With the POP Keys, Logitech is clearly thinking outside the box. This wireless keyboard with its colorful design and typewriter look brings a touch of originality to the small world of office models.
For those who are tired of black and austere office keyboards, the POP Keys from Logitech is a change of pace. Its particularly original and colorful design is aimed at everyone, but the focus is on social networking enthusiasts, both amateurs and professionals. They have many features and a TKL format (for Tenkeyless, without numeric keypad) for $100. The POP keyboard is also available in three colors: blast (yellow/black), daydream (purple, green) and hearthbreaker (raspberry). Does originality necessarily rhyme with efficiency? The answer in our test. Note that the POP Mouse shown in some photos is sold separately.
Multicolored and adorned with round keys reminiscent of good old typewriters, the POP Keys has a very different style from what we are used to seeing on a desk. Some people love it, others remain doubtful; a matter of taste of course, but we appreciate the daring bet Logitech made to brighten up our desks a bit, especially the Escape key. If the keyboard is entirely made of plastic, the whole thing is perfectly rigid and seems quite solid.
The TKL format makes POP Keys very compact with 32.1 cm length and 13.8 cm width. It therefore has the advantage of leaving more space on a desk and of making the hand that holds the mouse less eccentric. On the other hand, it is quite high since it reaches 3.5 cm, but also heavy with 779 g on the scale. Unfortunately, this height is not compensated by a palm rest.
Moreover, it is not possible to adjust the height of the keyboard since it does not have adjustable feet. Under the keyboard, there are simply a few non-slip pads and a compartment for the two AAA batteries (supplied) and the Logibolt receiver. The manufacturer announces an autonomy of three years according to the use, what largely to see coming.
If Logitech has decided not to link any wireless receiver (formerly Unifying, now Logibolt, more secure) to its latest devices (such as the MX Keys Mini), it is still present here. The reason given by the brand: Bluetooth is now widely used and Logibolt was rather reserved for businesses. The POP Keys is a mechanical keyboard and Logitech may have wanted to include this receiver to reduce latency to a minimum for the benefit of potential gamers, which is a good point in any case. The keyboard can be connected via this method or via Bluetooth, and we find the Easy-Switch technology present on many of the manufacturer's other peripherals in order to pair them with three different devices and switch from one to the other using the F1 to F3 keys.
The key configuration also includes Mac and Windows screen printing. This makes the keyboard more versatile, but it can quickly lose the user in a jumble of symbols and cause some typing errors, especially for novices. To switch between layouts, you simply press FN+P for Windows/Android, FN+O for macOS and FN+I for iOS, but a small asterisk on Logitech's website points out that emojis are currently only supported on Windows and macOS. Unfortunately, the keyboard has no backlighting and only a few LEDs are present at the Easy-Switch and the Ver maj key.
If the functionalities of the F keys are quite classic (multimedia, screen capture, mute...), it is obviously the keys dedicated to emojis that make this keyboard original. We've seen a few recent models with a shortcut to an emoji menu, but here we find five keys reserved for our favorite smileys. Logitech targets mainly young people and some professionals who can save time by displaying emojis in a click for the creation of content on social networks or in their messages. The manufacturer has added four additional keys with symbols (hearts, flame, thumb ...) to extend a little more customization of its emojis.
The Logitech Options software allows you to change the emoji shortcuts and choose many more, even if they are different from the symbols on the keys. You can also change the shortcuts of the function keys as needed.
For this POP Keys, Logitech has chosen brown TTC mechanical switches. In office automation, they offer an exemplary typing speed and a reactive bounce. The disadvantage of mechanical models compared to scissor or membrane switches is their significant noise, but here it is more in keeping with the typewriter concept, I must admit. This being said, beware of the reproaches of possible office neighbors.
For those who are familiar with the red switches found on many keyboards on the market, they have the same activation distance (2 mm) and the same total stroke (4 mm), but they also have some differences. The brown ones are said to be "tactile" and you can really feel the activation of the key, unlike the red ones which are linear. Moreover, the activation force is 55 g on the former against 45 g on the latter - so you have to press slightly more on the keys.
What about the overall experience? If the reactivity of the keys is good, the round and rather tight format of the keys is not very practical, because it causes regular typing errors. Indeed, you often find yourself sliding and overflowing on the key next to you. As for gaming, the mechanical switches make it quite suitable, even if some mistakes might occur here again because of the key format. Up to six keys can be pressed simultaneously. However, Logitech does not specify anti-ghosting technology for this model.
The POP Keys is a nice keyboard, but not without its flaws. If we appreciate its design, its wireless connectivity, its autonomy and its mechanical switches, we regret not being able to raise it a bit and that the round keys lead to many typing errors. If its original look and the keys dedicated to emojis are essential for you, go for it. If not, you might want to consider another model for a more advanced office experience.