The Logitech MX Mechanical could use a price cut — at $ 169.99, it’s $ 10 more than its archive among wireless mechanical keyboards, the Editors’ Choice award-winning Razer Pro Type Ultra. (And does not come with a plush leatherette wrist rest as the Razer does.) But otherwise the Logitech is a formidable competitor, available in no fewer than six models — our full-size test unit or a tenkeyless MX Mechanical Mini ($ 149.99) , each available in a choice of three key switches. It’s a supremely comfortable, customizable productivity cousin to Logitech’s gaming keyboards.
The Design: A Stark and Simple Gray Board
Featuring 45% post-consumer recycled plastic, the MX Mechanical has two-tone gray keys atop an aluminum base plate. Two swiveling feet at the bottom rear prop the keyboard at an 8-degree angle if you prefer a typing tilt. The board measures 1.02 by 17.1 by 5.2 inches (HWD; the narrower Mini spans 12.3 inches) and weighs 1.8 pounds.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
An on / off switch is next to a USB Type-C charging port at right rear. The unit comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, and Logitech says a 15-minute charge suffices for a day’s use, while a full four-hour charge lasts up to 15 days (or 10 months with backlighting turned off). The cable is only for charging, not data transfer, so the keyboard uses a wireless connection even when charging.
The MX Mechanical comes with a Logi Bolt USB receiver. This little nubbin plugs into a USB Type-A port on your PC or Mac for a 2.4GHz wireless connection. Like Logitech’s previous Unifying receiver, it can control both the keyboard and one of the company cordless mice. Alternatively, you can make a low-power Bluetooth connection; a trio of top-row keys lets you switch among up to three devices using different Bluetooth and / or USB links.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
The white backlight, which by default turns off when battery power drops below 10%, can be dimmed and brightened with the F3 and F4 keys. Governed by an ambient light sensor (and obviously most helpful in a dim room), the backlight quits when you take your hands away from the keyboard and resumes at your touch. Using the Logi Options + software (more about it in a minute) or a Fn-key combination, you can choose static or dynamic illumination with several effects, such as a breathing or wave animation.
Unlike the Windows-only Pro Type Ultra, the MX Mechanical supports both Windows and macOS, with double labels on keys like Start (Mac Option) and Alt (Mac Command). The top-row keys can be relegated to F1 through F12, but by default offer shortcuts for screen and keyboard backlight brightness, volume, media control, and others both useful (voice dictation, microphone mute) and useless (an emoji key).
Additionally, there are Calculator, Show / Hide Desktop, Search, and System Lock keys above the numeric keypad. A screen-snip key (F7) replaces the usual Print Screen key, but you can assign a screen capture function in Options + if you like.
The Typing Experience: Just Enough Clicky Noise
Depending on your preference, you can order the MX Mechanical or Mechanical Mini with any of three low-profile Kailh Choc V2 switches, but you can not swap in another type after purchase. Your options are audibly clicky switches; what Logitech calls “tactile quiet switches” with less noise but satisfying bump feedback; or our test unit’s linear switches, with uninterrupted travel and minimal spring force for fast typing.
Logitech does not tout switch colors as prominently as the industry-legend Cherry MX switches do, but refers to these three types as blue, brown, and red respectively. It says the tactile quiet switches come closest to the traditional, laptop-like typing feel of its MX Keys keyboards. I enjoyed the linear switches’ 3.2mm of travel (1.3mm actuation) and snappy, responsive feel.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
Audible but not obnoxiously loud, they weren’t as tiring for long typing sessions as some mechanical keyboards — Logitech’s specifications list an actuation force of 55 grams, though other online listings peg the Kailh switches at 43 to 50 grams — and stayed comfortable whether I was just poking around or going as fast as I could.
When teamed with one of Logitech’s premium mice such as the soon-to-be-reviewed MX Master 3S, the MX Mechanical supports the company clever Flow technology, following the mouse cursor from one screen to another (eg, from a Windows desktop to a Mac laptop) and letting you cut and paste between systems. The Logi Options + software allows you to customize the top-row keys and the sextet above the cursor arrows, choosing from a wide array of navigation and window management functions or launching apps. But it does not record and play back macros.
The Verdict: Great for the Office, Not Just for Gamers
PC gamers will tell you that once you try a mechanical keyboard, you may never want to go back to a relatively mushy scissor-switch or membrane model. But they’re not just for gaming. Mechanical boards specifically designed for productivity are among our very favorite peripherals. The low-profile Logitech MX Mechanical is an extremely worthy example, with a great typing feel, handsome backlighting, and handy shortcuts.
It does not steal our Editors’ Choice honors from the Razer Pro Type Ultra, because we think the white Razer is a tad better-looking, and we like that it comes with a wrist rest. (It’s also rated for 80 million keypresses to the Logitech’s 50 million, though either should outlast a generic office keyboard by many years.) But the MX Mechanical is still an excellent keyboard, especially when teamed with an MX Master 3 or 3S mouse.
Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard
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