This Aesthetic Keyboard Is Cute for TikTok, Hard for Typing

This Aesthetic Keyboard Is Cute for TikTok, Hard for Typing
The Logitech POP Keys keyboard is an easy way to add colour to your everyday life. (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)

It’s the best time to start finding yourself a colourful mechanical keyboard. There are already a variety of build-it-yourself kits, and you can pair them with artisan keycaps from indie makers and mass manufacturers alike. Big brands are also exploring this incredibly niche world, with companies like Razer making fully customisable mechanical keyboards and matching keycap sets.

Logitech is the newest big keyboard maker to hop on to the trend with its POP Keys lineup of peripherals, which look plucked straight out of a Gen Z-er’s TikTok channel (or maybe that’s just my algorithm). The POP collection includes a wireless mechanical keyboard with swappable, circular keycaps. It looks like fun typewriter, and I loved it at first sight. But I’ve been testing it for a while now, and I have to admit: Typing this review was a nightmare. As cute and capable as the Logitech POP Keys is, this is not a keyboard for everyone — or even most people.

Logitech POP Keys

WHAT IS IT?

A colourful wireless mechanical keyboard with an aesthetic

PRICE?

A$129.95

LIKE

Bold colour, small desk footprint, emoji and shortcut keys are customisable with software

DISLIKE

You are stuck with the emoji buttons, spacing between circular keycaps can be tricky to type on for long claws, keycaps are not easily swappable

How Much Do You ❤️ Emoji?

The Logitech POP Keys keyboard comes in three different colour varieties: The mint, yellow, and lavender Daydream; the black and yellow Blast; and Heartbreaker, which is shades of rosy pink and is the version. I tested the latter for this review. The colour palette of the Heartbreaker version is striking in person and very bold. But that’s not surprising considering how well Logitech executed its colourful G-series lineup of gaming peripherals.

At about 13 inches wide, the POP Keys keyboard doesn’t take up much desk space. It’s technically a 60% layout, which means it has no number pad or directional keys (page up, down, etc.). However, there are five extra keys laid out specifically for emoji shortcuts on the right side of the keyboard. By default, Logitech features one shortcut for the emoji menu and four smiley emoji, including the heart-eyes and the laugh-cry emoji. I swapped them out for three of the included additional emoji keys. I prefer the prayer-hand emoji for pleading with/thanking my editors ????????????, and the heart emoji for expressing my love ❤️❤️❤️. It’s ridiculously easy to type out ????, especially on Windows, which typically requires you to hold the Start key and period to launch the emoji menu.

Emoji selection is an important part of the Logitech POP Keys keyboard.  (Screenshot: Florence Ion / Gizmodo) Emoji selection is an important part of the Logitech POP Keys keyboard. (Screenshot: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)

You can use the Logitech Options software to customise the keys on the POP Keys keyboard (not to be confused with the Logitech G Hub software, which works with its G-series peripherals). You can set application-specific shortcuts and create keyboard profiles for each use case. You can even turn off keys as needed, as I did with the dictation key, which is next to the delete key and which I’d often accidentally press. The Logitech Options software is optional, but you’ll have to download it if you want to change the emoji.

Indeed, Logitech Options offers a wealth of options, but it’s missing one that interrupted my workflow. Specifically, you can’t choose for the emoji keys to be directional, so there is no easy way for me to replicate the page up and page down keys that I rely on for my daily reading. (There’s a way to do it by holding Function and the down key, but it’s not quite intuitive.) There are plenty of other shortcut options, like the ability to switch screens or start up a new browser tab. But not the two-directional keys.

Tactile Mechanical Feel

The POP Keys keyboard is comfortable to type on, though a bit loud.  (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo) The POP Keys keyboard is comfortable to type on, though a bit loud. (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)

The POP Keys keyboard is a mechanical keyboard that uses Logitech’s brown switches, which are tactile. I had long nails while working on this review, and it got noisy pretty fast with the plastic keycaps against the dense plastic keyboard. If you’re a fast typer with claws, things get loud. Regardless, the brown switches are what I typically gravitate toward, so it was nice not to have a massive adjustment in my typing style.

I did have an issue with the spacing between each of the keycaps, and that’s what slowed me down. There’s just enough room that my long fingernails sort of slip off the keycap and into the space between each cap if I’m moving too quickly, which I often do, creating a kind of sink-hole effect. It took me days to adjust to typing on this keyboard.

I was curious about the customizability of the POP Keys. Logitech does not recommend that people switch out the circular keycaps. I tried a regular square keycap among the circular ones and it fit just fine, though I’m not sure how a full set of square caps would work out.

The switches on the Logitech POP Keys are Logitech brown tactile switches.  (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo) The switches on the Logitech POP Keys are Logitech brown tactile switches. (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)

On a monkeytype typing test, which I switched to because it uses more commonly-typed words, I managed 107 words per minute at my fastest with a 95% accuracy and 96 at my slowest with a 98% accuracy. That’s pretty good regardless of all the sliding around, though my fingers were tired from dodging all the holes.

Wireless Options

The Logitech POP Keys keyboard connects wirelessly via Bluetooth LE or the included Logi Bolt USB dongle, the latter of which requires installing the companion app for Mac and PC. If you have other Bolt-enabled peripherals, like any MX mouse or the new POP Mouse, the app helps switch and manage between them.

Logi Bolt is the app to use to manage your Bolt-connected Logitech peripherals.  (Screenshot: Florence Ion / Gizmodo) Logi Bolt is the app to use to manage your Bolt-connected Logitech peripherals. (Screenshot: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)

I wish there were more parity between the software running Logitech’s vast gaming peripheral lineup, which is called G Hub, and its professional and productivity lineups. I have three different apps on my PC to deal with Logitech’s peripherals, which includes a Brio webcam I use for conferencing, plus two separate dongles to handle the POP Keys keyboard and G305 mouse.

I didn’t test the Bluetooth connection of the POP Keys, but there are three quick switch keys to quickly change connections between mobile devices and computers, as is standard on most wireless Logitech boards. The keyboard is compatible with Windows, Mac, iPad OS, iOS, Chrome OS, and Android.

Despite the wireless capabilities, the POP Keys keyboard is a desk-bound device. It weighs 799 grams with its AAA batteries, or nearly two pounds. That’s the difference between a comfortably stuffed backpack and one that is a drag to carry around. Logitech says the batteries should last up to three years. There is no backlighting on this keyboard, so that’s helpful for battery life. And the Logi Bolt software will let you know your keeb is about to die.

Most Certainly A Colourful Keyboard

The Logitech POP Keys keyboard pairs well with its mouse comrade.  (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo) The Logitech POP Keys keyboard pairs well with its mouse comrade. (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)

Logitech’s attempt at a cute, approachable family of peripherals deserves some credit. If it weren’t for the circular keycaps on the keyboard that trip my claws and the lack of access to the page down key, I would keep this on my desk because it’s so damn colourful. At A$129.95, this is one way to introduce the fun of a creative mechanical keyboard without having to build it yourself.

But Logitech clearly built this keyboard for a particular demographic: a Gen Z-er who apparently needs fast access to emojis. It’s not really for me, and if you work in a professional environment, it’s probably not for you either — not only because of how it looks, but because the Logitech Options software might lack the specific shortcut or key you need. I’d also caution against the POP Keys if you think you’ll get no use out of those emoji keys. If it’s not part of your typing vernacular, they’ll feel like they’re crowding the board even if you assign them as shortcuts.

The Logitech POP Keys is tailor-made for an influencer with a specific aesthetic — just not ones with long nails.