Logitech released its MX Mechanical keyboard on May 24, 2022—with features like a nearly year-long battery life, low-profile keycap design, wireless connectivity, and Smart Illumination backlighting, this board looks great on paper. But it doesn’t feel so good under your fingertips.
As much as I want to like this keyboard for its neat features and truly redeeming qualities, it’s tough to look past the issues that stick out like a sore thumb. Here’s what you should know before you buy.
- Form Factors: Full-size and Mini
- Dimensions: 26.10 x 433.85 x 131.55mm (1.03 x 17.08 x 5.18in)
- Weight: 828g (1.83lbs)
The Logitech MX Mechanical keyboard comes in two form factors: full-size and Mini. The full-size model that I received for review ($169.99) has everything the MX Mechanical Mini ($149.99) does, plus a numpad on the right, a few more function keys, and some extra padding between the navigation (del, home, etc.) and arrow keys.
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Specifically, the full-size board features a numpad, Brightness Up/Down control function keys, Previous/Next media keys, a Calculator key, and a Show/Hide Desktop key more than the Mini.
The Mini, while lacking some desirable functionalities, is more compact. Compare its 26.10 x 312.60 x 131.55mm size to the 26.10 x 433.85 x 131.55mm of the full-size version and there’s a considerable difference. If you’re tight on desk space or keen on a wireless keyboard that can easily slip into your backpack for bus rides, long flights, or coffee shops, give the Mini a look.
If you want a numpad for quick Windows PIN logins or data entry along with a bit more control over your display and media, consider the full-size board.
The MX Mechanical is surprisingly lightweight, and the aluminum top case does a good enough job keeping things sturdy, but there is some slight deck flex to take note of. It was never noticeable while typing, but take care when cleaning or storing the board to keep it out of structurally-compromising positions.
While there are some metallic pings on standalone keys (like the arrow keys), the noise level (sitting in the low- to mid-60-decibel range on average) aligns with what you’d expect from a Brown switch. There’s an audible “thock,” but it won’t wake up the neighbors.
The sustainably-sourced PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic housing is smooth to the touch and pleasing to the eye, though some smudges will show up over time as you handle the board. The power switch and USB-C port, found behind the numpad, are convenient and reliable.
The plastic feet on the back of the MX Mechanical flip out and lock into place if you prefer a raised typing experience, though I found it much easier to use while lying flat on the desk.
The overall build quality of the board (without considering the keycaps, switches, and stabilizers) feels sturdy enough to put your mind at ease from any worries of damage during use, but it’s not the most durable option in the world due to its lightweight design.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth Low Energy
- Dongle: Logi Bolt USB-A Receiver
- Battery: 15 days, up to 10 months without backlight
- Charging: USB-C (Type-C to Type-A cable included)
Connectivity is a key win for the MX Mechanical. Using Bluetooth and the Logi Bolt Receiver, you can sync your board with up to three devices across Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Seamlessly switch between them with the integrated profile keys (found on both form factors) and type away. You’ll also notice Windows/Mac keys for Command/Alt and Control/Start.
Tip: Before picking up this keyboard for its extensive connectivity, make sure the devices you plan to use it with are running compatible operating system versions.
Battery life is another massive plus of this keyboard. Using the backlighting features will fetch you about 15 days of battery life. My testing is definitely conclusive with these claims—I’ve been using the board with backlighting on for over a week and the battery life is still holding strong at 45%.
If you work or game in a sufficiently-lit area, or don’t care much about backlighting in general, turn it off for a colossal 10-month battery life. Set it and forget it, this board is ready to code, write, or browse when you are.
When you notice your battery finally start to deplete in Logi Options+ (more on this later), plug the MX Mechanical into your computer via the included USB-C cable (and Type-C to Type-A connector if needed) and let it charge up overnight or as you continue to use it.
- Switch Options: Logitech MX Red, Brown, Blue
- Hot-Swappable: No
If you like a toned-down modern design, these keycaps will likely catch your eye. Visually, they look excellent when they’re not covered in fingerprints. The mid-grey tones that make up the bulk of the board contrast nicely with the darker accent keys, helping you find your way across the keys with subtle color coding.
Unfortunately, like a Mustang with a V6 engine, these keycaps are more worried about looking good than performing well. The MX Mechanical’s keycaps jiggle around as you type, and it’s clear to see when you get a bird’s eye view. Rather than perfectly straight rows, some keys are rotated to the right or left, and some have shifted up or down, encroaching on other keys (like the “G,” “F,” and “D” keys for example).
Have your pick of three switch options: Logitech MX Red, Brown, or Blue. If you’ve been around the mechanical keyboard block a few times, there are no surprises here. The Red switches are linear, providing little tactile feedback. The Brown switches, my personal switch of choice, offer a tactile bump feedback with a dampened activation sound when compared to the clicky Blue switches.
They’re not lubed in any way, and they’re not hot-swappable. Those of you who’ve built custom mechanical keyboards before, or used a pre-lubed stock keyboard like the Keychron Q3 QMK, enjoyed reading those statements as much as I enjoyed typing them—not at all.
The stabilizers definitely aren’t the worst I’ve ever used, but they’re far from the best. They provide comfortable space bar inputs regardless of where you tap the key, but they have a rattling problem. Wiggle your finger across the top of keys like Enter, Backspace, and Shift, and you’ll see and hear what I’m talking about.
While the low-profile nature of the board invites a typing style that sees your fingertips glide across the keyboard, punching the perfect keys in rapid succession, the rigid switches, shaky stabilizers, and off-kilter keycaps do not. Typing on this board led all too often to typos, extra capitalizations, and frustrated backspaces.
Logitech designed this keyboard with creators in mind. I decided to test out the MX Mechanical in some Unity game development, and I can honestly say that I didn’t find any time-saving uses transitioning to this board from my usual daily driver.
When it comes to gaming, the board is underwhelming. If you play RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games like Dota 2, League of Legends, or Smite, you’ll probably find yourself rebinding your function keys and accidentally activating your items.
While understandable, it’s not the primary use case of the board after all, it’s something to keep in mind before purchasing.
As for the backlighting, this keyboard is not RGB, and it doesn’t need to be. In my opinion, throwing flashy RGB lighting onto this otherwise low-profile, minimalist-style board would look jarring and out-of-place.
Instead, Logitech wisely chooses to focus in and expand on a simple white backlight design. Perhaps the most interesting feature of which is the Smart Illumination aspect, which sets the backlighting off by default and breathes to life as your fingers come near the keys.
Not only does this save significant battery life over time, but it also looks satisfying and can give you a little jolt of productivity as you settle into work as well. When your hands have been off the keyboard for a few seconds, the backlighting dims its way back down to zero.
If you’re in the market for more designs than a simple static backlight, Logi Options+ is where you’ll find them. You’ll also be able to add custom macros and remap keys as you need. Navigating Logitech’s new customization software was a breeze, and a welcome upgrade from the applications of the G402 mouse era.
Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury Wired Gaming Mouse
High-speed tracking, extensive customization, and a comfortable design that fits your hand.
Download and install Logi Options+, create an account if you don’t already have one, make sure your device is connected, and you’re ready to customize. Logi Options+ will walk you through a first-time tutorial to make sure you know your way around the place, but if you’ve used similar customization software before, you likely won’t need it.
Click on the device you want to customize, navigate through functionalities with the left-side navigation bar, and begin editing.
Tip: You can also press the Lightbulb key to the right of the F12 key to toggle between backlight effects. Depending on your settings, you may have to hold the FN (function) key down to activate it.
As for the Keys tab itself, which allows for key remapping and macros, it’s disappointing. You can only remap 24 keys (F1 through F12, Volume Up and Down, navigation keys (ins, home, etc.), and the top row of the numpad (Calculator, Show/Hide Desktop, etc.) of the full-size keyboard. The Other Actions dropdown list is appreciated though, giving you options like “Copy,” “Open Folder,” and “Do Nothing” so you don’t have to record these macros yourself.
The Backlighting tab is where you can choose between six backlighting effects to add some flavor to your MX Mechanical. You won’t see a preview of the lighting effects in the software, you’ll have to monitor your board for changes.
- Static keeps the entire keyboard lit up the entire time you use it.
- Contrast lights up only the darker keycaps.
- Breathing quickly fades light in and out across the entire board.
- Waves sends a band of soft light across your keyboard from left to right.
- Reaction illuminates keys as you type on them, leaving all other keys dark.
- Random lights up keys across the board on a whim.
The Easy-Switch tab lets you configure up to three devices that you’d like to connect to and swap between using your MX Mechanical. Lastly, Settings is where you can update your device’s firmware and tweak some general functionalities like Battery saving mode, function key usage, and others.
An underwhelming note to take is the lack of customization for the effects. If you want waves, you’re only ever going to get a singular soft wave traveling from left to right. The Breathing effect is only ever one speed.
What you see is what you get; this is a similar theme of the MX Mechanical, a board marketed as having options. The switches aren’t hot-swappable. Logitech doesn’t offer any other keycap styles or finishes. A few lighting effect variants are present but ultimately meager in comparison to other boards of this price range.
If customization and longevity are your top priorities in a keyboard, I cannot recommend the MX Mechanical (especially given the warranty is only one to two years depending on the region).
I would not consider this board at its full price of $169.99 unless staying in the Logitech ecosystem is your utmost concern. While it has some redeemable qualities, the uncomfortable typing experience this board offers is not worth Smart Illumination and a long battery life in my mind.
I’d suggest checking out other wireless mechanical keyboards like the Keychron K6 or K8 before buying the MX Mechanical. These boards are more affordable, have the same wireless connectivities, and allow for infinitely more customization. If the low-profile design is what you’re after, give the Satechi Slim X2, which comes in at less than half the price of the MX Mechanical, or the $95 Keychron K3 a look.
Here’s What We Like
- Substantial battery life
- Lightweight and wireless
- Keycap visuals
And What We Don’t
- Switch feel
- Keycap wobble
- High price
- Not hot-swappable
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