Presently, the luxury keyboard industry appears to be dominated by mechanical boards that emit a rhythm reminiscent of Fred Astaire, filling offices and homes with a tappity-tap sound.
The MX Keys, a $100 keyboard with a focus on quality and comfort, served as a reminder that keyboards don’t have to be bulky or loud.
The manufacturer now offers the MX Keys Mini for people who desire Logitech’s premium construction without the daunting size of a full-sized keyboard.
The same board, now in a fun-size
As the saying goes, the MX Keys Mini does exactly what it says on the box.
It is virtually identical to the original MX Keys, except for the 10-key and control clusters.
The only changes to the layout consist of squeezing the arrow jets into a laptop-style double-stack in the bottom-right corner and narrowing the function row slightly to allow a Delete key.
As a slim, compact wireless keyboard, comparisons with Apple’s Magic Keyboard are inevitable.
But I’d describe the MX Keys as a more detached version of a high-quality laptop keyboard, for desktop users who prefer something smaller and sleeker than the present swarms of clicky mechanical variants.
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What About More Features?
The scissor switches have a pleasing, if not exceptionally long, feel that will not annoy anyone in the adjacent cubicle.
Despite only giving a single keyboard angle option (and a practically flat one at that), I discovered that I was able to type faster and more correctly than on my favourite ThinkPad keyboards.
The MX Keys Mini does not attempt anything crazy, such as eye-searing RGB illumination or ergonomically developed curves.
However, it accomplishes its goals nearly perfectly.
The slightly recessed keys are easy to hit and centre, the backlighting is appealing and bright, and the layout is so familiar that touch typists won’t even need to use it.
This is fortunate because turning off the lights increases the battery life from one and a half weeks to the estimated five months.
The function row is the exception.
Logitech has intelligently defaulted to some of the most often used tools for modern keyboards: media, volume, and a few welcome surprises such as a microphone mute button and an emoji insert button.
Using the Logitech Options software, you can reprogram the F4-F12 (and Delete) keys to alternative functions if you do not find the default tools especially useful.
These options are restricted, but you can configure them to run a specific application.
Other Key Features!
With the F1, F2, and F3 buttons, you can immediately switch between three paired devices, and it’s compatible with the multi-device management utility Flow.
USB-C is used to recharge the keyboard, although there is no cable connection.
Despite its diminutive size, the MX Keys Mini is a surprising companion for a tablet, despite being designed for a desktop.
I linked it with my iPad Mini, where its quick-switch buttons and dual Windows/Mac key legends made it a convenient addition to my portable setup.
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You can also pair it with a specialised USB Bolt receiver if your office’s airwaves are congested.
It’s supposed to work largely through Bluetooth, and I never experienced a hitch.
What About The Cost?
Small package, the hefty price tag
The MX Keys Mini is a stylish and efficient board for people who desire the appearance and feel of a 60 per cent design, with a few additional tricks up its sleeve.
The only downside is the cost.
Despite being nearly half the size of the original MX Keys design, Logitech is selling the Mini for $100.
It has not slipped our notice that this is the same price as Apple’s regular Magic Keyboard.
It’s not as if we want a perfect correlation between keyboard size and price, but a $10 price reduction seems more than reasonable.
What Is The Final Verdict?
The prudent purchaser should wait for a sale.
Even with its questionable value, the MX Keys Mini is a clear winner in this small category of slim keyboards.
It is a pleasure to use and a clear victor over the comparable Magic Keyboard due to its incredibly soft keys, intelligent and semi-customizable layout, and the ability to switch between various PCs.
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We wish its smaller size was accompanied by a lower price tag, but those willing to invest will not be disappointed.