Logitech MX Keys Mini

© Provided by TechRadar Logitech MX Keys Mini from the front surrounded by dried flowers

Logitech MX Keys Mini: Two-minute review

The Logitech MX Keys Mini is a compact, tenkeyless keyboard designed in answer to requests for a more compact version of another beloved product from Logitech, the MX Keys. Just like its larger cousin, the MX Keys Mini was designed with creatives and busy working professionals in mind which sets it apart from most of the existing market for compact keyboards as many are targeting gamers (such as the Corsair K65 Mini) or fans of customizable mechanical builds.

Losing the Numpad certainly makes it more bag friendly, but your wallet might need a little more convincing as at $99 / £99 / €109, it costs the same as the original MX Keys keyboard. Availability is a little uncertain in Australia right now, but we would assume that the pricing will follow this format, placing it at around AU$230. Otherwise, the MX Keys Mini is available now directly from the Logitech website.

There are two SKUs available, one for Windows and one for Mac users, though you can technically interchange the two – the Mac keyboard has a more familiar layout for Mac users and is only available in Pale Gray. The Windows model however is available in three colors: Pale Gray, Rose Pink and Graphite to match another product in the MX range, the MX Anywhere 3 mouse.

The US actually get a fourth shade, a solid black model that removed the gray accents from the Graphite model, but this doesn’t appear to be available in any other region.

The typing experience is pleasant, with the keys ergonomically designed to better fit your fingertips, and while there are no mechanical switches on the MX Keys Mini, it feels tactile rather than squishy. A slight frustration is that the keyboard is fixed into a slight leaving position and there’s no adjustable stand on the rear of the device so if you like to work on a completely flat keyboard, you’re out of luck.

The pads located on the bottom of the keyboard are rubberized despite blending perfectly with the shade of keyboard you selected, so you can use it across just about any surface and not have to worry about it slipping during aggressive typing, and you’re also very unlikely to scratch anything either.

The build quality is also especially solid despite being lightweight and Logitech have taken extra care to ensure the product is eco-friendly, with the Graphite model using 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, and both the Rose and Pale Gray models using up to 12% due to the lighter color. 

We didn’t see any detectable scratches or bumps after a week of carting it around in a backpack alongside other peripherals so the quality is especially robust, but Logitech don’t make a specific carry case or cover for the MX Keys Mini so if you’re particularly precious about keeping your products ‘like new’, you might want to find a third-party protective wrap.

The keyboard is also entirely wireless, Bluetooth specifically as Logitech has stated it believed in the capabilities of Bluetooth over wireless dongles (though the MX Keys Mini is compatible with the Logi Bolt USB Reciever), so you can’t use the device with a connected USB-C. 

If you do pair the MX Keys Mini with the MX Anywhere 3 or MX Master 3 mice then you can use the Flow system to switch the keyboard between different computers if you like to work across both a desktop and a laptop. It also comes with ‘Easy Switch’ so you can pair three different devices and allocate them to one of the available buttons located at the top right of the keyboard, allowing you to pair the keyboard with a device in seconds.

You can get up to ten days of use on a full charge, and up to five months if you turn off the backlighting, but the Logitech Options software you can use with the keyboard will actually make you aware if the battery is getting low and automatically switch off the backlighting to extend the battery life.

On backlighting, the MX Keys Mini has a smart, motion detection feature that will illuminate the keys without you needing to press a key. We found this to be mostly accurate, but there were a few instances where it took a few passes of waving our hand over the device for it to be detected. The lighting is soft, but not so dim that you don’t notice, finding the perfect balance to use in dark environments without hurting your eyes.

If you can live without the Numpad on a keyboard there are some serious benefits to getting this downsized model as, despite its smaller size, a few useful features have been included that would have made remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic a little easier.

There are three keys located on the function row of note: a system mute, an emoji key and a dictation key. The mute button does exactly what you think it would – instantly mutes your microphone without you needing to hunt for the right option on your conferencing software. As this is a system mute, it works across everything from Microsoft Teams to Discord so you can avoid any embarrassing interruptions.

The emoji key opens up the emoji selection window for anything that you can stick one into which is a pleasant time-saver, especially given how useful they are in communicating emotions to colleagues or family when working remotely. The dictation key will open your system’s default dictation application so you can rest your fingers while you speak.

We didn’t find any issues using any of these features across a range of applications, and they quickly became an asset during a busy working day, so it’s little wonder that the MX Keys Mini is targeting creatives and people having to adapt to ‘the new normal’. It was easy to move the keyboard between different devices around the home, switching from taking notes on an iPad Pro, to moving to a desk and pairing with a desktop PC instantly thanks to the ‘Easy Switch’ feature.

This isn’t going to be for everyone – gamers will likely prefer a keyboard better optimized for FPS or Battle Royale titles and with plenty of RGB lighting, while people with a fixed setup might find that the lack of Numpad is a pain when working on spreadsheets. But for those of us traveling between work and home, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with the Logitech MX Keys Mini.

Buy it if…

You want a stylish keyboard

While many devices on the market right now come in a single color, there’s a good handful of options to choose from with the MX Keys Mini, and the overall design is gorgeous.

You need something compact

If you won’t use the Numpad anyway then going for a smaller keyboard can make access to your mouse easier and really clear up your workspace, alongside being better for portability.

You use multiple devices

Logitech has a great system for wireless connectivity between multiple devices, so you can quickly switch the MX Keys Mini between laptops, desktop computers, tablets and even mobile phones.

Don’t buy if…

You’re on a budget

At $99 / £99 / €109, this is pricey for a compact keyboard. We think it’s worth the money, but if you’re on a tight budget there are numerous options available that are more affordable.

You want the full RGB experience

The Backlighting is pretty, but it’s only in solid white so you can’t customize it to suit something like a gaming setup.

You can’t type at an angle

The position of the MX Keys Mini is fixed at a slight incline, so if you’re used to writing on a flat keyboard, it’ll take some adjustment to type comfortably on this.

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