Since switching to an Apple Mac for over a decade now, it is only just recently that (thanks to the wonderful world of VR) I decided to dip my toe back in the Windows PC domain once again. With both systems on or under my desk, my attention soon turned towards finding a single keyboard that could operate multiple Apple Mac and Windows PC systems. The Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Keyboard caught my attention and it seemed the perfect solution for my multi-system needs.
Inside the smart, pro-looking (and recyclable I must add) packaging, you’ll find the MX Keys keyboard itself, wrapped in white tissue paper, a tiny USB Unifying Receiver, and a decent length USB-A to USB-C charging cable, amongst a couple of manuals and promotional material. My first attention before even opening the box, however, was the weight of it. The MX Keys keyboard certainly feels weighty, 810-grams in fact, but all of this weight is for good reason — its rechargeable battery.
The Logitech MX Keys is a rechargeable, illuminated keyboard. The keyboard comes already pre-charged, so you can get pairing and play with it straight out of the box. When it does come to charging the keyboard you can use either an existing USB-C cable you may have around your desktop, or simply use the one that comes bundled with it.
When fully charged, the MX Keys keyboard will last up to 10 days whilst its backlight is active, or 5 months with the backlight turned fully off. So if you wish to make the keyboard last longer between charges, keep those backlights turned down or off completely. Sadly, there isn’t a quick way to check on the overall battery levels on either Mac or PC, other than the icon in the Logi Options software. There is a small LED on the top bar of the keyboard, however, which will turn amber when low and red when you need to be reaching for that USB-C cable very soon.
The MX Keys also has smart illumination. This means with the aid of proximity sensors in the keyboard, it can sense when your hands are near to it and it will illuminate the keyboard and fade off when you leave the desk. This all helps with maintaining the keyboard’s rather impressive battery life for an illuminated keyboard.
The keys on the MX Keys sit close to the surrounding case that the backlight from the keyboard can bleed out from around the sides of the keys when viewed at the angle that’s comfortable to type at. For me, this makes the MX Keys look a little less Pro. Personally, I would have preferred to just see the letters, numbers and symbols of the keys illuminate and not have the scissor-switch mechanisms that sit below them illuminated as well.
This minor niggle isn’t that much of a deal-breaker, most of the time you won’t be looking at the keyboard itself, you’ll be mostly touching the keys instead, and boy does the keys feel great! The keys on the MX Keys uses the more traditional and recently reverted by Apple, scissor mechanism. As a result, the keys depress firmly and give a good level of cushioning and return. To press (or miss-press) any key on the sides or edges still depresses the key firmly, which makes for fewer mistakes or miss-typed characters when touch typing or generally typing at speed.
The round-indented keys themselves have a mix of Mac and PC characters and functions labelled on them. This can look a little cluttered, but when you create a keyboard that can juggle between operating systems, you soon learn to accept this. Again, any seasoned typist isn’t looking at the keys on the keyboard most of the time. But with that said, the top system keys closely matched the Apple macOS keyboard. Buttons for Exposé, Desktop, keyboard and screen brightness as well as media buttons and volume are all here and laid out as they would be on a Mac keyboard. This is great if your primary system is an Apple Mac.
To the right of the top row of keys are three system selection keys. With a press of one of these buttons, you can pair and switch between three different systems, from Apple Macs, PC or Linux machines, through to Google Android and also Apple iOS. Switching between them is super fast and easily done by just pressing the button and you are then controlling the other system with the same keyboard. To pair each system to a key you simply press it and then pair the keyboard with the Bluetooth-equipped system. If any system doesn’t have Bluetooth hardware installed, you can opt to use the bundled USB Unifying Receiver to do all the leg work instead.
Finally, above the numeric keypad keys are four customisable keys. Their default functions are set to launch the Calculator app on the system you are running, toggle screen capture, Look Up (which doesn’t work on the Mac) and the last key is used to lock the system. Most of these buttons are common tasks you might do, but should you wish to assign them to a different command, function or apps, you can do this through the Logi Options software very easily. Sadly the icons on the keys illustrate these default functions, so if you swap away from this default function, their symbols become meaningless. Personally, a simple 1,2,3,4 might have been more universal here.
There is a lot to like from the Logitech MX Keys keyboard, but the price of entry might stop anyone from even considering it, which is a shame. Retailing at £99.99 or $99.99 from Amazon, its price is certainly aimed at the Pro market. Not everyone has multiple systems to operate simultaneously, however, the Logitech MX Keys can do this and much more, whilst also looking and feeling the part too. The price of this keyboard may be high for some, but its features and build quality certainly justifies the price. If you are looking for a solid keyboard to juggle between systems, or even as a cheaper replacement to an Apple’s own Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, then I would certainly recommend you give the Logitech MX Keys your consideration.
Logitech MX Keys Keyboard$99.99
- Looks and feels great
- One keyboard to operate up to three systems
- Customise system and function keys
- Battery indicator could be visually better or displays in bluetooth menus
- Angle of keyboard is fix and cannot be tilted
- Function button icons become obsolete if changed from their default setting