Logitech calls its newwireless mechanical keyboard "beautifully retro." And while it may seem like it's designed for kids, it's actually targeted more at mobile professionals with "big personalities." It's available this month in three color options for $100 (AU$130) and ships alongside a colorful new companion mouse, the ($40; AU$50). We're still awaiting word on UK pricing.
"The Studio Series by Logitech embraces the originality of each individual out there," said Art O Gnimh, vice president of Logitech's lifestyle business for creativity and productivity. "With Pop Keys and Pop Mouse we created innovative products that aim to be just as expressive as our users, with big personalities and no compromise on productivity."
Aside from the fact that this is a mechanical keyboard, which requires you to really press down on the keys (the keys have long travel distances), the big highlight feature is the inclusion of eight swappable emoji keycaps in the box, with room for four on the keyboard itself. You use Logitech Options software, available for PC or Mac, to assign your favorite emojis or shortcuts to the emoji keys, which are easy to pop off the keyboard. The Pop Mouse's top button opens the emoji menu, or it can also be customized to do whatever you want.
Some people love mechanical keyboards and some don't. The Pop Keys doesn't seem quite as loud as some mechanical keyboards I've used, but it still makes the familiar clickity-clackity sound as you type -- again, satisfying to some, less so to others. I did like the scooped, rounded shape of the keys, their spacing and color differentiation. It's also worth noting that the 12 new function shortcuts feature snip screen, mute mic and media keys that certainly come in handy in a work-from-home environment.
The keyboard is rated to withstand 50 million keystrokes. It does seem pretty durable and while it's not all that light, it does easily fit into a backpack or laptop bag.
Neither the keyboard nor mouse are powered by rechargeable batteries. The keyboard uses two AAA batteries (they should last up to three years, Logitech says) and the battery compartment has a slot for storing Logitech's Logi Bolt USB wireless receiver, which allows you to more easily pair Logitech's keyboard to your PC or Mac (you can also use Bluetooth). I do wish the adapter came with a USB-A to USB-C adapter, as fewer computers now have USB-A.
Both the Pop Keys and the Pop Mouse allow you to connect up to three devices at a time via Bluetooth or the Logi Bolt wireless receiver. The Pop Keys works with Windows, MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, Chrome OS and Android, and the Pop Mouse works with Windows, MacOS, iPadOS, Chrome OS and Linux.
The Pop Keys and Pop Mouse are part of Logitech's Studio Series, which also includes the Pebble mouse, K580 and K380 keyboards, and the new Logitech Desk Mat.
The Pop Keys competes directly with Logitech's excellent, which also retails for $100. I personally prefer the MX Keys Mini, but it doesn't have the Pop Keys' fun factor or those swappable emoji keys.