Logitech MX Keys Mini review

Small, compact, but powerful – the MX Keys Mini shines despite or because of its comfortable size.

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I can already hear you calling: Why would I buy a mini keyboard without a number pad for 119 euros?! And I totally understand you. Because yes, the Logitech MX Keys Mini is not only smaller than the popular MX Keys, but also only one tenth cheaper. At least if you look at the recommended price.

But after my extensive testing, I have to say: I don’t bother typing on any other keyboard anymore – it’s become one of my favorite devices for the home office. And it’s not just because of the compact size. However, emphasis is placed on home office. But one after the other.

Design, craftsmanship and writing flair

Like its big brother, the MX Keys Mini shines with a smart, modern look and excellent craftsmanship. The aluminum frame feels high quality in combination with the keys, not least because of the impressive weight of 506 grams.

If the appearance of your tech devices is as important to me as I am, you can look forward to three different colors with the Mini. While the standard model is only available in graphite, the small version is also available in light grey, which looks more white in good lighting conditions, and in pink.

Small and compact: This saves space on the desk - for example for the mouse for a healthier posture.

Small and compact: This saves space on the desk – for example for the mouse for a healthier posture.

The manufacturer also sells a special Mac version with a silver frame and an optimized key layout. But don’t worry: the conventional version is also suitable for both Mac and Windows layouts. The corresponding keys then simply have both labels, for example CMD and Alt, which can be seen in the image above.

Speaking of which: the keys are concave (slightly pressed inwards) and are therefore really flattering to the touch. Even after longer chats, my fingertips still slide comfortably and, above all, precisely over the letters. Due to the small recess, the keys are released in the middle, which significantly reduces typing errors. Overall, I find the writing feel very satisfying.

And while we’re on the subject of comfort: The compact design, which is somewhere between 60 and 75 percent format and is just under 30 cm wide, ensures a healthier posture in the (permanent) home office. After all, there is now more room for the mouse on the side, so I can simply stretch my arm straight out and no longer have to spread out to the side like with full-sized keyboards.

The only point of criticism here is the fixed base. Thanks to the rubber feet, it stands rock solid even on smooth surfaces, but it cannot be adjusted in height or angle. But it doesn’t matter to me.

Wow effect with software and battery

Okay, comfortable ergonomics and beautiful design aside: what makes MX Keys the real home office king for me is the intuitive Logi Options+ software. With it, I can adapt the top row of keys almost completely freely to my individual needs.

Open any app with just one tap? No problem. Take a screenshot of the screen, copy it directly to the clipboard, then paste it into the chat using ctrl/cmd+v? A real productivity boost!

After all, as a manager, I spend most of my time on chats and video calls, where I often post screenshots with comments. Saving just a few seconds here adds up to a significant amount of saved work time during the week. But if you’re frequently scrolling through Excel spreadsheets or juggling numbers in your calculator, you’ll miss the missing block of numbers.

The free Logi Options+ software lets you customize almost the entire top button bar.  The possibilities are diverse.

The free Logi Options+ software lets you customize almost the entire top button bar. The possibilities are diverse.

I could list many more useful examples of the key bindings. That I open a specific folder, trigger a keyboard shortcut, or simply open App Exposé on my Mac to get an overview of all open programs. The standard tasks are also useful, including a dictation function, system-wide microphone mute and an emoji button. Because let’s be honest: where would documents and lists be today without emojis?

Micro fighter

Mirco has been working from home for over two years, and as head of Tech & Hardware Editorial he spends most of his time on video meetings, chats and documents. When it comes to hardware, he looks primarily at the range of functions and efficiency. Does the device integrate well into his (Mac) setup? Maybe it even saves working time through smart features? And does it look reasonably elegant on the desktop? If he can answer yes to all these questions, that microcheck passes, and he sometimes spends a few more euros on it.

Just as impressive as the software is the battery. Logitech promises a run time of up to five months with the key backlight turned off, and that matches my experience. Even after four weeks of continuous use, I’ve only used about 20 percent of the charging capacity.

When the key lighting is activated, however, the juice only lasts for ten days, as stated by the manufacturer. Smart, meanwhile: To save energy, the LEDs turn off when there is sufficient daylight or the keyboard is not in use, and turn on again as soon as my hands come near. This also works without problems in 95 percent of cases, I only looked for the keys like a mole in absolute darkness, because they only start to light up after a fraction of a second. Unfortunately, this feature cannot be turned off either, but who knows what future software updates will bring. And you should always have a lamp at your desk anyway to avoid working in the dark. Your eyes will thank you!

Versatile thanks to Easy-Switch with up to three devices

Another great feature: Easy Switch. You can pair the MX Keys Mini with up to three devices and then quickly switch between them with the push of a button. So you are always flexible, for example when you travel. I’m rarely on the go, but occasionally I like to work on the terrace with the iPad. Thanks to Easy Switch, this works as seamlessly and smoothly as Apple users are used to.

MX Keys Mini stores up to three devices - so you always have them ready for use, no matter where and when you need them.  (Image: Logitech)

MX Keys Mini stores up to three devices – so you always have them ready for use, no matter where and when you need them. (Image: Logitech)

I’ve tried the keyboard on both the iPad Pro and iPhone 13 Mini, my MacBook Air M1, a Google Pixel 4a and even the Steam Deck and never had any issues, not even with Bluetooth lag. Because, and you should be aware of this, the MX Keys Mini can only be operated wirelessly.

By the way: There are various reports on the Internet about a delayed sleep-wake mode on Mac, but I can also make it clear here. The keyboard reacts immediately after waking up from standby. It only takes a second or two for the keyboard to register my inputs when I boot (when it’s off) my MacBook. During this time I’m getting my first coffee anyway.

Who is the MX Keys Mini worth to?

For whom are optics important: The design of the MX Keys Mini is elegant yet subtle and should appeal to fans of the Apple Magic Keyboard in particular.

For travelers: If you are often on the move, you will benefit from the compact form factor and the low weight. In addition, the battery will not fail you for several months if you can do without the key lighting.

If you have multiple devices: Whether it’s a tablet, smartphone, laptop or desktop PC – the MX Keys Mini connects easily via Bluetooth or the included USB-C dongle, even with Apple devices. You can also easily switch between three stored devices with the touch of a button.

However, remember that you will have to do without a number pad. If you work a lot with spreadsheet programs such as Excel and Google Sheets or if you often need a virtual calculator, the MX Keys Mini is less of an option.

What about games? MX Keys Mini is also only suitable for games to a limited extent. Here I would rather recommend a full-sized wired model for better latency.

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