Apple’s aluminum keyboard

For someone who’s written at length about the Das Keyboard, ABS M1, and IBM Model M this year, Apple’s aluminum keyboard certainly seems like an odd review candidate. And it is, to an extent. Those other three devices have noisy, mechanical key switches and very traditional designs, but the Mac keyboard is thin, flat, and quiet—and it comes to us from a company many accuse of favoring form over function.

Truth is, despite my penchant for clicky keyboards, I’ve become increasingly fond of typing sessions on my aluminum MacBook. The chiclet design definitely took a few days getting used to, but something about the responsiveness of the keys, their large and flat surfaces, and the clearly defined spacing allows me to rattle away hundreds after hundreds of words without getting tired. It feels good, too.

I eventually decided to take the plunge and purchase the desktop version. If typing on the MacBook was so comfortable, then surely a desktop keyboard from the same company with the same design would be right at home connected to my desktop PC. Was I right in my assumption? Could the low-profile chiclet keys pry me away from their mechanical cousins for good?

A look at the animal

Sleek, black mechanical keyboards like the Das Keyboard definitely look good, but they don’t really come close to the Apple device’s aesthetic flair. This thing almost makes you embarrassed to have an untidy desk, and it took me a little while to feel comfortable eating in front of it. Part of that probably had to do with the pristine, white chiclet keys, which do an unfortunately good job of highlighting blemishes and stains. A smooth, slightly flexible aluminum plate surrounds the keys, and a white plastic surface with rubber feet goes below that.

Apple went with a very low-profile design, in which the front edge lies only 0.2″ (5 mm) above the desk surface, and the rear beam props the back edge to a height of 0.67″ (17 mm). If you’re not happy with the angle or just want the keyboard to lie flat on your desk, well, too bad—Apple provides no adjustments of any kind.

That rear beam includes a pair of USB 2.0 ports on either side, which come pretty handy if you’d like to plug in a camera or USB thumb drive without having to find a spare port on your PC. Just don’t try any oversized connectors or drives, because they’ll just lift up one side of the keyboard in comical fashion.

Viewed from the side, the Apple keyboard’s fixed angle may remind one of traditional desktop layouts, which position alphanumeric key rows in an arc to make them easier to reach. You won’t find an arc here, however; the chiclet keys all lie perfectly parallel to the keyboard’s surface. Considering the slight angle, that design means your fingers aren’t always perpendicular to the key caps. I’ve become particularly aware of that fact when hitting keys on the row above the space bar, since my fingernail will sometimes make contact before the tip of my finger. Good thing I keep a nail clipper handy on my desk, I suppose, although the Apple keyboard definitely isn’t forgiving.

Prying off key caps reveals a plastic scissor-switch design and a collapsible rubber plunger tasked with providing the necessary resistance. Apple uses the same type of switch in its MacBook keyboards, but oddly, it doesn’t feel quite the same here. The MacBook keyboard is a little springier and louder, whereas this one has a softer, smoother feel that provides less tactile feedback. You might chalk that up to the angle, but I expect it’s due to a design difference. Perhaps it’s the different backplate, or maybe Apple just gets different companies to make the two keyboards.

Many of us have seen laptop-style keyboards before—heck, our Editor-in-Chief even reviewed one a few months back—but the Apple keyboard manages to distinguish itself even among that crowd. Not only are chiclet keys a rare sight outside the laptop world, but this device also has a strange, futuristic, and some might say impractical look in addition to that. It also has a very tight footprint, which can definitely come in handy on cluttered or cramped desks. The USB cord Apple provides isn’t quite long enough for folks with their PCs sitting on the floor, but the company thankfully chucks in an extension in the box.

 

The layout

Being an Apple keyboard, this aluminum and plastic contraption is designed to pair up with Mac minis, iMacs, and Mac Pros. I don’t have any of those systems lying around, however. I just plugged the device into my Windows 7-powered desktop PC.

Thanks to the wonders of the USB standard, Windows happily detects and lets you use the Apple keyboard without any fuss. However, you’ll come to realize sooner or later that Mac keyboards aren’t quite identical to their PC cousins. Specifically, there are no Windows keys, the control and alt keys sit side by side with an Apple-specific “command” key, several special keys (like print screen and insert) are missing, the F-keys go all the way up to F19 as they extend over the numeric keypad, and the numpad itself is arranged a little differently, with the * symbol in the corner with both – and + below it.

This screenshot from Mac OS X’s Keyboard Viewer app provides a good overview of the layout. If you’re wondering about that gap next to the F12 key, there isn’t one—the Apple keyboard has an “eject” key in that spot. (No, it doesn’t do anything in Windows out of the box.)

By default, the Windows key maps itself to the Command key, and the “clear” button on the numpad works as the num lock. If you want print screen, scroll lock, or other PC-specific keys, though, you’ll need to install some type of third-party software. Apple’s own Boot Camp drivers might be a good start, since Apple wrote them to make sure Mac users could do everything they needed in Windows. Problem is, Apple doesn’t distribute those drivers on its website. Your best bet is to borrow a friend’s OS X 10.5 or 10.6 installation disc or just to Google around a little bit for the Boot Camp driver package. You’ll find something.

The Apple drivers let you use secondary media functions imprinted on some F keys. Be that as it may, I’m not so crazy about Apple’s Windows software, so I’ve personally opted to use AutoHotkey. It costs nothing, consumes just over 1MB of RAM, and lets you re-assign keys yourself via a small configuration file. Here’s what mine contains:

LWin::LAlt

LAlt::LWin

RWin::RAlt

RAlt::RWin

F13::PrintScreen

Translation: I swapped the alt and command keys on both sides of the space bar, and I bound F13 to print-screen. I still can’t use the insert, scroll lock, or media keys, but I don’t have much of a need for them.

The experience

So, is this keyboard actually any good? Two weeks ago, I would have said no. Two weeks before that, I would have said yes—but only if you use a couple of half-height CD jewel cases to prop up the front end. It’s weird, but my satisfaction with this keyboard seems to have followed a sort of inverted bell curve over time.

I was initially pretty happy with it, but the angle quickly became a problem, and I started to get tingling sensations in my wrists after long typing sessions. Propping up the front end helped, since it made the keyboard feel flatter, like the one on my MacBook. I eventually got sick of that and decided to switch back to my IBM Model M. Re-adjusting was difficult, though. The Model M’s keys just seemed too high up, and my wrists had trouble finding their old position.

I begrudgingly decided to give the Apple keyboard a second chance. I’m now typing this review on it, and it seems pretty much fine. No wrist tingling, no discomfort, no problems. The low resistance and short travel time provide a nice, sharp feeling, and typing feels more effortless than on any proper desktop keyboard I’ve tried before.

As with all low-profile keyboards, however, this one has a few unavoidable shortcomings. The general flatness means your fingers are the only things making contact, so it’s easy to start typing at the wrong angle or on the wrong set of keys by accident (hunt-and-peck types probably won’t have that second problem). The short travel distance makes it a little too easy to press keys too vigorously and tire yourself out, as well.

Apple’s aluminum keyboard also has a couple of unique issues. One of them is the caps-lock key, which Apple has rigged not to register very brief keystrokes, purportedly to “reduce accidental activation.” That’s all well and good, except I regularly run into problems when typing acronyms: it’ll ignore the first caps-lock keystroke and register the second, so the acronym will come out in lower-case and the text following it will be in all-caps (think “amd’s NEW rADEON hd 5870 IS PRETTY FAST”). I realize some view the caps-lock key as a pointless waste of space, but trust me, it comes in handy when you’re typing computer-related acronyms all day.

Also, there’s a little, ahem, security issue you should be aware of. Someone at this year’s Black Hat security conference figured out (PDF) how to load a keylogger into the Apple keyboard’s firmware. Such a keylogger could be difficult to detect, and since it would reside in the actual keyboard, it would survive a hard-drive wipe. This is definitely something to be aware of, but I’m not too worried. Let me explain.

According to Ars Technica, the keylogger can only be installed on an already-compromised computer—so, someone would need to have complete access to your system either physically or via a Trojan horse before being able to do anything. At that point, you can kiss your privacy goodbye either way. Second, I’ve yet to hear of such a keylogger appear in the wild as a genuine security risk. Finally, I would expect any real-world implementations to target Mac OS X, and I’m using this keyboard in Windows 7. I think I’ll live. Users more paranoid than I (or with more stringent security requirements) may wish to shop for another keyboard until a fix comes out, however.

Conclusions

I didn’t expect to ever say this, but I like the Apple keyboard. Oh, sure, that statement completely ruins my street cred with the clicky keyboard crowd, but what can I say? Mechanical switches work fantastically in full-size desktop keyboards, but laptop keyboards are becoming a fact of life as notebook computers eclipse desktops in popularity. If you like typing on a particular type of laptop keyboard, is it so wrong to get a similar desktop device?

I don’t expect the Apple keyboard to last anywhere near as long as my old Model M has, and I don’t expect to keep using it indefinitely. Right now, though, I’m just enjoying the ride, and it’s nice to be able to type without deafening everyone during conference calls and podcast recording sessions. Germophobes will no doubt appreciate the chiclet design for other reasons, too: if a crumb falls between keys, I no longer go “oh well.” I simply brush it off of the aluminum backplate, and that’s the end of that. (Good thing, too, because popping off those scissor-switch keys is a scary experience.)

Should you blow $49 on this slab of aluminum and plastic? I definitely wouldn’t recommend it unless you’ve already tried a good chiclet keyboard and liked it. These things aren’t for everybody, and since I found this device to have a lengthy learning curve (or habituation curve, at least), many users may simply hate it. You might say this is the kind of keyboard you either love or hate—you know, kind of like Apple products in general.

Comments closed
    • sigher
    • 10 years ago

    I always had a computer-beige keyboard but recently needed a new one and got the now ubiquitous black and I must say I much prefer the lighter colored keyboards, so apple gets points in that regards from me for this one.

    I don’t get why people are so crazy enthusiastic about black, without being goths that is.

    • nonegatives
    • 10 years ago

    Reminds me of the Sinclair Spectrum.

    • Hallucinosis
    • 10 years ago

    Logitech Illuminated Keyboard is my personal favorite right now.

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      I would soooo get on of those…. if not for the utterly mongoloid delete key. Who in their right mind came up with that idea?!

      – Hey, we have this really nice keyboard [with a normal delete key].
      – Yeah, way too nice, we can’t sell that! Let’s fuck it up!

    • shaq_mobile
    • 10 years ago

    I like the programmability of the keyboard. That is pretty darn nifty!
    Though I do appreciate shiny objects, I think I will on any keyboard that isn’t ergo. My wrists can no longer handle flat keyboards for anything more than a half hour at a time. Though I really do like the programmability… anyone know if you can do that with a microsoft natural 3000?

      • Cyril
      • 10 years ago

      I believe AutoHotkey will work with any keyboard.

        • Aphasia
        • 10 years ago

        It does with the microsoft ones at least. Thanks to you I now use it with my Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 to play Mirror´s Edge with the keys i want to.

          • shaq_mobile
          • 10 years ago

          hot dog! im gonna mess with my co workers now…

    • Synchromesh
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t get it, what is so great about the Macbook keyboard? My Aluminum’s keyboard is one of the worst I ever had with small flat badly-spaced buttons that I can barely feel. It is my number one complaint on this machine. Several Thinkpads I owned had a vastly better keyboard. And my desktop’s MS Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard is worlds ahead too. So what’s the deal?

      • AxMi-24
      • 10 years ago

      They look real sexy and all the cool people with a lot of cash have them. You know: “think different, like everyone else!” 😉

        • Flying Fox
        • 10 years ago

        You still need a lot of cash to find those rare-to-find M’s, the Das Keyboard, and others.

          • AxMi-24
          • 10 years ago

          Unicomp FTW. Type M with USB Connection and at only 65$ (of course shipping it to Europe brings the price to 100-120€ per keyboard but it’s still well worth it).

    • jdrake
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve loved this keyboard – and said so on the podcast – for a long time now.

    Like Cyril (only about a year and a half earlier) I fell in love with the chicklet keyboard on the macbooks (client of mine had a white macbook I spent hours setting up with parallels) and had to have one for the desktop.

    Great keyboard – nuff said

    • KoolAidMan
    • 10 years ago

    I own two, one for my iMac and one for my gaming PC.

    The Apple aluminum keyboard replaced a Logitech G15 for my PC that was just way too big for a desktop sharing two sets of keyboards and mice. I’d become more interested in using a scissor-key style keyboard with very low travel since I’d grown to love the one that came with my iMac. I shopped around and no other keyboard existed in that style that was as good as Apple’s. This includes low profile keyboards like the Razer Lycosa (ugh horrible).

    Eventually I went ahead and bought the Apple keyboard and haven’t looked back, its great. I type much faster and the shorter keystrokes are excellent for gaming. Everything is just super responsive, much more so than standard keyboards that require longer key presses and more force to activate a key.

    • floodo1
    • 10 years ago

    +1 vote for the greatness of the apple aluminum keyboard 🙂

    now go bluetooth and have a direct laptop copy (complete with bottom-left corner Fn key!) and gobs more desktop space 🙂

    • BenBasson
    • 10 years ago

    This keyboard looks like a terrible piece of shit. I’ll keep my Enermax Aurora thanks.

      • The Swamp
      • 10 years ago

      I have the silver Aurora at home and the Apple keyboard at work. I like them both, to tell you the truth. I can type equally fast on either.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Language, my son.

      • waffle911
      • 10 years ago

      I can’t stand the Enermax Aurora. I can’t stand ANY keyboard with an L-shaped Enter key. Pisses me off with the under-sized Backspace key. REALLY pisses me off. Like, MURDER someone pisses me off. I’d take the Apple keyboard any day. To be honest, I think the Enermax looks like s#!7 compared to the Apple keyboard. to each their own, I guess.

    • Machupo
    • 10 years ago

    I absolutely love the chiclet keyboard on my Asus Eee 1000HE. It’s actually one of the main reasons I bought that model over other, newer ones.

    That being said, a keyboard is a very individual thing, I’ve used multiple boards that were almost identical, some I liked others I hated. Small things such as loudness, ability of the finger to find the center of the key, and spring response are independent of the key design. I always recommend to folks asking me about keyboards is to find one at a brick & mortar store and try it out first.

    • blitzy
    • 10 years ago

    that thing looks like it’d be awful to type on, but i guess you never know till you try it

    • Aphasia
    • 10 years ago

    Nice!

    Thank you Cyril, I dont care at all about the keyboard shown, but I would like to thank you for the link to the AutoHotkey utility. Seems to be a real treat, and right when i was really in need of something like that.

    Found out the hard way that Mirrors Edge cant use the special keys on the numpad in the PC version, not even if you edit the ini files. You cant even map them. So a nice keyboard remapper that can sense applications is really nice.

    • TREE
    • 10 years ago

    Hey Cyril, how would you say a chiclet keyboard like the apple compares to another chiclet keyboard such as the Enermax’s Aurora review by Scott not to long ago?

      • Cyril
      • 10 years ago

      I haven’t tried the Aurora, so I can’t make a direct comparison. The Aurora isn’t a chiclet keyboard, though, just a regular laptop-style keyboard.

    • Thresher
    • 10 years ago

    I have a wireless version of this. It’s really small, really compact, and nice because I can stick it in a drawer. This is really good because it spends most of its time in a drawer because I FRIGGING HATE THE THING.

    I cannot get a good feel for the keys. Since they are flat, I don’t get a good feel for where I am hitting the key and I invariably wind up getting a little off the more I type. I also have a hard time finding the home row without looking at the thing to see where my hands are placed.

    I generally go with Logitechs, but unfortunately my favorite one, the Media Elite is no longer made. I have the Illuminated now and my complaints with it are pretty much the same as I have with the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Flat keys just don’t work for me.

      • blastdoor
      • 10 years ago

      I can totally understand your trouble… I think this is why I had to grow new brain cells to use this thing. You basically have to get to a point where you’ve memorized the key locations without the benefit of more tactile feedback. It’s definitely a big tradeoff, and very understandable that people might not want to make it (sort of like touch-screen typing).

    • StuffMaster
    • 10 years ago

    I hate it when they squish the F-keys.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 10 years ago

    Two keyboards are at home, next to each other.

    Kinesis Advtange as my main and that Apple keyboard to my right. For hours of use, the Kinesis wins. For quick use, the Apple is just fine for my typing. I could see some heavier use on it, but the keys certainly aren’t a complaint — they feel fine.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 10 years ago

      Why 2? The only time I would find 2 useful was if one was wireless.

        • StashTheVampede
        • 10 years ago

        Three computers within four feet of space. One is headless, the others are not.

    • Prion
    • 10 years ago

    l[

      • Cyril
      • 10 years ago

      The former. 😉

    • pepys
    • 10 years ago

    I can’t see the white color at all. For me a black kb hides all the beer/finger goo/cheese doodles/virus growths/fear sweat/other bodily fluids/et al from sight. Even the grey color keyed board I used for 20 years at FedEx (thank you ibm) was prone to frequent or infrequent cleanings.

      • tay
      • 10 years ago

      I like to clean my keyboard regularly… I can’t be the only one.

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 10 years ago

        I can’t stand mac keyboards, but I do clean my keyboard probably once or twice a month.

      • waffle911
      • 10 years ago

      It’s extremely unsanitary to NOT clean your keyboard on a semi-regular basis. The Apple keyboard just makes sure you feel guilty enough to clean it as often as you already should.

    • funko
    • 10 years ago

    I like the wrist padding and split-keyboard design, with downward tilting angle of my MS Natural 3000 keyboard. upward tiling keyboards with straight designs just put my wrist in an awkward unnatural position that makes me worry about carpal tunnel syndrome. However, i can see how flat keyboards with short strokes minimize this problem. But for desktop keyboards, split design + wrist support is mandatory for my home. i am flexible with a neutral angle, if the keyboard won’t do a negative angle.

    • atryus28
    • 10 years ago

    I hate this keyboard. My Grandfather has an iMac and every time I have to use that keyboard I hate it more. It’s ridiculously uncomfortable and way to low.

    All the “cool” people can let me know how cool they are when their carpel tunnel sets in.

    • blastdoor
    • 10 years ago

    I did not expect to like this keyboard when apple switched to it from the previous model, but I now like it quite a bit. I think my brain had to grow some new neurons or something to get used to typing on it, but now that those neurons are there, I really do like it.

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    you say it is a love or hate thing, then finish by saying you are satisfied, not that you Love or Hate it….

      • TREE
      • 10 years ago

      Maybe its the Marmite keyboard ??

    • lycium
    • 10 years ago

    i was pleasantly surprised to find this article on TR 🙂 i use one of these at home on my windows machine too, it really is a pleasure to type on and the usb ports are very convenient.

    we should all wonder how they could get the keyboard so right, and the mouse so very very wrong… apparently they’re redoing the mouse though (let’s hope it’s like the original microsoft optical mouse).

    • Pax-UX
    • 10 years ago

    A standard Dell keyboard for me is good enough and use it most of the time. When I required something a little more complex that has programmable keys a Logitech G11 fits the bill.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 10 years ago

    Im gonna go with : no.
    Sorry Cyril

      • Fighterpilot
      • 10 years ago

      Not having little adjustable legs for tilt is lame. 🙂
      The Doctor is on point….A “no” from me too.
      My flashy new Hewlett Packard keyboard(black) makes that thing look a widdle bit ghey for me.

    • sledgehammer
    • 10 years ago

    what a a crappy keyboard, good maybe for a hospital worker.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 10 years ago

    That Apple keyboard is just for posers. That thing is more horrible in ergonomics than the 6 US$ POS input device I have in front of me right now.

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      Says the local Apple hater who never tried using one in the first place and just decided to mindlessly bash away..

      Respectfully signed : Adi, who used one on a daily basis for the last 3 years with no ergonomic issues to speak of.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Pretty much all keyboards are vulnerable to “exploitsg{<"<}g §[<http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/20/keyboard-eavesdropping-just-got-way-easier-thanks-to-electrom/<]§

      • dolemitecomputers
      • 10 years ago

      True but not very many people have no electronic equipment around the keyboard. The setup is very specific in order to get the results. Throw a CRT, printer and other things around and on the desk and I doubt it would be as easy.

      • Krogoth
      • 10 years ago

      That method is impractical to any cracker/industrial spy worth their weight. The test is flawed, since they did it under ideal conditions. The signal-noise ratio in an office environment (tons of keyboards and other devices emitting low-frequency EMR) would make this method utterly useless.

      • Bauxite
      • 10 years ago

      But only a selection can have keyloggers installed on the hardware.

      Its ok though, pretty much anything with writable firmware is open to being owned these days…thats about a dozen different pieces of hardware on some desks.

    • bthylafh
    • 10 years ago

    MODEL M 4 LIFE!

      • colinstu
      • 10 years ago

      right on brother

        • Bauxite
        • 10 years ago

        §[<http://www.geekhack.org<]§ - for the wingnuts of keyboarding I've been trying a filco for awhile, its pretty nice. Also, N-key rollover is required for me on any keyboard, it gets harder every year to find them.

      • Flying Fox
      • 10 years ago

      Yes Cyril, you are losing your street cred now! 😀

      • AxMi-24
      • 10 years ago

      WORD! Screw these laptop keyboards. There is not a single one that is nice to type one. thinkpads are good for a laptop but nothing I would ever use instead of Model M.

      • Synchromesh
      • 10 years ago

      Been there and tried that. Went back to my MS Natural in about 2 hours. Still have late 80s model M in like new condition sitting in my closet.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    g{

      • tomjleeds
      • 10 years ago

      So buy something else.

      • d2brothe
      • 10 years ago

      They also design products with aesthetics first and functionality second…oh wait…

    • grug
    • 10 years ago

    Primarily to annoy the Mac-hating, *nix-hating Windows-loving system administrator at work, I ordered one of these through the office manager. I’ve been using it as my primary work keyboard for the past few months.

    I did originally use various keymapping utilies but now I use Apple’s Boot Camp keyboard driver (currently on Win7 x64) without issue — once you install the driver, without any configuration or remappings, Windows and Alt are where you expect them (alt/option and command respectively). Print Screen/Scroll Lock/Pause Break are mapped for you as well, but strangely to F14/F15/F16 and not F13/F14/F15.

    The only strange things about Apple’s driver is that to press the insert key, you must hold down Fn and press Enter, and you have to set OSXFnBehaviour to 0 in HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\KeyMagic if you want the F-keys to act like F-keys without using the Fn key (which I guess is like the dreaded F-Lock on recent Logitech and Microsoft keyboards)

    I prefer to use Apple’s drivers rather than remapping as they only affect that particular keyboard and not input as a whole.

    But do I like the keyboard itself? Yes. A lot actually. As a coder it’s a joy to type on, and the short key travel distance means I can actually type slightly faster. I’ve never found the keyboard height/angle to be a problem, and it’s actually quite satisfying to type harder on the keys and make a satisfying clicking noise.

    For the past week I’ve been stuck working elsewhere with a standard keyboard, and it’s been a chore to type on. You really do get used to the lighter touch required on the Mac keyboard.

    About the only complaint I have about the keyboard is the USB port on the left — I can’t plug my iPhone into it because it doesn’t supply enough power, apparently, so it sits there unused.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      At its release, not even all Macs could provide enough power. It had to be used with one of the aluminum iMacs; the white iMacs, Mac Pros, and the GMA950-equipped minis couldn’t do anything high-powered with it. I think now all Apple machines can give enough power, but I’m sure it’s hit-and-miss with non-Apple hardware.

      • BenBasson
      • 10 years ago

      If you order a keyboard to annoy someone, you have issues.

    • Skrying
    • 10 years ago

    I use a Microsoft “Digital Media Keyboard 3000” that splits the difference more traditional large keys on a desktop keyboard and the flat keys of a laptop. I love it! Mainly because I’m jumping between laptops and desktops all day long that have a near limitless amount of different keyboards and the 3000 keeps me up to speed on all of them and doesn’t slow me down when on my own system.

    Personally I don’t really understand the draw of clicky keyboards. I’ve tried a few and they’ve all slowed down my typing and greatly decreased my accuracy. The amount of effort it takes to push to completion is frustrating. My fingers are ready to move on before the first one has finished.

      • ChronoReverse
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, I’ve been using the “Comfort Curve 2000” keyboard (which is really just a normal keyboard in practice since it has no split) which has less travel than a “full” keyboard which seems to work fine. It doesn’t click as loudly as a full-travel mechanical keyboard so that’s also a plus (looks like the keys are similar to the 3000 you have). It helps that it’s a pretty cheap keyboard =)

      I’ve also had opportunity to use the keyboard in this review but I find that the travel is too low (an issue I have with chiclet-type notebooks as well) for my tastes.

        • Jambe
        • 10 years ago

        I have that unit and like it. I also have a Logitech UltraX, which it seems is out of production now (which is a shame, because it’s excellent & cheap). Microsoft has a bunch of those “slim” keyboards out now. Actually, plenty of folk offer them — I looked through Newegg a short time back and it seems like 1/5 of the keyboards have “slim” or “laptop-style” keys.

      • Flying Fox
      • 10 years ago

      My sig says it all. 🙂

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    I think the tactile difference between that keyboard and the Macbook is that the Macbook’s keyboard is kind of “suspended” inside the case – at least on the white polycarbonate Macbook I have as a reference. I prefer the more “solid” feel of the desktop keyboard – there’s no springiness, no doubt as to whether or not a key has been pressed to completion. I had lots of typos on the Macbook and didn’t really care for it, but I loved the desktop keyboard.

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