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Apple's latest keyboard is dreadful, don't buy it

Andrew Reid

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Apple Magic keyboard, the one with the lightning jack and built in battery.... I have never seen such an overrated piece of junk in my life.

To think this is going to be the standard wireless Apple keyboard for all iMacs, etc. for several years.

Let's start with the keys themselves, dreadful flat cheap feel, awful clapping sound when typing, the softness and travel of the old keys has been obliterated just like on the new MacBook Pro. I just hate the way it feels.

Then there's the cursor keys, 4 of them scrunched into the space only a bit bigger than a shift key. The up and down key is practically one key and you operate it with your finger tips as your fingers no longer fit on it or rest on the up/down directions. If you're thinking of gaming with this keyboard, don't do it... nightmare.

Small thing, but I thought I'd put out a warning to prevent £120 being flushed down the toilet :)

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@Andrew Reid Now you tell me, after spending $3,000 for a new iMac! Why didn't you write this article yesterday? So maybe I should hold onto my old keyboard when I sell my 2013 iMac. ? 

@Inazuma I won't defend Apple's decision to omit an SD card reader in their new rMBP and the touch bar is pretty useless to me at the moment, but I'm probably the only one who's grateful they shaved 1/2 pound off the weight. And I applaud Apple for pushing USB-C even if it may be inconvenient for a while. I do wish it had 32GB RAM, though.

And aside from the annoying bezels that remain on the iMac, it's still a timeless looking machine. My old FD had something like 350 MBps write and 500+ MBps read speeds and a mere 2GB GPU, the new one's going to have read and write speeds hovering around 2GB/s and 8GB VRAM. I don't need nor can I justify paying $5,000 for the upcoming iMac Pro, but I think many professionals are going to love it. 

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Jon, keep your old keyboard safe :)

It's surprising how many big companies worth many billions don't have a guy sat in a small office like Jobs obsessing over 'feel'.

It sounds so hippy, just that word 'feelings'.

Every time I pick up a camera or electronic device I want to it to feel nice, simple as that. Keys should have travel. They should be silent. I mean this is basic shit for Jobs and he left nobody at Apple in his place, it seems, with the sensitivity to 'get it' and the ruthlessness to enforce these things...

So tappy-cheapo keys we get.

26 minutes ago, jonpais said:

@Inazuma I won't defend Apple's decision to omit an SD card reader in their new rMBP and the touch bar is pretty useless to me at the moment, but I'm probably the only one who's grateful they shaved 1/2 pound off the weight. And I applaud Apple for pushing USB-C even if it may be inconvenient for a while. I do wish it had 32GB RAM, though..

The weight shaved off is good.

The secret to USB C is not to buy dongles but to replace all your old USB cables with the right ones :)

Any old USB device with a detachable cable can have one single USB C cable going from it to the Mac with no converter or USB dongle in sight!

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LOL - you ain't kidding. I am amazed at the keyboard and it's lack of usefulness. I didn't get the extended one and I am glad for that choice. I was going to get a 3rd party backlit one because I do a lot of all-nighters. But I am still surprised at how nice the computer is, and how poor the keyboard is. It looks like it was designed mostly for art and not for functionality.


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i couldnt agree more that keyboard sucks

if youd like a durable, backlit alternative, ive been rlly happy with my $79



arrow keys are too small, but besides that i love it!! had it for two years and i legit toss it around a lot

key travel on the new mac stuff sucks ass. have you been in a small room with 5 people power typing on those keyboards? its horrible

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8 hours ago, Inazuma said:

things have been going downhill since Jobs died

.. Or  perhaps Tim Cook just can't sustain the reality distortion field.


Chiclet/island keyboards suck, regardless.  Back in the early 1960s IBM spent about two years field testing differently shaped keys for their new Selectric typewriter.  They found that the "cupped-top" keys (along with a certain amount of travel and key spacing) gave the best performance, overwhelmingly.  Bell Telephone came to the same conclusion with the the cupped-top keys on their touch tone phones starting in the late 1960s.


Two years makes a fairly exhaustive field test, so that basic key design is hard to beat by some fashion-conscious industrial designer who favors form over function.  There are still companies that field test, but probably not as thoroughly as was common in the past.  Since the late 1990s, Apple has done very little field testing.

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I hate apple keyboards, even the older one is a POS. I use a 2015 iMac at work and have to suffer every day because I use Pro Tools and the function keys are very important. With a regular keyboard the function keys are nice and big and are separated in groups of 4. So tired of hitting the wrong key over and over again. I will probably have to buy a keyboard just to restore my sanity while working on intense sessions. 

You'd think that they only make their MBP keyboard shit because they are chasing thinner and thinner bodies. So now they decided to cheap out even more and make the desktop users suffer too! Haha, [deleted]

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I've ben using the older style keboad with my 2013 iMac, and I've never exprienced any discomfort or hitting wrong keys. I'n not a fab of the shallower keys they're using now, thougf, not just the clickint sound, but there's no travel. But some leople say they can type faster and just as acurately on the new keyboars. Maybe I'll buy one of the older one befor thei're out of stok for my nw iMac. 

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1 hour ago, ReinisK said:

Video guys use a lot of Apple stuff, so they kind of assume Apple keyboards, too, are the best. For other people (writers, gamers, etc.), it's been clear for quite a long time, that this is not true.

Its more like, we don't care. My apple keyboard does what it should. Never felt the need to change it. I of course know there are "better" stuff around, its the same with everything and all products.
I'm sure there are better keyboard, TV, Toilet, Car, Etc  than the one you use as well. But that doesn't mean that its because "you assume yours is the best"...

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Yes, to be serious for a moment, I've got not issues with the keyboard that came with my 2013 iMac, but not for a second have I ever said to myself, ' geez, this has got to be the best keyboard ever made in the history of mankind' or anything like that. I'm happy with it.

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10 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Old vs new...

Is that progress the Apple way?!



Hah. I have used the new Macbook Pro 15" with touch bar for half a year now, and I hate those arrows SO MUCH.

The short travel keyboard you can get used to over time. I type pretty well on it by now. But those arrow keys are so tiny, and you can't hit them by feel alone like the old ones.

I still miss a real Esc key as well. Touch bar - whatever. I don't use it for anything else than controlling volume/brightness.

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If Apple still felt like being innovative they should have built a £500 mega-death keyboard of OLED panel keys (every key a display) which you could configure however you like. Some could even be related to the app you're using (no need for touch bar) and even change the keyboard layout from UK to German or whatever your language needs are at the time...

Think virtual phone keyboard but with physical keys.

Why does this not exist yet.

Ah it does exist, since 2008

But apparently falls apart.

Here's the successor

The hero we need in the post Jobs era.

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