The MX Mechanical and its Mini variant split the difference between Logitech’s high-end keyboards and mechanical boards. It hits the high points of both, but comes at a hefty price.
Best Prices Today: MX Mechanical Mini
Logitech’s MX Master Series is now seven years old, beginning with the MX Master line in 2015. In that context it’s almost surprising that it took the company this long to release a mechanical keyboard in the series, considering the category had exploded in that same time. The MX Mechanical brings along the understated elegance and power-user features you’d expect from the brand, with a variety of sizes and switch options from the mechanical keyboard world.
It also brings along a pretty high price tag: a full $150 for the MX Mechanical Mini in this review, and $170 for the full-sized version. This is, frankly, a little ridiculous, even given the tools on offer. If your pockets are deep, you won’t find much to complain about with the MX Mechanical keyboard. But if you’re on even a slightly constrained budget, there are better options both in the wireless and mechanical categories.
This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best wireless keyboards. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.
This thing looks familiar
The MX Mechanical comes in Logitech’s standard, sleek gray-and-darker-gray palette, first seen on the mouse series and more recently on the Craft and MX Keys boards. You also get an aesthetically pleasing backlight, which is especially handy as there are so many functions bound to the function row and the extra keys on the right side. While there’s an aluminum plate beneath the key switches, the rest of the body is skinny plastic with only single-stage feet, a USB-C charging port, and a power switch breaking its soft planes.
Switches are genuine Cherry, clicky Blue, tactile Brown, or linear White, but the new and interesting Low Profile variants. These give the switches surprisingly long travel (more so than the similar Kailh Choc designs) and a familiar feel in an extremely tiny form factor. The entire keyboard is barely over an inch tall. Unfortunately the shallow stems and travel of the switches mean that your regular Cherry MX-compatible keycaps won’t work. It seems likely that Cherry Low Profile custom keycaps will come at some point, but for the moment, customization options are essentially zero. And someone will surely want to, since the ABS plastic in the keycaps is a bit on the flimsy side, though they are double-shot to be compatible with backlighting.
A smart layout
Using the MX Mechanical Mini feels extremely similar to the MX Keys Mini, albeit with the very welcome addition of full-sized arrow keys (since you can’t do half-sized mechanical switches). The extra column of keys on the right side is just enough to add a little extra functionality for power users. The function row up top gives you all those little tools you need on a semi-regular basis, notably Print Screen, a dedicated emoji button, media controls, and a quick microphone mute. You can switch between F keys and the function icons via Fn+Esc, laptop-style.
The layout isn’t unique, but it’s functional and compact, making the Mini variant of the keyboard easy to throw into a bag. And like most of Logitech’s higher-end keyboards it allows pairing with up to three devices, over Bluetooth or the company’s Bolt USB wireless receiver, and is compatible with the multi-device Flow software. If you need even more customization (at the price of matching your key icons) you can download Logi Options+.
Only the right-most keys (not counting the right arrow key) and F4-F12 can be rebound to preserve the keyboard’s core functionality. That makes sense given the target audience, but more flexible binding options for power users would have been appreciated. The keyboard borrows multiple backlighting modes from gaming-style boards, but there’s no RGB, and they take a serious hit on battery life. I was able to run the keyboard down in just a couple of weeks, which is paltry for a modern wireless board.
Maybe wait for a sale?
If you love Logitech’s understated elegance in the MX line but demand the satisfying click and travel of mechanical keys, the MX Mechanical delivers. But at a $50 premium over the MX Keys and MX Keys Mini, respectively, you’ll be paying a lot for the privilege. Even given the backlighting and multi-point wireless powers of these keyboards, it’s a very steep price to pay compared to competitors like the Keychron K3, Logitech ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II, or even Apple’s Magic Keyboard.
In short, there are better deals to be had, even if you’re looking in such a specific niche as premium low-profile mechanical boards with a compact build and wireless powers. Wait for a sale if you’re frugal; go ahead and buy it now if you aren’t.
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