Review Logitech has shrunk its MX Keys wireless keyboard, but does a backlight justify Apple-esque pricing? We put it through its paces to find out.
Peripherals maker Logitech has long been a noise in the keyboard marketplace, and its MX Keys keyboard is a fan favourite (or "beloved" as company modestly described it in its fact sheet). With the MX Keys Mini, the company has stripped off the number pad and created something that looks for all the world like Apple's Magic Keyboard.
We swapped our Apple keyboard for the MX and came away impressed. Except, that is, for the price.
First things first: if gaming or clickity keyboards that drive your neighbours to distraction are your thing, then the MX Keys Mini is not for you. The keys use a scissor switch mechanism and have 1.8mm of travel. They also have a pleasingly spherical dish to their faces, making typing comfortable. The end of the travel is greeted with a slightly sprung feel.
We had a grey Mac version of the keyboard, with Apple's oh-so-special keys. Other versions have more Windows-specific functions, but all feature a backlight, which works well in low-light situations. The levels can be adjusted using the keyboard – handy, because in well-illuminated environments, the backlighting can render the characters on the keys invisible.
The keyboard is of the Bluetooth variety and, despite a provided USB-C cable, cannot be used in wired mode. The cable is only for charging, and that charge should last for 10 days (or five months if the backlight is left off, according to Logitech).
A neat feature is the ability to switch between three paired devices and special keys are present to permit dictation, volume control and mic muting, and the all-important emoji popup.
The base has rubberised feet to stop it sliding around, although, maddeningly, those feet do not permit the height to be adjusted beyond its slight incline: a definite miss on what is clearly aimed at the premium market. After all, you can pick up the latest Apple Magic keyboard (without Touch ID) for the same price. The Apple product, however, lacks the bells and whistles of the MX Keys Mini and will run out of juice after a month or so.
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The build quality of the Logitech device is good, and it took being slung into a bag on what limited travelling we do nowadays with aplomb. Which is just as well, as it doesn't come with any kind of carry-case. It weighs in at 506g – so you'll notice it in your rucksack – measures 296mm x 132mm, and stands just under 21mm tall at the back. As well as the pale grey we used, graphite and rose gold finishes are also available.
Overall, if you're in the market for a mini keyboard and the price tag doesn't put you off, then the MX Keys Mini could be for you. The ability to use multiple devices in one workflow will appeal to those who shift between machines, although gamers seeking the latest in RGB lighting need not apply.
The price is, however, what stops us giving the keyboard a wholehearted recommendation. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives out there, and Logitech has chosen to put the poor thing at the same price point as its nearest Apple equivalent.
That said, we did find it a bit of wrench to go back to the Apple Magic Keyboard after spending time in the company of the MX Keys Mini. And that tells a tale in itself. ®