Office keyboards are a bit of a moving target. It’s simple to see how extra buttons, ergonomic designs, and smart software can benefit from productivity mice. Still, the re’s nothing wrong with the average office keyboard – or the built-in keyboards in many of our picks for the best laptops. If typing is comfortable and doesn’t give you carpal tunnel symptoms, it’s about 75% of the way the re. The Logitech MX keyboard ($100) is a pretty convincing case, albeit for a high price. This is our Logitech MX Keys Review.
The keyboard is comfy and comes with a convenient array of additional features, including some subtle backlighting and incredibly long battery. On the other hand, high-end membrane keyboards are hard to sell, and the MX keys don’t do much to change my mind.
Logitech MX Keys Review: Design
The MX Keys is a slim, full-size keyboard that doesn’t take up too much space, measuring 17.0 x 5.1 inches. It looks beautiful, with a sturdy plastic chassis that uses two shades of grey against white keys. It looks understated and elegant, especially with its rounded corners and small “logi” logo on top. I would also recommend taking the thin MX Palm Rest with you, although it stings a bit that you have to hand out another $20 for the accessory.
An unusual feature of the keyboard is the tilt. While most keyboards have optional feet that you can flip, the MX keys are always tilted down at a slight angle. Admittedly, this is useful for touch typists like myself, and I don’t know too many people who use stand-alone keyboards in flat configurations. But, strangely, such an expensive keyboard doesn’t offer the possibility.
What’s more, the MX keys have all the standard keys, labeled for both Windows and Mac systems, and a few extra keys for starting the calculator, plus switching between three different modes. This is convenient because you can connect the MX keys to a desktop, laptop, and mobile phone at the same time, and then move from one system to another at the touch of a button. Connecting to new systems is easy and painless.
There are also alternative functions for most function keys, including screen brightness and media keys. My only gripe here is small: The “volume up” key is on its own, and you can use it at any time, while the “volume down” key is an alternative function to the F12 key. I understand that this is simply due to the way the distance between the keys on the keyboard shifts, but it is a bit annoying if you have assigned F12 to another function, and you have to change the volume along the way.
There are three main features of the MX keys that are worth discussing: the software, the lighting, and battery life. First, the MX keys run on the Logitech Options software. You can turn off the backlight completely, reprogram a few function keys, and create app-specific profiles – and that’s about it. You can’t fine-tune the backlight, you can’t reprogram most keys, and you can’t check battery life more than a faint symbol at the bottom of the screen.
Admittedly, I’m not sure how much more you’d want to do with a productivity keyboard, but compared to the many options available for the Logitech MX Master 3 mouse, it’s not that much. The lighting is one of the more exciting things about the MX keys. While it’s not uncommon for high-end productivity keyboards to provide lighting, it’s usually just a simple on/off option. The MX keys, on the other hand, use sensors to adjust the brightness automatically.
In a brightly lit room, the lighting turns off completely; in a completely dark place, it swings up completely. My experience is that the lightning is well adjusted for each setting, but I wish there were a way to adapt some of these options. For example, in a dark room, the light becomes exceptionally bright. I would have liked to have seen a way to dim them a bit without having to adjust them manually each time.
Then the re’s the battery life, which is ten days with the lights on or up to five months with the lights off, according to Logitech. I’ve used the MX keys quite intensively for about a week and drained the battery a little more than halfway through, so the estimate of the lights at least seems accurate. Thanks to a USB-C port, the battery charges pretty quickly, and because a keyboard is a stationary device, it’s not such a hassle.
Logitech MX Keys Review: Performance
With the name MX Keys, you’d expect the keys on this particular keyboard to be unique. And, yes, if membrane keys go, they’re quite decent. Each key is a small, square-shaped with a circular notch in the middle. They work with a quiet, spring-loaded, scissor-like switch, which makes this keyboard more comfortable and responsive than your standard membrane model. It’s not a significant difference, but if you’re used to Dell and Microsoft’s standard keyboards, the MX keys will feel like a considerable upgrade.
I’ve used the Logitech MX keys as my main keyboard at work for about a week, and I found the keys snug, and the typing experience was seamless. I also appreciate the ability to easily switch between systems for those times when I had to use my desktop and laptop at the same time. The MX keys work great for typing. With this keyboard, I registered 130 words per minute with 99% accuracy a typing test. With my standard Logitech G915, I scored 123 words per minute with 98% accuracy, which is a surprisingly big difference, considering how much longer I’ve used the Logitech G915.
My only major issue is that when I connected via USB dongle instead of Bluetooth, the Logitech options software didn’t recognize the keyboard at first, and even when it did, it couldn’t give me an estimate of the battery. I’m sure Logitech will solve this problem in the future. But I always prefer USB over Bluetooth, and it was frustrating that I couldn’t use all the same features in this mode.
Logitech MX Keys Review: Conclusion
The Logitech MX keys have a lot to offer, especially when it comes to battery life and typing speed. Yet it’s expensive and can’t compete with a comparable mechanical model, even considering the stable wireless features. (If you just want a Logitech wireless keyboard, you can get one for $30). If you have $100 to spend, you can certainly do a lot worse than the MX keys. If nothing else, it will look pretty chic on a desk in the office. For more options, check our list of Best Mechanical Keyboards
The Logitech MX keys are unobtrusive, quiet, and functional, making it one of the best wireless keyboards.
- Attractive design
- Fast keys
- Good battery life
- Unhelpful software