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Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac review. Logitech ms keys mini

The Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac looks to put creatives at the heart of their peripheral offering. In a crowded market, will it stand up to our tests?

Our Verdict

The Logitech MX Keys Mini Made for Mac is a compelling device for Mac users, with an appealing look and a variety of customisable options to suit a range of creative professionals from authors to designers and photo editors. A few small gripes however stop short of us recommending this as the only mechanical keyboard worth looking at.

For

  • Excellent option for Mac-only users
  • Good versatility and programmable functionality
  • Nice small-form design

Against

  • Keys are a little rattly
  • Design takes getting used to
  • Relatively pricey option

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Weight: 612g Height: 131.55mm Width: 312.60mm Depth: 26.10mm Bluetooth? Yes Battery life: 15 days or 10 months with no backlighting enabled Wireless range: 10 metres Charging: USB-C

Logitech’s new ‘Mastered for Mac’ range, within which the Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac belongs, looks to put Mac users and creative professionals centre stage in the brand’s expanding, and occasionally bewilderingly vast product range. Coming in at £149.99 RRP, the MX Mechanical Mini certainly sits at the premium range of the mechanical keyboard world, but for the money Logitech propose a streamlined design, tactile and quiet low-profile mechanical keys and Smart backlighting to keep you working wherever you are.

The non-mechanical version of the keyboard is already one of our best keyboards for Macs, but the question is, is the mechanical version a worthwhile upgrade? We’ll be looking at testing its range of features so you can get a better impression of whether this is the everyday keyboard you’ve been looking for.

We tested the product over a couple of weeks of normal studio operation – from writing to photo-editing, so the keyboard was put to the test with shortcut-heavy apps like Lightroom, Photoshop, PhotoLab as well as more conventional apps such as Microsoft Word and Excel.

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac: Design and build

The Logitech MX Keys Mini comes in two colours to match your Mac – standard silver or space grey. The unboxing experience is pleasant enough, if a little underwhelming, although we like the use of a little folded pouch to keep the charging cables stowed away. Once out of the box, we managed to get set up in as little as 30 seconds, and the Mac system works wonders when it comes to natively pairing devices such as this.

The design of the keyboard itself is a standard 75% approach, so it does have page up and page down keys sat to the right of return and backspace. The keys all run in line with each other, which although it looks the part, we actually found a little frustrating, as it’s hard to get to the arrows and right option and function keys on feel alone. We spent a good few days with the keyboard pressing page up and page down by mistake rather than shift or return. It’s something most users will get used to, and Logitech has included a little bump on the down arrow to act as a guide, but it was a needless design feature that was a little annoying to circumvent.

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac: Features

When paired with Logitech’s Logi Options application, the versatility of this keyboard comes into its own, as the app allows different shortcuts and function keys to be programmed depending on your preferences. It’s a nice little tool, and we enjoyed using it to reset some of the more redundant keys to our liking, such as opening a specific application or returning to the desktop – a good experience that highlights Logitech has thought about making this keyboard work for Mac-only users. We also liked the notification icons that pop up on the screen, via the app, when CAPS LOCK is engaged, for example.

Similar to other Logitech keyboard products, the Made for Mac MX Mechanical also has three different device shortcuts placed at the top on keys F1 – F3. A simple press of these keys can switch between different Mac products, and we found this quite useful for keeping two workflows on the go, one on our iPad and one on our MacBook Pro.

The Logi Options app does more than change function and shortcut keys, as it can also control and measure the backlighting in a specific environment and provide appropriate keyboard lighting to suit. Impressively, on a full charge, with everyday use, Logitech claim up to 15 days with lighting on, or 10 months with lighting turned off altogether. They also claim that one 15-minute charge at the beginning of the day can power the entire day’s work. We must admit we think they’re right on this one – the battery life is a definite plus point.

Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac: Typing experience

The typing experience on the Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac is good, but not exemplary or world-beating. The keys have a nice feel to them, with a pleasant bump and a good amount of feedback depending on the speed with which you’re typing. The tactile quiet switches are soft to the touch and we found we were able to build up a good flow, but we did notice that they were a little louder than we were expecting and there’s definitely a noticeable, if not altogether annoying, rattle from the stabilisation system that we would have liked to have seen eliminated from a keyboard at this price point.

Overall, however, there’s little else to flag, as we think most users will thoroughly enjoy the speed, feedback and precision with which you can type. The rattle aside, the small form factor will make up for it for most people who travel, and we can see this being a useful remote-working tool or travel companion for Mac users. Authors penning their latest model might want to look elsewhere, but for a premium mechanical keyboard for the consumer Mac market, the typing experience is perfectly good enough and the fact that shortcuts can be programmed along the function keys means we found it very flexible and usable when it came to photo-editing or precise creative specific tasks.

Should you buy the Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac?

If you are already happy with your setup or have an existing mechanical keyboard, we wouldn’t suggest you throw it in the trash in place of this one just yet. That being said, if you’re looking for something Mac-specific and want highly programmable functions, shortcuts and excellent battery life, there’s a lot to recommend the Logitech MX Keys Mini for Mac. The typing experience if not excellent is certainly good, but for us, the product is slightly let down by the high price and the rattle from the keys. We also weren’t 100% convinced by the in-line key design, which meant it was hard to find the right button instinctively at first, although we must admit that we did get used to it.

For around the same price, we’d also recommend looking at the Apple Magic Keyboard, the slightly cheaper MX Keys Mini from Logitech, or if you’re set on a mechanical system, the excellent Keychron K8 arguably offers a superior mechanical experience for not a lot more money.

Logitech MX Keys Mini review: Honey, I’ve shrunk the keyboard

logitech, keys, mini, review

How do you improve on a near-perfect keyboard? It’s a good problem for Logitech to have with its MX Keys peripheral, which quickly became a fan-favorite keyboard on retailers like Amazon.

The solution Logitech adopted was to release a more compact version of its widely acclaimed keyboard in the form of the MX Keys Mini and MX Keys Mini for Mac. Both the standard and the compact keyboards share similar layouts, with the made for Mac edition coming with Apple-specific keys, like the option and command keys. Versions with international keyboard layouts will also be available.

It’s not for the serious mechanical keyboard lovers out there, but most everyone else will find a lot to like about what Logitech has done with the MX Keys Mini.

Design

regular MX Keys, the MX Keys Mini boasts full-size keys for easy typing. To shrink down the dimensions of the keyboard — the standard version measures 131.63 by 430.2 by 20.5mm — Logitech essentially removed everything to the right of the enter key and repositioned the arrow keys to an inverted T layout. This reduces the width of the MX Keys Mini by 134.21mm to 295.99mm.

This equates to a reduction in size of just over five and a quarter inches — or 30% in size. The compact dimensions make the MX Mini more portable, so it’s easier to slip it into a smaller bag when you need a better keyboard to type on while remote. The real advantage, however, is that a narrower keyboard makes it more ergonomic to type on.

Like the original, the Mini edition features individual keys with a circular dimple on the keycap, a design feature that helps with comfort when typing. The chiclet key arrangement is decidedly more modern in appearance than the 1990s-style keycaps on mechanical keyboards and looks like it could have been taken straight off of a laptop. The company claims that the dimple on each key contours to your fingertips when you’re typing, and automatic backlighting is also available for working at night.

The MX Keys Mini comes in three colors — rose, graphite, and pale gray — and features white LED-backlit keys. A built-in battery delivers up to 10 days of use on a single charge with the backlight enabled or up to five months of usage sans lighting, Logitech claims, and it can be recharged via the included USB-C cable. The keyboard version that we received for review is graphite and comes with slightly darker gray keycaps and white character lettering.

Our model isn’t the one that’s made for Mac, but it also comes with dual keys that support Mac and Windows — for example, the Apple Option key can be used to activate the Start menu on Windows, while the Command key can also serve as the Alt key on Microsoft’s OS. If you’re a Mac user looking to adopt the MX Keys Mini, the big downside is you won’t find a Touch ID fingerprint scanner on this third-party keyboard.

As part of the company’s commitment to sustainability, the MX Keys Mini is made with up to 30% post-consumer recycled plastics, however, the level of recycled plastics found in the lighter hues will be far less than what is implemented on the darker graphite colorway. The company says this is because it’s far too difficult to extract and recycle plastics from existing keyboards — which oftentimes are made from darker materials — and turn them into lighter colors as found on the rose and pale gray keyboard.

Typing and features

The company will also release a special enterprise version that connects using a more secure and proprietary Logi Bolt connection. This B2B model will require a special USB-A dongle to work, while the consumer model that you’ll find in many retail stores will work with Bluetooth.

1.8mm of travel is plenty for long sessions of comfortable typing.

Logitech didn’t provide specifications for the key travel and pitch of the MX Keys Mini, but they feel no different than on the original, full-size version, which is advertised with 1.8mm of key travel. This makes key travel comparable to what you’d find on some larger pro-grade laptops and gaming laptops. Many smaller laptops in the 13-inch range come with keys with between 1.1mm and 1.5mm of travel, while some larger 15-inch notebooks come with keyboards that offer 1.5-1.8mm of travel. Either way, 1.8mm of travel is plenty for long sessions of comfortable typing.

For comparison, Apple’s latest Magic Keyboard on the MacBook Pro comes with a shallower 1mm key travel distance that uses a new scissor-switch implementation, while the company’s older butterfly keys on some older Intel model laptops delivered just 0.7mm of key travel.

The MX Keys Mini feels like it was designed for those who love laptop keyboards but prefer to work at a desk. While my MacBook Pro keyboard feels different when typing — Apple’s keys are less stiff and louder — the similarly sized Logitech delivers the same ergonomic experience. When I paired the Logitech MX Keys Mini to my Apple Mac Mini on my desk, it really did feel like I was working on a mobile workstation.

And when you add the right external keyboard to the setup, you’ll get an even more comfortable PC environment with deeper key travel. Placing the keyboard closer to your body also helps reduce arm fatigue.

If you consistently work across two or three different devices as part of your workflow, the MX Keys Mini is really designed for you. The multidevice pairing ability allows you to connect up to three devices without requiring a KVM switch, and it can also help save on desk space, as you won’t need a separate keyboard for your desktop and a secondary tablet, like an iPad Pro or Surface Pro 8.

Like its bigger sibling, the MX Keys Mini delivers a very comfortable typing experience with its full-size keys. Compared to the butterfly key switches on my aging MacBook Pro 13-inch, the keys on the MX Keys Mini travel deeper, are stiffer (as in it requires more activation force), and are slightly quieter. A quieter keyboard could be useful if you’re sharing a small apartment with someone else and prefer to work at night.

The backlight automatically turns on if your hands approach the keyboard.

LED-backlit keys on a wireless keyboard isn’t a novel technology, but Logitech made some Smart upgrades to make this beloved staple even better. Like the backlit keyboard on many modern laptops, the backlight can be adjusted manually — there are six levels of brightness and you can also turn it off — or automatically based on the ambient light in the room.

Thanks to magnetic sensors, the backlight can also automatically turn on if your hands approach the keyboard. This feature may sound trivial but is extremely useful. On other keyboard models, after a period of inactivity, the backlight times out to save battery life. To reactivate the backlight, you have to haphazardly tap on any key on the keyboard to wake it up.

If you hit a non-character key, like the Shift key or the Control key, for example, you’ll be fine. But if you hit on any of the character keys, like a letter, then you will inadvertently add gibberish to your opened document and need to delete any additions you made. Distorting the magnetic field on the MX Keys Mini to wake up a backlight is a genius solution to a problem not many people were even aware they had until they used Logitech’s keyboard.

Logitech didn’t provide exact measurements for actuation force for the Mini, but in general, the typing experience is very similar to the larger MX Keys. If you have experience with the MX Keys, you’ll feel right at home here. In comparison to Apple’s external Magic Keyboard that ships with the iMac, the MX Keys will feel a little bit quieter when typing and require slightly more actuation force.

Mac users who opt for this keyboard will have to sacrifice Touch ID support, a feature that is supported on some of Apple’s newer external keyboards. This isn’t limited to Logitech, however, as no third-party Mac keyboard supports fingerprint identification on the Mac at this time. With most Windows systems relying on facial scans using Windows Hello, this may be less of a concern for PC owners.

Logi Bolt, as it is called, will also work with Bluetooth if you happen to not bring the adapter with you while traveling.

In my weeklong testing of the MX Keys Mini — this review was entirely composed with the MX Keys Mini that was connected via Bluetooth to a MacBook Pro — I was not able to deplete the battery. During the day, the backlight was generally off to conserve power, and at night, I let the keyboard automatically adjust the backlight to match whatever ambient lighting was available.

Despite the added comfort of using a narrow keyboard, the MX Keys Mini isn’t designed around ergonomics.

Compared to a wider, full-sized keyboard complete with a number pad, having a narrower keyboard on the MX Keys Mini makes working on long documents more comfortable, though it may not be an ideal solution for those in finance or accounting professions. If you’re working with a lot of numbers or live inside Excel spreadsheets, you’ll be better off with a keyboard that comes with a dedicated number pad, like the full-sized MX Keys.

Logitech’s team informed me that the narrower dimension was designed for ergonomics. It’s meant to reduce muscle fatigue as your arms aren’t spread so wide apart and lead to a more natural posture at your desk. But despite the added comfort of using a narrow keyboard, this keyboard isn’t designed around ergonomics in the same way as those with a split design.

Another advanced software-based feature of the MX Keys and MX Keys Mini is called Flow. With Flow, you’ll need an MX-series mouse, like the MX Master 3 or MX Master Anywhere. Once these devices are paired across multiple computers, you can essentially copy and paste text, files, and documents between Mac and Windows devices. This helps to simplify your workflow so you don’t have to rely on USB drives or Cloud storage to access a document that’s located on another paired device, and in practice, it works really well and complements the multi-device pairing support.

Our take

Logitech isn’t afraid to mess with a tried-and-true formula to improve its existing products. By slimming down its popular MX Keys while retaining full-size keys, the company has made arguably one of the best keyboards on the market even better by making it more portable and focusing on ergonomics.

Are there any alternatives

Priced at 99, the Logitech MX Keys Mini costs the same as the full-size version when it begins shipping next month, so you’re making a trade-off between ergonomics and having a dedicated number pad for data entry in spreadsheets. There are also plenty of other wireless and wired keyboards that compete in the same space as the Logitech MX Keys series, but keep in mind that you’ll be sacrificing some of the advanced features — deep key travel, Flow, and sophisticated backlighting — if you opt for cheaper models.

Some brand-name competitors include Apple’s Magic Keyboard, which sells for the same price, or the new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which adds a 50 premium. There’s also Microsoft’s Premium Designer Compact Keyboard, which comes in at 50 less than Logitech’s offering.

How long will it last?

The MX Keys Mini is backed by Logitech’s one-year limited hardware warranty, while the MX Keys Mini for Business with Logi Bolt support enjoys an additional year of support.

A premium keyboard like the MX Keys Mini should last for many years. Unlike a laptop, there aren’t many innovations in the keyboard space that will warrant an upgrade to a newer model any time soon, so this device should last for as long as its rechargeable battery is capable of holding a charge.

Should I buy it?

Although pricey as a Bluetooth accessory, the MX Keys Mini is a solid investment that will help you stay productive and keep your body happy thanks to its thoughtful ergonomic design. It delivers the great typing experience that the original MX Keys offered, only in a more compact package.

Logitech’s fantastic MX Keys Mini upstages Apple’s Magic Keyboard

logitech, keys, mini, review

Following in the footsteps of the full-sized Logitech MX Keys, the MX Keys Mini (available at Amazon for 99.99) is a well-built, compact keyboard that excels in nearly every area where a keyboard should. Its physical footprint is slightly bigger than Apple’s Magic Keyboard, thicker at the top which gives the keyboard a slight tilt, but for the same 99.99 price tag the Logitech MX Keys will give you longer battery life, greater device compatibility, and a few other neat features to help improve your workflow.

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.

  • About the Logitech MX Keys Mini
  • What We Like
  • What We don’t like
  • Should you buy it?
  • Related content

About the Logitech MX Keys Mini

There are two versions of the Logitech MX Keys Mini. The standard version comes in four colors (pale gray, rose, graphite, black) and supports both Windows and macOS, iPadOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android devices. The Mac-centric model comes in white and silver and only supports Apple devices.

Both keyboards have the same layout with the exception of the function and control keys swapping locations and the delete key being replaced with a sleep button on the Mac variant.

What We Like

Layout is straight-forward and intuitive

logitech, keys, mini, review

One MX Keys Mini variation works with both Windows and macOS systems.

It seems like Logitech took one look at Apple’s Magic Keyboard and said “Hold my beer. ” when it designed the MX Keys Mini. The keyboard features concave keys, a stark contrast to Apple’s flat chiclet-style keys. The concave keys create a more accurate and comfortable typing experience due to the way they “hug” your fingertips. The keys also have a low profile and use the same scissor-switches as Apple, but there’s more travel on each key, so typing feels more satisfying.

Across the top of the keyboard are some special keys you don’t normally find on a standard keyboard: an emoji key, voice dictation, mic mute, and a lock key. This keyboard was designed to control your entire experience regardless of the device you connect it to. This is definitely not your grandma’s keyboard!

The emoji keys allow you quickly access character responses when chatting in various messaging apps. Voice dictation allows you to quickly and easily write out what you want to say using your voice. Mic mute is just that—it mutes your microphone on your computer whether using voice dictation or chatting in spaces. The lock key is a quick and easy way to lock down your device when stepping away from your device. (Simply hold down the Function key and press the Delete key to lock your device.)

If you want even more control, you can also adjust the keyboard backlighting brightness, volume, and media playback, and even take quick screen captures with the press of a button. When you press the screen caption, the on-screen cursor changes to a target reticle, then you drag over whatever part of the screen you want to capture. It’s similar to using Microsoft’s snipping tool or right-clicking in Microsoft Edge and selecting Web Capture, but it’s a tad faster.

When it comes to gaming, the MX Keys Mini works fine for some games, but not others. Most mobile games designed for phones and tablets require a third-party controller attachment or utilize on-screen controls. Gaming on PC and Mac is solid, though the lack of a Numpad can force you to change how you normally game, depending on the game.

When playing games like_Runescape_ and War Thunder, I found myself struggling to keep up with the Joneses. I’m not an expert in these games, but I usually re-program some actions to the Numpad for easier access, something I can’t do with the MX Keys mini obviously. But for narrative-driven games like Tell Me Why that don’t have complicated game mechanics, I didn’t have any issues using the MX Keys Mini.

Long battery life

logitech, keys, mini, review

The concave keys help your fingers find where they need to be and help keep them there.

Both the Magic Keyboard and MX Keys Mini provide Bluetooth support, which allows the keyboards to go into a standby mode until it is needed again. But while Apple’s Magic keyboard provides a solid one-month battery life based on usage, both the Windows and macOS-only versions of the MX Keys Mini keyboard provide an impressive five months on a single charge. (And if you want to check how much battery you have left, simply click on the Bluetooth icon in your taskbar.)

Both the Windows and macOS-only MX Keys Mini utilize a proximity sensor to detect the location of your hands to bring the device out of standby for immediate use, which helps conserve the battery. When the MX Keys Mini is charging, the proximity sensor is deactivated and you have to press one of the physical keys to bring the keyboard out of standby. The MX Keys Mini also has the option to power off your keyboard via a physical switch to ensure the longevity of its battery life.

However, with the keys’ backlighting activated around the clock, battery life is dramatically reduced to about ten days. While using the keyboard for a week with the backlight on, I noticed the battery didn’t drop below 40%, which is very promising for Logitech’s ten-day lifespan claim. Thankfully you can use the provided USB-C to USB-A cable to charge the internal battery while using the keyboard if needed.

As an added bonus, the MX Keys Mini can connect to your computer via the Logi Bolt USB Receiver, which in itself allows you to connect up to six Logi Bolt supported devices to a single computer. (It’s not included with this keyboard, however.) The keyboard itself can pair with up to three devices via Bluetooth at once, whereas Apple’s Magic Keyboard can only connect to one device at a time.

Enhanced features via software

logitech, keys, mini, review

Via the Logitech Options program, you can set keys to perform specific tasks in different applications, reproduce trackpad gestures, and much more.

Helping to shape your experience with the MX Keys Mini, you can download the Logitech Options software program from Logitech’s website. The Easy-Switch tab showcases which devices your keyboard is currently programmed to and allows you to quickly connect the keyboard to another paired device. The keyboard tab shows you the layout of your connected MX Keys Mini and allows you to disable the Smart features of the keyboard for a traditional experience.

You can also access additional settings from this tab including disabling the backlight, reporting issues with the keyboard directly to Logitech, backing up the keyboard-specific settings, and even updating the keyboard’s software. In other words, this keyboard is highly customizable, so if something doesn’t quite suit you right out of the box, there is most likely a way to change it.

What We don’t like

Logitech left out some practical keys

Designed to be a compact version of the full-sized MX Keys, the Mini omits the display brightness buttons and audio controls. These omitted keys are included on the full-size MX Keys keyboard. Thankfully, with all the devices I use on a daily basis, I didn’t miss those specific keys. However, if you’re used to having those buttons readily available on your keyboard, you’ll probably have to adjust your personal workflow, for better or worse.

Should you buy it?

Yes, this is the best compact keyboard currently available

logitech, keys, mini, review

Logitech’s MX Keys Mini is one of the most comfortable and versatile wireless keyboards you can currently buy.

We no longer live simple lives where we only use one or two devices throughout our days. We have smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, and an occasional Linux project sitting over in the corner. Having a centralized device that can connect to them all at the same time, like the Logitech MX Keys Mini, is an invaluable piece of tech.

The MX Keys Mini does omit brightness and audio control keys that some people rely on, forcing some users to change their usage habits and/or learn the workarounds for their specific systems. The Numpad is also missing, which is to be expected on a compact keyboard but is still useful for gaming and/or business-related tasks.

However, the Logitech MX Keys Mini keyboard is still far ahead of the competition. From incredible battery life to near-universal device support and backlit key functionality, this keyboard is a great value at the price of 99.99. The question you have to ask yourself is: pale gray, rose, graphite, or black?

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were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

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Matthew Prunty is a freelance gaming and tech journalist with over a decade of writing experience covering everything from video games hard and software to smartphones and PC hardware.

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Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you’re confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we’ll compare notes.

Logitech MX Keys Mini vs Microsoft Designer Compact keyboards

This article compares the Logitech MX Keys Mini Vs Microsoft Designer Compact keyboards and recommends which one to buy depending on your needs.

Logitech MX Keys Mini Vs Microsoft Designer Compact: Compare Physical Specifications [tie_index]Compare Physical Specifications [/tie_index]

Tech Specs MX Keys Mini Designer Compact MX Keys
Layout 68% 68% Full keyboard
Size 296 x 132 x 21mm 11.65×5.19×0.82in 284 x 110.8 x 9mm 11.18×4.36×0.35in 430.2 x 131.6 x 20.5mm 16.94×5.18×0.81in
Weight 506.4g (17.86oz) 288g (10.16oz) 810g
Adjustable Height No, fixed 6 degrees No, fixed 2 degrees No, fixed 6 degrees
Colours Black, graphite, pale grey, rose Matte black, Glacier white Matte black

The Logitech MX Keys Mini is neither a 75%, 65% or 60% keyboard. In fact, the MX Keys Mini is a compact 60% keyboard with arrow keys and function keys included, which makes it “68%” based on our calculations.

When we compare the MX Keys Mini to the full MX Keys, the designer appears to have “sawn” off the MX Keys after the navigation group, as shown using the red dotted line in our illustration below.

  • The numeric keys 1 to 3 on the left side are for the 3 multiple device connections.
  • The left side ESC key is smaller to make way for the INSERT and DELETE keys to the right of the top row.
  • The left side CTRL, Windows, ALT, and Spacebar are smaller so that the half-sized ARROW buttons can squeeze to the right of the bottom row.
  • Buy Logitech MX Keys Mini | Buy Microsoft Designer Compact

Although both the Microsoft Designer Compact and Logitech MX Keys Mini Keyboard looks quite similar in the layout, the following are two major differences:

  • Microsoft Designer Compact has a single key to switch between 3 devices, whereas Logitech uses one key for each device.
  • Besides the ARROW keys, Microsoft Designer Compact also has all the navigation keys: HOME, END, PGUP, PGDN, INS, and DEL. Logitech MX Keys Mini only keep INS and DEL but omitted the other 4 keys. This is a major disadvantage for the MX Keys Mini keyboard.
  • Buy Logitech MX Keys Mini | Buy Microsoft Designer Compact

Besides “chopping” off the right side of the original MX Keys, reducing and reshuffling some keys, there is negligible difference in the physical design between MX Keys and MX Keys Mini. Logitech shrinks the original MX Keys from 810 grams to about 504 grams without changing much of the design, and both keyboards have identical cross-section, depth, 21mm thickness and 6 degrees fixed angle.

This design approach also explains why the Logitech MX Keys Mini (504 grams) is almost double the weight of the Microsoft Designer Compact (288 grams).

The design intention for the Logitech MX Keys Mini is not mobility or portability, but for users who require a compact version of the original MX keys to save desk space.

Microsoft Designer Compact is significantly thinner and lighter for portability, which pairs better with tablets, such as the iPad Pro. The Microsoft Designer Compact also has a fixed tilting angle but is gentler at only 2 degrees.

Winner: Microsoft Designer Compact is much thinner, smaller and lighter for portability, while thicker Logitech MX Keys Mini is a desktop replacement for the full MX Keys. Even though Microsoft Designer Compact is smaller in side, it includes all the navigation keys which Logitech MX Keys Mini omitted.

Logitech MX Keys Mini Vs Microsoft Designer Compact: Compare Keycaps and Switch Design[tie_index]Compare Keycaps and Switch Design[/tie_index]

Tech Specs MX Keys Mini Designer Compact
Total travel distance 1.8mm 1.5mm
Keyswitch Lifespan 5 million for function keys, and 10 million for standard keys Not available
Keyswitch Features Scissor keys Scissor keys

Both keyboards use chiclet-style, low-profile keys which are has a short travel distance. We operated both keyboards every day, and both keys are quite quiet and have a tactile feel. However, we feel MX Keys is slightly “softer” in the keypress, while Microsoft Designer Compact feels likely “harder” although it does not affect our typing speed.

The Logitech MX Keys Mini’s keycap also has a slight indentation for the fingers, which definitely feels more ergonomic when compared to the flat keycap on the Microsoft Designer Compact.

Winner: Logitech MX Keys Mini by a slight margin.

Logitech MX Keys Mini Vs Microsoft Designer Compact: Compare Battery Life and Backlights[tie_index]Compare Battery Life and Backlights[/tie_index]

Tech Specs MX Keys Mini Designer Compact
Backlight Yes No
RGB lights No No
Adjustable Brightness Yes NA
Sensors Hand proximity sensor, ambient light sensor NA
Battery Type Built-in rechargeable lithium batteries 4 x non-rechargeable CR2032 Lithium coin batteries
Battery Life 10 days (backlighting on) 5 months (backlighting off) 36 months (3-years)
On/Off Switch Yes Yes
Battery Indicator Yes Yes

The Logitech MX Keys Mini has adjustable backlights which are also controlled by hand proximity and ambient light sensor. These are the same advanced features on the bigger MX Keys full keyboard, and explain why it is heavier and thicker than the Microsoft Designer Compact. The backlights consume significantly more power, and such keyboards can only use rechargeable lithium batteries.

The battery life of the Logitech MX Keys Mini is slightly longer than the Logitech Craft keyboard, which has 7 days of battery life per charge with full backlights turned on.

For the Microsoft Designer Compact, the CR2032 coin batteries could last up to 3 years and is the reason the keyboard is so thin for a portable design.

Winner: Logitech MX Keys Mini is the winner if you need back-lit keyboards. Otherwise, the portable Microsoft Designer Compact offers a 3-years battery life. Pick battery life or backlight.

Logitech MX Keys Mini Vs Microsoft Designer Compact: Compare Connectivity[tie_index]Compare Connectivity[/tie_index]

Tech Specs MX Keys Mini Designer Compact
Connection Method(s) Bluetooth 5.0, Logi Bolt Receiver Bluetooth 5.0
Operating Range 10m 10m
Features BLE, USB-C connector BLE, USB-C connector
Multi-Device 3 3

The Logitech MX Keys Mini connects via Bluetooth 5.0 and the new Logi Bolt dongle but does not support the older Unifying Receiver. This differs from the Logitech MX Keys (full keyboard) which supports the Unifying receiver.

The Microsoft Designer Compact supports only Bluetooth 5.0 connections.

Both keyboards use the latest USB Type-C for charging.

Winner: Logitech MX Keys Mini

Windows and iOS Compatibility[tie_index]Compare Windows and iOS Compatibility[/tie_index]

Although Microsoft Designer Compact keyboard only has the PC version, we have been using the keyboard for typing with the iPad Pro 12.9″. The only difference is that the Windows key work the same as the COMMAND key on the Mac keyboard, so CTRL-C or CTRL-V (copy or paste) using the Designer Compact would be COMMAND-C or COMMAND-V.

The Logitech MX Keys Mini offers a Windows and Mac version where the users can decide during the purchase. For users who switched between the Mac and PC, should select the PC version as they marked the keys for both operating systems.

Winner: Logitech MX Keys Mini is slightly better because they marked the keys for both OS.

Logitech MX Keys Mini Vs Microsoft Designer Compact: Compare Prices[tie_index]Compare Prices[/tie_index]

The Microsoft Designer Compact cost 69 while the Logitech MX Keys Mini cost about 30 (30%) more at 99. Currently, Microsoft is offering a discounted price for the Designer Compact at 53 only. This is a good price to buy the keyboard as it has an excellent build quality and is lightweight.

  • Buy Microsoft Designer Compact if you need a good quality, portable Bluetooth keyboard.
  • Buy Logitech MX Keys Mini if you need a good quality, compact keyboard with backlights for a fixed location.
  • Buy Logitech MX Keys Mini | Buy Microsoft Designer Compact

2 Responses

I have been looking at both these keyboards, but for Logitech, no page up, page down, home and end keys is a deal-breaker

With the MX Keys you don’t really lose the home/end/pgup/pgdown keys, you can activate them by using FNarrow keys. Home/end: FNleft/right pgup/pgdown: FNup/down Which for me is much better than using the top row, which I use for the function keys. Aside from that the MX Keys feel more tactile, better for typing for many hours.

Author

Kerariel

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