Why I Replaced the New iMac's Keyboard Almost Immediately

Light and compact doesn't equal a better experience

Key Takeaways

  • The Logitech MX Keys keyboard beats Apple’s own Magic Keyboard for comfort and useability. 
  • The MX is much heavier than the Magic Keyboard, and the extra heft lends stability. 
  • While Apple’s keyboard lies flat, Logitech’s MX has an elevated back edge, making it more ergonomic.
The Logitech MX Keyboard and MX Master mouse for Mac computers.

Logitech

If you own a Mac, do yourself a favor—buy the Logitech MX Keys, and toss out your Apple keyboard. 

Apple makes almost universally excellent hardware, except its keyboards are often fairly terrible. I’m testing out the new iMac M1, and it’s a fantastic machine that comes with a tiny, irritating keyboard that seems designed for someone who occasionally might tap daintily on a key, perhaps frowning gently and holding a china teacup in the other hand.

On the other hand, I type thousands of words a day and demand a keyboard that works as well as it looks. Fortunately, Logitech has stepped in with the MX and provided the keyboard that Apple should have made. 

"Looks aside, the Logitech MX offers a glorious typing experience... I immediately felt more comfortable and was able to type faster on the MX."

One-Upping Apple

The keyboards on the latest MacBooks are just fine, but that's after several iterations in which Apple stumbled badly, and owners complained that they were too hard to type on. The Apple Magic Keyboard for Mac desktops, however, is a disgrace to its name. 

Apple has turned out a cramped keyboard that doesn’t have enough travel to make it look neat and elegant. One thing that’s driving me nuts on the new Magic Keyboard for the M1 iMac is that the lock key on the upper right is way too close to the rest of the keys, so I end up turning off the computer when I don’t mean to. 

Fortunately, a quick tap of the order button on Amazon solved all my keyboard problems by delivering the Logitech MX. Out of the box, my impression was that the MX was a high-quality instrument. 

It’s much heavier than the Magic Keyboard, and for me, that’s a good thing as the extra heft lends stability. Of course, if you plan on toting your keyboard around, the MX might be too weighty. 

The MX is a handsome space gray, which looks nice, but, unfortunately for nitpickers, doesn’t match the silver color of my iMac M1. It’s a standard Bluetooth keyboard, but Logitech adds the unusual and much-appreciated option to connect the MX to your Mac via a USB-C cable, which also doubles as a charger. Apple’s Magic Keyboard, by contrast, charges via the antiquated Lighting port. 

Keys, Glorious Keys

Looks aside, the Logitech MX offers a glorious typing experience. 

While Apple’s keyboard lies flat, Logitech’s MX has an elevated back edge, making it more ergonomic. The elevation makes a huge difference. I immediately felt more comfortable and was able to type faster on the MX. 

The keys are backlit, with control to adjust the brightness and the option to have them automatically dim. One very nifty feature is that the keyboard has a motion sensor that turns on the backlight before touching it. The motion sensor is reliable in my experience, but it can be too sensitive, and a few times, just the vibration of the floor has set it off. 

The Logitech Keyboard connected to an iPad.

Sascha Brodsky / Lifewire

The MX is a scissor-switch keyboard with a short stroke. The keys are considerably more resistant than the ones on the Magic Keyboard, but not enough to fatigue your hands. I’m a harsh keyboard critic, and I found the MX very satisfying to use. Within minutes of setting up the MX, I was typing as fast and accurately as on any keyboard I’d used before. 

The keys perform most of the usual functions. There is a music control key, Mission Control, screenshots, and even a calculator and marked keys to switch the keyboard to different devices. You also can download a utility from Logitech to remap the keys, if you prefer. 

The MX isn’t cheap at $99.99; you can find Bluetooth keyboards at a quarter the price. But if you value a good typing experience and have a Mac, you can’t go wrong with the MX.

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