Logitech is a company that has built its reputation on creating amazing computing peripheral devices, including but not limited to mice, keyboards, speakers, headphones, webcams, and other gaming and non-gaming accessories. They offer some sort of product in almost every conceivable category, at almost any price range imaginable. This is even true for OEM replacement products that closely follow and match the price, look, and performance of even the best first-party accessories.
The Logitech MX Keys Mini Keyboard is a great example of this, as it makes for a near-identical replacement to the Magic Keyboard offered by Apple. So much so, that it is close to impossible to differentiate between the two products at first glance. They have the same design, size, and even near-identical key layout. There are only a handful of differences, and they only make themselves known when you take a closer look.
For example, the MX Keys Mini is just a few centimeters bigger than the Magic keyboard. In fact, if you take out the strip at the top, the Magic keyboard could perfectly fit inside the MX Keys Mini, with barely any space left at the edges. That strip is important though, as it protrudes from the bottom to raise the keyboard at an angle. It also houses the charging level light, the power on-off switch, as well as the USB-C charging port.
The rest of the keyboard is pretty minimalistic in design, with keys that are exactly the same shape as the Mac keyboard. Where you do see a noticeable difference is in the center of the keys, which features a spherical-shaped indent to help your fingers rest naturally at the center of the key at all times.
The keys themselves are pretty responsive and clicky, with up to 1.8mm of key travel. This is a bit more than the Magic keyboard, a difference that makes itself known in both the typing experience, as well as the sound. It isn’t the same as having a full-sized mechanical keyboard, but it is a close match to the product they are obviously trying to compete with.
The keys also house a smart backlight system, which uses a proximity sensor to detect your hands. This means that the keys get automatically illuminated just as your fingers reach them, and also turn off when you step away to preserve the battery. There is also an in-built ambient light sensor, which helps the system adjust to the light levels of your surroundings for the best illumination.
There is a matte coating on the keys to smoothen out the texture of the keys, but we don’t know how long it will last against the challenge of oily fingers. Thankfully, the color of the keys themselves is a pleasant greyish off-white, so you won’t have to worry too much about it getting yellow.
Overall, what you can be sure of though, is that the keyboard is built to last, as the entire body is held together by a single metal plate that is pretty rigid. This helps increase key stability no matter what position you put the keyboard in while using it. This makes it a pretty versatile keyboard that is easy to carry and use.
Another area where the MX Keys Mini differentiates itself is the individual keys themselves. This can be seen in the function bar mostly, which includes dedicated keys for switching between all the connected devices, as well as special keys for emoji, dictation (talk-to-text), and mic mute / unmute features.
If you don’t like or need any of these functions, you can always remap the keys using the Logitech Options software or other third-party services. The one thing we will advise Mac users to check beforehand is if you have enabled the FileVault feature on your Mac.
This feature locks the keyboard as well, which can then only be accessed with compatible LOGI BOLT USB receivers. The problem with this feature is that the MX Keys Mini doesn’t pair with any other standard Logitech USB receivers, and nor does the company include a compatible LOGI BOLT receiver with the package.
Other than that, the MX Keys Mini is a pretty flawless product that can connect with up to 3 devices at a time, thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy. It can do so with a wireless range of up to 10 meters, as well as the ability to switch between the different devices using Flow-enabled MX Anywhere 3 or MX Master 3.
As you can guess, this kind of connectivity and smart features take a toll on the battery performance. However, you still get a pretty decent 10 days of typing on a full charge. The company claims that you can increase the usable time up to 5 months with backlighting turned off, although your mileage may vary.
Still, this is more than enough performance and longevity for a device that costs almost the same as the Magic keyboard, while matching it in almost every aspect as well. So, if you are in the market to get a compact keyboard like the one from Apple, we would happily recommend that you give the MX Keys Mini a chance.