A week with the new Apple keyboard

September 01, 2007

I take keyboards very seriously and have been known to religiously stick by the models I like. I previously expounded on my efforts to find a good keyboard for the Mac after having used Apple's previous model for a couple of days (I had just purchased a new Apple monitor and needed a keyboard for the PowerBook). I hated that keyboard:

Anyone who thinks this is a good keyboard has never typed on a good keyboard. Period. Every time I use this thing for more than 5-10 minutes my fingers start to hurt. I constantly feel like I’m pressing the keys harder than I should have to — they’re much too “mushy.” It’s very tiring. The only thing I can say I really like about it are the USB slots on the back, but a lot of keyboards come with these now.

After that post, and after having tried both the Matias Tactile Pro, and the macally iceKey, I wrote another post discussing my experiences with both. Regarding the iceKey, the model I've been using for the last year and a half, I said the following:

I’m not going to sit here and say that the iceKey is the greatest keyboard I’ve ever used, because it’s not, but it is a good keyboard and one that I plan on using for a while. It’s relatively cheap (~$50), really well-built, and a joy to type on. It reminds me a lot of my aluminum PowerBook’s keyboard, with its low-profile, short-travel “scissor” switches. I highly recommend it, especially if you like typing on a PowerBook.

What I failed to mention in both the above-referenced posts is how great the aluminum PowerBook G4's keyboard was. At this point I can confidently say that it's the best keyboard I've ever used. In fact, after I purchased the Mac Pro, I had more than half a mind to tear the display off the PowerBook and do some hardware hacking to enable it to function as just a keyboard for the new machine.

All of this finally brings me to the very simple point of this post, namely that the new Apple keyboard is wonderful. It obviously looks great and now matches my tower and monitor (as ever, make it out of metal or carbon fiber and I'll likely want it), but it feels even better than it looks and were it not for the spacing between the keys, I could probably mistake it for the PowerBook's keyboard if I closed my eyes (not sure I can give it a better compliment than that). I like it so much in fact, that a few days ago I bought another one for my office. Moreover, I've recommended it to a few friends of mine over the last week, and everyone agrees — it's awesome.

Now that Apple has finally figured out the [non-notebook] keyboard, I'm hoping they can fix their mouse sometime this decade, but then again I don't really care so long as Razer continues to give me what I want.

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