Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Review: Striking a Fine Balance

Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Photo

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Logitech’s MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini are wi-fi mechanical keyboards meant for house or workplace use. Including a mechanical choice alongside Logitech’s MX Keys lineup, the MX Mechanical Mini I am at present utilizing has brown switches for a quiet but tactile actuation. Monochrome backlighting is each sensible and enticing, and the construct high quality is what you’d count on from a flagship Logitech product.

It is arduous to fault the MX Mechanical Mini, even when it is not my first alternative on this rising market. It’s, nonetheless, a secure one, and also you get some genuinely helpful options not discovered on competing fashions or customized builds. Positive, 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 does not 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 area. On the similar 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% structure for the Mini, eradicating the numpad however conserving the arrow keys, a vertical row of productiveness keys on the correct for web page down/up, finish, and residential, and a prime perform key row. It strikes a satisfying steadiness of productiveness and portability in comparison with the spartan 60% keyboards, which ditch each prime and right-side rows for letters, numbers, and some different fundamentals. With the Mechanical Mini, you get a compact chassis with helpful fast entry keys for quantity controls, mute, and backlight brightness. Different shortcuts embrace a Google Search perform, play/pause, voice transcription, and an emoji key.

Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Photo

Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

In the case of aesthetics, the MX Mechanical Mini is slightly bland. At a time when customized keyboards are going mainstream, the gray-on-grayer of the MX Mini feels stuffy, as if it have been designed by suit-wearing enterprise execs for boardroom conferences. I would fortunately pay further 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 underneath darkish lighting, even with the backlighting cranked up.

Refined “Logi” branding graces the highest edge and a inexperienced LED on the top-right nook illuminates if you activate the close by energy button. Subsequent to the button on the correct aspect is a USB-C charging port. When the MX Mechanical is sitting flush on a desk, the keys angle oh-so-slightly downward. You’ll be able to sit back a pair of legs to boost the again of the keyboard to an 8-degree tilt, an angle Logitech argues is probably the most optimum for typing.

Logitech's MX Mechanical Mini Photo

Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

I’ve a couple of qualms with the MX Mechanical’s design and construct high quality. It is a strong board with an inoffensive look and a few good options. But when I might request something, other than customizable keys, it will be a holster for the USB dongle, as a result of I am going to inevitably lose the factor as I’ve carried out with practically each USB mouse and keyboard I’ve examined. I would additionally take extra peak 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 Kilh Choc V2 switches. Earlier than I get into how these keys really feel, here’s a breakdown of the three out there choices:

  • Tactile Quiet (Brown): Silent presses with a reactive key reset, preferrred for customers who search tactile suggestions however not the noise.
  • Linear (Pink): For clean keystrokes with the quickest actuation level among the many three.
  • Clicky (Blue): Addictively satisfying clicks that produce audible suggestions from prime to backside.

Logitech's MX Mechanical Mini Photo

Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

I opted for the Tactile Quiet brown keys for a couple of causes: to spare my spouse who works in a close-by room and for a typing expertise meant for on a regular basis work slightly than gaming. I hoped these could be a lot quieter than my mechanical gaming keyboard, however alas, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than my companion 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 simply produce a uninteresting thud slightly than a high-pitched click on.

Satisfying tactile keys

After a short break-in interval, my fingers felt proper at house on the MX Mechanical Keyboard Mini. Although the keys would possibly seem cramped, there may be satisfactory spacing between the caps, sufficient for my fingers to effortlessly soar from one sq. to the subsequent. And the caps are sized appropriately—the structure ought to accommodate a spread of customers, together with these with bigger or smaller-than-average fingers. I simply want the keys have been a tad springier; they do not have the stunning bounciness of a full-height keyboard, which effortlessly transfers your fingers from one letter to a different.

Logitech's MX Mechanical Mini Photo

Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

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 typical gaming keyboard, however deep sufficient to present you a tactile bump with every press. Nonetheless, the actuation pressure, or the quantity of stress required to register a keypress, is a tad excessive for my liking. It did not gradual me down, although: I typed at an expeditious 122 phrases per minute with a 94% accuracy score on a standardized on-line typing take a look at.

Connectivity was additionally wonderful in my testing. The MX Mechanical Mini connects to gadgets by way of 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 take a look at by typing from the other finish of my workplace and was happy to see letters showing instantly on the display screen. I even typed this sentence from one other room. Are you able to see these letters? If that’s the case, you then should not have issues typing distant out of your supply machine.

Good backlighting, profiles, and different helpful options

As talked about, the MX keyboard has seven levels of monochromatic backlighting. Stage 5 was brilliant 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 is discovered a manner with keyboard backlighting.

The latest characteristic is known as Good Illumination, and when enabled, the keyboard backlighting turns off as you raise your fingers away from the keyboard. When the keyboard senses your fingers transferring above the keys once more, the lights flip again on. There’s a lengthy delay earlier than the lights flip off, so you do not have to fret about them flickering on and off as you increase and decrease your fingers, and so they turned on earlier than I made contact so I might place myself on the house row with out guessing.

Logitech's MX Mechanical Mini

Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

There are even backlighting results. Six of them, to be precise. You’ll be able to swap 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), Respiration, Response (keys gentle up as you press them), and Random (particular person keys gentle up randomly) .

One purpose I gravitate towards Logitech’s mice and keyboards is for his or her machine profiles characteristic (although different keyboards usually provide one thing related). On the MX Mechanical Mini, the F1-F3 keys home profile shortcuts. These will let you swap between devices with the press of a key. In my case, an Origin desktop was set to profile 1 (by way of the USB dongle), a Lenovo laptop computer was profile 2 (by way of Bluetooth), and my Pixel 6 was set to profile 3 (by way of Bluetooth). The characteristic works flawlessly and prevents you from ever having to unpair a tool simply to make use of one other.

Logitech's MX Mechanical Mini

Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Like with backlighting results, you’ll be able to modify shortcut customization and profiles utilizing Logitech’s new Logi Choices+ software program. It is 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 perform keys (in addition to the profiles). I modified the dictation key to enlarge the window and the emoji button to launch Google Chrome. Sadly, you’ll be able to’t remap each key, which appears 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 have never been in a position to take a look at these claims, however the keyboard has dropped solely 5-10% since I began utilizing it final week.

Logitech's MX Mechanical Mini

Logitech’s MX Mechanical Mini
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

When it does run low on juice, the MX Mechanical prices by way of a USB-C enter and comes with a Sort-C-to-Sort-A cable within the field. In case you have been questioning, the keyboard capabilities whereas plugged in.

Must you purchase the Logitech MX Mechanical Mini?

Total, the MX Mechanical Mini is a compelling choice for many who desire a low-profile wi-fi keyboard with satisfying mechanical keys. Whereas it does not ship the identical key journey or tactility as a full-height mechanical keyboard, the Mechanical Mini strikes a pleasant steadiness of dimension and efficiency. My reluctance to outright advocate this keyboard has extra to do with the competitors than with any fault within the Mechanical Mini.

For $149, I might personally purchase a elaborate fanatic keyboard with swappable caps, enjoyable colours, and full-size mechanical keys. For instance, the Keychron K2, However then, I am a nerdy reviewer keen to spend hours researching and mapping out my creation. The MX Mechanical Mini is for the plenty. It is a dependable keyboard with handy options everybody can admire—and for that viewers, there isn’t any higher choice.

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