Looking for a good keyboard with customisable keys? Logitech might have the answer with arguably one of the best keyboards around, the MX Keys for Mac.
You mightn’t think too much about it, but a good keyboard can make all the difference when you’re working, writing, or just generally using your computer. To find out how much this matters, you really need to just ask a reviewer.
Good thing there’s one writing this review. And he writes a lot. Reviews, news, articles, buyers guides, features, novels, scripts and screenplays; he relies on a good keyboard, and judges keyboards based on how they feel to use, the travel of the keys, the longevity, and comfort.
Every keyboard is different, and some companies make better keyboards than others, but he cannot overstate the importance of a good keyboard. A good keyboard can make typing feel like a breeze, as your hands extend your mind into keys and naturally sketch out your mind into the hieroglyphs we read as language. A bad keyboard will make you wish for something else so much that you’ll wonder not just how anyone would comfortably type, but how the company managed to get it past the approval stage when it feels like you’re pressing cement blocks into gravel.
Good keyboards are great, but bad keyboards can be traumatic, and leave you frustrated with working on your computer, which is why it’s so important to have a good or a great keyboard.
While folks with a Windows PC have a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to bundled in PC keyboards, either on desktop or laptop, Mac owners typically get a good keyboard with their Mac. The Magic Keyboard that Apple desktops come with is quite good, and while Apple has returned to a scissor-switch keyboard in the laptop line, not everyone was dissatisfied with the butterfly-mechanism. Typically, Apple puts a lot of work into its keyboards.
But Logitech has made something made to be about as good as what Apple makes, but with a little more flexibility. What is the MX Keys for Mac, and is it worth considering over your standard keyboard?
What is it?
Logitech’s latest take on a flagship laptop, the MX Keys for Mac is the Mac edition of its MX Keys, which is basically the same thing, but geared at PCs. In fact, you could probably consider our MX Keys for Mac review the same as the MX Keys standard, because the main difference is a set of keys for Macs versus a set of keys for Windows. Otherwise it’s more or less the same thing.
Whichever one you look at, the MX Keys for Mac is a full-size keyboard with numeric pad on the right, including several function keys pre-mapped for Mac, with backlighting, a rechargeable battery via the USB Type C port, and support for switching between up to three computers, working over both Bluetooth and Logitech’s Unifying radio USB key.
What does it do?
Shock horror, this keyboard allows you to type things in, relying on scissor switches in much the same way as Apple’s own Magic Keyboard, and a bunch of others out there. While Logitech produces numerous mechanical keyboards, the MX Keys is not a mechanical keyboard.
However, that’s not really a problem, because Logitech has made it about as solid as scissor switch keyboards get, and included other features, such as supporting Logitech Flow, which allows the keyboard to jump between other computers with Logitech Flow installed alongside its MX Master 3 mouse provided you have one, which does the same thing when the cursor reaches the part of the screen where it would jump to another computer.
Does it do the job?
Bizarrely, the software is really what makes Logitech’s MX Keys stand out, because between Flow’s computer jumping ability and Logi Options’ customisation, this is a keyboard that feels a little more playful overall.
Much like what we experienced in the MX Master 3 — still our favourite mouse — Logi Options can allow you to customise the buttons not just on a global computer-wide level, but also individually inside of applications. And it’s the same with the MX Keys keyboard.
Your function keys can be changed on the top row, as well as above the numeric pad, meaning if you don’t like having an eject button — a rather outdated aspect of a Mac given we don’t have optical drives these days — you can change it to something else globally, and then again on an individual app level.
Logitech goes even further than that by allowing you to double up the function “Fn” button with an MX Master mouse if you have one, creating macros using a keyboard and mouse gestures. It is very, very cool just how customisable this thing is.
We tested all of this out using OBS, the open broadcaster software, which previously had us using an Elgato Stream Deck for various macros, but could be switched over to the function keys of the MX Keys for Mac keyboard, and tightened up how our desk looked with just the one set of keys.
Beyond the software, the keyboard is comfortable to type on for long periods of time, and the action is about as solid as the keyboards Apple produces. That’s high praise, mind you, because Apple makes some of the comfiest keyboards out there.
What does it need?
Throughout its execution, Logitech might have perfect the keyboard in a way we’ve not seen really executed, and much like the MX Master 3 mouse, the MX Keys for Mac follows the same approach. It’s well designed, comes with support to let you customise the keys, is backlit, charged by USB, and is primarily just fantastic.
About the only things missing in action are a palm rest, which is an optional purchase, and a way to increase or decrease the angle of using the keyboard. That last one might be important if you prefer a flat set of keys, or even if you prefer it properly raised.
Unlike most keyboards, there are no height clips at the back of the MX Keys, and it just naturally slopes up at a slight angle thanks to the large black grip at the back. It’s basically one angle and one alone, and if that doesn’t suit, too bad.
But it’s not a deal breaker, and one that’s not likely to cause any real problems.
Is it worth your money?
It’s also probably worth the price, though the price point certainly isn’t cheap.
At $229.95, Logitech is pushing the MX Keys for Mac at about $20 more than Apple’s own equivalent, the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. For the price difference, you get backlit keys, programmable function keys, support for up to three devices that can be switched between with a press of the button, and support for Logitech Flow, which lets you copy and paste things from one computer to another.
However it’s a price difference not everyone will go for, because as we’ve said, $230 is certainly not cheap for a keyboard.
We’d also love to have seen support for a fingerprint sensor, so you could wake up your Mac simply by scanning your fingerprint much like you do on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. It’s missing here, and technically only found on the keyboard for the new iMac, but perhaps we’ll see it in version two. That would surely help make the price tag seem more like a steal.
Yay or nay?
While the price can be a touch alarming, the Logitech MX Keys for Mac is a solid keyboard with plenty of support for folks who need it, whether you’re using one computer or have three at your desk. In our case, we used it to jump between iPad and MacBook, and it provided a solid typing experience across both, while also giving us the custom keys we craved. It’s quite an experience to find a keyboard with customisable keys in this way, and it would be very hard to go back.
We’ve been trying to find a great keyboard for a while, and with the Logitech MX Keys for Mac, that’s definitely what this is. This is well and truly a great keyboard and easily worth owning. Highly recommended.