So many mechanical keyboards put perform forward of type. Put much less charitably, they’re ugly as sin. The Logitech Pop, a $100 wi-fi mechanical keyboard, tries to play each side of the sphere.
Its design is harking back to an old-school typewriter, with rounded keycaps on skinny pillars. To assuage the fears of purists, Logitech claims every actuation delivers the identical type of delectable clickiness as your granddad’s previous Olivetti.
One other factor: It ditches the numpad in favor of devoted, swappable emoji keys. Gimmicky, sure, however is the keyboard any good?
Typewriters have been heavy, cumbersome issues. Positive, they have been moveable, however provided that you accepted the chance of significant again trauma. In contrast, the Logitech Pop is small and light-weight. Chuck it in your backpack, and you will barely discover it is there. You can too purchase third-party carry instances – which can show a smart funding for causes that I will come to later.
Beneath the keyboard sits the battery compartment, which additionally hides the USB dongle. The Logitech Pop makes use of normal AAA batteries, with a claimed 36-month battery life. For apparent causes, we’ve not examined this independently. We think about this determine varies relying in your utilization and whether or not you fork out for Duracell’s extra salubrious cells.
In line with lots of Logitech’s premium (learn: expensive) wi-fi keyboards, the Pop helps you to join your keyboard to 3 separate gadgets and change between them with a set of devoted hotkeys. It helps normal Home windows and macOS layouts, and switching between working methods is completed with minimal fuss.
Moderately than embody separate macOS and Home windows keycaps, as many distributors select to do, Logitech opted to print each variants of the shortcut keys. So the “choose” key doubles because the “begin” key. The “cmd” key shares house with the left “alt” key, and so forth.
Logitech has positioned 4 devoted emoji keycaps on the furthest proper of the keyboard. An extra 4 are included within the field. Utilizing the included software program (accessible for each Home windows and Mac), you’ll be able to change these to an emoji of your selecting, however there is a chance they might not correspond to the keycap. One other devoted key brings up the working system’s emoji catalog, giving potential entry to all 3,633 Unicode emojis.
Realistically, this may not concern a good chunk of the keyboard-buying public so Logitech helps you to remap the devoted emoji keys to customized shortcuts or mixtures. Frustratingly, these aren’t saved regionally to the keyboard, however slightly on the pc.
The typing expertise
Have you ever ever used a typewriter? Most have been sturdily constructed and designed for lengthy writing sprints. They take a little bit of getting used to – particularly in the event you’ve solely beforehand used a pc keyboard – however whenever you get into the suitable cadence, they’re pleasant.
The Logitech Pop, sadly, would not actually seize that. Its largest weaknesses are the results of compromises made to construct one thing simply luggable that try and seize the retro typewriter aesthetic.
As a 75 % keyboard, the Logitech Pop was at all times at a drawback. It was by no means going to be as comfy or spacious as a full-sized keyboard. Compounding issues, the Logitech Pop’s keycaps are smaller than what you’d possible anticipate from an equivalent-sized keyboard, partly on account of its retro styling.
Logitech redeems itself considerably within the typing expertise. There is a first rate quantity of key journey with every actuation, making each keypress really feel deliberate, however there is not a lot of a “bump.” The sound that accompanies every keystroke additionally disappoints, partly on account of Logitech’s use of TTC Brown keyswitches, slightly than a “clickier” Blue keyswitch.
The largest nail within the Logitech Pop’s coffin is arguably the dismally flat keycaps, which are not significantly comfy or satisfying to make use of for any size of time.
Robust and weak factors
We felt conflicted in regards to the Logitech Pop. It will get a whole lot of issues proper and regardless of its warts, has a sure attraction.
It is gentle and has wi-fi connectivity. Though impractical in some ways, it has a genuinely enjoyable and attention-grabbing design. This author purchased it for one purpose – I wanted a good journey keyboard that surpasses the one constructed into my laptop computer – and it delivered.
Nevertheless it has its downsides. The typing expertise leaves loads to be desired. The emoji keys are a gimmick which will attraction to Gen Z, however will not fulfill these on the lookout for a piece keyboard. The choice to make use of a Cherry MX Brown-derivative slightly than a louder Cherry MX Blue appears like a missed alternative, significantly on condition that it aspires to be a modern-day typewriter various.
Moreover, the proprietary nature of the keycaps means you have to watch out when travelling with it. If one breaks, you might wrestle to discover a substitute. Luckily, you’ll be able to in all probability discover a hard-shell carry case on-line for round $30. I discovered one with sufficient room for the companion mouse, offered individually for $40.
Logitech has tacitly angled the Pop as an unimposing introduction to the world of mechanical keyboards. Even then, it is onerous to enthusiastically suggest it. For a similar value, you may get the superb Keychron K6, which is a far superior typing workhorse. However in the event you’re nonetheless curious, you’ll be able to decide one up right here.