Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Review: Striking a Fine Balance
Logitech’s MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini are wi-fi mechanical keyboards meant for residence or workplace use. Including a mechanical possibility alongside Logitech’s MX Keys lineup, the MX Mechanical Mini I’m at present utilizing has brown switches for a quiet but tactile actuation. Monochrome backlighting is each sensible and engaging, and the construct high quality is what you’d count on from a flagship Logitech product.
It’s arduous to fault the MX Mechanical Mini, even when it isn’t my first alternative on this rising market. It’s, nevertheless, a secure one, and also you get some genuinely helpful options not discovered on competing fashions or customized builds. Certain, there are extra thrilling choices in the marketplace for tinkerers who need one thing customized, however for everybody else, the $149 Mechanical Mini is a brilliant alternative given its lengthy battery life, helpful options, and comfy switches.
Compact but sensible chassis
The MX Mechanical Mini is a compact keyboard that doesn’t waste actual property. It measures 12.3 x 5.2 x 1 inches and weighs 1.35 kilos, making it sufficiently small to slide right into a backpack or purse with out taking on a lot house. On the identical time, the MX Mechanical Mini feels substantial, because of an aluminum plate that sits atop a plastic base. The keys are firmly planted and the backlighting is even throughout its seven brightness levels.
Logitech landed on a 75% layout for the Mini, removing the numpad but keeping the arrow keys, a vertical row of productivity keys on the right for page down/up, end, and home, and a top function key row. It strikes a satisfying balance of productivity and portability compared to the spartan 60% keyboards, which ditch both top and right-side rows for letters, numbers, and a few other basics. With the Mechanical Mini, you get a compact chassis with useful quick access keys for volume controls, mute, and backlight brightness. Other shortcuts include a Google Search function, play/pause, voice transcription, and an emoji key.
When it comes to aesthetics, the MX Mechanical Mini is fairly bland. At a time when customized keyboards are going mainstream, the gray-on-grayer of the MX Mini feels stuffy, as if it had been designed by suit-wearing enterprise execs for boardroom conferences. I’d fortunately pay additional for the customization supplied by Keychron, Meletrix, or Logitech’s personal Pop keyboard. And whereas the two-tone grey end is designed to separate letters and arrow keys from the shortcuts, it may be tough to distinguish these two shades beneath darkish lighting, even with the backlighting cranked up.
Delicate “Logi” branding graces the highest edge and a inexperienced LED on the top-right nook illuminates whenever you activate the close by energy button. Subsequent to the button on the proper facet is a USB-C charging port. When the MX Mechanical is sitting flush on a desk, the keys angle oh-so-slightly downward. You may chill a pair of legs to lift the again of the keyboard to an 8-degree tilt, an angle Logitech argues is probably the most optimum for typing.
I’ve just a few qualms with the MX Mechanical’s design and construct high quality. It’s a strong board with an inoffensive look and a few good options. But when I might request something, other than customizable keys, it might be a holster for the USB dongle, as a result of I’ll inevitably lose the factor as I’ve executed with almost each USB mouse and keyboard I’ve examined. I’d additionally take extra top adjustability and fingerprint-repellent keycaps.
Three flavors of mechanical keys
What makes this new keyboard stand out from Logitech’s earlier efforts is its mechanical switches. The place the earlier MX Keyboard used scissor-switch keys, the MX Mechanical opts for low-profile keycaps and your alternative of Kailh Choc V2 switches. Earlier than I get into how these keys really feel, here’s a breakdown of the three accessible choices:
- Tactile Quiet (Brown): Silent presses with a reactive key reset, superb for customers who search tactile suggestions however not the noise.
- Linear (Pink): For easy keystrokes with the quickest actuation level among the many three.
- Clicky (Blue): Addictively satisfying clicks that produce audible suggestions from prime to backside.
I opted for the Tactile Quiet brown keys for just a few causes: to spare my spouse who works in a close-by room and for a typing expertise meant for on a regular basis work fairly than gaming. I hoped these can be a lot quieter than my mechanical gaming keyboard, however alas, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than my accomplice was closing my workplace door to dam out the uninteresting clacking. Frankly, these brown keys aren’t a lot quieter than clicker blue keys—they only produce a uninteresting thud fairly than a high-pitched click on.
Satisfying tactile keys
After a quick break-in interval, my fingers felt proper at residence on the MX Mechanical Keyboard Mini. Although the keys may seem cramped, there’s satisfactory spacing between the caps, sufficient for my fingers to effortlessly bounce from one sq. to the following. And the caps are sized appropriately—the format ought to accommodate a variety of customers, together with these with bigger or smaller-than-average palms. I simply want the keys had been a tad springier; they don’t have the stunning bounciness of a full-height keyboard, which effortlessly transfers your fingers from one letter to a different.
As for the brown keys, they’re tactile and responsive. Because of the low-profile mechanical switches, the MX Mechanical feels extra like a full-size mechanical keyboard than a scissor-style one. Key journey is notably shorter than a regular gaming keyboard, however deep sufficient to present you a tactile bump with every press. Nevertheless, the actuation power, or the quantity of stress required to register a keypress, is a tad excessive for my liking. It didn’t gradual me down, although: I typed at an expeditious 122 phrases per minute with a 94% accuracy score on a standardized on-line typing check.
Connectivity was additionally glorious in my testing. The MX Mechanical Mini connects to units through Bluetooth LE (low vitality) for comfort or a Logi Bolt USB Sort-A dongle for low latency 2.4 GHz typing. I put each strategies to the check by typing from the other finish of my workplace and was happy to see letters showing instantly on the display. I even typed this sentence from one other room. Are you able to see these letters? If that’s the case, then you definitely shouldn’t have issues typing far-off out of your supply gadget.
Good backlighting, profiles, and different helpful options
As talked about, the MX keyboard has seven levels of monochromatic backlighting. Degree 5 was vibrant sufficient for me to light up the caps in my dimly-lit workplace, whereas the primary two did the trick in a darkish room. Logitech additionally likes to modernize orthodox options, and it’s discovered a means with keyboard backlighting.
The latest characteristic is named Good Illumination, and when enabled, the keyboard backlighting turns off as you elevate your palms away from the keyboard. When the keyboard senses your palms transferring above the keys once more, the lights flip again on. There’s a lengthy delay earlier than the lights flip off, so that you don’t have to fret about them flickering on and off as you elevate and decrease your palms, they usually turned on earlier than I made contact so I might place myself on the house row with out guessing.
There are even backlighting results. Six of them, to be actual. You may change between these utilizing both the Logi Choices+ software program or the lighting results key above the Again button. I went with the default static, however if you happen to’re feeling funky, different choices embrace Waves, Distinction (darkish keys are brighter), Respiratory, Response (keys mild up as you press them), and Random (particular person keys mild up randomly).
One cause I gravitate towards Logitech’s mice and keyboards is for his or her gadget profiles characteristic (although different keyboards usually supply one thing comparable). On the MX Mechanical Mini, the F1-F3 keys home profile shortcuts. These will let you change between devices with the press of a key. In my case, an Origin desktop was set to profile 1 (through the USB dongle), a Lenovo laptop computer was profile 2 (through Bluetooth), and my Pixel 6 was set to profile 3 (through Bluetooth). The characteristic works flawlessly and prevents you from ever having to unpair a tool simply to make use of one other.
Like with backlighting results, you possibly can alter shortcut customization and profiles utilizing Logitech’s new Logi Choices+ software program. It’s a easy app with a clear, trendy interface and some worthwhile capabilities. When you might get away utilizing the MX Mechanical with out ever downloading Choices+, the app offers you the choice to remap any of the vertical or horizontal operate keys (moreover the profiles). I modified the dictation key to enlarge the window and the emoji button to launch Google Chrome. Sadly, you possibly can’t remap each key, which seems like an pointless restriction.
Epic battery life (with the lights off)
Logitech says the MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini will final for 15 days on a cost if the backlight is on and as much as 10 months with the lights turned off. I haven’t been capable of check these claims, however the keyboard has dropped solely 5-10% since I began utilizing it final week.
When it does run low on juice, the MX Mechanical prices through a USB-C enter and comes with a Sort-C-to-Sort-A cable within the field. In case you had been questioning, the keyboard capabilities whereas plugged in.
Do you have to purchase the Logitech MX Mechanical Mini?
Total, the MX Mechanical Mini is a compelling possibility for individuals who need a low-profile wi-fi keyboard with satisfying mechanical keys. Whereas it doesn’t ship the identical key journey or tactility as a full-height mechanical keyboard, the Mechanical Mini strikes a pleasant stability of measurement and efficiency. My reluctance to outright suggest this keyboard has extra to do with the competitors than with any fault within the Mechanical Mini.
For $149, I’d personally purchase a flowery fanatic keyboard with swappable caps, enjoyable colours, and full-size mechanical keys. For instance, the Keychron K2. However then, I’m a nerdy reviewer prepared to spend hours researching and mapping out my creation. The MX Mechanical Mini is for the plenty. It’s a dependable keyboard with handy options everybody can respect—and for that viewers, there isn’t a higher possibility.