Logitech MX Keys review: A wireless keyboard that does much more


Keyboards and mice have a pretty buttoned-down reputation, but ironically some of their most demanding users are right-brain types. That’s whom Logitech is targeting with its MX Master 3 mouse and MX Keys companion keyboard. Both these peripherals have been designed with an emphasis on comfort and customizability to appeal to software developers, designers, and other “creatives.”

The MX Keys, reviewed here, is a well-constructed low-profile keyboard that can pair with up to three devices and, when used with the MX Master 3, control multiple computers in a single workflow. It does so much more than just type, which is why it’s earned an Editor’s Choice. 

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best wireless keyboards. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

Design

The MX Keys is built on a single metal plate, giving it a durability that would seem to make it an ideal mobile accessory. You’ll think twice about tossing it in your gear bag, though, once you feel the full weight of its nearly 1.8 pounds. The keyboard is actually best suited for your desktop, where its heft keeps it from shifting and sliding under typing force.

mx keys 2 Logitech

MX Keys keyboard is roomy and comfortable to use.

The full-size keyboard (16 x 5.18 x 0.8 inches) replicates the layout of the luxurious Logitech Craft, with alphanumeric keys, a number pad, and a dozen function keys that double as multimedia controls. These last can be “set” to either function or media by pressing Fn+Esc, so you never need to hold the Fn key.

MX Keys is also outfitted with proximity sensors, so the keys illuminate when your hands approach the keyboard and fade when you move them away. This backlighting turns off automatically when the battery falls below 10-percent charge. At the same time, a battery indicator above the number pad will glow red and you’ll receive an onscreen notification. Logitech says the battery should last about 10 days with backlighting always on, and a generous 5 months with it off. A pair of dedicated buttons gives you manual control over several levels of illumination, so it should be easy to find a sweet spot between those extremes.

Connectivity

Both the MX Keys and the MX Master 3 mouse connect your computer via the Logitech Unifying Receiver. Just plug this dongle into a free USB-A port on your PC or Mac, and the computer should recognize the keyboard instantly.

logitech options customize Michael Ansaldo/IDG

Many of the keys can be mapped to other shortcuts in the Logitech Option software.

You can connect up to three devices via the Unifying Receiver or Bluetooth. For the latter you press one of the Easy Switch buttons until its LED blinks to indicate it’s in pairing mode. Then find and select MX Keys from the list of available Bluetooth devices on the laptop, tablet, or phone you’re trying to connect. You’re asked to enter a numerical code on the keyboard and press the Easy Switch button again to complete the pairing. Once multiple devices are paired with the keyboard, you can switch among them by toggling the Easy Switch button to the appropriate channel.



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