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Logitech MX Keys S Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jul 05, 2023 at 10:43 am
Latest change: Writing modified Jul 05, 2023 at 10:43 am
Logitech MX Keys S Picture
8.2
Gaming
7.2
Mobile/Tablet
7.9
Office
8.1
Programming
6.2
Entertainment / HTPC

The Logitech MX Keys S is a wireless keyboard that continues Logitech's MX Keys lineup. Like the previous generation Logitech MX Keys, this keyboard has a low-profile design, and the keycaps have a spherical dish-shape profile that can help keep your fingers centered and reduce accidental keystrokes. It also features the same full white backlighting as its predecessor that can automatically illuminate when your hands are near but introduces a new feature that adjusts the backlighting by default according to the lighting conditions around you. Other changes include a different set of shortcuts on the function row that now includes an emoji key. Logitech has also added new software functionality for controlling the keyboard's backlighting and creating macros.

Unlike its predecessor, which connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or with the Logitech Unifying receiver, this keyboard connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or with the Logi BOLT receiver. For more details, see the Wireless Versatility test below.

Our Verdict

8.2 Gaming

The Logitech MX Keys S isn't designed for this use but is very good for casual gaming. It feels well-built, and the low-profile design is comfortable to use without a wrist rest. That said, while the latency is decent for playing casual games in any genre, it's too high for playing fast-paced or competitive games.

Pros
  • Impressive build quality.
  • Low profile design is comfortable without a wrist rest.
Cons
  • Latency is too high for competitive gaming.
7.2 Mobile/Tablet

The Logitech MX Keys S is decent for use with mobile or tablet devices, but it's heavier and considerably larger than keyboards designed specifically for this use. That said, it has impressive build quality and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth with up to three devices simultaneously. It also has individually-backlit keys that, by default, will adjust brightness depending on the lighting conditions around you.

Pros
  • Impressive build quality.
  • Connects via Bluetooth and can pair with up to four devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • Not very easy to carry around due to its size and weight.
7.9 Office

The Logitech MX Keys S is very good for office use. It has impressive build quality, and a low-profile design makes it comfortable to use, even without a wrist rest. It provides great typing quality with satisfyingly tactile but extremely quiet keystrokes, and the keycaps have a small dish-shaped profile that keeps your fingers centered on keys to help you minimize typos.

Pros
  • Great typing quality.
  • Impressive build quality.
  • Very quiet typing noise.
  • Low profile design is comfortable without a wrist rest.
Cons
8.1 Programming

The Logitech MX Keys S is an impressive keyboard for programming. It has great build quality, and its low profile design means it's comfortable to use without a wrist rest. It also has per-key backlighting and pairs wirelessly with up to three devices simultaneously. That said, this keyboard has no dedicated macro keys, and while you can record macros (called Smart Actions) using the software, there are some limitations on their complexity. Additionally, by default, shortcuts like media controls and the emoji button are the primary functions on the F-row rather than F1-F12, but you can reverse this behavior with an option in the software or the Fn lock hotkey on the keyboard itself.

Pros
  • Impressive build quality.
  • Low profile design is comfortable without a wrist rest.
  • Connects via Bluetooth or Logi BOLT receiver and can pair with up to four devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • No dedicated macro keys, and macros can only be recorded using the software.
6.2 Entertainment / HTPC

The Logitech MX Keys S is passable for use with an entertainment or home theater setup, but its fairly large size and weight means it may be awkward to use from your couch. That said, it connects wirelessly via Bluetooth and can pair with up to three devices simultaneously. It has a set of basic media shortcuts on the function row, and all keys are individually backlit with shine-through legends making them easy to read in a darkened room.

Pros
  • Connects via Bluetooth or Logi BOLT receiver and can pair with up to four devices simultaneously.
  • Adjustable backlighting; key legends are easy to read in the dark.
Cons
  • Not very easy to carry around due to its size and weight.
  • Media keys are non-dedicated buttons on the function row.
  • 8.2 Gaming
  • 7.2 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.9 Office
  • 8.1 Programming
  • 6.2 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Jul 05, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 23, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Jun 20, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Jun 09, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Jun 06, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The full-size Logitech MX Keys S is available in several color options. We bought and tested the Graphite color option, and you can see the label of our unit here.

This keyboard also has a smaller size variant available, the MX Keys Mini, which we've reviewed separately.

Name Size Color Options Wireless connectivity
MX Keys S Full-size (100%) Graphite, Pale Gray, Black, Rose Bluetooth and Logi BOLT receiver
MX Keys Mini Compact (75%) Graphite, Pale Gray, Black, Rose Bluetooth and Logi BOLT receiver (sold separately)

Compared To Other Keyboards

This keyboard is an outstanding desktop option for productivity and everyday browsing. It has excellent wireless versatility, provides great typing quality, and has a slim profile that makes it comfortable to use without a wrist rest. It's also extremely quiet, especially compared to mechanical keyboards.

The Logitech MX Keys S continues Logitech's MX keys lineup. Unlike the original Logitech MX Keys, which connected via Bluetooth or with the Logitech Unifying USB Receiver, this keyboard connects wirelessly using Bluetooth or the Logi BOLT USB receiver that Logitech advertises as providing better security and wireless stability than a standard Bluetooth connection. The primary hardware difference with this new model includes a different set of default shortcuts on the F-row at the top of the keyboard, including a new emoji key. This keyboard also has a new backlighting feature that adjusts the brightness depending on the lighting in your surroundings. Additional changes add new software functionality with this version, allowing more control over the backlighting and support for creating macros, which Logitech calls Smart Actions. However, it's worth noting that Smart Actions are now supported on the previous generation Logitech MX Keys, so this isn't unique to the new model.

For more options, see our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best office keyboards, and the best keyboards for typing.

Logitech MX Keys

The Logitech MX Keys S is a newer version of the Logitech MX Keys. The MX Keys S only has minor physical differences in its shortcuts on the F-row. It also has an auto-brightness feature that adjusts the backlighting according to your environment, and it provides more options for customizing the backlighting using the software, while the older MX Keys only allows you to toggle the lighting on or off. The other major difference is that the MX Keys S connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or with the Logi BOLT receiver. In contrast, the older MX Keys connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or the Logitech Unifying Receiver.

Logitech MX Mechanical

The Logitech MX Mechanical and the Logitech MX Keys S are wireless full-size keyboards with low-profile designs. The MX Mechanical uses mechanical switches and can be purchased with tactile Brown or clicky Blue switch varieties. On the other hand, the MX Keys S has tactile scissor switches, which are quieter.

Logitech MX Keys Mini

The Logitech MX Keys Mini is essentially a smaller variant of the Logitech MX Keys S. The MX Keys Mini has a compact (75%) form factor, while the MX Keys S is a full-size model. The MX Keys S also has a backlighting feature that adjusts the backlight brightness depending on your environment. Both keyboards connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and are compatible with the Logi BOLT USB receiver. However, while the BOLT receiver is included in the box with the MX Keys S, it's sold separately for the MX Keys Mini.

Logitech K380

The Logitech K380 and the Logitech MX Keys S are low-profile keyboards. The K380 has a smaller Compact (75%) form factor and is designed to be a more portable option. It uses AA batteries for power. On the other hand, the MX Keys S has a full-size form factor and is designed for a desktop setup. It uses a USB-A charging cable for power. It also provides better typing quality and has full per-key backlighting, which the Logitech K380 lacks.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Full-size (100%)
Height
0.8" (2.0 cm)
Width 16.9" (43.0 cm)
Depth
5.2" (13.2 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.77 lbs (0.804 kg)

This keyboard has a full-size layout with all the keys of a standard keyboard, including a function row, dedicated arrow keys, a navigation cluster, and a Numpad. While it has a fairly standard full-size footprint and weight, it's very slim.

There's also a smaller version of this keyboard called the Logitech MX Keys Mini, which has a compact (75%) form factor, so it lacks a Numpad and a navigation cluster but still has dedicated arrow keys and a full function row.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

This keyboard has great build quality. It has an all-plastic chassis that flexes slightly but doesn't feel flimsy. The Keycaps are made of ABS plastic and have a dish-shaped profile. They have a slightly more textured finish than the original Logitech MX Keys keycaps. All keys feel extremely stable while typing, and six rubber feet under the keyboard that do a reasonable job of keeping it in place. That said, while the keyboard doesn't move around when typing normally, it's easily moved if you nudge it accidentally.

7.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
5.8°
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
N/A
Home Row Height
14.1 mm (0.6")

The Logitech MX Keys S has decent ergonomics. It has a low-profile design with a fixed incline, making it quite comfortable to use without a wrist rest, with your wrists flat on a desk. That said, Logitech does sell a wrist rest for this keyboard on its website.

The Home Row height of this keyboard is marginally higher (~1mm) than the previous generation Logitech MX Keys. This may be due to minor differences in manufacturing tolerances between units, but this marginal difference wasn't noticeable during testing, and this keyboard provides the same overall ergonomic experience as the previous model.

0
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
No
Stabilizer Fixation
Non-Customizable Design
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
Non-Customizable Design
Size Of Right Mod Keys
Non-Standard
Hot-Swappable Switches
No
Switch Stem Shape
Non-Customizable Design
Switch PCB Socket
Non-Customizable Design
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Non-Customizable Design

The hardware of this keyboard isn't designed to be customized.

7.5
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
No
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
No
Software Controllable
Yes

Like the previous generation Logitech MX Keys, this keyboard has a sensor that automatically recognizes when your hands are near the keyboard. Unlike the original, by default, this version automatically brightens or dims depending on the lighting conditions around you.

Unlike its predecessor, which only allowed you to toggle the backlighting on or off, this keyboard allows you to adjust several other aspects of the backlighting. Using the software, you can adjust the global brightness manually, set backlight duration, and enable or disable the automatic brightness feature.

8.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

This keyboard provides impressive backlight clarity. The keycaps have shine-through legends that are easy to see in darkened rooms. However, the lighting is slightly uneven on some keys.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wireless
Detachable
Yes (Charge Only)
Length 3.4 ft (1.1 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

This keyboard has a simple, rubber-coated USB-A to USB-C charging cable. The cable is somewhat shorter than the cable included with the older model Logitech MX Keys.

10
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
3
Proprietary Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable

This keyboard connects wirelessly via Bluetooth. It can pair with up to three devices simultaneously.

You can connect this keyboard wirelessly using the included Logi BOLT receiver. Logitech advertises that this receiver uses modified Bluetooth technology, providing more reliable signal strength in congested wireless environments and a closed, end-to-end encrypted signal for better security. You can also use this BOLT receiver to pair select newer Logitech MX Master peripherals, including the Logitech MX Master 3S or Logitech MX Anywhere 3S Mouse.

The newer Logi BOLT receiver isn't the same as the older Logitech Unifying Receiver that was included with the previous generation MX Keys. The Unifying Receiver is not compatible with the Logitech MX Keys S.

This keyboard has a 1500 mAh battery that Logitech advertises to last up to ten days with default backlighting or up to five months with backlighting turned off.

4.0
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
No
Macro Programming With Software
Yes

This keyboard has no dedicated macro keys, and you can't program macros directly on the keyboard, but you can create and use fairly complex macros using this keyboard's configuration software. Logitech calls these macros "Smart Actions" and can be mapped to keys on the function row at the top of the keyboard. For more details, see the Configuration Software section later on.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Non-Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
No
Control Knob
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps Lock

This keyboard has a Caps Lock indicator and default shortcuts on the function row at the top, including Emjoi, Calculator, Mic Mute, Dictation, and Screen Brightness keys. Out of the box, these shortcuts act as the primary functions, and F1 through F12 are secondary.

You reverse this behavior and set F1 through F12 to act as the primary functions using an option in the software or by toggling the FN lock on the keyboard by pressing FN+Esc.

Design
In The Box

  • Logitech MX Keys S
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Logi BOLT USB-A wireless receiver
  • User documentation
  • Typing Experience
    Typing Experience
    Switches
    Switch Name
    No Marketed Name
    Switch Type
    Scissor
    Feel
    Tactile

    This keyboard has tactile scissor switches.

    Typing Experience
    Keystrokes
    Operating Force
    62 gf
    Actuation Force
    36 gf
    Pre-Travel
    1.4 mm
    Total Travel
    2.1 mm

    The Logitech MX Keys S' scissor switches have short pre-travel and total travel distance, resulting in a responsive and immediate typing experience. There's a moderate but satisfying tactile bump to overcome that can help reduce accidental keystrokes compared to switches on some keyboards that are much more sensitive.

    8.0
    Typing Experience
    Typing Quality

    This keyboard provides impressive typing quality. All the keys are very stable and aren't spaced too close together. The switches have satisfying tactility and don't require too much force to actuate, and the keypresses reset very quickly and don't feel mushy when bottomed out. The keycaps also have a shallow dish-shaped profile that helps keep your finger centered and may reduce accidental keystrokes from glancing blows on neighboring keys.

    9.9
    Typing Experience
    Typing Noise
    Average Loudness
    36.2 dBA
    High Pitch Clicks
    No

    The Logitech MX Keys S is extremely quiet and very unlikely to bother those around you. It's marginally but noticeably quieter than the first-generation Logitech MX Keys.

    7.4
    Typing Experience
    Latency
    Latency Wired
    N/A
    Latency Receiver
    10.4 ms
    Latency Bluetooth
    14.4 ms

    The Logitech MX Keys S has decent latency, and it's ideal for productivity, everyday browsing, and casual gaming. However, it isn't well-suited for playing fast-paced, reaction-based games.

    Software and Operating System
    Software and Operating System
    Configuration Software
    Software Name Logi Options+
    Software Windows Compatible
    Yes
    Software macOS Compatible
    Yes
    Onboard Memory
    No
    Profiles
    6+

    This keyboard uses the Logitech+ software for configuration. It has a simple layout and is easy to use, allowing you to change various preferences, save custom profiles, and adjust or turn off the backlighting.

    You can customize key shortcuts for keys on the function row to perform a variety of media controls, windows functions, or specific actions in a variety of popular applications. You can also program fairly complex macros, which Logitech calls Smart Actions. There are also several premade Smart Action templates for various actions supporting multiple keystrokes, text input, and actions in multiple programs.

    10
    Software and Operating System
    Computer Compatibility
    Windows
    Fully Compatible
    macOS
    Fully Compatible
    Linux (Ubuntu 22)
    Fully Compatible
    Media Key Compatibility
    Windows, MacOS & Linux

    This keyboard is fully compatible with all major computer operating systems. Still, some of the shortcuts on the function row don't work, depending on your operating system.

    All default keys work as intended on Windows. On MacOS, the Dictate (F5) and Mic Mute (F7) functions do nothing. On Linux, the Dictate (F5), Emoji (F6), Mic Mute (F7), and Screen Capture functions do nothing.

    10
    Software and Operating System
    Wireless Mobile Compatibility
    Android
    Fully Compatible
    iOS
    Fully Compatible
    iPadOS
    Fully Compatible
    Media Key Compatibility
    Android, iPhone & iPad

    This keyboard is fully compatible with all major mobile operating systems, but a few shortcuts on the function row do nothing, depending on your device.

    On Android devices, the Emjoi (F6) and Mic Mute (F7) functions do nothing. On iOS devices, the Emjoi (F6), Mic Mute (F7), Insert, and Calculator functions do nothing. On iPadOS, the Mic Mute (F7), Insert, and Calculator functions do nothing.