Logitech MX Mechanical Mini review: a sensible keyboard for

If final 12 months’s Logitech Pop Keys wi-fi mechanical keyboard was all fashion and no substance, then Logitech’s newly introduced MX Mechanical keyboards are the polar reverse. These are aggressively purposeful keyboards with wise function units, wise designs, and wise layouts.

That could make the $169.99 MX Mechanical and $149.99 MX Mechanical Mini appear to be outliers on the planet of mechanical keyboards, which frequently use flashy designs, RGB lighting, and colourful keycaps to seize your consideration. But Logitech’s new keyboards are value listening to due to their nice battery life and a well-thought-out set of options that’ll make them a strong improve for anybody at the moment utilizing a laptop-style membrane wi-fi keyboard.

For this evaluate, I’ve been utilizing the MX Mechanical Mini, which makes use of a compact 75-percent structure just like what’s discovered on most laptops alongside the corporate’s new MX Master 3S mouse. (Check out my evaluate right here.) The MX Mechanical, in the meantime, is bigger and makes use of a full-size keyboard structure that features a numpad. But, other than their layouts, each keyboards are functionally very related.

The MX Mechanical Mini has a muted two-tone design that’s unlikely to draw an excessive amount of consideration. Around high, there’s an influence swap and USB-C connection for charging, and beneath are a pair of flip-out ft to tilt the keyboard up at an 8-degree angle. It’s backlit, however solely with plain white LEDs. Although you may customise how the LEDs flash, they’re not RGB and may’t illuminate your desk like a multicolored Christmas tree. Like a few of Logitech’s earlier keyboards, the MX Mechanical Mini has sensors to detect when your palms are close by and activate its backlight earlier than you press a key — a neat function for those who’re reaching for the keyboard in a dimly lit room. It’s all very wise and nicely thought out.

This is a low-profile keyboard, which suggests its switches are shorter, and there’s not as a lot journey as what you’d get from a full-height mechanical keyboard. Personally, I favor my mechanical switches to be full-height, however shorter switches like these are prone to really feel extra acquainted for those who’re used to typing on laptop-style scissor switches like these discovered on the opposite keyboards in Logitech’s Master collection — just like the MX Keys. The switches are manufactured by Kailh, and there’s a selection of tactile browns, clicky blues, and linear reds. My evaluate pattern had tactile brown switches.

The keyboard’s backlit however solely in white.

There aren’t many choices for customizability right here. Unlike Keychron’s competing low-profile keyboard, the Keychron K3, the MX Mechanical Mini’s switches aren’t hot-swappable, which suggests you’ll should get a soldering iron out if you wish to change them. And as a result of they’re low-profile, numerous the aftermarket keycaps in the marketplace are unlikely to work with them. This actually isn’t the keyboard for hobbyists to tinker with.

The Logitech MX Mechanical Mini helps each Windows and macOS (and is blissful connecting to cell iOS and Android gadgets as nicely). If you’re connecting by way of Bluetooth, it’ll detect the working system robotically and regulate its structure, however for those who’re utilizing its USB receiver, you’ll want to do that manually with a keyboard shortcut. There’s no selection of keycaps with both Windows or Mac symbols on them; they’re all printed on the identical keys. It seems to be barely messier, however Logitech’s precedence is to attenuate the quantity of plastic that ships in every field. It’s one other function-over-form choice Logitech made with the keyboard.

The MX Mechanical Mini can save as much as three paired gadgets and swap between them with a keyboard shortcut. It can join over Bluetooth but in addition comes with a USB-A Logitech Bolt receiver (which Logitech claims affords higher safety and decrease latency). I had some latency points with the receiver, which Logitech spokesperson Wendy Spander tells me may be brought on by “cables and steel close to the receiver.” Using a brief USB extension cable utterly fastened the difficulty, as did switching to Bluetooth, nevertheless it’s an annoying drawback to have within the first place.

My unit got here with low-profile Kailh brown switches.

Its low-profile design might be acquainted to anybody who’s used to laptop computer keyboards.

Battery life is rated at 15 days with backlighting on and 10 months with it off. That’s loads higher than the Keychron K3, which affords 99 hours with its backlighting off or 34 hours with it on. After every week of every day work use, my battery life sat at 45 p.c, which suggests my keyboard goes to run dry slightly earlier than the 15-day mark. The keyboard prices over USB-C, and its battery is technically replaceable when it will definitely dies. The compartment is hidden beneath the sticker on its underside, although, for no matter motive, Logitech doesn’t suggest that house owners perform the restore at house. There’s no option to see the keyboard’s remaining battery life on the system itself; for that, you’ll want to go into Logitech’s Options Plus software program.

Options Plus is Logitech’s newest companion software program for its pc equipment. At its most elementary, it affords an at-a-glance view of the battery lifetime of all of your Logitech equipment, nevertheless it may also be used to customise how they work. You can’t remap each key, however you may change what the shortcut keys on the highest row do in addition to the all-important cluster above the arrow keys to the correct. It strikes a pleasant mixture of customizability and approachability, although it’s a disgrace that this remapping isn’t saved to the keyboard itself and disappears for those who plug the keyboard into a pc with out Options Plus put in.

The MX Mechanical Mini has a compact structure.

For my typing check, I put the $149.99 MX Mechanical Mini up in opposition to $74 Keychron’s K3. Logitech’s keyboard is much more costly, however the type components of the 2 keyboards are very related, and I believe they’ll enchantment to an identical form of typist. Logitech’s keyboard was the clear winner when it comes to really feel. It won’t supply the identical chic typing really feel as a premium keyboard like Keychron’s Q1, and its spacebar rattles slightly, nevertheless it’s streets forward of the comparatively mushy feeling of the K3. It feels crisp and clear, and I can (and have) fortunately typed on it for hours.

Speaking of which, right here’s a typing sound check:

I used to be additionally shocked by how flimsy Keychron’s keyboard feels compared to Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini. Pick up Logitech’s keyboard, and it feels sturdy, refusing to flex for those who attempt to bend it. It feels good and sturdy in a method that Keychron’s (admittedly cheaper) keyboard simply doesn’t. If you’re on the lookout for the place that additional $75 goes, numerous it may be discovered right here.

A smart choice of keys on the correct.

A USB-C port for charging and flip-up really feel for altering its angle.

Logitech appears to have a really particular form of mass market consumer in thoughts for its MX Mechanical keyboards. This isn’t a mechanical keyboard for fanatics who prize flashy designs, hot-swappable switches, and full customizability.

Instead, its low-profile design and wise function set make it appear to be a extra premium various to Logitech’s personal MX Keys keyboards, which have the identical layouts with laptop-style switches and are barely cheaper at between $99.99 and $149.99 — and even Apple’s vary of Magic keyboards, which begin at $99.

The Logitech MX Mechanical Mini is a strong, wise keyboard, with loads of helpful options to get essentially the most out of it. But don’t anticipate it to supply essentially the most premium typing really feel round or supply the sorts of customizability that fanatic mechanical keyboards are recognized for.

Photography by Jon Porter / The Verge

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