Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard review: A smart keyboard for work and play
Logitech’s MX Mechanical keyboard is the best productivity keyboard around, and it’s solid for gaming, too.
The choice between work and play has been one that keyboard aficionados will know all too well — for every excellent gaming option, you’ll find productivity limited, and for many work-focused keyboards, you won’t get that satisfying key travel or “clacky” feedback while playing games.
The good news is that Logitech’s MX Mechanical straddles both sides of that debate, offering an excellent all-around keyboard experience that still manages to look professional.
The MX Mechanical comes in two variants, with a full-sized version and a TKL version which drops the Numpad and rearranges the right-hand side of the ‘board accordingly.
Compared to a lot of mechanical keyboards, it could be argued that the MX Mechanical looks a little plain — it’s got grayscale keycaps, and there’s no RGB, while it’s also missing the volume roller of something like the Logitech’s own G915 keyboard.
And yet, there’s something alluring about it, like it’s begging to be touched. Our review unit shipped with tactile switches, and there’s ample key travel and satisfying audible feedback that won’t match the sound you get when you’re pressing keys on a keyboard with clicky switches, but it’s still noticeable. In many ways, it feels like Logitech realized that people wanted louder keyboards, making the MX Mechanical noisier, all while dulling the sound of the clicks in its MX Master 3S mouse.
Perhaps our favorite feature of the MX Mechanical, though, is in its keycaps themselves. We use Mac and PC, almost interchangeably, so having both macOS and Windows key glyphs on here is a real game-changer. That being said, if you’re only using it on one OS we can see how it might get a little messy.
Setup and features
The setup of the MX Mechanical is simple, which is just as well because as with the MX Master 3S, you can pair it with three devices at the same time. You can do so with a USB dongle or via Bluetooth, and we found it’s very comfortable flitting between Windows, macOS, and even iPadOS using the switching keys above the “home” button and arrow keys.
As with the mouse counterpart, though, the USB receiver is a USB-A one, so you may need a dongle if you’re using, say, a MacBook. Still, Bluetooth was reliable in our testing and saves unplugging the dongle regularly. Thankfully, it charges via a USB-C connection, which you’re likely to have hanging around if you’ve got a newer iPad, Nintendo Switch, or Android phone.
It’s worth noting, though, that hot-swapping keys isn’t possible unless you’re willing to do some soldering — Keychron, this ain’t, and that may deter keyboard enthusiasts looking for a setup to tinker with.
According to Logitech, you can get 15 days of battery life with backlighting on or ten months without it. That’s a sizeable difference, but it’s worth noting that the backlighting here is tasteful and minimal, and we found it to be genuinely helpful when working late in the evening. It’s all white, with no color option, but you can flick between different modes that highlight different keys or play out small patterns. In truth, it’s a little bit of a wink and a smile from a predominantly straight-faced product, and we appreciate it.
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To track battery charge and make changes to backlighting outside of hitting the “F13” key, you’ll need to install Logitech Options+, although it’s worth noting that it crashed a few times on macOS for us. On Windows, it was fine, though.
Is it good for gaming?
While we noted that the MX Master 3 is too bulky for gaming, we can see the MX Mechanical keys being great for both work and play. The switches are a joy to press, particularly if you opt for the switches you’d prefer, while the overall layout has a bit of everything whether you’re playing on PC or Mac.
We played a couple of Valorant deathmatches and didn’t find the MX Mechanical put us at a disadvantage, while it also felt great in League of Legends and the more relaxing confines of Cities Skylines.
Logitech’s MX Mechanical may not be the most exciting-looking keyboard, but it’s certainly functional for both day-to-day work and playing games, too. Whether you’re looking for a dependable keyboard for hours of emails and Slack conversations, or you want to practice your strafing in Valorant, there’s a lot to like here.