[REVIEW] Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard

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Logitech is no stranger to making incredible accessories and I’ve used many of them over the years. Pretty much every office job I’ve ever had handed out Logitech keyboards and mice to everyone in the company and while they were fine for what they did, anyone who likes a good solid typing experience would tell you that there’s much to be desired. But they also make great mechanical keyboards and their new low-profile MX line of mechanical keyboards are really worth checking out.

I dove into mechanical keyboards several years ago at the encouragement of a friend and never looked back. My go-to setup for years was the Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L (Cherry Browns of course) and I actually still use it in my rented office space. Last year during Amazon Prime Day however, I finally decided to try out a new rig – mainly cuz I desperately wanted to go wireless – and picked up a Keychron K2. I was instantly transported to mechanical keyboard nirvana.

I loved it. Still do. The freedom of not being tethered to my computer, the compact size that doesn’t take up half of my desk, and of course, the impeccable typing experience.

But when I bought it, I was still working a couple days a week at my company office and really wanted something portable enough to cart back and forth from home without too much hassle. I began to be drawn to the low-profile side of mechanical keyboards but just couldn’t bring myself to make the jump.

Then Logitech announced their new MX Mechanical keyboards, and I thought now was the perfect time. I knew they made good mechanical keyboards, and I already had the original MX Mini membrane scissor-switch keyboard which had become my travel one, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

Overview
Like the original MX series, Logitech offers a full size and a mini keyboard which is essentially a 75% layout with options for Tactile Quiet, Linear, and Clicky switches (I grabbed the full size version). According to Tom’s Hardware, these are custom Kailh Choc V2 Blue, Red, or Browns and I have the Browns (Tactile Quite).

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These are the only official documented specifications I could find about the switches and there’s only one set of numbers so my guess is that these are for the Tactile Quiet ones:
● Keypresses – 50 million
● Actuation distance – 1.3mm/inch
● Actuation force – 55g/ounce
● Total travel distance – 3.2mm/inch

I asked if they could provide more specifics about the other switches and I’ll update this when I hear back.

Design
The keyboard itself is extremely well built. The Logi keyboards most people will be familiar with are the cheap, plasticky ones with really mushy keys and though this one is still mostly plastic, it feels like a much higher quality material than the ones that adorn most office desks. The top plate is aluminum too which adds to the premium feel.

There’s only one color, graphite which has a sort of two-tone look of black and dark gray. I like it a lot and I don’t think it would look out of place on really any desk.

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The MX Mechanical is entirely wireless and connects either via Bluetooth or the company’s proprietary Bolt connector. This is basically the next generation of their Unifying USB dongles that they’ve had for years. It charges via the included USB-A to C cable but this doesn’t support data transfer so you can’t use it over the cable. Logitech claims 15 days of battery life if you use the backlight and up to 10 months with it off. I keep the backlight on and the 15 days was about accurate for me. I think I actually got a bit longer with lighter usage but I didn’t do a definitive test.

Speaking of backlight, it’s good, and incredibly annoying. There’s no RGB here (which is expected for a non-gaming keyboard) but Logitech did it a bit differently than most other keyboard makers. They call it ‘adaptive’ which means it can adapt to the ambient light around you so it will be brighter when you need it and dimmer when you don’t. It also will automatically turn off if you move your hands away from the keyboard for a few seconds, then will automatically detect when your hands come back over the keyboard and bring the backlight back on.

This is a classic case of a company including something they’ll think I want but is actually super annoying. There’s absolutely no way to force the backlight to stay on all the time. There were times where I didn’t notice it or didn’t care, but if I was working or gaming at night with the lights off, it would make it really hard to find the keys in the dark. You can manually change the brightness on the keyboard itself and in the Logi Options+ app, you can choose between a few different lighting effects or just turn it off entirely.

One of the biggest benefits of the MX series is its compatibility. It works with MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, iPadOS, and ChromeOS and can seamlessly switch between them. I have it paired to a Windows and Mac computer and never had any problem switching back and forth between them which is great. If you use a Logitech mouse that works with Logitech Flow (like the MX Master 3S that I also reviewed), you can even instantly switch between computers just by dragging across the screens. It works pretty well and truly redefines productivity for those that can take advantage of it.

Unlike the original MX keyboards, there’s no separate option just for Mac so the affected keys (start, option, command) are simply labeled with both commands. It didn’t really bother me but I know that bugs some people so I thought I’d mention it.

I never noticed any sort of lag or delays from my couple weeks of use but it’s not really built to handle hardcore gaming so if you’re wanting something like that, you’re probably already aware of their G series of gaming keyboards. The MX series is designed for creators and productivity use and for that it was perfect for me.

Typing
Ok ok, so what about the typing experience? Well let me first start by saying that I’m a writer so literally my job is to write and type all day. And for me personally, I enjoy the typing experience. The keys are quite clicky and provide plenty of bounce to support my typing style and speeds.

The low profile is a new experience for me as this is the first one I’ve used but I honestly am more impressed that I thought I would be. I was prepared to not enjoy it and quickly write it off, but I like it. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s ready to replace my Key 2, but I’m still using it after having it for a few weeks so that’s something.

One thing that is a bit unusual for me and might be contributing to my higher-than-normal typing errors is the lower height of the keyboard. As with any low-profile keyboard, it sits at a much lower angle than a traditional mechanical keyboard. This might just be not being used to low-profile keyboards, but I do wish it would sit up a bit higher or at least have a second setting on the feet like the Key 2 does but it wouldn’t say it’s a deal breaker. The thinness does make it easy to travel with though if you need to, so that’s a plus.

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I got the Tactile Quiet keys but they aren’t really that much quieter than other switches I’ve used. They’re definitely not as loud as my Key 2 and certainly quieter than Blues, but don’t think that just cuz it says “quiet” that you won’t hear them. It’s not an annoying sound by any means but people around you will certainly hear you.

Software
Many keyboard makers have software to let you customize and remap keys and Logitech is no different. Their app is called Logi Options+ (lord knows why) and luckily setting up the keyboard in the app is incredibly simple. Literally all you have to do is open the app while the keyboard is paired to your computer, and it will automatically detect it.

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Unfortunately, you can’t remap every key or even give them secondary commands as you can on some mechanical keyboards, but you can set the function row, Insert, Delete, Home, End, Pg Up, Pg Down, and the four keys above the numpad to a variety of options. You can set them to a custom keyboard shortcut or set them to perform a wide range of tasks, including open applications.

I’m not someone who cares about having an insane number of keyboard shortcuts living three layers deep behind my keys, but I certainly did remap a few of the keys (like the emoji key. WHY is there a DEDICATED EMOJI KEY??? It’s the most useless thing they could have put there IMHO).

Logitech is targeting this keyboard for working professionals and creatives and to that end, you can actually set custom layouts for the apps you use most which I found to be quite helpful. I know I’m not the only one who switches through multiple apps a day and it was pretty useful to set custom keystrokes to use as I go between all my apps during the day.

Other than the key customization, there’s not much else to the app. You can choose between a few preset backlighting effects and can click to switch between the devices you have paired (as opposed to just hitting the corresponding key on the keyboard itself) and some basic settings.

Overall the software doesn’t offer too many options and there are many other mechanical keyboards that have a lot more software customizations available but again, Logitech is selling this to mass market consumers and working professionals, so the most important thing is that it works well and allows for a few useful options. In that sense, the software is great.

Oh, there’s also a battery indicator in the app which I really like because I don’t often pay attention to those things so it’s nice to see at a glance if I’m going to need to charge it.

Final Thoughts
Logitech is certainly no stranger to building high-quality keyboards and the MX Mechanical continues the trend with a fantastic build quality, great typing experience and useful software features. Aside from some interesting backlighting issues, Logitech has built a pretty impressive keyboard.

The only thing that makes it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend is the price. At $169 ($149 for the mini), this is much pricier than many other great low-profile keyboards. The Keychron K5 for instance is only $99 and has a better backlight (plus an RGB option) so a lot of what you’re paying for is the Logitech brand name and the Logi Options+ app. There are other keyboards in the $100 range as well so be sure to shop around.

Personally, I think the MX Mechanical is a great option for those who don’t mind the low profile setup and want something durable and useful for home or the office.

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