Some of us do a lot of typing in their lives and I for one have been in a non-stop hunt for my perfect keyboard. I have used multiple different keyboards over time but none of them has managed to hit just the right sweet spot for me.
A couple of years ago Logitech released the MX Keys and while I absolutely loved the typing experience, the size of it meant that my mouse had to be further from my keyboard, thus not ideal to the way I wanted to work. As such I went back to using my 75% keyboard, the Logitech K810. While the keys and keyboard did not feel as good as the MX Keys from Logitech it hit all my other requirements including size, backlit keyboard, multi-device connectivity and it was rechargeable.
Logitech has now released a smaller, compact version of the MX Keys, the MX Keys Mini, and after using it for a week I have to say I’m in love. It is strange to say that about a keyboard, but I love my tech stuff and a great deal of my work is typing, whether it’s for EFTM or my lecturing job, so a comfortable, reliable experience when typing means a lot to me. The MX Keys Mini hits every single high point in my requirements for a keyboard and is now my number one recommendation for the go to keyboard for those who don’t need a dedicated numpad.
Why is that you ask? Read on to find out.
The Logitech MX Keys Mini (I shall call it the MX Mini from here) is a 75% keyboard and is of similar size to other 75% keyboards on the market. My current compact keyboard is the Logitech K810 which is 9mm smaller than the MX Mini and has less tilt. The larger tilt on the MX Mini is permanent and cannot be adjusted — this is not a bad thing for me as the tilt is still not massive and help with the ergonomic nature of the keyboard.
The MX Mini we received is the Pale Grey colour but it is also available in Graphite or Rose colours. The Pale Grey is very “Apple” style colouring and although I’m not a Mac user I didn’t hate it. The white keys provided a nice contrast to the black lettering on them (yes I still look at the keys a lot while typing — more by habit than requirement though). The black lettering on the keycaps also meant that when I the room was brightly lit no backlight was required — less than for the graphite colour (my K810 is the graphite version).
While it is small, the MX Mini is by no means light not flimsy. At 506 grams it is well built with a solid metal chassis and base plate with it feeling extremely sturdy and solid under the hand. The K810 keys have a little bit of wobble and give to them but the MX Mini keys are extremely stable with very little wobble to sideways movement. The feel on the keys is next level.
The keys are backlit, with the keyboard remembering the last preset backlight level when you turned it off. When you turn it on the backlight comes on for a few seconds but then dulls or changes to the level you set last time. If the ambient light in the room has changed since last time the keyboard backlight, then adjusts to suit the surrounding light level. Yes, you heard that correctly, the MX Mini has an ambient light sensor to change the backlight as the light in the room changes — as I said above, next level.
The keyboard has all the usual keys you would expect on a Logitech compact keyboard, but they’ve modernised it a bit since last time I purchased one. On the function keys — which can also be changed to operate purely as function keys as well — are dedicated system shortcuts such as backlight brightness, voice dictation, emoji menu, screen snipping, mic mute and media control keys– yes very post 2020 buttons. These buttons can also be changed to other shortcuts that you prefer using Logitech Options and they can also be changed to do different actions in different apps/programs using the app specific functionality in the Logitech Options app.
The MX Keys Mini has a built-in USB-C rechargeable battery which will last for 10 days using the backlight or up to five months with the backlight turned off. The USB-C port is for charging only though and cannot be used to connect it to your PC.
Connectivity and compatibility
The Logitech MX Keys Mini uses Bluetooth to connect to devices, of which it can be paired to any three at a time with quick switching available with the three dedicated function keys at the top left of the keyboard. It connected to my Windows 10 PC immediately using direct pair — I didn’t have to go into Bluetooth options, just hit the connect prompt and type in the code.
If your device does not have Bluetooth the MX Mini does support connection through Logitech’s Bolt receiver (required for their FLOW connectivity between devices) but unfortunately the Bolt receiver is not included in the box. this is incredibly disappointing and although I did not need it, it is strange that this receiver was included in the box in the cheaper Logitech Pop Keys we reviewed last week. The Bolt USB Receiver can be purchased separately for $25 but if you are buying it just for Bluetooth functionality in your PC it’d be better to just buy a Bluetooth USB dongle for greater coverage and support. Buy the Bolt if you want to use Logitech FLOW connectivity. The older Logitech Unifying receiver is not supported by the new MX Mini either — another disappointing “feature”.
The connectivity of the MX Mini is what you’d expect using Bluetooth — it will work with the following minimum versions: Windows 10 and 11, MacOS 10.15, Chrome OS, Linux, iOS 13.4, iPadOS 14 and Android 5.0.
The typing experience done right
As mentioned above, the keys are extremely stable with very little noticeable wobble to them — much less than the K810, which is itself not a cheap keyboard. The MX Keys Mini though, is next level. It feels so premium with the solid keys, the sensation of pressing them and the zero wobble or movement of the base.
Each key has a rounded indent in the middle of a square key which is designed to help you find the centre of the keys more consistently and thus have less typos. A significant difference with the keys on the MX Mini is the feel of the keys – soft but with a definite touch sensation without being overly loud, nor difficult to press. Each key has a relatively short travel distance that feels light and effortless to type on.
The space bar does feel different to the other keys and has more of a springy feel and sound to it which is strange but not a huge issue – greater auditory feedback for better typing is one possible reason for it but I’m not an expert at typing hence my best speeds are likely below many of yours.
Typing speed with the MX Mini were faster and more accurate than the K810 which I’ve been using for a few years now — and I’ve only been using the MX Keys Mini for just under a week. At this stage my speeds are currently and consistently over 70wpm after using it for a week (yes, I know that’s not great but, my brain functions slower than some) but the K810 with years of using and brain learning is stuck around the 65wpm on a good test. The accuracy is also better which I put down to the larger keys with a small assist from the circular indent in the middle of the keys.
In the end, if you are buying a keyboard, you want it to type fast, accurately and be comfortable — the Logitech MX Keys Mini ticks every one of those boxes with extremely high marks. It has multi-device capabilities with dedicated fast switch keys. It also looks good, feels solid and is a nice compact size with suits my work style and desk size.
What more could you want? A numpad is the only thing lacking from this keyboard and if you want/need that then Logitech have the full-sized MX Keys with the same keys included. Very few of us actually need nor use a numpad and for us the MX Keys Mini is perfect. Aside from the Bolt Receiver not being included in the box, this keyboard is as perfect as it gets for me. It gets two big thumbs up from me. 👍👍
The Logitech MX Keys Mini is not cheap at $169 and it is still new(ish) so don’t expect any sales just yet but if it drops below $169 it’s a great replacement for any work keyboard that functions just fine. The improvement in the typing experience is worth it in my opinion, even when replacing a fully functional keyboard like I am. If you just need a productivity keyboard then this is a must buy, straight — right — now. Don’t walk, run. You won’t be disappointed.
Grab the Logitech MX Keys Mini in Pale Grey, Graphite or Rose for RRP$169 from Logitech or any of the usual online or bricks and mortar stores.