Logitech’s MX Keys Mechanical is a satisfying, wireless introduction to mech-keebs

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Logitech's MX Keys Mechanical is a satisfying, wireless introduction to mech-keebs

Enlarge / Logitech’s MX Keys Mechanical (below) and MX Keys Mini (above) keyboards.

Sharon Harding

Technical data at a glance: Logitech MX Keys Mechanical
Switch Kailh low-profile tactile, clicky or linear
keycaps ABS Plastic
connectivity options Bluetooth Low Energy or 2.4GHz USB-A dongle
backlight White
size 17.08 × 5.18 × 1.03 inches
(433.85 × 131.55 × 26.1mm)
Weight 612 g (1.35 pounds)
warranty 1 year
Price (RRP) $170

With an office-friendly look, tasteful backlighting, wireless control of multiple PCs, and simple software, all backed by a respected name, the Logitech MX Keys Mechanical wireless keyboard ($170 MSRP) and the smaller MX Keys Mini ($150 US dollars) are solid, serviceable entry points into mechanical keyboards.

If the new keyboards sound familiar, that’s because they take inspiration in look and function from the membraneless MX Keys ($120) and MX Keys Mini ($100), but with a satisfying flat click , tactile or linear mechanical switches . It’s the kind of design that draws a lot of people to try a mechanical keyboard for the first time. But if you compare it to other wireless mechanical keyboards, you’ll find more features, including some that power users will miss, from competitors for less money.

Keep a low(er) profile

I tend to be wary of low profile mechanical keyboards. Some underperforming options I tried with flat, squishy, ​​linear, low-profile switches and flat keycaps drew me a little. They’re popular with gamers as they have a perceived speed advantage, but you’d have to be fairly competitive (I’m not) for this to make a big difference.

But with slightly more height than other low-profile options and higher actuation force specs, the switches in the MX keys proved a good middle ground. They still operated quickly, like laptop keyboards, and offered a healthy flow of motion for those used to full-size mechanical switches.

You can get the MX Keys Mechanical with Kailh’s proprietary tactile, clicky, or linear switches that Logitech told me. All three types have a total travel of 3.2mm, trigger at 1.3mm and require an actuation force of 55g. The switches’ travel specs make them similar to Kailh’s Choc line of low-profile switches, but require more actuation force (compared to 45g).

I mainly used the tactile version of the keyboard, and it felt anything but squishy. Compared to a full-size (4mm/2mm/55g) Cherry MX Brown switch, the MX Keys Mechanical’s brown switches felt quicker to actuate and return, likely due to the shorter travel.

At the same time, they retained the noticeable bump that tactile switches are known for. The low-profile switches were noticeably shorter than the full-size alternative and felt quite snappy when typing fast, but I still felt like I had a comfortable way to know I was pressing each key. And the higher actuation force helped me avoid typos.

There are even lower-profile switches, such as Logitech’s G915 Lightspeed wireless keyboard ($250 MSRP) (2.7mm/1.5mm/50g). In a head-to-head comparison to a G915 with tactile switches, the MX Keys Mechanical were noticeably shorter, but the tactile bump was slightly less pronounced. The tactile MX Keys Mechanical sounded about as loud as other Brown switch keyboards, with a slight, higher-pitched noise when I pushed through the tactile bump and a more plastic sound when the key returned.

I spent far less time on the linear and clicky versions of the keyboard, but was pleasantly surprised at how deep the linear switches felt despite short travel and no tactile bump; although there are smoother linear switches. The clicking switches, meanwhile, were every bit as loud and proud as I had hoped for blue mechanical switches.

When typing aggressively, especially with the space bar, I occasionally heard an annoying, metallic ringing. The competing Razer Pro Type Ultra wireless keyboard ($160 MSRP) combats this with sound-dampening foam, but only comes with linear switches.

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