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Logitech MK540 vs MK520 (2021): Which Keyboard & Mouse Combo Is Better?

Getting a keyboard and mouse combo for your home office setup is an ideal economical choice. Logitech’s MK sets offer budget-friendly, wireless input devices that connect via a single Unifying receiver and provide months of use without battery replacements. Two of the most popular in this line are the Logitech MK540 Advanced and the Logitech Wireless Combo MK520. What are their similarities and differences, and which of the two should you get? We review these details below and give our recommendation.

Logitech MK540 vs MK520 Keyboard & Mouse Combo Comparison Chart

ModelLogitech MK540 AdvancedLogitech Wireless Combo MK520
 Logitech MK540 Advanced - Keyboard and mouse set - wireless - 2.4 GHz - UK English QWERTYLogitech MK520 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo — Keyboard and Mouse, Long Battery Life, Secure...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
SizeFull-sizeFull-size
ConnectivityWirelessWireless
Keyboard Keys114114
Tilt Positions33
Palm RestSmoothSmooth
Mouse Buttons33
Media ControlsYesYes
Batteries3x AA3x AA
Battery Life18 – 36 months18 – 36 months
DimensionsKeyboard: 18 x 7.6 x 0.9 inches
Mouse: 0.5 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches
Keyboard: 17.7 x 7.6 x 0.9 inches
Mouse: 1.5 x 4.4 x 2.4 inches
WeightKeyboard: 805 g
Mouse: 73.5 g
Keyboard: 755 g
Mouse: 99 g
CompatibilityWindows, ChromeOSWindows, ChromeOS

Design

The Logitech MK540 has a heavier keyboard and lighter mouse than the Logitech MK520.

You can see the distinctive aesthetics of the Logitech MK540 (top) and MK520 (bottom) as well as the size difference of their mice.

First off, the keyboards. The Logitech MK540 arguably sports the more modern design, with a matte dark gray finish, smooth flat buttons, and muted key prints. Meanwhile, the Logitech MK520 has a black finish with semi-transparent borders and rounded keys. These deep profile keys are printed with a more contrasting white which can help in finding buttons since neither keyboard is backlit.

Both Logitech keyboards have spill-resistant designs that can shrug off the occasional splash of coffee, plus palm rests for comfy typing. However, the MK540 has three adjustable height settings, letting you raise it by 4 degrees and 8 degrees to match your preferred angle, while the MK520 only has an 8-degree step. A Logitech Unifying receiver is included in both keyboard-mouse sets, connecting the devices to your computer wirelessly through a single USB port.

While the Logitech MK540’s keyboard is heavier, its mouse is considerably lighter and smaller than the MK520’s. This should heavily influence your choice between the two, since some prefer smaller mice they can easily move around while others want a larger mouse that shoulders their hand adequately. They’re standard two button mice, with a clickable scroll wheel for extra input. You can use either hand for both mice, relying on soft rubber grips at their sides to manage precise movements for certain apps.

Features

The Logitech MK540 uses better software than the Logitech MK520.

Handy shortcuts can be found above the numpad on both Logitech keyboards.

As full-size keyboards, the Logitech MK540 and MK520 have the complete array of arrow keys, function keys and numpad. In addition, both have media controls located at the topmost portion of the keyboards, letting you control playback, adjust volume, or toggle mute. Above the numpads are extra shortcut buttons: the MK540 has buttons to open the calculator, check battery levels, lock the screen and open the Windows start screen. On the MK520 are back, forward, star and calculator buttons.

What makes these Logitech keyboard-mouse combos special is all of their reprogrammable keys. Each keyboard has 15 keys you can reassign to other functions using Logitech’s free downloadable software. Being the newer device, the Logitech MK540 is compatible with the Logitech Options software while the MK520 still uses the aging Logitech SetPoint. These utility software lets you set up new shortcuts for the function keys and shortcut keys, whether to launch a specific app, open a file or folder, or close a window.

Performance

The Logitech MK540 feels easier to type on than the Logitech MK520.

Integrated palm rests improve the typing experience of the Logitech MK540 (left) and MK520 (right).

The Logitech MK540 and MK520 have quiet membrane keyboards that have decent travel without too much resistance. The keys are sculpted slightly concave to be easy for your finger to press, though the wider spacing on the MK540 makes it easier to type on compared to the MK520, which has keys that are a bit oversized. If you’re not used to typing on keyboards with keys set this close together, you’ll likely take some getting used to them to reduce pressing two keys together, though it should be less of an issue on the MK540.

The mice for both Logitech sets are more on par with each other for overall performance, though their size will make either the smaller MK540 or larger MK520 feel better in your hand. The soft touch coating on their sides make them easy to grip and the primary buttons are tactile and responsive. Interestingly, the MK520’s mouse is compatible with the Logitech Options software, so you can reprogram the middle button with gesture controls like the MK540.

One of the best things about these keyboard and mouse combo sets is their battery life. Each one includes three AA batteries, two for the keyboard and one for the mouse, that will last several months of use depending on actual usage. You can get up to 36 months of typing with either keyboard and 18 months of clicking with either mouse. This substantially reduces those instances where you have urgent work to do but have no replacement batteries on hand.

Both keyboard and mouse sets are compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10 as well as ChromeOS. You can plug them in Mac desktops and laptops but you won’t be able to customize hotkeys and the like.

Verdict

The Logitech MK540 is our recommendation over the Logitech MK520.

With a more modern design and utility software, the Logitech MK545 Advanced simply feels like the superior version of the MK520. Its matte finish, well-spaced keys and lighter mouse all make for a more comfortable typing and clicking experience. Since they’re available at close to the same price, you should get the MK540 if given a choice, especially since Logitech will push more new updates to the Options software. Consider getting the Logitech Wireless Combo MK520 if it has a significant discount though, since it provides the same fantastic battery life, programmable hotkeys and coffee-proof build as the MK540.

FAQs

📌 Is the Logitech MK520 compatible with Mac?

You can plug the Logitech MK520 into Mac devices and still use the keyboard and mouse normally. However, you won’t be able to correctly map or reprogram its hotkeys to MacOS functions.

📌 What is the difference between the Logitech MK540 and MK520?

The Logitech MK540 has a more modern design and comes with a lighter mouse than the Logitech MK520.

📌 Is Logitech a good brand?

Logitech is well-renowned for its excellent computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, webcams and headsets.

📌 Does the Logitech MK520 work with Samsung smart TVs?

Yes, you can plug the Logitech Unifying receiver into a USB port on a Samsung smart TV and it will instantly recognize the Logitech MK520 or MK540.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.