Reviews

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac review: better than Apple’s Magic Keyboard?

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac
Little wonder: the MX Keys Mini is great for Mac owners
Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac £99.99
  • Feel and layout
  • Build quality
  • Value for money

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac

A slightly better alternative to Apple’s Magic Keyboard for Mac owners

Overall
4.3

Pros

  • Great feel and travel on the keys
  • Sturdily built
  • Sensibile keyboard layout with useful function keys

Cons

  • Small arrow keys
  • Slight doubts over long-term durability

Mac owners don’t tend to stray far from Apple accessories. If someone has an iMac or Mac mini on their desk, chances are there will be an Apple Magic Keyboard on their too. The Logitech MX Keys Mini is a direct competitor to the Magic Keyboard. It’s around the same size, looks very similar and costs the same, too. So which should you plump for? Here’s my Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac review.

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac – the feel and layout

The feel is everything on a keyboard. A keyboard that’s rattly or leaden or spongy makes work a misery. One thing’s for sure, Logitech knows how to make a proper keyboard.

The MX Keys Mini for Mac has the same scissor-switch key mechanism you’ll find on the most recent MacBooks, but the keys have more travel than you generally get with Apple keyboards. That makes the keyboard a touch noisier under my key-thumping fingers, but not annoyingly so. I do like that extra bit of travel too.

I’ve been using the MX Keys Mini for the best part of a week now, and I’m easily up to my full typing speed. It just feels right under the fingers, not least because of the concave keys that create an indent for your finger.

Logitech’s got almost everything right in terms of the keyboard layout, too. The compact form factor normally involves sacrifices. On Apple’s Magic Keyboard it’s a slim Enter key, which drives me bananas. Logitech include a big, fat one here, and the backspace key is bigger than the one you’ll find on an Apple keyboard too. There’s no delete key, but fn + backspace achieves the same effect.

The only misstep is the arrow keys. Whereas Apple goes for full-size left and right arrow keys on the Magic Keyboard, Logitech makes all four arrows mini-keys, and as someone who uses the arrow keys constantly, I find them frustrating.

Overall, however, I prefer the feel and layout of the Logitech MX Keys Mini to the Magic Keyboard.

Special keys

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac

Logitech’s put a lot of thought into the functions that sit on the row of F keys at the top of the keyboard. The first three let you easily switch between devices, meaning you can use the same keyboard for Mac and iPad, say. This keyboard is definitely small enough to fit into a bag if you needed to work on your tablet out in the real world.

Then, aside from the expected screen brightness and volume controls, there’s a key that makes it easier to insert emoji 👍, a key to take a screenshot, another that mutes the mic and one that switches on the Mac’s do not disturb function, which also doubles as a lock key. The only function key I don’t really get is the one that allows you open Apple’s dictate tool, but that’s largely because the tool is so poor in the first place. You can use the Logi Options software to switch these special function keys to regular F keys if you prefer.

Battery and build quality

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac

The Logitech MX Keys Mini has a rechargeable battery and Logitech provides a short USB-C cable to let you top that up. Logitech says the battery can last up to five months on a charge if the backlight is turned off, but only ten days with the lights on. I’ve been using it for six days with the backlight on and the battery is still showing full charge.

Despite being a compact keyboard, the MX Keys Mini is surprisingly weighty – but in a good way. Even under my heavy-handed typing, there’s no danger of the keyboard sliding over my shiny desk, thanks to the weight and the rubber feet on the bottom. It feels substantial.

The keyboard is slightly angled, but there’s no adjustment on offer. Like it or lump it.

My only slight fears on the build front are past experience with expensive Logitech keyboards. The battery on my old Logitech Craft Advanced keyboard struggled to hold a charge after about a year and forced me to leave it plugged in. But my co-editor Tim has had the original MX Keys since its release two years ago, and its battery is fine.

Then, after about 18 months or so, the spacebar started to fail on my Craft keyboard. I do give the keys a hefty thwack (I learned to type on manual typewriters and old habits die hard), so I’m prepared to give the benefit of the doubt. Other Logitech keyboards I’ve owned have proven more durable too.

My other slight gripe is the colour scheme. White keyboards tend to look grubby after a while. I much prefer the graphite colour on the regular MX Keys Mini for Windows, but that’s not an option if you want the Mac keyboard layout, which is a shame.

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac verdict

If I were given the choice of the MX Keys Mini for Mac or the Apple Magic Keyboard, I’d definitely grab the Logitech with both hands. It’s a thoroughly nice keyboard to type on, has a largely sensible key layout and it’s a solid little unit.

Would I pay £99 to replace a Magic Keyboard I already owned? It’s better, but not a good dinner out better.

You can order the Logitech MX Keys Mini from Amazon for £99.99 or direct from Logitech for the same price.

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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  • Good keyboard… it will be perfect with keys for brigthness… it not possible to modify iMac screen brightness without key reassignation installing one (unnecessary) app from Logitech. I have one for 3 devices connectivity… but it will be great with apple keyboard layout… no innovations here, please… it’s better than K380 for Mac users but it’s not perfect… the big version has all keys, but is not minimalistic and only available in black

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