Software and Performance

Like always, I did want to touch on the software side of things before getting into how the G515 Lightspeed TKL performed. Software is a big part of the overall experience and if you didn’t check out our Pro X 60 coverage, Logitech has made a few big changes in their software. Their software is called G Hub and it works with the entire Logitech Gaming lineup. When you open G Hub you have all of your connected devices listed out. For me that includes things like the StreamCam, Litra Beam LX, Superlight, and the PowerPlay in addition to the G515 Lightspeed TKL. Each has a picture of the product and because the G515 is wider it takes up more space than most. From here you can see the battery life and wireless connection. You can also turn the lighting on or off and switch to onboard memory mode. 

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When you first open up a new device Logitech runs you through a few pages of pictures that highlight some of the key features. This can also include options like on the Lightsync part it has a dropdown letting you pick out an initial effect or on a mouse it might ask you to pick a default DPI. This is a cool way to make sure you know what the device can do and if you don’t plan on diving into the features this might have you select the only options you need to adjust.

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Once past the initial setup or any time in the future when you open up the G515’s page you will start on the Lightsync page. This makes sense, this is the page that will see the most action for most people. This page has the Windows lighting settings link up top. Then below that you have three tabs of lighting effect options with presets, freestyle, and animations. The presets page has a drop-down of effects you can pick from. Any that you pick will have different options to help fine-tune that specific effect. For some this might just be the speed of the effect and brightness, others will have colors you pick from or change the direction of the effect. The Freestyle page is where you can set up your static lighting design. You can set it key by key or you can click and drag to select multiple keys at a time. Then the last page is where you can create your animations and pick from those.

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The next page is the Assignments page which on the left is a square with a plus sign in the middle. This is where Logitech has changed things up and because of that, they have a slide show going over some of the features available now. Now you have always been able to remap a keyboard key in G Hub, the big change is being able to assign multiple functions to just one key by utilizing function layers. Similar to how holding shift will change things to capitals. On the Assignments page, you have three layers by default with the base, function, and G-Shift layers. With each, you can click on any and remap a key. You can select a modifier which can be Alt, Ctrl, or Shift. Then you can also pick the event type which can be pressing the key, holding it, or on release. Then from there, you can pick the key itself. With that set then you can pick what you want the key to do. The actions options are focused on other software like OBS, Discord, Streamlabs, and Overwolf. Commands is a list of actions that you can do in Windows using shortcut keys. The most basic are things like Ctrl+C for copy and Ctrl+V for paste but Windows shortcuts that use the Windows key are here as well so you can option up different Windows programs, search, and flip through opened programs. The lighting section for me is all specific to having the Litra Beam LX also hooked up, I can switch through presets, change lighting brightness, and more. The keys option just lists out every possible key which includes things like the full number pad which the G515 doesn’t have. For Macros, you can create your own macros with the macro tool to be able to bind a whole series of actions all together. Then under system, you can set it up to launch ANY application. You also have options to change volume controls well beyond just the base volume with EQ adjustments, changing audio inputs and outputs and media controls.

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The last option in the top left is the game controller which is the game mode menu. Here you just select which keys you want to be disabled when you turn on game mode. You can set up multiple profiles if you have specific keys you want to only turn off when you are using specific games. This is a step beyond what most companies do for game mode which is just locking down the Windows key when in game mode.

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Lastly, in the bottom left corner, there is a gear that opens up the settings page for the G515. This has more options on it than you might expect. Sometimes this page just has the firmware update button and firmware version listed. But for wireless devices like this in the top left you have the battery level and a breakdown of the power consumption including the number of hours you have left. There are also important lighting and power settings here. You pick if the lighting should come on when the G515 starts up. You also set inactivity settings here which by default have the lighting dim to 50% after a minute and turn off completely after 5 minutes. You can also turn on on-board memory mode. This will save your profile to the keyboard and not require G-Hub to be running or even installed at all. This is great if you change the G515 from device to device or if you don’t want to keep the software running all of the time.

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Diving into the rest of our testing I can finally talk a little about my experience using the G515 Lightspeed TKL. I have been using the keyboard for all of my writing, gaming, and normal PC use for a few weeks now. As usual, with any peripheral that has any significant change from what you are used to it did take a little adjustment to get used to the low-profile design of the G515 Lightspeed TKL. I have been using a standard mechanical keyboard of some shape or form for 16 years now. Thankfully the G515 Lightspeed TKL uses a standard key layout, so the only adjustment was with the thin design and low profile switches and keycaps. With both of the switch types that the G515 comes with, you have a low height combined with low profile keycaps as well but on top of that the switches have a short actuation point as well. The brown switches that our sample has are the tactile switch but they do also have a linear model as well. If you are a clicky fan however there isn’t a switch that will cover that. I prefer a traditional height switch setup and not everyone is going to prefer this low-profile design, but I like that Logitech is covering a range of preferences in their lineup. The tactile switches are smooth and other than a little rocking when you crab the keycap they were solid, same goes for the stabilizers on the wider keys which didn’t have any extra noise or rattle.

Logitech did include the three buttons up on the top bezel where you can flip between wireless and Bluetooth connectivity and turn game mode on. But with that, I was surprised that they didn’t slip in a volume wheel there as well. With the G Pro X 60, they fit one in on the side and it is a feature a lot of their keyboards tend to have. You do have volume controls using the function layer as well as media controls and G Hub allows a lot of flexibility in programming whatever you want on your own function layers now as well. This is a wireless keyboard and the lighting is bright enough to light up your entire office or whatever room you are using the G515 would drain the battery down quickly so it isn’t a surprise that the backlighting isn’t bright enough to see from outside. But it is still more than enough to light up all of the keys and make them readable in the bright daylight let alone at night.

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Speaking of battery life, Logitech lists the battery life as “up to 36h” but that is going to depend heavily on your lighting settings. With my settings which include dimming the lighting to 50% after 1 minute of inactivity and turning the lighting off after 5 minutes, I have seen great battery life. Even now as I write this I am at 38% battery life left on this charge and at my current use it is projecting 26 more hours of use and 69 hours of use at max charge. That is close to what I have been seeing as well. I haven’t had to even think about the battery life or plugging it in more than once a week and I would be on the highest end of the spectrum of how much time I am at the PC. When I do charge, I see the G515 charging at 2 watts which would be on the low end compared to modern phones but is fine for a device like this. Plugging it in for a few hours or just charging overnight and you are good to go. Having the G515 use Type-C for charging makes that even easier. While Logitech does give you the charging cable, you can keep your wireless dongle plugged into that and use your phone charger if you have one on your desk when needed. As for wireless performance, there weren’t any surprises there. Logitech’s Lightspeed wireless connectivity is always rock solid, even in locations with a lot of wireless interference like my own home but you do have the option to use Bluetooth as well or to use both to switch between devices. The wireless dongle included with the G515 can pull double duty with some Logitech mice and connect to the G515 and a mouse if the mouse supports it to cut down on the number of USB ports you need.

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