You are here

Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard review: A productivity booster aimed at the office crowd

Submitted by Tech Insider on August 16, 2022 - 12:56pm

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

MX Mechanical Mini keyboard on desk with MX Master Mouse.
The MX Mechanical keyboard is available in two sizes with three switch types.

  • Logitech's MX Mechanical keyboard is a wireless mechanical keyboard designed primarily for office use. 
  • The keyboard is comfortable to type on for long periods, and can pair with up to three devices. 
  • It's available in two sizes: the full-size MX Mechanical and the MX Mechanical Mini.

The promise of mechanical keyboards is that they offer more features, better build quality, and a more comfortable typing experience than standard keyboards. And at its core, Logitech's MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini deliver on that promise.

But it comes at a lofty price point. At $170 for the full-size model and $150 for the mini version, the MX Mechanical line is priced above competing alternatives, like the Keychron K3 and Razer's Pro Type Ultra

But price aside, the MX keyboard line stands to upgrade any general office setup. It offers a fluid typing experience, easy-to-use software, and the power to switch seamlessly among three devices. It will most certainly deliver value, despite the price being a prohibitive factor for some. 

The MX Mechanical keyboard is designed to boost your productivity 

With popular setups like the G915 Lightspeed, Logitech is no stranger to mechanical gaming keyboards. The MX Mechanical, however, is not geared toward gaming. Instead, this is a keyboard for office workers who believe the right computing peripherals can optimize and boost productivity, whether it's typing up reports or wrangling data in spreadsheets. 

The MX Mechanical lacks the flashy fonts and colors offered on some mechanical keyboards, and has fewer customization options. But the customizations the keyboard does include are carefully considered and dialed in, especially when paired with Logitech's MX Master 3S mouse.  

Compact layout and functional design and build 

MX Mechanical Mini side view and top view
It has a low-profile design similar to laptop keyboards.

To be frank: The Logitech MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini are not much to look at. But the muted black-and-gray colorway is what makes this keyboard stand out in a product category that puts a great deal of attention on colorful hardware and keycap sets. What may be "professional" and "functional" to some may be "basic" and "boring" to others, so whether the design is up your alley comes down to personal taste and your work environment.

In terms of backlighting, Logitech chose to skip RGB LEDs for white lighting, which adapts to the brightness of the room via an embedded ambient light sensor. The lighting is simple and pleasing, and you can choose between six different effects. 

Logitech offers the keyboard in two different sizes: our test unit, the MX Mechanical Mini, uses a space-saving compact 75% layout with 84 keys, while the MX Mechanical is the larger full-size variant that comes with 110 keys, including a numpad. Besides the different layouts, both keyboards function the same.

Overall, the build quality of the MX Mechanical is worth a shout. While the body is made from plastic, an aluminum plate rests underneath the key switches — the mechanism beneath the key cap — which amps up the keyboard's overall stability. The keyboard comes with one incline setting and long rubber strip along the bottom that does the job of keeping the keyboard in place.

Choice of three switch types, depending on your preference

MX Mechanical Mini brown switches.
Logitech uses Kailh switches and keycaps for the MX Mechanical line.

The MX Mechanical and MX Mini come with your choice of three switch types manufactured by Kailh: brown tactile quiet, red linear, and blue clicky.

While testing the MX Mechanical Mini over the course of a month, the brown switches provided a crisp keystroke and slightly audible click. Though not as stealthy or smooth as analogous switches from popular manufacturers like Cherry MX or Gateron, the Kailh switches can hold their own. Overall, the brown switches feel light and responsive, with no deal-breaking latency issues. 

It's important to note that the MX Mechanical is a low-profile keyboard. The keycaps and switches are shorter, which means they take a smaller travel distance to activate. Low-profile keyboards are touted for their speed, portability, and ergonomics, and preferred by those looking for an experience similar to typing on a laptop. 

But with the advantages of a low-profile keyboard comes with one notable downside: Low-profile switches are harder to find keycaps for, which is another example of the MX Mechanical's limited customization. 

Limited customizations, but impressive software 

The Logi Option Plus app dashboard.
The only keys you can customize on the MX Mechanical Mini are highlighted above.

Logi Options Plus is the company's companion software for its accessories, namely for its mice and keyboards. Once installed, you'll be able to reprogram shortcuts and media controls for the top-row function keys and navigation keys, set app-specific hotkeys, and sync the keyboard to three different devices. It's a nifty tool that brings simplicity to customization.

But depending on your familiarity with mechanical keyboards, you may find the customization options lacking. Hotkeys are limited to a pre-selected list of actions, you can't remap every key, and you won't be able to program macros. In addition to that, the keyboard is not hot-swappable, so you can't easily pop the switches out to change up the sound and feel of the keyboard. 

Otherwise, Options Plus should be able to satisfy most office productivity needs. One of the keyboard's most impressive features is the ability to instantly switch between computers and other devices via Bluetooth and a simple keyboard shortcut, regardless of the operating system. 

MX Mechanical Keyboard Specs

Specs MX Mechanical MX Mechanical Mini
Switches Kailh Choc V2 Blue, Red, or Brown Kailh Choc V2 Blue, Red, or Brown
Lighting White (6 effects) White (6 effects)
Key Count 110 84
Connectivity Bluetooth LE or Logi Bolt USB Bluetooth LE or Logi Bolt USB
Battery Life USB-C rechargeable; up to 15 days or 10 months with backlighting off USB-C rechargeable; up to 15 days or 10 months with backlighting off
Size 1.02 inches (H) X 17.08 inches (W) X 5.17 inches (D) 1.02 inches (H) X 12.3 inches (W) X 5.17 inches (D)
Weight 828 grams (1.8 pounds) 612 grams (1.3 pounds)
Warranty 1-Year limited hardware warranty 1-Year limited hardware warranty

Standout battery life

According to Logitech, the rechargeable battery (via USB-C) lasts up to 10 months with the backlighting off (which you can do from the Option Plus app), or 15 days with the backlighting on. The backlight is triggered by a movement sensor and only turns on when your hands are over the keyboard.  

Since I usually keep my keyboard plugged in, battery life is never really a problem for me. But after using the MX Mechanical Mini for a week with heavy usage and the backlight on, the battery bar read 85%. If you're thinking about carting around this keyboard — and you should, because it's portable enough — it'll definitely provide enough juice to last wherever you take it.  

The keyboard supports both Windows and MacOS, and can be connected via Bluetooth or via the included Logi Bolt USB receiver, which is designed to offer a more stable wireless connection. The keyboard's USB-C port in the back of the keyboard is just for charging, so there's no wired-only mode. That said, there will always be a risk of interference or latency using the Bluetooth connection, but I have no major connectivity issues to report. 

Should you buy it? 

After testing the MX Mechanical Mini, we think the keyboard is a worthy investment. At the very least, it's worth considering. If you're interested in a mechanical keyboard that's geared towards the office, the MX Mechanical could be your best bet. When paired with the MX Master Mouse, the duo is hard to beat.

All told, what you're paying for is the reliability that comes from a company with a track record of making solid accessories, plus one of the most intuitive customization softwares out there (even if the customizations are limited) — all packaged in a mechanical keyboard best suited for office use.

Read the original article on Business Insider