About four years ago I invested in a Logitech MX Keys, a responsive, clicky, low-profile keyboard geared toward work and productivity. Features like multi-device connectivity and the comfortably-shaped keycaps sold me on the office accessory, but its confidence-inspiring design and lack of distracting RGB lights made it a mainstay on my desk.
So it piqued my curiosity when Logitech invited me for a briefing earlier this month to check out the company’s new version of my daily keyboard. “What exactly does an MX Keys ‘S’ version entail when the original has already treated me so well?”, I asked myself. Longer battery life? A lighter footprint? Quieter key presses?
Lo and behold, Logitech pitched the successor to me with the one use case that should have been on my mind since the very beginning: how AI fits into all of this. And trust me, this typing tool does not disappoint.
Logitech MX Keys S
A full-size, low-profile keyboard that’s both Windows and Mac compatible.
For starters, if you’re familiar with the original Logitech MX Keys — whether it’s the full-size model or Mini — then you’ll feel right at home when typing on the MX Keys S. Logitech retained most of the design elements of the original with this newer version, which is not as risk-taking as I’d hoped the company would be, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.
The keyboard still has a non-adjustable tilt angle (though I never had an issue with the existing height), supports USB-C fast charging for up to five months of usage per cycle, has a smart backlighting system that wakes whenever the keyboard detects your hands reaching for it, and is just as pleasurable to type on as the old.
Each keycap has consistent, tactile feedback that thumps in the same travel distance and volume, whether it’s the escape key on the far left or the enter key on the far right. This uniformity is important to typists because you’re less likely to lose rhythm (or your train of thought) when developing, editing, or writing articles like this.
As for what’s new, Logitech has swapped in three new function keys: Dictation, mute/unmute microphone, and an emoji menu to give users more serviceable controls in the age of hybrid work. The MX Keys S also supports the company’s proprietary connection platform, Logi Options+, via Logi Bolt now. That means owners of other recent Logitech peripherals like the MX Master 3S can use just one unifying receiver for all of their accessories.
But what we’re all here for is a new feature called Smart Actions. You can think of it like macros — preset or self-customized routines that can be triggered with a press of a key. For example, at the end of a workday, I have the emoji menu key set to close all my active Chrome tabs and Zoom, open Spotify, and then play music. By pre-registering keystrokes and inputs, one key is now programmed to set off an order of commands.
Perhaps the coolest routine integration is what I labeled as “ChatGPT Input”.
Picture this: A coworker asks you for local restaurant recommendations. So, you enlist the help of ChatGPT to scan the web and fetch you the best eateries nearby. By tapping a single key — I have my Smart Action set to the Mute/unmute key — the MX Keys S signals the computer to copy the query, open a new tab to ChatGPT, give a second delay for the service to load, then paste the prompt and hit enter.
This is the sequence that sold me on the new keyboard during my briefing, and it was so good that I had to recreate it myself. It’s basically ChatGPT on speed dial, and I can imagine such a feature making other generative AI tools just as efficient to use.
For more inspiration, my other Smart Actions include quickly zooming into an image on Photoshop and activating the mixer brush for blending, and bringing Slack to the foreground and starting a new message to myself whenever I need to jot down ideas.
Smart Actions can be mapped to most, if not all, Logitech peripherals that support Logi Options+. So while it’s not an exclusive feature for the new MX Keys S per se and you’re technically sacrificing the original functionality of a key or two, it’s still a fantastic addition to an already proven keyboard. And at $109, $10 less than what the original MX Keys cost, I can’t recommend a better accessory for your typing and generative AI needs.
For more back-to-school recommendations, check out ZDNET’s ultimate tech deals list.