Logitech MX Mechanical: A gaming keyboard for work without all the RGB

It’s available in two sizes with three different switch options: clicky, linear and tactile quiet.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Logitech’s MX Master mice are simply unmatched when it comes to premium productivity (despite what my colleague James says). However, while I like the Craft and MX Keys, the company’s keyboards don’t enjoy quite the same level of dominance. But after testing out the new MX Mechanical, it’s clear Logitech finally has a high-end option to match its mice.

The big upgrade is that, instead of using switches with rubber domes, Logitech's latest offerings feature mechanical switches just like you’d get on its gaming keyboards. In fact, Logitech says they’re actually the same exact switches, with some small tweaks for things like noise and lighting to better suit the home office market. And again just like its gaming keyboards, you now get the option of three different switches: clicky, linear and tactile quiet.

The MX Mechanical can be configured with either linear, clicky, or tactile quiet switches.
Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The impact of this is immediately apparent – even for someone like me who doesn’t think rubber dome switches are an affront to civilized society. Instead of slightly spongy keypresses, the MX Mechanical offers crisp actuation with generous travel and zero side-to-side wobble. The keys feature a 19mm pitch to support a more comfortable typing position, and notably unlike the MX Keys, there are fold-out tabs in back in case you need some extra elevation. The main downside is that while the MX Mechanical has low-profile keycaps, the added height of its new switches means it can’t match the sleekness of Logitech’s rubber-domed alternatives.

Over the course of a week, I used all the various models, though I ended up settling on the MX Mechanical Mini with linear switches. (I typically prefer keyboards that use Cherry MX Reds, or the nearest equivalent.) Logitech also dampened the noise of the switches compared to most mechanical keyboards, so you get a softer audible “clack” instead of the muffled “pat” of rubber dome boards. Fans of Cherry MX Blues should opt for Logitech's clicky switches, which have that classic high-pitched tick.

Logitech's latest flagship productivity keyboard is available in two sizes: full size and 75 percent.
Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Logitech opted for a 75 percent layout on the Mini, which ditches the number pad, but retains full-size arrow keys along with a handy row of productivity keys on the right for stuff like Page Up, Page Down and Delete. While some 60-percent keyboards feel a little too spartan, the MX Mechanical Mini strikes a great balance between compactness and functionality.

In the process of bringing some of its gamer sensibilities to the productivity world, Logitech also cut out stuff like RGB lighting in favor of a pure white glow. That said, you do get six different lighting effects like breathing, wave and reaction, which adds a bit of pizzaz without becoming distracting. And while some people might hate it, I kind of like that Logitech included the dedicated emoji key it introduced on the MX Keys Mini.

While it doesn't have a numpad, the MX Mechanical Mini's 75 percent layout retains a handy row of productivity keys and full-size arrow keys.
Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The rest of the MX Mechanical’s features match what you’d expect from one of Logitech’s flagship peripherals. You can use the keyboard wirelessly via Bluetooth or the company’s Bolt receiver. The USB-C port in back is just for charging, so there's no wired-only mode. And sadly, there’s still no USB-C version of the Bolt receiver. And thanks to the Options app, it’s super simple to change shortcuts, set specific hotkeys for individual programs, or sync the keyboard with up to three different computers simultaneously. The keyboard even boasts great battery life, lasting up to 10 months on a charge if you leave its backlight off, or 15 days with it on.

Due to the increased heigh of its switches, the MX Mechanical is taller and features more key travel than the previous MX Keys
Here's how the height of the new MX Mechanical compares to the MX Keys, which features rubber dome switches. (Sam Rutherford/Engadget)

Finally, for those looking to pair Logitech’s latest keyboard with a new mouse, there’s also the revamped MX Master 3S. It features almost exactly the same design and specs as the previous model, except that now it’s available in white and it has a new 8,000 DPI sensor (up from 4,000 on the original MX Master 3). The company says the increased DPI is designed to make it easier to move your cursor quickly across one or more large high res screens, which it does. However, if you already own a regular MX Master 3, that upgrade isn’t really worth buying a whole new mouse. Logitech has also seriously dampened the sound of the left and right mouse buttons – it’s not quite silent, but it is really quiet. Honestly, if anyone gets mad about the MX Master 3S making too much noise, there’s probably something else bothering them.

While it features almost exactly the same design, the new MX Master 3S has quiter mouse clicks, a new 8,000 DPI sensor and a new white paint job.
Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The MX Mechanical is really just a great mix of gamer specs and a high-end minimalist design that can meet all your productivity needs – whether you’re editing videos or toiling away in spreadsheets. Meanwhile, the new $99 MX Master 3S is a more muffled and even better looking version of what is essentially the best non-gaming mouse on the market. Right now, I can’t think of a better duo when it comes to first-class office peripherals. I just wish the MX Mechanical was also available in white to match the Master 3S’s refreshed paint job, though I’m willing to bet Logitech will address that at some time in the not too distant future.

The MX Mechanical, MX Mechanical Mini and MX Master 3S are all available today starting at $170, $150, and $99, respectively.

Update, 5/25/22 9:30:AM ET: Added more info after confirming with Logitech that the MX Mechanical's USB-C port is strictly for charging and that there's no support for wired-only operation.