Logitech keyboard replaces Apple as my go-to for Mac.

Logitech keyboard replaces Apple as my go-to for Mac.

The Enduring Bond Between a Writer and his Keyboard

Keyboard

It takes time to form a bond with a keyboard. Back in 2012, I got my hands on the Logitech K810 mini-keyboard and immediately disliked it. In fact, I planned on returning it. But a few weeks later, something changed. I updated my review and decided to keep it. That little keyboard grew on me.

Fast forward 11 years, and I’m finally bidding farewell to my trusty companion. This keyboard survived my incessant pounding for 12 hours a day, every day, for over a decade. Impressive, isn’t it? It became a dear friend, and I’ll miss it. But recently, Logitech sent me their MX Keys Mini for Mac, and even though I started off disliking it like every other new keyboard I’ve tried, something tells me we’re going to be good friends.

A Multitasker’s Dream

I set up the MX Keys Mini as my go-to keyboard in the family room, where I spend a significant amount of time working alongside my wife and our furry companion, our little dog. Having the option to work with a warm, fuzzy pup on my lap brings a quality of life benefit that’s hard to beat. Plus, it saves me from feeling lonely.

In my setup, I regularly connect to three computers. There’s my main Mac Studio, currently in use, and our Mac minis connected to the TV, serving as our conference and collaboration center. Fortunately, the MX Keys Mini has Logitech’s Easy-Switch capability, allowing me to seamlessly switch between these devices with just the touch of a button. Paired with my MX Master 3 mouse, I can hop between computers in seconds. The convenience of this feature cannot be overstated. It has become a must-have for me, and I no longer consider keyboards that lack this functionality.

The Battle of the Keyboards

Receiving the Mac version of the MX Keys Mini was a change for me since I’ve been using PC keyboards with my Mac for as long as I can remember. However, it was relatively easy to remap the keys to suit my preference. But let’s compare the MX Keys Mini with the Apple Magic Keyboard and the Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID.

Both keyboards share a similar layout, with Logitech clearly taking inspiration from Apple’s design. However, the MX Keys Mini is slightly wider, taller, and about twice as thick compared to the Apple keyboard. It also weighs twice as much. Just have a look at the comparison table below:

Specification Apple Magic Keyboard for Mac Logitech MX Keys Mini
Height 4.52 in (11.48 cm) 5.19 in (13.18 cm)
Width 10.98 in (27.89 cm) 11.65 in (29.59 cm)
Depth 0.16-0.43 in (0.41-1.09 cm) 0.82 in (2.08 cm)
Weight 8.48 oz (240.4 g) 17.86 oz (506.32 g)

Although both keyboards are listed at $99, the MX Keys Mini is currently available for $79 on Amazon. However, if Touch ID is a significant factor for you, the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID would cost you an extra $50. It’s worth noting that the Touch ID version removes the sleep button and replaces it with the Touch ID sensor.

For those who require Touch ID, it offers the convenience of signing into your Mac with a fingerprint and recognizing up to three prints. Additionally, it allows for easy approval of purchases made through various Apple services. If these features align with your needs, the extra $50 might be worthwhile.

The Apple keyboards lack the Easy-Switch capability found in the MX Keys Mini. This means they are bound to one computer only, making them less flexible for multitaskers. Moreover, the MX Keys Mini offers backlighting, while Apple keyboards are not backlit.

It’s important to mention that the Mac Magic Keyboard should not be confused with the iPad Magic Keyboard, as they are entirely different devices. The iPad version is more expensive, ranging from $279 to $329 depending on the iPad size.

Tweaking for Personal Comfort

Keyboard preferences can be a touchy subject, and I’m no exception. The layout of Apple’s keyboard annoys me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the key at the lower left is an Fn/Globe key instead of the Control key found on PC keyboards. Although it can’t be directly changed, some other keyboard settings can be adjusted to compensate for this difference.

Secondly, I like to swap the Command and Control keys. This can be done easily in Keyboard Settings. Open System Settings, scroll down to Keyboard, click the Keyboard Shortcuts button, and navigate to the Modifier Keys tab. Making this adjustment can help ease the transition between PC and Mac layouts.

Unfortunately, despite the Fn/Globe key’s assignable option, I haven’t found a solution to remap it. It seems like Logitech included the option just to tease us PC users.

Another gripe I have with Apple’s keyboards is the absence of a Forward Delete key. On PC keyboards, this key removes characters to the right of the cursor, which is quite useful for precise editing. To overcome this, Logitech provides its Logi Options+ app, where one can create smart actions triggered by key presses to simulate the Forward Delete key. On the other hand, Magic Keyboard users can rely on the third-party app Karabiner Elements to redefine keys and add the Shift Delete combination to achieve a similar effect.

While these adjustments help me overcome some of my frustrations, it’s worth noting that both the MX Keys Mini and Apple keyboards have their minor disappointments.

The Weight of Expectations

The weight of the MX Keys Mini baffles me. It’s significantly heavier than its predecessor, the K810, even though the newer model offers no unique features over the older one. Surprisingly, the MX Keys Mini has a shorter battery life compared to the K810, which could go for months on a single charge. On the other hand, the Apple Magic Keyboard boasts a longer battery life, often lasting close to a month and weighing half as much.

Additionally, I found the backlighting on the K810 more satisfying than that of the MX Keys Mini. The white color of the MX Keys Mini makes the backlit keys less vibrant, unlike the black K810. Furthermore, the lighting on the MX Keys Mini bleeds around the keys, which was not an issue with the K810.

Recommendation and Farewell

Overall, when comparing my experience with the K810 to my initial impressions of the MX Keys Mini, I preferred the K810. However, the MX Keys Mini holds its ground as a reliable and efficient keyboard. It offers the same level of comfort, if not slightly better, and a similar typing experience as the K810.

Given the choice between the MX Keys Mini and the non-Touch ID Magic Keyboard, I strongly recommend the MX Keys Mini from Logitech. For 80% of the price, you get comparable performance (with the exception of battery life), backlighting, and the ability to connect to three devices. Unless Touch ID is a must-have for you, the MX Keys Mini is the way to go.

Of course, if Logitech still made the K810, that would be my top recommendation. It was truly a gem.

As I finish writing this article, my loyal writing companion, my little Pixel pup, is still asleep on my thigh. What more could a writer ask for?


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