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I Have the Coolest Keyboard in the World – Apple Wireless Keyboard

It’s been over a year since I got my beloved MacBook Pro (when I joined Intel Software Network). For most of that time, I’ve been using one of the previous generation Apple Wireless Keyboards – the one with the white keys and transparent base. It’s been a great keyboard (even though the white keys get filthy, and the transparent housing lets you see all the disgusting gunk, dust, and board chow that gets caught in there). A couple of weeks ago, I was helping our department admin order an Apple keyboard for someone else in the group, and she asked if I wanted one. What do you think I said? 😉 A day or so later, in email, she asked if I wanted wired or wireless. I thought for a minute – the new Apple Wireless Keyboard doesn’t have the full size separate number pad, arrow keys, and PgUp/PgDown/Home/End keys (the wired USB version does). Could I live without those? I decided to give it a try.

Last week, the new keyboard arrived, and I’ve been blown away by it ever since. :-)

It’s Bluetooth, which means that it will work with more than just Apple computers. It does have some Mac-specific keys, though, like Exposé and Dashboard. It also has the traditional Apple volume up/down/mute, and eject keys, and this latest version adds media shuffle controls – Play, Next, Previous, etc. – which to my delight work to control iTunes even when I’m in another application (like right now, writing this in MarsEdit). But the amazing part of it is just how freaking thin and light it is:

Apple Wireless Keyboard, Old and New

It is much smaller than the previous full sized keyboard. The little roll at the top/back holds 3 AA batteries. One end of the “roll” unscrews for battery access, and the other houses the power/pairing button.

Apple Wireless Keyboard, MacBook Pro

The keyboard is almost exactly the same size as the actual keyboard on the MacBook Pro:

Apple Wireless Keyboard, MacBook Pro
Apple Wireless Keyboard, MacBook Pro

So how has it been to use it for a few days? It took some getting used to. My fingers had to relearn the spacing/layout of the new keyboard, but that happens with any keyboard. And now that I’ve gotten used to it, I’m in love. The feel is wonderful. Even though the keys are shallow, and the whole thing is very thin, the tactile response of each keypress is lovely. The old keyboard feels mushy and stiff (at the same time) and bouncy by comparison.

Do I miss the full size number pad? Not really. Once, today, I was typing a phone number or a zip code or something, and my hand went to reach for it, then realized it wasn’t there. Not a big deal. The arrow keys are in roughly the same place (and exactly the same place as on the MBP itself), and the trick of using Fn+Left, Right, Up, and Down for Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn is the same thing you have to do on the integrated keyboard, so that, too, isn’t really a big deal. I do kind of miss the dedicated forward Delete key, but again, Fn+Backspace does the trick, just like on the MBP.

Overall, I love this little keyboard. I pick it up and wave it around at people, just to marvel at how thin it is. And it just looks so darn cute sitting on my desk, being all tiny next to the huge stuff that surrounds it (the old Apple Wireless Keyboard, my 24″ monitor, my MBP, etc.).

This would be the absolute perfect home theater PC/living room computer keyboard if it had some sort of integrated pointing device or trackpad. So thin, light, and beautiful! :-) Now, if they would only update the design of the Mighty Mouse to match it’s thin, aluminum companion…

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11 thoughts on “I Have the Coolest Keyboard in the World – Apple Wireless Keyboard

  1. Gerry Van Zandt says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Apple has gotten mice “right” yet. Microsoft, on the other hand, has perfected comfortable, ergonomic mice. I use them with my home and office systems – Mac and PC. Whodathunk that a SOFTWARE company would have HARDWARE that totally rocks over its software offerings.

    I’m still using a G4 (dark keys, clear base) keyboard with my G5 tower at home, with a Microsoft laser mouse. The dark keys hide dirt better than the white G5-generation keyboards. And to get the mung out of the clear keyboard base, you can either take it apart (not an easy task, but you can Google the instructions) or do as I do, and just tap/rap the keyboard upside down against the top of the desk.

    Amazing what falls out, particularly if you tap/rap it for 30-45 seconds…not too hard though!

  2. I have a wired and wireless mighty mouse. I guess I’m in the minority, but I really like it. However, I don’t mind the keyboard on my MacBook Pro, I would never get a external keyboard without a number pad.

  3. Way cool. It’s just like the new Mac Pro keyboard – only without the number pad. I love the one on my new Mac Pro… so maybe I should get the wireless one for work – right now I’m using a Logitech wireless and that has the Command (i.e., Windows) and Alt keys swapped – very annoying…

  4. Andy says:

    I’m another fan of the Mighty Mouse – at least Apple gets that the tracking sensor should be under your fingertips, and not off to the side like Logitech and MS mice. Also, those ‘Ergonomnic’ shaped mice are precisely the ones that actually GAVE me RSI – the Apple one encourages you to have a less open hand shape whilst clicking, which is actually more natural.

  5. Martin says:

    Fight discrimination in all its forms! Beware of ‘Ergonomic’ mice! They all seem to be adapted to be only usable by rightists!

  6. Dick Teschendorf says:

    I too am in the minority as I absolutely love my bluetooth Mighty Mouse. I have used Microsoft and Logitech mice for years on my pc’s and, in fact, I still have a Microsoft mouse wired mouse in reserve just in case I have a problem with bluetooth or the Mighty Mouse. I have big hands, but, for some reason, the Mighty Mouse just fits great. And…I so much prefer the scroll ball to any of the scroll wheels. And…I’ve never had a problem with it not working and have never had to clean it.
    I bought my white Intel iMac 24″ with the wireless white keyboard and, although it was ok, I just bought the wireless aluminum keyboard to try it and, unfortunately, I really like it so now I’m out $79.99 plus tax. Oh well…

  7. I still like the old style keyboards better – the little button keys don’t do it for me.

    Nice Foxkeh desktop pic though! :)

  8. @Gerry – yes, Microsoft mice and keyboards rock. In fact, I was looking around their site, and saw that they have a new Mac mouse coming (very similar to their other Bluetooth mice). I was struck by its, um, organic appearance, though. :-)

    @Jen Thanks – I love Foxkeh wallpapers! :-)

  9. And I can’t remember who posted ranting about the fact that they don’t do a wireless version with the numpad (where did that comment go?), but I agree. That would be the perfect wireless keyboard, IMHO.

    Also, I’m posting extra comments to test and see if I fixed that weird error that people were getting when posting a comment. I think it’s gone, so let me know if you see it anywhere again.

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