Is Mechanical Mandatory?
A gaming keyboard with RGB lighting and Mech-Dome keys
The Logitech G213 Prodigy gaming keyboard offers the company's unique Mech-Dome keys and customizable RGB lighting effects, and it faces some stiff competition in a market overflowing with gaming keyboards for every budget (including mechanical options). But it really comes down to performance, feel, and usability; and I was interested in giving these new Mech-Dome keys a try.
“The G213 Prodigy gaming keyboard features Logitech Mech-Dome keys that are specially tuned to deliver a superior tactile response and performance profile similar to a mechanical keyboard. Mech-Dome keys are full height, deliver a full 4mm travel distance, 50g actuation force, and a quiet sound operation.
The G213 Prodigy gaming keyboard was designed for gaming, featuring ultra-quick, responsive feedback that is up to 4x faster than the 8ms report rate of standard keyboards and an anti-ghosting matrix that keeps you in control when you press multiple gaming keys simultaneously.”
I will say that at $69.99 the G213 plays in a somewhat odd space relative to the current gaming keyboard market; though it would be well positioned in a retail setting, where at a local Best Buy it would be a compelling option vs. a $100+ mechanical option. But savvy internet shoppers see the growing number of <$70 mechanical keyboards available and might question the need for a ‘quasi-mechanical’ option like this. I don’t review products from a marketing perspective, however, and I simply set out to determine if the G213 is a well-executed product on the hardware front.
Specifications from Logitech:
- Technical Specification
- Connection Type: USB 2.0
- Indicator Lights (LED): Yes
- LCD Display: No
- Backlighting: RGB
- Cable Length: 6 ft (1.8 M)
- Spill resistance:
- Tested with 60ml liquid spillage
- Physical Specifications
- Height: 8.6 in (218 mm)
- Width: 17.8 in (452 mm)
- Depth: 1.3 in (33 mm)
- Weight: 2.4 lbs (1000 g)
- Warranty: 2-Year Limited Hardware Warranty
- System Requirements
- Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7
- USB port
- Internet connection for optional software download
- Pricing and Availability: $69.99, Amazon.com
An aspect of the keyboard's specifications to keep in mind is the liquid spill resistance; a feature which might affect a purchasing decision depending on usage environment.
“The G213 Prodigy membrane and keyframe construction design is built for real life, delivering spill resistance tested to 60ml liquid rating. The result is a keyboard built to contend with the realities of everyday gaming.”
Now we'll take a closer look at the G213 keyboard, which arrives in the standard Logitech packaging.
At 2.4 lbs the G213 feels quite solid, and it has a sturdy build. This is a very standard keyboard layout, and while there are multimedia buttons there are no dedicated macro keys.
The base of the keyboard has quite a bit of a hard foam material that does a very good job of keeping the G213 in place on your desk or table top.
The bottom flip-out feet are very sturdy, and have the same hard foam material to prevent slippage.
Finally, the USB cable has a nice braided construction with a 6-foot length.
I used the G213 for a full month before writing these impressions, and to begin with, the 4 mm key travel and 50g actuation force makes the G213 feel almost like a mechanical keyboard. In fact, there were times that I forgot that I was on a membrane keyboard as I clacked away on CES news stories last month. But there is a slightly spongy quality to the key-presses that would eventually remind me that it was not actually mechanical; though it is the closest to that experience that I’ve encountered. Does that make any sense, though? This is the problem for the G213: what is the advantage of a quasi-mechanical experience for the same price as a similar mechanical option? Does mechanical even matter if it's a solid keyboard that does what you need it to do?
The lighting effects are a big part of the G213 Prodigy, handled as always by Logitech’s Gaming Software application. Lighting is first-rate, as zoned RGB lighting goes, and make this look every bit the modern RGB gaming keyboard. Of course you can choose to disable lighting entirely, or set the color anything you wish. (I preferred the 'color wave' effect, set to a moderate speed, with all of the colors slowly moving across the keys.)
The layout is very basic, and there are no dedicated macro keys or the like. This is not to say that it doesn’t have gaming “chops”, as the keys are quite responsive and it offers a polling rate that is, according to Logitech, “up to 4x faster than the 8ms report rate of standard keyboards”. The keyboard also features anti-ghosting, though the specifications do not indicate how many keys may be simultaneously pressed. I had no issues in that department to report.
In my use, mostly as a productivity keyboard, though I did a little gaming, I found the typing experience to be a little less ‘crisp’ overall than a mechanical keyboard, though the lower noise output was certainly a good thing when my one-year-old was sleeping. Couple the lower noise with spill resistance, and the G213 Prodigy starts to look very kid-friendly, actually.
The G213 keyboard is very well made, has a nice lighting implementation (if you’re into that sort of thing) that is fully customizable using Logitech’s software, and offers an experience that is very close to a mechanical option with the Mech-Dome keys. $69.99 might be a little high when you look at the increasing market for these under $100 gaming keyboards, many of which are using mechanical key-switches, but the G213 is an well-realized product, nonetheless.
I have the G810, and I like
I have the G810, and I like it, and dont like it…
Good point , the G810 uses a wheel for the volume control.
And the key illumination doesn’t bleed to much, also nice.
But I have the lighting disabled… (even so I want it on)
The software is SO BLOATED 🙁 And without the software always running the keyboard cannot keep its configuration.
Also without the software running, turning off/on the lighting will cause the keyboard to go into demo mode (some wild RGB animated rainbow)
End of story, I dont use the RGB LED because I dont like to run a bloated always on service just so the lighting works.
Same with their g-pro gaming mouse. really bloated software just to control the color.
Now, I like the keyboard overall (not loud) but the device need to be able to keep/store a configuration without having to run a windows service running.
perfection for me would storing a few profile, and be able to cycle them with the logitech dedicated “game” key.
I get it. So every time you
I get it. So every time you want an upgrade you tell the wife the little guy spilled whatever and fried the old one. Soon enough you will be building a killer gaming pc for your kid. Despite what they say, never to soon. My son was the fastest typist in the history of his schools despite a severe tremor and got a scholarship into UT, where he is studying CS. He is well adjusted and self assured despite gaming daily since he was tiny. Just saying since this is an enthusiast site. I didn’t have much anecdotal evidence to support my letting him game starting from a young age. Now I am convinced how the kid turns out has nothing to do with gaming, but with parenting. Fuck the liberal fascists who think they know what is best for us.
Well that took an unexpected
Well that took an unexpected turn at the end. It’s interesting that you criticize “liberals” for supporting a nanny state, when the term “liberal” comes from “liberty” – the exact opposite of such things. Of course, both self-identified modern liberals and modern conservatives love the nanny state, just in slightly different areas. Really shows how much of a false dichotomy the left-right classification is.
As for the keyboard, it’s just too expensive for a non-mechanical. They can talk about durability, but rubber domes have always suffered in that regard – a mechanical keyboard is something that you buy once and use for the next decade without degradation (my $50 Model M is 29 years old and still going strong). Rubber domes can feel OK when new, but it doesn’t take them long to become mushy. Lights, macros, multimedia keys, and other gimmicks are irrelevant unless the fundamental typing experience is good, and this one seems not to be.
Please do not confuse
Please do not confuse libertarians, of which I consider myself, and liberals. Libertarians believe in freedom to choose for oneself as long as it does not harm others. Liberals think they have the monopoly on virtue; anyone who thinks differently must be evil and stopped. That our president’s British visit is being debated because of liberal fascists is ridiculous. That tech leaders who wanted a republic admin were publicly humiliated and attacked and forced to keep quiet or worse, out of cowardice, voice the “virtuous” view. Anyway, legalize all drugs. Physicians suck. Like liberals, they think they know what is best for us. I still have medical licenses in some states, so consider that when you consider my position. Lastly, sorry for all this political bullshit. Jeremy will tell you I can be a fucking asshole. Meant to be entertaining and not inflammatory.
Great review as usual. Thanks. Waiting for you to become the next linus.
This has nothing to do with
This has nothing to do with the keyboard. If you want to talk politics then head off to the forums.
Don’t want to talk that shit.
Don’t want to talk that shit. Sorry for the inappropriate post.
“Fuck the liberal fascists
“Fuck the liberal fascists who think they know what is best for us.” lol get a grip
I had a Logitech G19 and I
I had a Logitech G19 and I switched over to a Corsair K95. Although I like the tactile feel of the K95 over that of the G19, the gaming software and mapping of the G-keys was so much easier. If I could use this keyboard with that software I would be a happy duck indeed.
I was going to get this
I was going to get this keyboard as I’m not a fan of mechanical keyboards but wanted something with backlighting, however when i realised the palm rest is fixed in place that put me right off.
I am using this keyboard and
I am using this keyboard and I have to say I am pretty happy with it so far. Yes, it is of plastic construction but feels very sturdy and I really have to pound on it to get to flex at all. Though the integrated palm rest will turn some off, I actually don’t mind it as I prefer a palm rest. As far as performance goes, I am pleasantly surprised. I do not like tactile keys as I am pretty light on the keyboard and the tactile bump, on some other keyboards, causes me to miss keystrokes a lot. While there is a little bit of a tactile feel to the keys, missing keystrokes has not been an issue so far. All that being said, I will say, I do miss the USB pass-through option that I have had on other keyboards and given the current amount of RGB options out there, I am a little disappointed that they did not include “per key” illumination here. Restricting the keyboard to zone illumination feels a bit dated to me, especially for a keyboard designated as a gaming keyboard.
Logitech’s firmware update
Logitech’s firmware update “Bricked” My G910 KB. I was happy with it right until I tried to update it.