I’m totally into Logitech with its latest release: the $149.99 Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Keyboard for Mac. I spend all day working on a MacBook Pro using an external keyboard, I much prefer the haptic feedback of mechanical keyboards, and I’m frustrated that almost every mechanical keyboard in my collection is designed for Windows – so I have to keep remembering how to macOS-specific commands with Windows-labeled keys.
Small Form Factor, Tactile Quiet Keys
I could go with either full size or compact, but in this case we’re looking at a mini keyboard minus the numpad. This size is ideal for use in small spaces and is much easier to fit into a backpack if you’re in a hybrid work routine or traveling.
The build is very sturdy (it’s almost bulky) with an aluminum case for durability. It also has some green cred thanks to its use of post-consumer recycled plastic (47% in the Space Gray review unit and 36% in the Pale Gray version).
Let’s talk about keys. Logitech chose to use the low-profile Tactile Quiet switches. They offer superior travel on chiclet keyboards, but the click is very muffled. Good for working in a shared space, but at least for me less satisfying than the distinct click sound that most mechanical switches offer. It was comfortable to type on and there are feet that open to increase the typing angle, but I wish there was an option for click switches.
USB-C charging, but wireless-only operation
The MX Mechanical Mini for Mac charges via USB-C. Logitech says we’ll expect a full day of use on a 15-minute charge. Fast charging might not seem like a priority for a USB-C keyboard, but this one is wireless only. You don’t have the option to use it as a wired keyboard, so it had better charge quickly if you accidentally let the battery die.
By wireless, Logitech is mainly looking at Bluetooth. There’s no USB receiver in the box, and the keyboard doesn’t support the Logitech Unifying Receiver that many people may have. Logi Bolt receiver only.
For the majority of buyers (most of whom would just be using Bluetooth anyway), this shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s something to be aware of.
Great battery life for a backlit keyboard, but…
I had mixed feelings about what I thought was one of the real strengths of this keyboard: battery life.
On a positive note, Logitech rates the battery life at up to 15 days of use on a charge. And I was hitting those numbers. That might not seem like much (Apple’s wireless keyboards will run for months on a charge), but it’s one with backlight keyboard and that the backlight makes a difference. I’m used to having to charge at the end of each week with my current wireless, lighted keyboard. Three times the interval between charges is amazing.
However, Logitech accomplishes this feat by using sensors to turn off the backlight when your hands are away from the keyboard and automatically dimming based on ambient lighting conditions.
This, I didn’t care for, especially turning off the backlight completely.
My problem is that I never learned to touch type, so I keep looking at the keyboard. I prefer low light, so backlighting is important. And the way I work, I tend to type a few words or sentences and then stop for a few seconds to gather my thoughts. This pause is long enough to turn off the backlight on the keyboard. I’ve been using this keyboard for several weeks now and ended up adopting a small wave or brush over the keyboard to wake up the backlight before I start typing. Having to do this is annoying and over the course of a day adds up to extra time. I would gladly accept the battery life if I could set this timer to 15 or 20 seconds.
You can change the lighting effects using the keyboard itself, and you can turn off the backlight entirely if you download Logitech’s Logitech Options software, but as far as I could find, there’s no way to stop the keyboard from automatically turning off the backlight. Even if it was possible to adjust the time before it goes off, that would be a huge improvement.
Not everyone works like me, obviously, so the way this feature works may not be a problem for you at all.
Multiple device support
Logitech has always done a good job of offering multi-device support, and the MX Mechanical Mini for Mac continues that tradition. You can connect up to three devices (Mac, iPad or iPhone) and switch between them at the touch of a button with Easy Switch. It also supports Logitech Flow functions between computers.
Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Keyboard for Mac Specifications:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- White LED backlight with smart energy saving functions
- Easily switch connections between up to three devices
- Charges via USB-C with up to 15 days of battery life (up to 10 months with backlight off)
- Works with Logi Bolt USB receiver (not included)
- Aluminum top case, plastic components include 36% to 47% post-consumer recycled plastic (amount depends on color)
- Available in Space Gray and Pale Grey
- Includes USB-C to USB-C charging cable
- Turn the legs out
- Electric power switch
- 12.30 x 5.17 x 1.02 inches, weighs 21.58 ounces
- MSRP $149.99
The Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Keyboard will be a welcome choice for many Mac (and iPad) users — at least those looking for a compact, wireless and/or mechanical keyboard. Having a native Mac keyboard instead of having to remember the Mac equivalent of Windows keys is a big win. So does the two-week+ battery life, though that comes at a potential convenience cost. The deciding factor for fans of mechanical keyboards may well be whether the Tactile Quiet switches offer enough of a “mechanical” typing experience, or whether you want something a little more clicky.
Disclosure: Logitech provided a keyboard for evaluation purposes, but had no input into this review.