become too flashy.

Despite a reputation for high prices, $80 mechanical keyboards can still offer a lot today. But if you’re comparing feature sets among cheap mechanical keyboards, the G413 SE costs more than it should.

Limited Features

I don’t know why Logitech categorizes the G413 SE as a gaming keyboard rather than just a general purpose keyboard. The device lacks the impressive feature sets of the company’s other gaming clackers. Even the non-SE G413 offers more while costing $10-$20 less at the time of writing.

The G413 SE does not work with Logitech’s G Hub software. So, unlike the non-SE version – which allows you to program the F1-F12 keys, also with macros – there is no programmability at all.

In addition, the 2017 non-SE G413 has a USB pass-through port and cable management intended for gaming mice and headphones. It comes with a red (instead of white) backlight option and claims to support 26-key rollover, allowing the keyboard to register 26 simultaneous keystrokes, compared to our review topic’s 6-key rollover. It even comes with extra keycaps and a keycap puller.

We didn’t test the non-SE G413, which has other tactile mechanical switches (Logitech’s Romer G Tactile) from the SE and uses ABS plastic keycaps. The G413 SE’s bump to PBT plastic seems like the only obvious improvement over the non-SE, although as upgrades go it’s nothing to sneeze at. That helps the G413 SE’s typing experience stand out, but the more expensive special edition of each keyboard should really have more benefits than the standard edition.

Black and basic

Some mechanical keyboards combine bold, retro, or bold color schemes with flashy, colorful lights in the keys, chassis, or even the palm rest. The G413 SE seems to be taking a different path: it doesn’t want to be seen. Before you turn on the white backlighting, the dark legends on the black keys are even hard to see.

Good luck reading the keyboard with no backlight.
enlarge Good luck reading the keyboard with no backlight.

Sharon Harding

Users who find beauty in subtlety or who want a sleek, black look to round out their setup will appreciate the G413 SE. But coupled with a lack of unique features, this overall design is best described as ‘simple’.

The flashiest aspect of the keyboard is the white backlight. Since the key legends were unreadable from my sitting position, I always needed the backlight. The G413 SE’s bright LEDs are not RGB, but shine through the dark keycaps while creating a glow between the keycaps visible from a top view.

A pair of folding feet adds a little height.
enlarge A pair of folding feet adds a little height.

Sharon Harding

This backlight is a step above the basics. It has five effects: in one effect, the lighting goes on and off; in another, the keys light up brighter for a second than the rest after being pressed. Effects and brightness controls (three levels, plus off) are reached by pressing Fn and F12 and F1 and F2 respectively. However, it would be more intuitive to place all the light controls side by side.

Soulless, lightweight plastic with a slightly glossy finish forms the lower chassis. Meanwhile, the aluminum top plate brings more imagination. The subtly brushed finish of the top gives the keyboard more texture and weight – and the occasional fingerprint.

Rubber cable.

Sharon Harding

Made another sacrifice for the low cost of the SE? The cable. It’s just a plain rubber thing with no retention where it plugs into the keyboard (although the connector is kinda thick). However, budget keyboards often feel cheaper and poorly made, and the G413 SE’s two-year warranty is longer than some of its more expensive rivals.

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