Mechanical keyboards have long been all the rage for gamers, as they provide a better typing and gaming experience than rubber dome alternatives. Anyone that uses a mechanical keyboard on a regular basis will sing the praises of excellent feedback and supreme responsiveness, yet they're still a long way off becoming ubiquitous among desktop PC users.
This is almost entirely down to the premium price point that mechanical keyboards occupy. A typical high-quality option sits in the $100+ price bracket, which can be a fair bit to pay for just a keyboard.
This is where the Logitech G413 comes in: it's a full-sized mechanical gaming-oriented keyboard, but at $90 it undercuts most of its competition including the Corsair Strafe and HyperX Alloy, while packing in largely the same feature set.
At this price, you're not getting some features like RGB backlighting or dedicated macro keys. The Logitech G413 is a basic mechanical keyboard, but for many users that doesn't really matter. If the keyboard provides a solid typing experience and includes every essential feature, it becomes a great value option. And that's largely what we're seeing with this Logitech offering.
The G413 uses a frameless design akin to Corsair's range of keyboards, where all the keys sit atop a piece of brushed metal. I love this type of keyboard design, as it tends to look a bit cleaner and more modern than designs where the keys are set into the frame. With an air compressor or can of air, frameless keyboards are easier to clean as well.
Aside from the gunmetal grey brushed aluminium plate that each key sits on, the majority of the G413 is constructed from black plastic. Along the bottom are large rubber pads that prevent the keyboard from sliding around your desk, and of course there are flip-out stands for those who prefer a raised and angled keyboard. This is a solid, well-built keyboard and I'd expect nothing less at the price point, even if it's on the budget end of mechanical options.
The most obvious omission here is a wrist rest. I use the wrist rest on my keyboard every day, so it's a little disappointing the G413 doesn't include one, though this keyboard is still reasonably comfortable to type on nonetheless.
The G413 uses plastic keycaps with a soft-touch matte finish, similar to most other mechanical keyboards out there. The slight concave construction makes each key comfortable to touch. The etching on each keycap isn't as defined as some of the premium boards out there, though this is mostly nitpicking and it's understandable that Logitech has cut some corners to keep the price down.
Some of the keycaps on my G413 had sharp residual plastic around the base, likely from how the keys were removed from the molds. A bit of extra sanding would have done wonders here, and this is really a quality control issue that could have and should have been resolved.
Logitech includes 'gaming' keycaps in the box, which can replace the main gaming keys with help from the included tool. These keycaps are more angular than the standard caps, and personally I don't like them, however their textural difference compared to the rest of the keys can make some keys like R a bit easier to locate during the heat of an in-game battle. And it's always neat to see customizability included at the G413's low price.
Like I mentioned earlier, the G413 is not RGB-backlit, however it does come with bright red LED backlighting with brightness controls. Red is a color that tends to work well with most gamers' setups, and of course, backlighting is essential. Those who purchase the Silver model rather than the Carbon like I have will receive white backlighting instead.
For features, the G413 comes with a USB passthrough along the top edge, although it's only USB 2.0, so it's probably designed for attaching your mouse or other similar peripherals. There are no dedicated media keys or macro keys, though both of these features are available as secondary functions for the F-keys. Media keys are accessible through the FN key modifier, while you can set up a macro for any F key through Logitech's Gaming Software utility. Some competitors do offer wider macro support, though at least the G413 is still macro-capable.
Specifications are typical for a mechanical gaming keyboard: anti-ghosting, 26-key rollover, a 1.8m braided cable, and key switches rated for 70 million keypresses.
Speaking of key switches, the G413 comes with Logitech Romer-G switches for every key, which offer 45 grams of actuation force, a 1.5mm actuation distance, and a 3.0mm total travel distance with a clicky/tactile response. These switches, produced by Omron, are used for all of Logitech's current-generation mechanical keyboards, even the high-end G910 Orion Spectrum.
The good news here is that the G413 provides essentially the same tactile feedback and typing experience as Logitech's much more expensive mechanical keyboards. If you're just after the mechanical experience and don't need all the features provided by the G610 and upwards, the G413 is practically the same as far as typing and gaming goes.
With that said, I'm not a massive fan of the Romer-G switch in general. It's similar spec-wise to a Cherry MX Brown switch, but its tactile bump is very close to the start of the travel, and it becomes mushy towards the end. The end result is a key switch that isn't particularly clicky and has a dampened feel to it, which is not really what you want from mechanical switches that are known to be clicky and pleasant to use.
The Romer-G switch is still a significant upgrade on rubber dome keys, so those moving from a budget keyboard will notice a decent improvement in tactile feedback and typing experience. It's not as good as you'll find from a Cherry MX board or one of Razer's keyboards, but it's still mechanical. The G413 is also on the quieter side of mechanical keyboards due to that dampened response.
Overall the Logitech G413 is a great entry-level mechanical keyboard for those wishing to upgrade their typing experience. It's aggressively priced, undercutting similar keyboards from competitors, while providing a solid feature set and the same tactile feedback as Logitech's premium offerings. You won't be blown away by the G413's functionality, though it's a decent entry point into the world of mechanical gaming keyboards at a more affordable price.
Pros: One of the more affordable mechanical keyboards on the market. Uses the same switches as Logitech's high-end keyboards. Decent design with solid, if basic functionality.
Cons: The Romer-G key switches are a bit mushy. Lacks a wrist rest.