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REVIEW / Apple Keyboard

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Vincent Alzieu Published on May 25, 2009
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  • Number of keys 109
  • Mouse? Non
  • Wireless keyboard/mouse? Oui / Non
The Mac keyboard has changed, and Apple's fans are up in arms because the modifications are designed to make PC users feel more at home.  The biggest sacrifice, which has shocked the most people, is the loss of the famous 'Apple' key, now known simply as 'cmd' so as not to surprise users making the switch.  Plugged into a PC, the 'cmd' key acts like a Windows key.

Everything else is mostly the same, with no real surprises if you're a diehard Mac user; anybody else might want to play at being MacGyver on their new Mac keyboard by covering over some of the labels.  That's because, once you plug it into a PC, it uses the standard keyboard layout meaning pressing one button can lead to a different character appearing on screen.

The shortcuts along the top row of the keyboard only work with Mac OS X where they are pretty useful.  The original use of keys F1 to F12 is now secondary, and they now serve to adjust the brightness of your screen, start and stop music and video and so on.


What surprised everybody—Mac users and PC fans alike—is the design of this new version of they keyboard and how it affects typing.  The keys are just two millimetres deep and when you press them they only move through that—very short—distance.  It's absolutely imperative that you type gently unless you want to batter your fingertips.  If you think you can get away with bashing the keys on this keyboard for a little while, leave it an hour or two and you'll see how much of a beating this keyboard can give out.

To make up for that, though, this new Apple keyboard is much quieter than its predecessor, and is in fact one of the quietest keyboards on the market, as you can hear in this video.

This one has a numeric keypad
We're sure that the majority of people who find themselves buying a new iMac will wonder why this keyboard trails a USB cable behind it. They're right: ideally, we'd like to have the same keyboard but in a wireless version.

Apple does indeed offer just that—or almost, anyway. The wireless version also does away with the numeric keypad, which might disappoint you if you do a lot of work with numbers.


  • Stylish design
  • Quiet
  • Matches new-look Macs
  • Works as a USB Hub


  • Very shallow keys
  • Can become painful if you type too hard


Of course, this keyboard is most at home on a Mac, but plenty of PC users are more than happy with it, too. Its thin, stylish looks are complemented by a very quiet typing experience. For most people, that should be all you need!
4 Apple Keyboard DigitalVersus 2009-05-25 00:00:00
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