Logitech announced the new G413 SE gaming keyboard on Monday, featuring a new set of switches, PBT keycaps, and the classic brushed aluminum-magnesium alloy case. With the full-sized version coming in at $79.99, though, there might not be enough in here to satisfy those budget buyers.
Sure, the Logitech G413 SE is certainly far cheaper than many mechanical decks. The best gaming keyboards can set you back well over $200, and custom mechanical keyboards can reach far higher. However, Logitech's original G413 still carries an MSRP of just $89.99 - and is even currently on sale for $49.99 at Best Buy (opens in new tab), $59.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab), and $69.99 via the brand's own store (opens in new tab). Those aren't outlier prices, either - we regularly see this deck discounted these days.
So what's the difference between the two? In short, the Logitech G413 SE replaces the far less durable ABS keycaps of the original with a new PBT set. That 'SE' naming convention, however, is running true here; offering a watered-down spec for a, supposedly, lower price. The new panel drops the red LED option of the former, opting for an all-white under key aesthetic, isn't compatible with G-Hub (so no reprogrammable keys or macros), and switches out Romer-G switches for Logitech's "Tactile Mechanical Switches".
Romer-G switches have been the go-to for Logitech for so long they've become synonymous with the brand's portfolio of gaming keyboards. With a 1.5mm actuation point at 45g of force and a 3.2mm bottom out point, they're comparable to Cherry's MX Reds - if a little heavier and shorter.
However, the Tactile Mechanical Switches that will launch with the G413 SE actuate at a much higher 1.9mm with 50g of force behind them, bottoming out at 4mm. That's both heavier and slower than the flagship switches. High-speed gaming traditionally relies on snappier, lighter switches for those twitch reflexes and repeat presses.
The Logitech G413 SE also looks like it might be taking a hit by dropping G-Hub compatibility. The G413 allows you to use Logitech's software to configure macro commands along the function row, but here it looks like we're just getting the stock functions described by side legends (media controls, brightness settings, and an LED switch).
We haven't had our hands on the Logitech G413 SE, or its switches, yet - so it goes without saying that this is all speculative based on Logitech's spec sheets and release information. However, on paper, it doesn't look like the full-sized G413 SE is affordable enough to warrant such hardware strips.
Does the Logitech G413 SE have its place?
Of course, gaming keyboards and their switches, functionality, and LED settings are all subjective. That means there's still a place for the Logitech G413 SE. If you find the Romer-G switches too light for controlled and precise play, for example, you may have a better time with this new model. If you're after a more subdued design than the laser red LEDs of the original, the cooler whites on offer here will likely fit your setup better straight out of the box.
Those PBT keycaps shouldn't be ignored either - durability is a particularly important characteristic considering the strain these planks are put under during heavy sessions. And if that $59.99 sale price on the G413 SE should buckle, then it might be time to reassess the $10 difference if you're after a high-quality cheap gaming keyboard.
Plus, let us not forget that new TKL option - launching at a lower $69.99 price point - will fill a gap in the G413's current market. If you're after a more compact design, for wider mouse sweeps and a more ergonomic typing experience, then, the mini version will likely be well worth a look.
The Logitech G413 SE will appeal to some, but unfortunately that $79.99 price point and feature discrepancy on the full-sized kit will potentially turn away more punters than it attracts when it launches in full-size and TKL format in February 2022. Pre-orders are available now via Logitech (opens in new tab).
Logitech gear features heavily in our guide to the best gaming mouse on the market right now, so if you're looking to upgrade your setup it's well worth taking a look at the pointers on offer. We're also rounding up all the best Razer keyboards on the market, and the best gaming laptops if you're after a full refresh.