back to article Logitech Pop: Stylish, portable, but far from the best typing experience

So many mechanical keyboards put function ahead of form. Put less charitably, they're ugly as sin. The Logitech Pop, a $100 wireless mechanical keyboard, tries to play both sides of the field. frontal shot of Logitech Pop Its design is reminiscent of an old-school typewriter, with rounded keycaps on thin pillars. To assuage …

  1. My-Handle Silver badge

    Usually, I'm a professional fence-sitter. I prefer to posit arguments than state a direct opinion.

    But that keyboard is an affront to the word "Stylish". It looks like a bad fisher-price toy in a colour that only an insect would love.

    1. Peter Mount

      I made the foolish mistake of looking at their site - there are other colour schemes which are even worse than that one

      1. My-Handle Silver badge

        Oh god, why did you do that to me?

        The first looks like someone dropped their sherbet sweets, the second is the aforementioned flattened bumblebee, and that last colour scheme has so many different shades of red and pink it looks like someone cut into the guts of a horse.

        Usually, I find Logitech quite a sane, functional brand. I can't think what possessed them to make this.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Maybe they need to do a "woke" keyboard if they're that desperate for sales. Available only in black and white, or grey and automatically filters out trigger words (word list updated every hour - firmware upgradable).

          /S

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?
            Trollface

            It would make an effective counterpoint to the "gammon" keyboard in 50 shades of red and pink mentioned above I suppose.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "It would make an effective counterpoint to the "gammon" keyboard in 50 shades of red and pink mentioned above I suppose."

              and without the letters E and U, because of course who needs them

          2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Difficult to play first person shooter games, though, when every key's a trigger.

        2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: Oh god, why did you do that to me?

          Look at it this way - it could always be worse. They could have gone louder, instead of mostly sticking with vaguely pastel shades. Well... except the steamrollered bumble bee.

        3. RobMo

          "I can't think what possessed them to make this."

          I would suggest, something stronger than just sherbet in the sherbet?

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
      FAIL

      But that keyboard is an affront to the word "Stylish".

      Totally agree.

      Up to this point I didn't realise that I had opinions on keyboard aesthetics...apparently I do, and my opinion on this one is that it's 100% awful

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        keyboard esthetics

        eye-easy, so you can focus on TYPING.

        p.s. you'd think it's a fairly simple concept to manage (though not for logitech, clearly).

    3. Alumoi Silver badge

      The Logitech Pop, a $100 wireless mechanical keyboard, tries to play both sides of the field.

      Even the author says so: fugly and expensive.

    4. Dave K

      Couldn't agree more, it looks simply awful. And with a half-length shift key as well? I imagine using that keyboard would be a pretty dreadful experience - despite the mechanical keys.

    5. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      It looks like a bad fisher-price toy in a colour that only an insect would love.

      Hmm ...

      Did you mean to say that it looks like an expensive POS?

      Right ...

      That's what I thought.

      O.

    6. Youngone Silver badge

      Its not aimed at us.

      If I were a 13 year old girl I would probably love one.

      1. Ace2 Bronze badge

        (Or a horse surgeon)

      2. My-Handle Silver badge

        That's the weird thing. They make a song and dance about it being mechanical, typewriter-esque, which would usually appeal to dedicated keyboard nerds. The kind of people who usually have to use a keyboard a lot every day. Then they colour it in a manner that, as you say, would only appeal to a young teenager.

        I can only think of one overlap on that particular Venn diagram, and it's labelled "annoying youtuber".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If I were a 13 year old girl

        I would probably start looking for the screen...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Spot on. First thing I thought when I saw the girl in the promotional image for the pink version (*) in particular (**) was that this looks more like it's being marketed at my 13-year-old niece than myself or your average El Reg reader. It's all very "Claire's Accessories".

        Why you'd bother putting mechanical keys in something that doesn't look like it's intended for serious typing is, admittedly, a good question (emoji keys, FFS). Likely because mechanical keyboards are fashionable now (and a good excuse to charge more), even though a well-designed membrane mechanism would be more than good enough here.

        Similarly, the apparently half-baked and contradictory nature of the "typewriter"-style mechanism and aesthetics make more sense in light of that youth-based target market, i.e. people born decades after real typewriters became obsolete. Kids detached enough from that era that the clash of retro/"real" and garishly "pop" aesthetics don't stand out or- more likely- just don't matter.

        That would also explain the use of softer "Cherry MX Brown"-style key switches rather than clickier, more resistant "MX Blue" derivatives. I strongly suspect the target audience (most of whom will have never even used a typewriter) would like the idea of a typewriter-style keyboard rather than the literal reality of using one.

        As you said, it's not aimed at us.

        (*) The girl in the picture already looks pretty young, and that's on top of the marketers' understanding that kids generally prefer to see someone a bit (but not too much) more "aspirationally" grown-up than themselves.

        (**) Here and here are the other pictures, which are somewhat similar in that respect.

    7. ITMA Bronze badge
      Devil

      You've obviously had a very bad experience with Fisher-Price stuff to insult them so....

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Yeah, not quite a work keyboard, or even a non-work keyboard

    You hit where page up and down would be and you get a laughing or crying emoji, although this keyboard is still useful as it offers conclusive proof of the decline of civilisation as we know it.

    Another recommendation for a Keychron, in my case the K8.

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Re: Yeah, not quite a work keyboard, or even a non-work keyboard

      +1 for the K8. It's the best keyboard I've used since the ICL DRS20 terminals were all consigned to the skip (and TNMoC).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No click here

    Okay, I checked and you've reviewed keyboards before. So this isn't a one-off joke review, but a bad review of a joke.

    If you meant to educate, couldn't you have included subject domain words like 'tactile' instead of your 'bump'? Trying to select a mechanical keyboard these days is so fraught with gushed over meaningless differences and glossed over realities, you don't need to add to that pain, entertaining us with 'charm', 'fun' and 'interesting'.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: No click here

      Maybe there's a readership wider than mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. There are wine reviewers who describe wines as bosomy... does anyone outside of the wine reviewing clique know what that means?

      1. My-Handle Silver badge

        Re: No click here

        If "Bosomy" doesn't translate to something like "full and perky", I'm going to be disappointed.

        Full disclosure: I am not a wine drinker

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No click here

          at least 'full & perky' have an obvious and interesting denominator (nothing vulgar, of course)

  4. F. Frederick Skitty

    "Duracell's more salubrious cells."

    I think you meant Duracell's more leak prone cells. I wouldn't put those batteries in a device where they're expected to last more than a few months given their propensity to spill their guts.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I think you meant Duracell's more leak prone cells.

      Beat me to it.

      I stopped using Duracells long ago, lost two of my beloved MiniMaglite AAs to them.

      Never again.

      O.

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Bronze badge

        Same happened with one of ours; well, not a Maglite but a "heavily inspired by" (fairly decent one, it seems; quite expensive too replace now, anyway). I never quite got to the bottom of what ended up being dissolved after quite an interesting albeit fiddly disassembly but couldn't quite bring myself to chuck it out.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Just what I came to say. "salubrious" means "health-giving; healthy" (OED).

    3. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Bronze badge

      A bit sad, really; IIRC when they first(?) appeared around 1980ish they seemed much better than the competition for not leaking all over the place, but the opposite is true these days.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Yes, IIRC back then they also promise to repair/replace your device if it was damaged by a battery of them. Then they but bunnies at the helm and everything went down the rabbit hole.

  5. Kane Silver badge

    Number Pads

    Is there a particular reason why most mechanical keyboards don't have number pads?

    Serious question, I've never understood why removing functionality would be desirable?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Number Pads

      because they can charge more $ for less manufaturing cost $ for more profit $.

      Due to hipster garbage hype.

    2. Decani

      Re: Number Pads

      I asked the same the other month and it's a good question. By reducing the keyboard size you have more space for paper to design/take notes (or can work on a smaller desk). It also reduces the amount of arm movement (and hence arm strain) to access the mouse.

      It led me down the rabbit-hole of trying vim. Being modal vim does very well without requiring nav keys. it ended with me installing an extension to chrome to navigate using vim keys without a mouse or dedicated nav keys. It was quite effective, though old habits die hard. It also got me to improve (after 30+ years of bad typing habits) my touch typing.

    3. VTAMguy

      Re: Number Pads

      Serious answer, because it's not required or even desired functionality for a lot of keyboard users. I've never in my entire career done numerical data entry so a number pad is just a useless dust collector. I'd rather have the desk space for something else, that's all. Just personal preference for what you want to use a keyboard for. Someone with a 24-inch wide ocean-going monstrosity of a keyboard with every conceivable key on it is just as strange to me as my HHKB Pro2 is to their eye. I'm not prejudiced against yachts; I just prefer my little dinghy. So to speak.

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Bronze badge

        Re: Number Pads

        Not really sure why you got a downvote for what strikes me as an uncontroversial explanation. :| Anyway, yeah, I can understand people who like huge keyboards (I mean there are still plenty who view the Space Cadet as their Holy Grail of Keyboards and a fair few mostly UK-types who feel the same way about the '70s-era ICL type with its plethora of editing keys; and having used IBM beam-spring keyboards myself back in the mists of time, a variety which might not have so many keys but makes up for it in size and weight somewhat like a VIC-20's bigger and meaner body-building cousin, I can see some of the attraction) and tiny ones such as the HH and even smaller, even though neither are quite for me and I'm most at home on a 80%/TKL. I suppose it'd be dull if everyone liked the same thing.

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Number Pads

        You never ever input numbers? I should think it's a slow day for me if I'm only typing in one IP address per hour, I even use the numerical pad for MAC addresses, one hand handles the numbers, the other does the letters.

    4. Dave K

      Re: Number Pads

      I don't get that either. I have a mechanical keyboard myself (Ducky Shine) and it has a numerical keypad which does see regular use. Maybe I'm just considered old these days? I like my peripherals to be comfortable and useful, not slimline and "stylish"...

    5. Antony Shepherd

      Re: Number Pads

      If you're doing something that involves a lot of entering numbers, then a number pad is an essential thing.

      If you're not entering lots of numbers a lot of the time, then dispensing with the number pad saves a lot of space on your desk.

      That said, while I don't enter a lot of numbers these days I still miss a number pad on my crappy wireless Mac keyboard. I also miss proper keyboards with proper keys - which this logitech ain't.

      The problem with this particular keyboard seems to me that the keys aren't concave and there's no rake to the keyboard.

      *sigh* - I still think the absolute pinnacle of keyboard design was the IBM Model M keyboard. I had one of those at work once and it was a pleasure to type on.

    6. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Bronze badge

      Re: Number Pads

      I prefer them without as I find the keypad just gets in the way. And I speak as someone who pretty much grew up with LK201 keyboards and liked them (i.e. the DEC things that heavily influenced the PS/2 layout and were a fair bit wider than even the generously-bezelled Model M) . Even more so with a mouse, and more so again as I'm a gamer and quite a clumsy one. It's not that I think the numpad is completely dispensible, I'd just like it to be of independent means. Though there are a handful of separate numpads available, they almost invariably get fairly bad reviews for something that's more expensive than I expect so to date I've gone without.

      Current keyboard is a Durgod something-or-other; hadn't heard of them before but it was all I could find in the general layout I wanted with the right sort of switches (Cherry MX Reds: after an aeon of saying they would be awful it turns out I actually like them) and some heavier after-market keycaps. I'm surprised at how happy I am with it after having to be prized away from my Model M space-saver, but that was keeping my other half awake and she was perhaps understandably grumpy about my clattery overnight coding/gaming sessions!

  6. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Emojis?

    That's not an emoji keyboard.

    This is an emoji keyboard... https://youtu.be/3AtBE9BOvvk

  7. MiguelC Silver badge

    Lego?

    It looks like a mock keyboard my kids would build out of Lego (even the colour scheme points that way)

    And the price of an official Lego set would probably match the real thing too

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Lego?

      It's not a PC or Mac keyboard, but this Lego project really got my attention.

      It's amazing what people will do to generate content for YouTube.

  8. Franco Silver badge

    Ugly and overpriced IMO, and (this is a purely personal preference) I much prefer Bluetooth over dongles for connectivity, having managed to lose or break more than one dongle over the years. Might not matter to someone less careless than me though.

    Also don't really see the point of emoji keys over numbers, when (in Windows anyway) emojis are just Windows key + :

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      "when (in Windows anyway) emojis are just Windows key + :"

      *reads*

      *clicks Win + :*

      Huh. Symbols as well. I never knew that, thanks.

      That's the second QoL thing I've learned about Windows in these forums this week.

      1. notyetanotherid

        Or, Windows + .

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          ^^ To provide an explanation for the above, Windows and + turns on magnifier (Win and - to come back out of it).

          I like Win and the arrow keys, which will dock the current window to the corresponding part of the screen. Useful for comparing two directories, or copying multiple things from one program to another.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      I've never lost a dongle, but I prefer to keep my USB ports free for other stuff.

  9. Jan K.

    Stylish? Emoji dedicated keys?

    Good grief...

    Learned "blind typing" 4 decades ago, time well spent and highly recommended, but however much I love/loved typewriters, there's no way I would ever go back to that "feel"...

    Highly recommended for feel and fast typing is the Logitech's UltraX Premium. Greatest keyboard ever!

    Always been a big fan of Logitech and haven't used anything else for decades. But this funny thing... I'm clearly not in the target group.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Greatest keyboard ever ...

      Hmm ...

      I've gone through a fair number of keyboards in the past 27/28 years.

      The best* one by far was one of the first ones I ever used: the IBM Model 'M'.

      Many years later I was able to get a used (ca. 1995) US made model for all of US$29.00.

      Took it apart, cleaned it thoroughly, replaced a damaged spring and spliced in a PS2 to USB converter.

      It has been working perfectly well ever since and will probably outlive me.

      * runners up were a couple of second hand Wise WS kbs and, given the price/quality ratio, the worst one in every sense was a Sun Type 7.

      O.

  10. imanidiot Silver badge

    Aimed at women?

    Maybe I'm just a misogynist nerd, but this seems more aimed at women who want something "cute" and "quirky", not at the seasoned professional who wants to get stuff done.

    1. m-k

      Re: Aimed at women?

      are you implying that (no) women are NOT 'seasoned professional who wants to get stuff done'?! You misogynist nerd!

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Aimed at women?

        No I'm implying that of the cohort of consumers that search for something "cute and quirky" the vast, vast majority are women and that the venn diagram of those searching for something "cute and quirky" has very little overlap with "seasoned professionals who just want to get stuff done". There's plenty of seasoned professional women, they're just imho not the target market for a device like this. Nor is the vast majority of men.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might be controversial, but I find the other colour schemes quite cute.

    I I had the kind of money to frivolously spend on a novelty I might consider it, but what would stop me would be the sheer audacity of using a mechanical keyboard in a public place where I'd annoy everyone else - which is where I'd tend to use a portable keyboard.

    1. richardcox13

      Plenty of mechanical keyboards that use silent switches. Don't have the tactile feedback of clicky/tactile switches. There are also o-rings that will reduce the noise of the latter types.

  12. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Typewriter

    I learned to type on a mechanical and then an electric typewriter, each was in its own way an example of the word "recalcitrant". A good mechanical computer keyboard is a thing of joy, but I would no more return to a typewriter keyboard than I would C18th dentistry.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Typewriter

      I still have three of my grandfathers mechanical Olivetti, and two portable typewriters that are lighter, but also far less robust - and I don't really feel any need to return to their large key excursions and the risk to find your fingers trapped among keys...

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    My current Logitech K830 is still doing fine, coupled with a bluetooth mouse.

    Nice combo.

    If I were to get a new keyboard, I'll go for the Keychron instead.

  14. Cederic Silver badge

    silent is good

    The reviewer's preference for noisy keyboards is not shared by me.

    I want a nice mechanical keyboard that people I'm talking to on video conference (for work) or on a game headset (for play) can't hear me using. I want a keyboard that doesn't scare my cats. I want a keyboard that doesn't get complaints from the neighbours.

    Shame that the sound of the switches is the only appealing thing about this keyboard.

  15. A. Coatsworth
    Facepalm

    Love the title

    >>Logitech Pop: Stylish, portable, but far from the best typing experience

    I.e: looks great, is small, doesn't work for it's only intended fscking purpose (but that last one is a minor detail)

    Relevant xkcd, as usual: https://xkcd.com/937/

  16. Slx

    Looks like it’s trying to recapture the user experience and ergonomics of a 1930s teletypewriter. They are retro, but the design disappeared because it was impractical and uncomfortable.

  17. PhilipN

    Follow the link

    For purposes of self-respect* I heartily recommend all commentards first open the link to the Logitech website to see the target market in an instant.

    Unless you did not notice. In which case welcome to nerdsville. And seek help.

    *and to save time.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Follow the link

      > I heartily recommend all commentards first open the link to the Logitech website to see the target market in an instant.

      From my perspective - knowing people in the target market, the cluttered keycaps needed to support both Mac and PC keycaps does seem to go against the design aesthetics. Also the keycaps - bog-standard capitals...

  18. Steve Graham

    Off subject...

    When I clicked the link to the Keychron site, my script blocker informed me that it was trying to run javascript from 43 different domains. That's a record for me.

  19. ske1fr
    FAIL

    No sale

    I'll stick to my Bakker-Elkhuizen compact without numeric keypad thanks. >29 years of hammering on a variety of keyboards with everything from DIN connectors to USB, plus mice, trackballs and trackpads, have contributed to the delicious pains in my thumbs, fingers and wrists, and the tennis elbow that put an end to all of the latter devices.

    None of my keyboards looked like this kiddieboard. Shouldn't there be an accessory baby's dummy on a gooseneck?

    Numeric keypads are available as additional items for anyone (ow, yes, even phone screens hurt eventually) desperate for that data entry pathway to RSI.

    Logitech used to be good, better than the competition. Now? (steps away, shaking head).

  20. G40
    Coat

    Missed key?

    Where’s the poop emoji?n

  21. GrahamRJ

    Why is extra clickiness a good thing?

    I've just recently sprung for a Corsair K70 at home with Cherry MX Brown keyswitches, since the latest work-provided Logitech was tragically awful. When I'm working at speed, I really wouldn't want anything louder than the existing snare-drum-roll volumes, so I'm not sure what the appeal is of the Blue keyswitches *designed* to be more noisy. Just on a plain old membrane keyboard, I actually had a coworker throw a strop and refuse to sit near me because I was, quote, "typing too loud". I used an AT keyboard for a while which I salvaged from a recycling bin, but the noise from that was always something to put up with rather than a positive benefit.

    A tactile response on your fingers, sure - I'm well into that. But a louder audible click? If you need to listen for the click before you know you've pressed a key, you aren't a good enough typist to recognise a difference between a Cherry MX anything and an Amazon Basics knock-off of a ZX Spectrum keyboard.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022