Logitech is getting wise to what many keyboard enthusiasts value above all else: customization. The company’s new Logitech G Pro X has swappable switch sockets so you can load it up with essentially any Cherry MX-compatible switch. The keyboard comes with your choice of clicky GX Blue, tactile GX Brown, or linear GX Red switches, and you can additionally order kits with 92 switches of any of the three types.
But you can pop in any pin-compatible switch, opening up possibilities to customize one of these Pro X planks to your heart’s delight.
Although swappable switch sockets is by no means a new feature in the mechanical keyboard world, it is a first from one of the major keyboard brands, and it evinces a major shift in how Logitech G is approaching its customers. It was not long ago that Logitech G keyboards were available only with the company’s own Romer-G (tactile) switch and a Cherry MX option or two.
That was during a long stretch when switches were the primary selling point for most brands; a gaming keyboard was hardly a gaming keyboard if it didn’t have Genuine 100% Authentic Bona Fide Cherry MX Gaming Switches, went the marketing. Other brands–usually smaller ones–that couldn’t source Cherry MX switches, or needed to dial down the cost of manufacturing, would omit the switch branding from their marketing and hope no one would notice. (Trying to figure out which switches were on a certain keyboard is actually the genesis of my own mechanical keyboard odyssey, but that’s a story for another day.) Those nameless switches were almost always Kailh, or sometimes Greetech or TTC.
Then, the marketing move shifted–companies would say that their switches were “[Company name] Certified” or some such. All that meant was the company went to the trouble of running their own internal QA on Kailh switches and tossing out the ones that weren’t up to par in their opinion.
Logitech was one of the only big keyboard makers to break out of that mold by introducing its Romer-G switch. Manufactured by Omron, it was light and tactile, and it offered superior centered LED lighting. And no one else had anything quite like it. That, plus Logitech G’s fairly distinctive design language, separated it from its competition–not necessarily making its keyboards better, but different at least.
Those days are long gone. We are well into what Andrew Lekashman of Input Club calls a “Cambrian explosion of switches.” Instead of getting our choice of maybe three switch types–linear, tactile, or clicky–from either Cherry or Kailh depending on the keyboard maker, there are dozens if not hundreds of switches in the wild. If you can’t buy a bag of switches with precisely the type, travel depth, weight, spring type, keycap compatibility, and color you want, or can’t further modify one of those bajillion switch types out there to your liking, then it is you who are the problem, my friend.
And if you’re a keyboard company that doesn’t have your own branded switch these days, then what are you even doing? (That a preponderance of those switches are manufactured by Kaihua should not be ignored.)
For the keyboard community, this has of course been a marvelous boon. What a time to be into The Hobby. But it’s been a challenge for gaming brands, including the biggest ones like Corsair, Razer, and Logitech G. They all manufacture and sell at scale, which is antithetical to the bespoke tastes of keyboard enthusiasts.
Those companies have made some modest attempts at diversifying switch options. That’s why we have Speed switches and low-profile switches. And why Razer bought into optical switches. And why Logitech eventually introduced a linear variant of the Romer-G switch.
But to Logitech’s credit, the company understands that it’s not enough anymore to simply give customers options; they need flexibility and customization after their initial purchase, too.
And so here we are with the Pro X and its swappable switches. It’s true that Logitech is marketing the Pro X with Logitech-branded switches, but the company is not even really trying to hide the fact that its “GX” line are just Kailh rebrands. Keychatter confirmed as much last year when the G512 keyboard came out with the GX Blue switch on board. But now, they aren’t even bothering to take the Kailh branding off of the GX switches.
But there’s no reason to hide it. In fact, although the Pro X’s onboard switches and Logitech switch kits are exclusively Kaihua-made, Logitech doesn’t care what switches you use. That’s the whole point of the keyboard.
A Logitech G representative did state that they tested the unplug/plug durability of the swappable sockets to
1,000 100 cycles. Not that anyone will be doing that.
Otherwise, the Logitech G Pro X sports the features you’d expect from a (nearly) carbon copy of the existing Logitech G Pro. It has a detachable cable, RGB lighting, associated customization software, onboard memory, some media controls you can access with the Fn key, and a compact TKL layout. The Pro X costs $150, and the switch packs costs $50 each.
Update: A Logitech G rep reached out after publication to note that it’s 100 cycles, not 1,000. We’ve corrected the text above.