- Good battery life
- Rechargeable via USB-C
- Keys tapping fine
- Light keyboard
- Backlight turns on automatically
- Quickly switch between devices
- Many options in the software
- Durable product
- No feet to change the keyboard position
- You can’t create real macros in the software, but you can create keystrokes.
Logitech is releasing a keyboard in the MX series in addition to the well-known MX Master 3 mice (review). This keyboard is the MX Keys and is a wireless keyboard. According to Logitech, the keyboard is designed for creative people and developed for programmers. So it seems that they are targeting the same market as Apple. It’s also remarkably similar to the keys on a MacBook Pro, for example. In this review we will find out whether they type just as nicely.
In this review we received a MX Keys keyboard from Logitech. At the time of writing the keyboard is firmware version 019.000.00011. At Coolblue and Amazon you pay 109 euro for the keyboard at the time of writing.
There are a few things striking about the specifications. For example, the keyboard can be paired via Bluetooth and via the USB receiver, there are sensors that automatically turn on the backlight as soon as your hands are closer, there are sensors that adjust the backlight brightness and a USB-C connection is used.
More information can be found on the manufacturer’s website.
|MX Keys Keyboard:|
|Height x Width x Depth:|
|5.18 in (131.63 mm) x 1.41 ft (430.2 mm) x 0.80 in (20.5 mm)|
|Weight: 1.78 lb (810 g)|
|Height x Width x Depth:|
|0.72 in (18.4 mm) x 0.5 in (14.4 mm) x 0.26 in (6.6 mm)|
|Height x Width x Depth:|
|2.52 in (64 mm) x 1.38 ft (420 mm) x 0.31 in (8 mm)|
|Internet connection for software download|
|Logitech Options software on macOS® and Windows.|
|USB port or Bluetooth® low energy enabled device with keyboard support|
|Windows® 7 and above, macOS 10.11 and above, Linux,1 Android 6 or later|
|Windows 8 and above, macOS 10.12 and above, Linux,1 iOS 9 or later, Android 6 or later|
|Connect via the included USB receiver or Bluetooth low energy technology|
|Easy-switch keys to connect up to three devices and easily switch between them|
|10 meters wireless range3|
|Hand proximity sensors that turn the backlighting on|
|Ambient light sensors that adjust backlighting brightness|
|USB-C rechargeable. Full charge lasts 10 days – or 5 months with backlighting off2|
|On/Off power switch|
|Caps Lock and Battery indicator lights|
|Compatible with Logitech Flow enabled mouse|
|MX Keys Keyboard|
|USB-C charging cable (USB-A to USB-C)|
|1-Year Limited Hardware Warranty|
On the front of the box, we find a large image of the keyboard with the product name in the top left corner. As with any keyboard, you have to look carefully at the layout, so sometimes you may encounter a keyboard with a German Qwertz layout. Make sure you choose the US international version for this keyboard if you live in the Netherlands or in the US.
In the sticker sealed box we find a black box with a big “MX” on it. On the inside of this box are some quick instructions for using the keyboard.
In the box itself we find:
- MX Keys keyboard
- The USB receiver
- USB-C charging cable (USB-A to USB-C)
According to Logitech, the keyboard is aimed at programmers and creative people, and we’ll look at the design below to see if it meets those requirements. In terms of build quality, we immediately notice that the keyboard feels heavy and quite stiff. Grab the keyboard by the ends and turn it around its longest axis, you’ll notice some flex. On the other hand, if you press hard on the space above the arrow keys, the keyboard barely bends.
The top of the keyboard is made of a sturdy plastic with a matte grey coating. This makes it look like it’s secretly made of aluminium, but it’s really a plastic. The keyboard is very sleek and minimalistic, we secretly think it has a somewhat futuristic look. At the top of the keyboard is a dark-colored rim with a LED in it. This dark colored edge is also where a large part of the electronics is hidden. Think for example of the battery, it fits nicely in the beam and is therefore very ingeniously concealed. So from a designer’s perspective, Logitech certainly gets advantages for this.
There are no buttons on the sides of the keyboard. However, you can clearly see here that the sign is a bit slanting and very thin.
We don’t see much on the front either, other than the fact that our model doesn’t come with a palm rest. There is a version of this keyboard on the market where you can order this palm rest, if you like.
At the bottom of the keyboard we find 6 rubbers on which the keyboard rests. Unfortunately we don’t find any adjustable legs, so there is only 1 stand. Despite the large amount of features, we think Logitech will bump into this. Programmers often go for ergonomic designs, especially because they spend so much time at the computer. So we think a pair of legs to raise the keyboard a little higher would have been nice.
We will first discuss the keyboard layout and then the keys themselves.
The keyboard contains a numpad but has remained relatively compact. Additionally, it’s interesting to see that Logitech has gone to great lengths to ensure as many features and compatibility as possible on a single keyboard. For example, there are Windows keys as well as Mac keys. Think of a combined cmd-alt key and an opt-windows key. The function key is located to the right of the keyboard next to the AltGr. On the top row we find F-keys with extra functions, these range from screen lock to task view and varying the brightness of the keyboard illumination. Above the insert, home and page up keys we find some keys to quickly switch between devices. To the right are some programmable buttons, which are standard on calculator, camera, “right mouse button” and screen lock.
The keys themselves are most comparable to the MacBook Pro keys of the beloved MacBook Pros from the year 2015. The keys sound the same and feel the same but have a big improvement in our opinion. In almost every key there is a small hole where your fingers fit. This makes it easier to feel if you’re holding a key, which reduces the amount of typing mistakes. These holes are not only in the letter keys, but can also be found on the row with numbers, numpad and arrow keys. Actually, only the top row of programmable keys and the space bar do not have a notch. Our opinion is, that despite the relatively low amount of travel compared to mechanical keyboards, the keyboard actually types wonderfully. Now, we always advise our readers to test keyboards and mice in real life, because they are devices you spend several hours with every day. However, if you can’t test this keyboard and you know what a MacBook Pro 2015 keyboard feels like, that’s no problem at all. It has a total motion distance of 1.8 mm and a working radius of 60 grams.
For extra ergonomics, Logitech has also added keyboard lighting, which is one color – white. What’s nice about these keyboard lights is that Logitech can automatically determine the optimal brightness, for example, it’s turned off in daylight (over 200 Lux) and turns on automatically when it gets dark in the room. You can, of course, turn it off to get a better battery life, but it’s nice that this option is there. The keyboard has 8 illumination levels, but in the automatic mode the backlight never exceeds 50%. You can of course adjust this yourself, if you like. In addition, we find it great that the backlight turns on automatically when you get close to the keyboard or touch it with your hands. This also seems to save a lot of battery, if you still like to use the backlight.
There is a lot of hardware in the keyboard, think of the sensors that can feel whether your hands are close to the keyboard or not. However, we find it important to discuss the battery life of the keyboard. On a full battery of 1500 mAh the keyboard will last a maximum of 10 days if you use the backlight. Then you have to think of 10 days of 8 hours, or 80 hours. If you don’t use the backlight, you can count on 5 months, according to Logitech. We were able to confirm the 10 days, but due to the amount of testing time we were unable to do the 5 months.
According to Logitech, the wireless range is 10 meters and we were indeed able to measure this. This was tested in a space of 12 by 3 meters, without obstacles between the receiver and the keyboard.
The software package, Logitech Options, comes with the mouse. At the bottom of the main screen, you can see the battery status and whether the device is connected. There’s no estimate of how many hours you can still work on the device, unfortunately. In this software you can reprogram all keys on the top row (except the escape key). Think for example of assigning a copy function or opening a certain folder. There are so many options that there are too many to mention, but for convenience we have picked a few of them: action center, launch application, close window, keystroke assignment, maximize window, scroll left, switch applications and zoom in. So there are a total of 17 keys on the keyboard which can be assigned a different function. In the software, you can back up all keyboard settings to Logitech’s servers, so you can always access them.
With the Easy-Switch buttons, above the insert, home and page up, you can easily and quickly switch systems. For example, you can switch between your laptop and iPad Pro, which, in our opinion, works very well and very quickly. We’re glad Logitech added this feature, because sometimes a programmer or creative person uses two completely different devices side by side. In total, you can pair 3 different devices with the MX Keys. With Logitech Flow software, you can also transfer files from one Windows PC or Mac to another. By the way, we can confirm that the keyboard itself works fine on iPad OS, Android and Linux.
The keyboard uses the Logitech Unifying remote for convenience, so you can connect other devices as well.
For sustainability, we look at 5 properties:
- Sustainable ambitions of the company
- Durable packaging
- Durable design
- Energy efficiency
When it comes to sustainable ambitions, Logitech scores well. Logitech clearly indicates on their website what they do for our blue friend. For example, all their factories run on 100% green electricity and 94% of their contracted (plastic) smelters are conflict-free.
The packaging of the product is made from a mix of FSC certified forests, FSC Controlled Wood and/or recycled material, which can be seen on the “Mix” FSC label. In addition, the keyboard itself is wrapped in thin white paper for protection, this instead of the transparent plastic that many manufacturers still often use.
There is little we can say about the durability of the material, other than that the battery can be removed and changed. The battery is located under the thicker part and can be found by unscrewing the screws under the 3 feet. Logitech explains how to do this on a piece of paper inside the box, but we can’t find it on the website.
That the keyboard can do 5 months with a full battery, without the backlight on, we find quite reasonable. That means that you only have to charge the keyboard three times a year. This makes the keyboard very economical.
Safety includes the update policy, and Logitech’s is generally good at that. The Logitech Options software keeps the mouse up to date, and knowing Logitech, that’s pretty long. Updating is also fairly easy and shouldn’t cause any problems. The only thing we do find difficult is finding security and certification information on the website.
The Logitech MX Keys is a fine keyboard that actually types the same as the beloved MacBook Pro 2015 keyboard, if you still have some nostalgia, this is the keyboard you should consider. However, when we look at the design, we find that the keyboard is sleek, almost futuristic. With the rounded corners the keyboard still has a somewhat friendly look, but despite its thin appearance the keyboard is a bit too big to carry in the bag with the laptop. So in our opinion, the keyboard is mainly for the workplace or at home. That’s why Logitech designed a really great keyboard, so you can switch between 3 different devices from different operating systems at the touch of a button: Linux, MacOS, iOS, Chrome, Android, and Windows.
At 1.8mm, the travel distance isn’t very high, but the keyboard types nicely. This is because the keys have small dimples, so you are less likely to make typing mistakes. But it would be even nicer if Logitech had added legs that allowed you to change the angle of the keyboard. The backlight also makes the keyboard comfortable to use, because it can automatically detect whether you’re using the keyboard and how bright it should be based on ambient light. We also have nothing to complain about in terms of battery life.
As you’d expect from Logitech, the software is really great, you can reprogram all but one key on the top row. So you can easily switch programs, maximize, copy, paste, and more. We find this a very pleasant addition, especially for programmers where you can create your own keystrokes. In terms of durability, we have nothing to complain about, Logitech is definitely on the right track and that’s important to us.