Have you noticed how mechanical keyboards have suddenly become so popular? You’ve probably seen them on people’s Instagram feeds. Mechanical keyboards are such a hot item right now and one of the reasons for their booming popularity is that they are a dream to type on, thanks to their great tactile feedback.
One of the world’s best-known keyboard brands is now capitalizing on this trend with the launch of two new mechanical keyboards. Tolya Polyanker heads up Logitech’s portfolio of MX keyboards, and says: “There’s a growing community of software developers who fell in love with mechanical keyboards when they started playing games. Now they want the same feeling of precision and control with their professional desktop keyboard. The new MX Mechanical combines the best of both – Logitech’s gaming keyboard expertise with MX Master Series signature experiences.”
Logitech recently impressed keyboard users with its superb Logitech Pop Keys, a fun keyboard aimed at a younger demographic that was launched in a choice of three stunning colorways, designed to appeal to coders and knowledge workers who want a more individual keyboard to personalize their desk space with. Now the Swiss company is launching these two new mechanical models with a more corporate look in graphite and pale grey colorways.
The new MX Mechanical keyboards feature low-profile keys with the same 19mm perfect pitch that Logitech uses on its phenomenally successful range of MX Keys keyboards. The two new models are the full-sized MX Mechanical, which features a numeric keypad and a full-size layout. The second model is the MX Mechanical Mini, which is a similar size as the incredibly successful Logitech MX Keys Mini. Logitech has scored amazing success with the MX Keys Mini and I think the same will happen with this new mechanical version.
The MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini both use the latest generation of low-profile mechanical MX switches. The keyboards are available in three types of switches to suit most tastes. The switches aren’t hot-swappable so it’s necessary to specify which type of switch you want when buying. The switches are also MX compatible which means they can accept MX-fit keycaps.
The three types of switches that Logitech is offering are Tactile Quiet (Brown) which is Logitech’s quietest mechanical keyboard ever and still offers a positive mechanical feel; the Clicky (Blue) and silent Linear (Red). The keyboards feature dual-shaded keycaps for optimized peripheral view.
All the keys are fitted with LED backlights including a choice of six different lighting effects. The LEDs automatically adjust their brightness levels depending on the amount of ambient light detected and they can even switch themselves off when not needed thanks to a proximity sensor. The power management is excellent offering up to 15 days on a full charge with the backlights turned on or up to 10 months with them turned off.
I’ve tried out both new keyboards and they offer all the easy typing features of the original MX Keys models but with increased tactile feedback. The result is a keyboard that is very fast to type on and has built-in legs to raise the angle of the keyboards for those who prefer a more raked profile. Both keyboards are an absolute dream to type on and they are compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome, Linux and other operating systems. Each keyboard includes a row of Function keys that can also switch to work as Media keys with special buttons for things like fast access to emojis, backlight adjustment, Dictation mode and even Mute button for a microphone, very handy for those pesky Zoom meetings.
Like all of Logitech’s latest keyboards, the MX Mechanical models can be paired with up to three separate devices regardless of operating systems. This means you can use one keyboard to control a computer, a tablet and even a smartphone. The keyboards can connect via low-energy Bluetooth or by using Logitech’s new Bolt technology which provides a robust connection with great encryption.
A Bolt wireless dongle is provided in the box with the keyboard and the whole thing is easy to set up using Logitech’s Options+ software which can be used to customize the keyboards even further. One sticking point for me is the Logi Options+ software insists on macOS 10.15 or later. If you’re still using a Mac that can’t be upgraded beyond macOS Mojave, you won’t be able to use the Logi Options+ software to enhance the functionality of the keyboards. If Logitech could fix that issue, a lot of people with older Macs would be very grateful.
Alongside the launch of the two new MX Mechanical keyboards, Logitech is also announcing the MX Master 3S mouse. This new rodent has a brand-new 8,000 DPI optical sensor that can track perfectly on glass and other problematic surfaces. It’s also ideal for use with larger, higher-resolution monitors thanks to the new sensor.
The other big feature is the buttons on the new MX Master 3S mouse which are now 90% quieter than the regular MX Master 3 model, but the feel is still as precise, enabling the user to focus on their work instead of the clicks. That’s a useful feature if you’re browsing while on a voice call or sharing an office.
The MX Master 3S mouse features Logitech’s MagSpeed electromagnetic scroll wheel that can whiz through 1,000 lines in a second and is switchable from clicky to smooth feel. There’s also a side scroll wheel for faster horizontal navigation, plus an ergonomically shaped designed enabling hours of use without discomfort.
The new MX Master 3S is also compatible with Logi Options+ software which is now exiting its Beta stage. Users can customize individual buttons and use pre-defined actions or create their own app-specific profiles very easily. The software also enables users to adjust the tracking speed and select backlighting effects, plus it can handle other features like Logitech Flow which helps to optimize workflows.
The Logitech Flow enables cutting and pasting between up to three devices on the same wireless network, regardless of each device’s operating system. Just imagine being able to copy a line of code from an iPad and paste it into an app running on a Windows laptop. With Flow you just drag the mouse from one device to the other and it’s so easy.
Finally, I can’t finish this review without a word about sustainability. Logitech makes and sells millions of products each year and so its impact on the environment has the potential to be massive. To address this, the Swiss company is minimizing its environmental footprint with these new products. The MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini are made using more than 40% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. The aluminum top case of both keyboards is made from low-carbon aluminum that’s produced using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. The MX Master 3S mouse is also made with PCR plastic.
All Logitech products, including the MX Mechanical, MX Mechanical Mini and MX Master 3S, are certified carbon neutral. The carbon footprint of the products has been reduced to zero through Logitech’s support for forestry, renewables and climate-impacted communities that reduce carbon. All the packaging is also plastic-free.
Verdict: Logitech has scored a hit with these two new MX Mechanical keyboards. They are a dream to type on and I love that you can choose between, clicky, tactile and silent keys. The key switches can withstand a million key presses and the tactile feedback lets you know the keypress has registered; that’s an essential feature when coding or writing and improves accuracy. The absence of hot-swappable switches is probably due to the low profile and that’s something I’m happy to trade. Meanwhile, the new MX Master 3S mouse is everything its predecessor was and a little bit more. I love the silent buttons and higher resolution sensor. It’s great for use with a large 4K screen and its ability to track on glass or shiny surfaces is a bonus. If I have one minor criticism, it’s that lack of compatibility with macOS Mojave and earlier versions of Apple’s OS, but that’s a minor issue. If you’re a writer, coder or gamer looking for a smart new keyboard and mouse, the new Logitech MX Mechanical keyboards and MX Master 3S mouse are hard to beat.
Pricing & Availability: The Logitech MX Mechanical, MX Mechanical Mini and MX Master 3S will be available in May 2022 from logitech.com and at other global retailers. The suggested retail price for the MX Mechanical keyboard is $169.99 / £159.99 / €179.99. The MX Mechanical Mini keyboard is $149.99 / 129.99 / €159.99. The Logitech MX Master 3S is also available now and costs $99 / £119 / €129.
More info: logitech.com