Logitech MX Keys S: Super-customisable QWERTY

10/10

Summary

Logitech MX Keys S

PAT PILCHER types up a storm on Logitech’s newfangled MX Keys S keyboard and opines that it’s the cleverest typing device on the market.

$279.95

Logitech’s original MX Keys keyboard scored a perfect 10/10 in my original review back in 2020 thanks to its excellent design, ergonomics and utility software. Now Logitech are back with the MX Keys S. Can it match the much-lauded chops of its older sibling? I engaged in some serious QWERTY bashing to find out.

From a design standpoint, it appears that Logitech has stuck with the old “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” strategy, as the Keys S looks almost identical to its original MX Keys sibling.

It looks and feels much the same as its older sibling, and is essentially a dark graphite rectangle with keys that’d be perfectly at home in Darth Vader’s crib. What really appeals is its super-slim form factor that would make any home or office workspace look a little more stylish.

The Keys S is solid. Where many cheaper Tupperware QWERTY beasts tend to creak and groan when used, the Keys S is built with a super sturdy chassis that gives it a reassuring amount of heft – 810g worth.

Like the previous model, it offers spherically indented keycaps, which almost seem to subtly guide my fingers to the right keys when I’m typing.

With the Keys S, Logitech seems to have grasped the work-from-home realities of our age. As such, it has an emoji key (F6) and a function key for quickly muting/unmuting a headset/PC mic (F7), as well as a speech-to-text function key (F5).

The rear of the keyboard has a bar that adds to its typing angle. When that is combined with its keycap design and scissor-actuated membrane key switches (which manage to be both quiet and provide plenty of tactile feedback), they make for a pleasant, faster and more accurate typing experience. I particularly liked its almost laptop keyboard feel.

Another nifty feature is its ability to connect to up to three devices and switch between function keys. Its backlighting also proved incredibly useful in late-night typing sessions. I liked that the Keys S seems to know when my hands are about to type, as it’ll glow up just right before my fingers hit any keys. Backlighting levels adapt to room lighting levels, equating to less glare and eye strain during late-night typing sessions.

The Keys S works over Bluetooth and Logitech’s bundled USB-A Bolt receiver on the wireless connectivity front. It uses the newer Bluetooth LE standard to connect, making it more stable and reliable. The Bolt receiver can also play nice with MacOS, ChromeOS, Linux and Windows, so the Keys S should be a solid choice regardless of what OS flavour you like.

With its backlighting enabled, I got over 10 days of use from a single charge to the USB C port on its rear. According to Logitech’s bumf, you can get up to five months with backlighting disabled. Your mileage will vary depending on how bright you’ve got the backlighting set to

Like the original MX Keys, the Keys S comes with Logitech’s Options+ software which has been revamped to add even more functionality. I particularly liked what Logitech call “Smart Actions”, which allow anyone to set up macro functions without needing a degree in advanced rocket science. With Smart Actions set up, I could shave a tonne of time off tasks that’d normally involve a fair bit of farting about. Chaining commands meant I could start up my music streaming service and playlist with just a key press, freeing up my focus to stay on what I was typing, which is a definite win. While the apps supported by this are still limited, it has already proved hugely useful. Given Logitech’s track record with software updates, app support looks set to improve over time. In short, Logitech’s Options+ continues to shine. Remapping any of the function keys for specific tasks so easily is a real game changer, as is being able to tweak backlighting levels.

While many may argue that a mechanical keyboard offers a better typing experience, I’d counter that’s a highly subjective opinion, and that for anyone transitioning from a laptop keyboard to a more roomy dedicated keyboard, the Keys S is an excellent choice. It really shines in its fusion of superior ergonomics, good design (and insane customisability levels I’ve yet to see matched by any other keyboard maker for sheer simplicity and power). Perhaps my only grizzle would be that Logitech could have changed its design a tad more over the original MX Keys, but that isn’t a deal breaker, given the excellent typing experience on offer.

https://www.logitech.com/en-nz/products/keyboards/mx-keys-s.920-011564.html

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