A great low profile mechanical keyboard designed for office use, not gaming. Connect to your Mac, PC and iPad and switch between them with the click of a button.
Best Prices Today: MX Mechanical
Logitech makes good keyboards. They’re the backbone of our top keyboard lists, whether for Mac or iPad, because outside of Apple’s own keyboards, they’re the safest choice. You will almost always get something of high quality, with good keys and useful software features.
It seems odd then that mechanical keyboards are becoming more popular among enthusiasts, and work-from-home skyrocketing in recent years, that Logitech’s mechanical keyboards were only available in the gaming-focused G series.
With MX Mechanical, the company is finally fixing that. Available in keyless Mini ($149) and full-size ($169) options, it combines the prowess of the company’s mechanical gaming keyboards with superior performance features and software. And all this in a more professional design that will be welcome in any office – at home or away.
For those who love to print
Mechanical keyboards are becoming thing recently. Tired of the wobbly, slow-travel keys on laptop keyboards (like the Apple Magic Keyboard), enthusiast users are flocking to the good old clicky mechanical keys. Of course, they make more noise (even quiet ones), but they Feel much better, with a bigger spring and a superior clicky feel when the key is actuated. Gamers love them too for their durability, faster response times, and more intentional feel.
You can also replace the keycaps on many mechanical keyboards by personalizing the keyboard to make it look the way you want. Logitech uses the new low-profile Kailh Choc V2 switches in the MX Mechanical, which are available in linear, tactile, and clicky options. I tested the tactile (brown) switches, which I think do the best job of giving you an intentional mechanical feel with a bit less typing noise. The typing experience is just as good as you’d expect with such a top-notch switch, great responsiveness for a low-profile keyboard, and minimal key wobble.
The Kailh Choc V2 uses the same round stem as the Cherry MX switches. This is probably the most popular stem design and gives you the biggest aftermarket keycap options (Logitech doesn’t offer alternative keycap sets). But be warned: regular keycaps don’t work well on low-profile switches. They technically work, but due to the shorter key travel, they will constantly bang on the keyboard. Low profile caps compatible with the Cherry MX stem are harder to find but should work well with the MX Mechanical.
Built for work, not play
While you can certainly use this keyboard while gaming, it’s specifically designed for office use.
This means no macro keys or macro programming in the Options+ software bundle, though I hope that comes in an update. The Fn keys have keyboard shortcuts, including microphone mute, emoji, and dictation, as well as basic options like brightness, key brightness, and volume.
As with most keyboards these days, you can access the regular function keys by holding down the “fn” key. MX Mechanical allows you to disable this by pressing fn and Esc, which will be welcomed by programmers and others who want to press F8 much more often than mute the microphone.
Speaking of the keys, they are single white backlit, which pairs well with the dual tone graphite keyboard (no other colors available). There are seven levels and six different effects so you can have small fun, but not as much as an RGB keyboard. Logitech has built in a deck with a proximity sensor, so the backlight turns off when your hands leave the keyboard for 30 seconds, and turns back on as soon as they get close again. The ambient light sensor also adjusts the brightness of the backlight – dimmer when there is little light, and brighter when sunlight comes in through your office window.
All for the sake of increasing battery life. Logitech says you can expect about 15 days of normal use with the backlight on, and 10 months with the backlight off. I left the backlight on but set it to low and the battery dropped from 100 percent to 85 percent in just five days. When you need to recharge, there’s a lone USB-C port in the rear right corner.
As with most other Logitech MX hardware, you can connect the MX Mechanical via Bluetooth or your own Logitech Bolt USB-A wireless dongle. The Bolt dongle can work with up to six compatible Logitech devices, so you only need to use one of your precious USB-A ports for multiple mice and keyboards.
The keyboard itself can connect to three different machines (Bolt or Bluetooth) and switch between them using dedicated keys. This is something users of multiple devices will appreciate. And yes, that includes using a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad or iPhone, both of which work great. Switching between typing on my Mac and iPad with a single keystroke was a pleasure.
In addition, there is the Options+ software which effectively replaces the old Logi Options app for Mac. Options+ allows you to remap the functions of all the Fn keys, the Insert/Home key block, and the top keys of the numeric keypad. All of them have both global and optional per-app settings, and they sync to the cloud when you sign in to your Logitech account.
The software is intuitive, attractive, and useful (and it’s an all-in-one app ready for your next Apple Silicon Mac), but somewhat limited compared to some of the features you get in the company’s G Hub software for gaming keyboards. Keyboard macros in particular would be a welcome addition.
Should I buy MX Mechanical?
The MX Mechanical probably won’t satisfy the hobbyist who wants to completely customize their keyboard, but it’s not designed for that. It’s designed to combine great mechanical feel with the software features of existing Logitech MX Keys products while still looking “office ready” and it does the job perfectly.
It’s attractive, well built, and has great key feel. The battery lasts for a long time, and the software for setting up basic functions is thoughtful and simple. It connects to up to three devices (Mac, PC, Linux, even an iPad or iPhone) via USB or the company’s Bolt USB-A wireless dongle that comes with it.
Mechanical keyboards aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a good low-profile option with features designed for productivity rather than gaming, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better solution.