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Logitech MX Mechanical Review: A Fantastic Keyboard for Every OS

Rating:
9/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $169.99

Here’s What We Like

  • Comfortable to work on
  • Customizable shortcuts, with good defaults
  • Great battery life

And What We Don’t

  • Limited lighting options
  • No wired capability

Dave McQuilling

Logitech is adding mechanical keyboards to its high-end wireless MX Master range. I’ve spent a week extensively testing the MX Mechanical keyboard to see if it lives up to Logitech’s promises and is worth the $169.99 asking price.

Three key types are on offer with the MX Mechanical, covering a range of user preferences. “Clicky” switches offer the traditional mechanical keyboard experience. There is noticeable tactile feedback and loud clack with every keystroke. The “tactile quiet” configuration provides the same level of tactile feedback but with far less noise. While the “linear” has no tactile bump to overcome and promises “minimal spring force.” For this review, I chose the linear model.

You don’t get a lot of choices when it comes to color. The keyboard comes in one sleek-looking style: graphite (dark grey). Logitech has also taken a bit of an environmental angle with this build. They have constructed the keyboard from recycled plastic and “.” It also arrives in paper packaging, meaning you have a carbon-neutral keyboard at your fingertips and aren’t destroying the planet one sentence at a time.

Specs As Reviewed

  • Layout: ANSI
  • Number of Keys: 106
  • Switches: Tactile Quiet (Brown), Linear (Red), and Clicky (Blue)
  • Switch Compatibility: Hot-swappable
  • Keyboard Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, iPadOS, iOS, and Android 8 or later
  • Pairing: Via Bluetooth or USB-RF
  • Bluetooth Version: Low Energy (4)
  • Dynamic Backlit Types: 6
  • Inclined Angle: Yes
  • Charging: USB-A to C
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 days w/ backlighting; up to 10 months w/ no backlighting
  • Weight: 828 grams
  • Dimension: 433.85 mm × 131.55mm × 26.1 mm
  • Input: 5V/500mA

As a Keyboard, it’s Good

Fingers typing on an MX Mechanical keyboard
Dave McQuilling

The MX Mechanical has a whole range of features which we’ll look into later in the article. Those features don’t mean anything if it’s a pain to type on. The good news is that it’s an absolute pleasure to work with. The keys have a high-quality feel, which is more important than it sounds. Cheap plastic has a feeling which wears on you after a while. It’s also very solidly built; I doubt I could flex this keyboard if I grabbed it at both ends and slammed it over my thigh. The keys are resistant to the point where every keystroke is a deliberate action; I have had no issues while resting my fingers on individual keys.

I went with the linear model, the best option for gaming. In gaming terms, input was immediate, and there were no issues with ghosting — even when I was deliberately spamming the hell out of Microsoft’s ghosting test keyboard.

The Keyboard is Backlit, but RGB isn’t an Option

The MX Mechanical's backlighting in action
Dave McQuilling

Even though Logitech offers a linear configuration, there are certain gaming features this keyboard arguably lacks. As previously stated, it is very clean and professional looking. Naturally, the backlighting reflects that. There are six “effects” to choose from, and they all come in white with no other color options available. Some make sense, like the “contrast” settings, but the “random” mode, which seemingly lights up a single random key followed by another single random key, makes me feel oddly uncomfortable.

Although the linear option may be a good choice for gaming, there are no lighting modes that will make your WASD keys stand out. So if you’re planning on accessorizing your gaming PC with an MX Mechanical, you’ll have to rely on muscle memory or look harder.

The Keyboard Shortcuts are Incredibly Useful

Three of the MX Mechanical's shortcut keys

The MX Mechanical features a row of customizable shortcut keys on the Fn row, though the default options are incredibly good. I regularly have to take screenshots for articles and reviews, and now I can do so by clicking the F7 key and selecting the area I want to screenshot. It only saves a few seconds, but those add up.

There are also options for controlling videos, adjusting screen and keyboard backlight brightness, and selecting emojis if you’re the kind of person that uses a lot of those. F8 is also useful; it mutes or unmutes your microphone during virtual meetings. The one issue I have is with the lock screen shortcut, which is right in the corner and easily knocked. But as I can customize my shortcuts with the Logi Options+ app, that problem is easily fixed.

If you don’t want to type, one of the keyboard shortcuts opens up your device’s dictation app, which allows you to say whatever you intend to write and then sit back while it appears on the screen — which is handy if you frequently use your device’s dictation app.

The shortcuts function without having to simultaneously press the FN key by default, though you can turn off “Fn Lock” by pressing Fn+Esc if you would like to use your standard F keys.

Multiple ways to connect, and battery life isn’t a problem

MX Mechanical Switches
Dave McQuilling

The keyboard comes with a “Logi Bolt,” Logitech’s wireless USB connector. Like other wireless keyboard and mouse connectors, your computer will take a few seconds to get the necessary drivers installed, and then you’re good to go. An advantage of the Logi Bolt is you can pair more than one compatible device with it, a mouse and a keyboard, for example. The downside is that each device you pair has to be compatible with Logi Bolt; older Logitech USB dongles won’t work.

If you want to save a USB port, your device does not have a USB port, or you lose the Logi Bolt, Bluetooth connectivity is also an option. Connecting via Bluetooth is also just the standard procedure. Turn your keyboard on, or select a clear device spot on your keyboard, scan for the keyboard on the device you’re selecting from, select it, and you’re done.

One thing you can’t use to connect your keyboard to a device is the included USB type A to USB C cable. However, as the cable is only three feet long and USB C ports don’t lock, that may be an intelligent design decision. What the cable does allow you to do is keep working while your keyboard is charging. Because of this feature, I haven’t had any keyboard downtime during my week-long testing period despite extensive daily use and my habit of continuously forgetting to put things on charge.

If you don’t want to work with a wire trailing from your Keyboard, Logitech claims a 15-minute charge is enough to power you through a day’s worth of work. Logitech also says a full charge will last up to 15 days if you use the keyboard’s backlight or 40 weeks with the backlight switched off. I haven’t been able to thoroughly test these claims as the charge the keyboard arrived with has lasted longer than the review period. But I have successfully worked while the keyboard was plugged in, and battery life has in no way been an issue.

You can Seamlessly Switch Between Devices

The MX Mechanical's channel selector keys

This may be the only keyboard you need in your life. If you have three devices you regularly use a keyboard with, you can seamlessly switch between them at the push of a button. You can also re-pair the keyboard in seconds if you need to switch out one device for another.

I could be sitting writing this review on my laptop while a small home entertainment PC streams music over my projector or through my TV. If I want to change the song, I don’t need to get up or grab a second keyboard; I switch to the second device channel on my keyboard, do my thing, then switch back to the laptop.

You can program and re-program the device slots on the keyboard or manage them through Logitech’s Logi Options+ app. To pair a device, hold down the channel key you want to pair it with. When the key starts blinking, your keyboard is in pairing mode.

There’s a Compact Model, But This Is Still Portable

The MX Mechanical inside a backpack

Logitech has a compact model of the MX Mechanical that launches simultaneously as the full-fat version. If you opt for the larger model, rest assured it will fit in most backpacks and, although it’s on the heavy side for a keyboard, at less than two pounds, it’s unlikely to cause you problems if you choose to cart it around.

I haven’t gone as far as to beat the test model up, but it does feel very solidly built. You can connect the MX Mechanical to a phone, laptop, or tablet via Bluetooth, so you’ll benefit from working with a full-sized keyboard while on the move. The battery life and solid construction also make it a good travel companion. I know if I have a reasonable amount of charge when I set off, it won’t die on me. It also seems sturdy enough to take a few knocks along the way. Life in my backpack is hard, and I have opened it up to find bits of travel keyboard scattered all over the place on at least one occasion.

When All is Said and Done, This is a Fantastic Keyboard

MX Mechanical in a cafe

The only “criticism” I could pull out is a lack of RGB lighting, and I hate RGB lighting anyway. This is a fantastic keyboard and worth getting if it’s in your price range. Over the past week, I’ve written around 15,000 words on it, and the only issues I had were the kind of typos you always get when switching to a new keyboard and a Bluetooth connectivity issue that turned out to be my phone’s fault.

Honestly, if I were shopping for a keyboard, I would 100% buy this. It’s comfortable, reliable, and the keyboard’s shortcuts genuinely save you both time and effort—well done, Logitech.

Rating: 9/10
Price: $169.99

Here’s What We Like

  • Comfortable to work on
  • Customizable shortcuts, with good defaults
  • Great battery life

And What We Don’t

  • Limited lighting options
  • No wired capability

This post was originally published on this site

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