Hello everyone and welcome to these keyboards review. Today we will be reviewing something extra special; it is a brand-new product from the Logitech MX series that you have never seen before. If the MX Keys Mini was the old product that you thought it was from reading the title, you were mistaken. Whatever they call it, a new player in town—what we refer to as the Logitech MX Mechanical Mini, the MX Keys Mini’s replacement—has arrived.
|MX Keys Mini||MX Mechanical Mini|
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
|+ Great typing experience.|
+ Compatible with most common operating systems.
+ Feels well-built.
+ Bright white backlighting.
|+ Solid build quality.|
+ Feels comfortable to use for long periods.
|– Not compatible with Logitech unifying receiver.|
– USB receiver is sold separately.
– No macro-programmable keys.
|– Too bulky to carry around easily.|
– No software options for mobile operating systems.
MX Keys Mini
This will be a dual review because we’ll compare the build quality of these two different keyboard models. We’ll start with the MX Keys Mini because it has many similarities to the other model but also some significant differences.
What makes this one unique is that it’s the closest thing to the Apple Magic Keyboard you can find that isn’t an Apple product for which you’re paying an absurd premium. These can be anywhere from $90 to over $100. Additionally, you may find them on sale for between $70 and $80. You can usually find on Amazon.com if you play your cards right just by clicking on it to check the current or latest offered price of this keyboard.
This model, however, stands out because it can currently connect to three devices via Bluetooth settings, as you can see. This functionality has been available from Logitech for quite some time, but one decision they made was to forego including a USB dongle with this particular model, in particular with the MX Keys Mini.
If you wanted to unify those, you would have to buy the Bolt USB drive to unify all of those from a USB dongle, but I primarily use just from a USB standpoint; in fact, that’s the only way I’ve used it; it’s all I’ve ever done. They have the additional USB that you need to buy called the Logitech Bolt and that acts as the unifying receiver for all of their products, including the MX Master, Three mouse.
3) Build Quality
As we’ve discussed many Logitech products on this site, primarily their trackball mice but also some of their keyboards, and they always do an excellent job, I didn’t expect anything less in terms of the build quality and case of this premium product. You can see it is laser etched on the back; there are no stickers or anything else; it’s just a really nice solid, simple design. The case is incredibly thin; while it is plastic, it is that aluminium-coated plastic and feels nice. If you’re used to that Apple keyboard, you’re going to enjoy this.
If I had to pick one flaw, there isn’t any feed on the back. I like a little bit of tilt when using things like these, and since I prefer the IBM model buckling springs keyboard, the closer I can get to that tilt, the better, but this one doesn’t have it. Instead, they are going for a very similar design to the Apple Magic Keyboard.
4) Keys & Switches
Overall, the switches feel very sturdy.These keyboard switches feel much nicer than most others; in fact, they are comparable to some of the more recent Logitech scissors switches, and, to be honest, they aren’t all that dissimilar from Apple. When it comes to scissor switches, Apple will undoubtedly hold the gold standard, but these are incredibly responsive for what they are. Scissor switches these days come in various styles, some of which are utter mush and are awful to type on.
On the other hand, these are excellent. It is visible to you here that each key has a domed concave shape at the top, with the exception of the function layer. That is very helpful from a typing perspective with your hands naturally falling into place. There’s a tactile bump when you bottom out and then come back up, so tactile feedback helps with the typing feel overall.
The MX Keys Mini is a very, very solid device. From a scissor-switch perspective, this is one of my top favourites, with the only other one being the old-school Thinkpad keyboards with how snappy their laptop keyboards used to be. On the usability side, we’ll cover the layout and my thoughts on these guys in more detail below, but overall, it’s a very solid build quality for what this is.
MX Mechanical Mini
Now let’s talk about the brand-new Logitech MX Mechanical Mini. This is a very new series, and to be completely honest, I was surprised when I first saw it online a few days ago. Based on the scant research that I was able to do, it does come in three different varieties. You can get clicky switches, tactile switches, and linear switches.
1) Keycaps & Switches
It appears that Kailh Switches make them; in this case, their switches are excellent. I chose linear switches because I was coming from a hall effect switch keyboard, and I like the linear thing; it’s just the kick I’m on these days. Blue switches or the clicky switch variety is always great as kind of a novelty, but it never really works well for me, especially given that I like to type a lot when I’m on conference calls.
Now let’s talk about these keycaps, as having such thin, hovering keycaps is something I almost always dislike. I apologise if I’m wrong. There was a gaming series with similar keycaps that hovered above the key, but the problem was that they were spaced apart enough for the tip of your finger to catch and rip that thing right off. Fortunately, I haven’t had that problem with this yet; granted, I’ve only been using it for a few hours, but it’s been very, very reliable.
2) Build Quality
From the perspective of build quality, you can see that the case will inevitably be a little thicker because it must accommodate the mechanical switch, and the keycaps themselves do float above that switch, so it’s a design we’ve seen before from other products.
Although the case is cheaper than the MX Keys Mini, which feels like a solid compact piece of aluminium, Logitech has some gaming series that use a very similar type of case design with those floating keys as well. I don’t know if this is because of just the type of plastic that’s being used on the back, but it does feel much cheaper than those.
The keys themselves, the case itself, and the usability are all much better and more logical than what I saw from the MX Keys Mini, but it’s still a very good keyboard. Thank you, Logitech, for using common sense and placing reasonable buttons here rather than doing the weird thing for any aesthetic reasons.
One thing I want to point out is that if you look at the back, we have flip-up feet. Granted, they are only a single flip-up that is eight degrees, not two like most keyboards are these days, but I appreciate that they are there. I preferred the two-step because I prefer more of that five-degree angle, but I’ll take what I can get now.
Again, a lot of that has to do with the fact that it’s hollow. If you were inclined, you could fix it by inserting a piece of foam to dampen it and give it a more solid feel, but out of the box, it’s really not that bad. However, it’s lacking for the price of about $145 that these are selling for right now. I would have preferred something beefier from a case standpoint.
Overall, I give both the MX Keys Mini and the MX Mechanical Mini a big thumbs up. They are pricey for what they are, but you can make a much better mechanical keyboard on your own for a lot more money. I think it’s a pretty good deal right out of the box for a business purpose, both of which offer this connecting right here to three different devices at the same time through Bluetooth, especially if you’re the type of person who has multiple devices that they use on a daily basis.
MX Keys Mini vs MX Mechanical Mini: Usability
Let’s move on to the usability section of the discussion and go over this in more detail first. Let’s start with the previous version, the MX Keys Mini. This is a fantastic keyboard, and despite using it for months, I didn’t have too many complaints—the keys down being a minor annoyance, though. The arrow keys are entirely useless, but they’re intended to evoke the Magic Keyboard from Apple with its aluminium finish, sleek mini arrow keys, and arrows that look and feel like they belong on a MacBook.
But listen, I’m a programmer, and I don’t want to fumble around on these tiny things trying to move specific parts of my code and things like that. I mean, you get used to it; you can get used to anything, but it was never really something I enjoyed, and it never really won me over to the point where I was like, “Yeah, I don’t have to think about it”; instead, I always ended up putting my finger here in this dead zone.
Fortunately, you can fix this when using a Mac by using your command button to do a lot of, you know, select your entire row and things like that, but you don’t have the home and page up page down keys. The delete key is here, which is a little awkward, but it’s not the worst. We’ve seen similar things on, like the HHKB and things like that. The thing that I did miss was home environment.
Fortunately, the MX Mechanical Mini resolves all that; look at this flawless design. This is the layout I would choose if I chose a compact design, which isn’t something I do very often (although I do have an HHKB). I’ve tried a lot of 60% compact keyboards before, but I was never able to get used to them, so I prefer this 75% layout, which has all the number pads, the full arrow keys, and the logical keys (delete, home, and page up/down, which is all you need).
The typing experience will depend on your preferences and will either be significantly better or not that much different from the MX Keys Mini. Some people prefer the scissor switches, but this by far surpasses what they were aiming for with the MX Keys Mini in terms of layout.
Again, we won’t get into the mechanical versus scissor switch debate, but be aware that if you’re a programmer who frequently uses the extra utility keys and doesn’t mind taking up an additional half-inch of space on your desk, I would recommend choosing the MX Mechanical Mini keyboard over the MX Keys Mini because it allows for a much more logical placement and purchase choice.
The new Logitech MX Mechanical Mini keyboard is fantastic; it is everything I wanted from the MX Keys Mini keyboard, and they went above and beyond what I would have reasonably expected to do. It is, in general, a better keyboard due to being mechanical, which more than pays for itself, especially considering the price difference. Two, it has flip-up feet, and three, adds full-sized arrow keys with home, end, page up, and page down keys. These are all features that I would have added to the original MX Keys Mini, but they did a great job incorporating them.