Logitech Pop Keys assessment: A contemporary mechanical keyboard with retro attraction

MSRP $99.00

“Logitech’s Pop Keys mechanical keyboard is a stylish and modern interpretation of the venerable typewriter of yore.”

Pros

  • A modernized tackle a typewriter keys
  • Satisfying mechanical keys
  • Easy pairing with as much as three gadgets
  • Logi Bolt assist
  • Emoji keys

Cons

  • No backlighting
  • No alternative key cap choices at present

The humble keyboard doesn’t typically conjure up photos of a good-looking objet d’artwork. It’s typically perceived as a extra utilitarian gadget.

Yet the easy keyboard wields a lot artistic power — among the best novelists of our time, from Mark Twain to Ernest Hemingway and Maya Angelou, have written their greatest works on a keyboard (extra particularly, a typewriter, in most of those instances). With its newest Pop Keys keyboard, that’s the ethos Logitech hopes to encourage by melding the retro attraction of typewriters with among the greatest applied sciences of at the moment.

The Logitech Pop Keys is a mechanical keyboard highlighted by a splash of vibrant colour, assist for contemporary connectivity, and even emoji keys for contemporary communication. Though not the primary keyboard to imitate the outdated world attraction of typewriters, Logitech’s $99 Pop Keys is probably essentially the most accessible and reasonably priced fashionable mechanical interpretation of what’s change into a relic, particularly when in comparison with the $299 QwerkyWriter S, $220 Azio MK Retro Keyboard, or the $164 Rymek Knewkey.

Design

Logitech Pop Keys and Pop Mouse are part of the Logitech Studio Series.

The very first thing you’ll discover about Logitech’s Pop Keys is that it comes with a “pop” of colour. The keyboards are available vibrant shades, together with Daydream, which mixes mint, yellow and lavender keys collectively, a rose-toned Heartbreaker, or the traditional Blast that’s accessible in black and yellow. Logitech’s design executives declare that the keyboard was designed for Gen Z customers who need extra individuality and persona of their workspace.

Though I used to be initially cautious of the stark distinction of the Blast unit for assessment — I’m extra accustomed to a floating sea of beige or black keys extra generally discovered on company desks — the bumblebee-hued keyboard was playful however not garish like some gaming keyboards. I discovered the colour enjoyable, and the accented keys brightened up my desk in an surprising means. Unfortunately, although, extra skilled key colours aren’t accessible, and I might nonetheless like the choice for subdued, grown-up hues for on a regular basis use.

Logitech Pop Keys versus Logitech MX Keys Mini.Logitech Pop Keys versus Logitech MX Keys Mini

My Blast keyboard comes with a yellow keyboard deck that’s accented by a sea of round floating black keys with yellow glyphs. Like the MX Keys Mini, the keyboard is designed to work with each Mac and PC. Some of the modifier and particular keys on the keyboard — Control, Function, Shift, Tab, Caps Lock, Delete, Enter, and extra — are grey with yellow glyphs.

Whereas the Qwerkywriter and the KnewKey try and be a extra genuine copy to the instruments that preceded them, the Pop Key takes a extra minimalist, modernized, and deconstructed design to its aesthetics. It comes with extra fashionable keys — the dictation and mic mute keys are amongst my favorites alongside new emoji assist — and the design is a playful tackle typewriter keys relatively than a devoted copy of the keys with chrome borders, like what’s discovered on the KnewKey and Qwerkywriter.

Logitech's latest Pop Keys keyboard features dedicated emoji keys.

Measuring 321.2 x 138.47 x 35.4mm, the Pop Keys keyboard is barely wider than the MX Keys Mini — you’re getting an analogous keyboard format, however the former will include an additional column of emoji shortcuts alongside full-sized arrow keys in comparison with the extra compressed inverted T format of the latter. The mechanical key switches additionally imply that the Pop Keys is a thicker general keyboard.

The emoji shortcut is the second greatest function of the Pop Keys that make this humble keyboard stand out amongst rivals. In addition to straightforward typing, Logitech is basically pushing emoji as the way forward for communication, and the Pop keys comes with 4 preinstalled emoji keys and 4 further keys within the field that may be swapped in. A fifth emoji key pulls up the total emoji menu so you possibly can decide any emoji or character you want.

While the aim of those new keys is to assist customers talk with emoji, which Logitech claims is the world’s fastest-growing language, the keys will be custom-made to launch particular emoji characters (even when these characters aren’t outlined by the included keycaps) through the downloadable Pop keyboard customization software program.

Like the MX Keys Mini, you received’t discover an prolonged keyboard association with a devoted quantity pad on the Pop Keys. The extra compact dimension, Logitech claims, makes this keyboard extra ergonomic if you happen to’re not working with spreadsheets or numbers continuously.

The gold escape button.

Our Blast keyboard comes with a metallic-painted, copper-toned Escape key that elevates the keyboard’s typewriter aesthetics. Purists might bemoan the truth that the Escape secret is the lone key in a special colour, however the brasslike end offers it a classic vibe.

On the highest row subsequent to the Escape key are Function keys. These keys also can serve to change between gadget inputs — the Pop Keys will be paired with as much as three gadgets, like Logitech’s premium MX Series for work. You’ll additionally discover shortcut keys for media playback management, a voice dictation key, screenshot button, and a microphone mute toggle. That final key has been a godsend in the course of the pandemic as Zoom calls have change into the brand new regular.

There’s a slim rear bar that protrudes from the again of the keyboard in a design that’s per Logitech’s MX Keys and MX Keys Mini. This bar homes the battery compartment; two AAA batteries will probably be required. The firm claims that recent batteries will final you for about three years of typing. An influence swap on the best fringe of the keyboard helps to preserve battery when not in use. Personally, I might have cherished it if the Pop Keys got here with inner batteries that could possibly be recharged through a USB-C cable, however firm executives claimed that Logitech was concentrating on a special much less tech-forward viewers than those that are utilizing the MX sequence.

Typing expertise

A pop of color with the Logitech Pop Keys

Unlike conventional desktop productiveness keyboards, the Pop Keys makes use of mechanical key switches — a design that’s extra generally discovered on gaming keyboards — for a extra responsive and passable typing expertise. Logitech didn’t title the kind of swap used on the Pop Keys, however the design and typing expertise feels just like Cherry MX switches.

This signifies that the keyboard was comparatively quiet, particularly provided that it’s a mechanical keyboard, and it didn’t require as a lot actuation power as different premium gaming keyboards. And due to the concave, circular-shaped design of the keycaps, the keys do job of cupping your fingertips and are steady, even in case you are urgent the keys from the sting of the keycaps relatively than from the middle.

When we inquired about key journey distance and actuation power, firm executives had been equally coy and didn’t present specifics in regards to the Pop Keys. We did discover key journey to be beneficiant. And the medium-strength actuation power signifies that you received’t have to exert an excessive amount of finger muscle to maneuver the keys, however merely grazing key whereas typing received’t register unintended keypresses.

It took me a stable hour to really sort and regulate to the Pop Keys, and I discovered that even if in case you have expertise typing or utilizing a mechanical keyboard, it is going to take some changes. The main causes are that the round keys, whereas engaging and pleasing to the eyes, and the important thing spacing imply that those that sort with extra susceptible wrists and fingers might discover that on the upward stroke of the keys, fingernails might get caught on the important thing proper above it or fingertips might brush up on adjoining keys. This problem turns into very obvious for these coming from flatter keys on pocket book keyboards

Raised keys of the Logitech Pop Keys

Initially, when you’re getting used to Logitech’s key design, this may increasingly scale back typing velocity and accuracy, however issues normalize after about an hour.

Compared to the clicky-clack typing noise of the unique Qwerkywriter (not the newest Qwerkywriter S), the Pop Keys makes a deeper and extra satisfying “thunk” sound when the keys are pressed. I desire the low-pitch sound that the Pop Keys makes, as I discovered that much less distracting, particularly if you happen to’re sharing workplace area. The auditory comparability is just like evaluating the butterfly key switches of a 2016-era MacGuide Pro with Logitech’s MX Keys. Apple’s normal laptop computer keyboard — which has since been upgraded to scissor switches on more moderen fashions — exhibited louder, extra hole noise in comparison with the lower-frequency response of the MX Keys and MX Keys Mini.

When considered towards the important thing switches on my wired HP Omen mechanical gaming keyboard, the Pop Keys positively feels stiffer, requiring extra actuation power, nevertheless it’s extra satisfying if you happen to’re typing an extended doc or trying to change into the following Hemingway. The Omen’s keys sound hole and exhibit a little bit of rattling when typing rapidly, whereas the keys on the Pop Keys seem like extra steady.

The one factor lacking from the Pop Keys that will have made it much more good could be backlighting. Here, Logitech wouldn’t want to supply loopy RGB lighting that’s normal on many gaming keyboards, however even a refined white glow — or lighting that’s colour matched to the Blast’s key colours — would have been good for nocturnal typers. The inclusion of backlit keys makes the RK Royal Kludge — a keyboard with related round-shaped, typewriter-inspired keys — a pretty different to the Pop Keys.

Even although the Pop Keys lack full backlighting, there are a complete of 5 LED lights on the keyboard. There are three white LEDs, one on every of the pairing keys, to establish which gadget you’ve gotten paired to the keyboard, an LED indicator on the Caps Lock key, and a inexperienced LED on the best keyboard deck to point that the Pop Keys is powered on.

Emoji

Logitech pop Keys comes with dedicated emoji buttons.

In addition to being the fastest-growing language, a helpful advantage of emoji is that the characters also can deliver higher empathy and enable you to join together with your viewers. This is particularly necessary in the course of the world pandemic, the place most of our communication is digital and a big chunk of our interplay is digital.

According to Logitech’s analysis, greater than 88% of customers are more likely to really feel empathy towards somebody who makes use of emoji of their communication, and given the prevalence of emoji in informal and a few skilled communication, like Slack and Microsoft Teams messages, having fast entry to those particular characters is particularly handy.

Logitech Pop Keys in red.

To use the emoji keys, you’ll have to obtain Logitech’s software program, which is offered on Windows and MacOS. The keyboard may even work with Chrome OS, Android, iPadOS, and iOS gadgets, however you received’t be capable to map or use the emoji keys.

With the software program downloaded and put in, Logitech offers you loads of customization choices with the emoji. You can map the emoji to match what’s displayed on the important thing — for instance, the smiling face with coronary heart eyes key when pressed will present the identical emoji in your display screen — or you possibly can map the important thing to a special emoji than what’s proven on the important thing caps. In the latter case, if you happen to continuously use the celebration emoji or fireworks emoji, you possibly can map both to the important thing cap displaying the smiling face with coronary heart eyes.

The software program lets you universally map the emoji for all apps, or you possibly can have totally different emoji for various apps. If you employ a particular emoji when speaking on WeChat or iMessage, as an example, you possibly can map that it to one of many keys once you’re inside this app, however map the important thing to a special emoji once you’re in a special app.

Swappable emoji keys and switches on the Logitech Pop Keys.

In addition to emoji, you possibly can map any of the 5 emoji keys, together with the highest row of perform keys, to carry out totally different duties. If you don’t use emoji, you possibly can map one of many emoji keys to point out Mission Control or open Launch Pad in your Mac, for instance. A second emoji key can be utilized to repeat and paste, entry the Look Up search menu, or for another functiom.

This software-defined keymapping actually makes the Pop Keys much more customizable and private, irrespective of if you happen to’re a Gen Z, emoji-using typist or extra of a conventional keyboard consumer who simply needs extra shortcuts.

And because the keyboard comes with a complete of eight emoji keycaps — 4 on the keyboard and 4 within the field — swapping between the keycaps may be very simple. All it is advisable do is grip the keycap together with your finger and pull upwards to take away the cap, after which press the keycap down on the “+”-shaped swap to put a brand new cap again on.

Software to customize the function of the emoji buttons on the Logitech Pop Keys keyboard.

This course of will be utilized to all of the keys on the keyboard, and Logitech says that since an unnamed, off-the-shelf swap mechanism is used, you possibly can theoretically substitute all of the keys on the Pop Keys. I hadn’t tried the mix-and-match philosophy right here with the alphanumeric keys, however you possibly can theoretically substitute the keys right here with square-shaped keys relatively than round keys if you happen to wished, although that will defeat the aim of buying a retro-inspired instrument just like the Pop Keys. Company representatives cautioned, nevertheless, that doing this might have an effect on key spacing, key journey, and the match of particular person keycaps.

And just like the MX Keys sequence, there are toggles to change between three paired gadgets with the F1, F2, and F3 perform keys. This makes it simple to change between a MacGuide Pro, a Windows PC, and an iPad Pro, for instance, if you happen to continuously rotate between these on your workflow. The Pop Keys connects to your favourite computing gadget through Bluetooth, and a Logi Bolt connection dongle can be included within the field if it is advisable have a safer, dependable connection between the keyboard and your PC. To make it simple to hold the dongle, the Pop Keys comes with a devoted slot that homes the Logi Bolt connector once you’re not utilizing it.

Logitech Pop Keys in Daydream color way.

Logitech additionally has a companion Pop Mouse that’s color-matched to the identical Blast, Daydream, and Heartbreaker colour choices. The Pop Mouse is a part of Logitech’s Studio Series and resembles the design of the corporate’s present Pebble mouse. It comes with a scroll wheel and a devoted button that may be custom-made, just like the emoji keyboard keys on the Pop Keys. With the mouse, you possibly can have one other emoji key, or you possibly can assign that button to carry out one other process by way of Logitech’s software program.

Our take

Logitech Pop Keys keyboard with grey, yellow, and black accents.

Logitech’s Pop Keys brings quite a lot of playful whimsy to stoic desks with its pop of colour. Though it could take its fashionable inspiration from writing instruments of yesteryear, the Pop Keys isn’t your grandfather’s typewriter — this keyboard artfully melds its outdated world attraction with fashionable expertise like robust connectivity choices, lengthy battery life, and assist for emoji to assist encourage the following technology of creatives.

Are there any options

At $99 for the Pop Keys and $39 for the Pop Mouse, there are many options to those Studio Series peripherals. The Pop Keys’ most notable rivals embody different retro-inspired keyboards just like the Qwerkywriter S, Rymek KnewKey, and Azio MK Keyboard. All these keyboards include related mechanical swap mechanisms and round keys that make them resemble typewriters, however none supply the identical fashionable versatility of the Pop keys, together with devoted emoji keys, media and performance keys that may be custom-made, and a assist for Logi Bolt. Another engaging high quality of the Pop Keys is that it’s between $100 to $200 lower than a few of its closest rivals.

How lengthy will it final

Logitech’s Pop Keys will, just like the typewriters that preceded it, final you for a really very long time. The batteries are good for 3 years of use, and changing them with recent batteries will preserve you going for for much longer. Though replaceable batteries aren’t nearly as good for the atmosphere as rechargeable inner batteries, the upside is that you simply received’t have to fret in regards to the batteries having the ability to maintain a cost because the Pop Keys ages. This signifies that relatively than throwing away an in any other case completely usable keyboard years down the road as a result of the inner battery has aged out of its helpful life span, you possibly can simply swap in new batteries and carry on happening this keyboard. Logitech affords a one-year restricted {hardware} guarantee for the Pop Keys within the U.S. and most of Asia, although you may get a two-year guarantee if you are going to buy the keyboard in Japan and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Should I purchase it

Yes, if you happen to depend on or use emoji, the Pop Keys is a useful instrument on your dwelling or dwelling workplace. Though it was designed for teenagers and tweens, the Pop Keys is a enjoyable keyboard that’s positive to brighten up any room. Logitech has modernized the typewriter for the trendy age.

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