A bright yellow keyboard and a mouse! Does that cause heightened sensations in your body, or make you cringe? If there’s already a smile on your face, Logitech has appealed to the right person. A brand trying to make mundane computer accessories desirable to the non-PC gamer crowd, Logitech’s new POP Keys keyboard and POP Mouse are essentially the kind of desk accessories that are going to make your daily typing job interesting. What’s better? That keyboard has got mechanical keys.
Now before you start getting all excited, you should know you have to pay a certain price. The Logitech POP Keys keyboard costs Rs. 9,995 and the POP Moise costs Rs. 2,995. Quite expensive as accessories for your workstation, right? But as we return to offices, or adapt ourselves into the hybrid work situation, having a fun keyboard and mouse could spruce up the mood, and maybe help easing the Monday blues!
Whatever your reasons are, I tried the pair of these Logitech POP accessories on my desk for almost two weeks and it’s not what it seems.
Neo-retro designs have their own charm and, on a keyboard, it certainly helps lift up the mood. The Logitech POP Keys keyboard goes for this typewriter-style retro design but with a certain hint of modernness to keep the aesthetics interesting. Paired with its mechanical keys, it certainly imparts the typewriter feels. This is a compact keyboard and hence, you miss out on a dedicated NumPad.
However, you get all the necessary control keys embedded into the Function keys to make life easier. The extra set of Emoji keys makes it cheerful, and is certainly helpful if you still use your PC to chat on WhatsApp, or other online messengers. These Emoji keys are swappable and Logitech gives you spare emoji keys to plug. What also helps the aesthetics is the multi-tone colour scheme of the keys – I love the way this yellow-black “Blast” colour option looks with its grey control keys, blacked out alphabet keys, and the yellow emoji keycaps.
The same goes for the mouse, which in its tasteful paint job, looks astonishing. The POP Mouse resembles a pebble, having its own scroll wheel, two dedicated buttons, and separate key for summoning the emoji box on Windows/Mac.
Since these rely on pencil batteries, both of them have battery slots, and dedicated keys to turn them ON/OFF.
While the POP keys looks stunning on the desk, it isn’t as easy to live with on a daily basis. As a writer, I have a special place for mechanical keyboards in my heart – they offer the ultimate kind of typing experience that a membrane keyboard can’t. Conventional mechanical keyboards get the aesthetics right to help with the typing speeds and comfort. The Logitech POP keys doesn’t do that.
Those typewriter-style keys look cute but the smaller circular keycaps make them difficult to go on at full speeds. It is very easy for the fingers to slip and fall in between the key caps, thereby ruining the overall experience. I had to reduce my speeds to get used to it but that hurts the productivity badly, which is something a Rs. 10,000 keyboard shouldn’t do.
Nonetheless, the Cherry MX Brown cloned keys offer satisfactory feedback and there's enough travel for old-school PC users to bask in the nostalgia of the old days of typing. But then again, the keyboard lacks backlighting, which affects its usage in dimly-lit rooms. Additionally, the legends (alphabets and characters) are printed directly on the hard plastic keycaps, which is prone to wear after a few months of rigorous usage.
Then there’s the case of the Emoji keys. Four of the five emoji keys are useful only if you install the Logitech Options app on Windows and Mac. Don’t worry, the keyboard will throw up a prompt for the download link the first time you pair it with the PC. Logitech Options lets you set up the keyboard with your PC and remap the swappable emoji keys to the emojis of your choice.
Are these emoji keys helpful? I have used them very few times while making a conversation on WhatsApp Web, or Google Chats. Other than that, these keys have proven to be largely useless. Yes, you can remap to certain functions too but every time you pair it to a new PC or a tablet, you have to install the app on it and do the manual tweaking. Nothing gets saved on the keyboard.
The keyboard also misses out on essential keys that writers swear by – Home, End, Page Up and Page Down. For a keyboard aimed at creators and writers, this seems like a serious oversight.
The Logotech POP Mouse is rather useful though. As with the keyboard, you have to install the Logitech Options application to activate the dedicated Emoji Pick button. However, prior to that, you will want to adjust the sensitivity speeds of the mouse from the app to make for a swift experience. The mouse is easier to live with and even for professional work, it can do the job.
No rechargeable batteries in either of these POP accessories! The POP Keys keyboard is claimed to last for three years on a fresh pair of AAA battery cells, while the POP mouse can do the same for two years. Switching them off when not in use can certainly help with enhancing these features.
The Logitech POP Keys Keyboard is certainly a funky looking keyboard that surely helps lift up the moods. However, for a price of Rs. 9,995, there are far too many compromises with the typing experience for writers and creators, thereby defeating the purpose of buying a wireless mechanical keyboard. The comfort factor is highly compromised here. If you were to spend this much money on a comfy Logitech keyboard, spending slightly extra for the MX Keys Mini is a much better choice for work.
The Logitech POP Mouse, however, is a pleasant accessory to invest in. For regular work and light play, it is comfortable enough and those looking to buy a slim portable mouse for travel with some stellar paintjobs should definitely consider checking this out.
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