The Logitech MX Keys keyboard had received our praise and the manufacturer now offers a version without numeric keypad of its wireless keyboard: the MX Keys Mini. A compact format that is a great success.
The Logitech MX Keys is one of our favorite keyboards at Les Numériques. It has everything to please: compact size, pleasant typing, solid construction, wireless and backlit (something rare on battery-operated keyboards)... With the MX Keys Mini, Logitech offers a more compact version that should not disappoint us. It's not only a shortened version with a format close to 75% (even shorter than the tenkeyless, i.e. without numeric keypad), but a model that evolves somewhat to be in line with its time, as we will see.
The construction of this miniature MX Keys is simply identical to that of its big brother. We find the rigid plastic and its very neat metallic finish, so the quality is still there.
The thinness of the keyboard is preserved (barely 6 mm thick for the thinnest part and about 2 cm for the raised part where the battery is inserted). This is a small criticism that can always be made of the keyboard: the angle of inclination is not adjustable, but this will not bother the majority of users.
The Mini keyboard is obviously shorter, since the numeric keypad has been removed. The keyboard measures only 29.6 cm, as opposed to 43 cm for the classic MX Keys; an obvious gain of space on a desk and a product that is easier to transport if necessary. Its width is the same (13.2 cm).
You may not think about it, but smaller keyboards (TKL or 60% format, for example) also offer better ergonomics, with a mouse that is less off-center on the desk, which helps maintain a more comfortable position over time.
In terms of connectivity, a few things change with this new model. First of all, the Logitech unifying receiver is no longer included with the keyboard! It is not possible to connect to this type of receiver if you already have one. The manufacturer justifies this choice by explaining that Bluetooth is now widely present on computers. "It's not false", would say Perceval, but some users of fixed computers are not always equipped. And even if they are, it doesn't allow them to use the keyboard to get into the intricacies of the computer's BIOS/UEFI. In this case, you will have to buy a controller card for your PC or simply a USB Bluetooth receiver - which usually costs just a few euros. Logitech leaves the possibility of connecting the keyboard by buying its new Logi Bolt dongle, even if it is rather intended for professionals in order to establish more secure connections between peripherals and computers, within a company for example.
In any case, the MX Keys Mini is now Swift Pair compatible, and a Windows PC will automatically detect the keyboard when it is first turned on. A small window opens on the computer to connect the Bluetooth in two clicks instead of going through the usual configuration menus, which is very practical. We also find the Easy-Switch technology, which allows you to connect the keyboard to three different devices (to be chosen by pressing the corresponding keys on the F1, F2 and F3 keys).
Talking about keys, some new shortcuts appear, like the smiley to access emojis, a mute key to cut the microphone, and a key to the dictaphone (on the F6). Of course, we lose the numeric keypad, but also the "insert", "start", "end" and "page up/page down" keys. The directional keys have been made smaller and are less usable, which could be a problem for those who need them regularly. The keys and keyboard settings are configurable in the Logitech Option software.
As you've probably noticed, the screen printing of the keys includes both Mac and PC layouts, which can make it difficult to read or cause typing errors if you're not used to it. Note that there is also a screen-printed version of the keyboard for Mac only, but there is no PC equivalent. The surface of the keys is still concave and is pleasant to the touch. Underneath the keyboard, there are 6 non-slip pads that prevent it from sliding on the desk.
The MX Keys Mini is rechargeable via a USB-C cable, the port of which is located on the rear edge, next to the on/off switch. You can use the keyboard while it's charging without a problem.
Logitech announces an autonomy of 10 days and up to 5 months if the backlight is off. The backlighting is still as good as ever, adjustable on 7 levels and automated with a presence sensor that turns it off when you move away from the keyboard, and turns it on again when you move your hands closer to write. This allows it to save battery power. The latter is also removable, but you have to remove the rubber pads to access the screws of the cover, then unclip it. The procedure could have been simpler.
Finally, the Bluetooth connection and the absence of N-Key-Rollover (only 6 keys at most can be activated at the same time) do not make the MX Keys Mini suitable for gaming, although it can of course help out from time to time.
The typing quality is identical to that of the MX Keys and is therefore just as pleasant. The scissor switches provide an effective bounce and a fast, accurate typing experience. The thinness of the keys is reminiscent of what you'd find on a laptop, although the typing here is more damped and pleasant. Finally, the keyboard is quite quiet, but as always, this also depends on how much force you exert on the keys while writing.
Apart from its size, the MX Keys Mini is very similar to the MX Keys. It simply rejuvenates the formula with some nice shortcuts. This wireless model is still among the best office keyboards and has few shortcomings. If you like the compact format without a numeric keypad, the MX Keys Mini is an excellent desktop companion.