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Review: Apple Wireless Keyboard (aluminum)

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
In addition to the ultra-thin aluminum keyboard Apple unveiled for the iMac last month, a similarly proportioned Bluetooth wireless version was also introduced. Here's a setup and unpacking tour, paired with a look at its features, an operational mystery, and a tantalizing future potential.





The simple box opens up to reveal the plastic wrapped keyboard, a thin user guide pamphlet, and the included pack of three AA batteries.





Physical Features and Setup



The entire keyboard is ultra thin apart from the cylindrical battery compartment (above), which also serves to raise the top end of the keyboard so that it lays at a comfortable typing angle. A metal plug unscrews from the left end of the battery compartment (below top) with a coin or the edge of a key. Drop in the batteries as indicated (below bottom) and it screws back into place and locks into position.





There's a power button on the opposite end of the battery compartment (below) for turning the keyboard off in order to save your batteries while it's not in use.



After you put the batteries in, it turns on automatically and a green LED begins blinking (below top) through an otherwise invisible window (below bottom) in the keyboard's upper right corner, indicating that it's ready to be set up with a Bluetooth enabled computer.





Comparison to Previous Wireless Keyboard

Like the previous version of Apple's Bluetooth keyboard (and every other Bluetooth keyboard), the new version doesn't have any USB ports for attaching other peripherals. The new version also drops the numeric keypad, inverted T arrow keys and other extra keys on Apple's previous wireless model to deliver a smaller profile device that is nearly two thirds the width (below), and ultra light.



Also missing from the previous model is the bagel bits, dust bunny, and stray hair museum that Apple built into its previous keyboards. If you want a crystal terrarium menagerie for collecting gross things around your work area, you'll have to go out and buy one separately. Getting rid of that allows the new keyboards to be much thinner and lighter. Compare the side views (below top), the top edge that's half as high in the air (below middle), and the bottom edge that is about half as thick as a single key (below bottom)







Keyboard Design

Despite the fact that the new keyboard's keys are a fraction of the height of standard keyboards and have a throw action (how far they depress when hit) that is similarly much shorter, it does not have a "Chicklet" feel. Key presses still feel solidly mechanical and responsive, there's just less finger travel involved. I also found the keyboard angle comfortable. The typing angle is actually surprisingly similar to earlier keyboard, despite being much thinner. The keyboard also has a ruggedly durable feel, and is rigid enough to be impossible to flex. It's built like a solid piece of metal.

The new Bluetooth keyboard is the same size as a MacBook Pro's (below), and has a nearly identical key layout, apart from putting an option key on both sides of the space bar, rather than an Enter key on the right end, as the MacBook Pro does. The actual key design matches those found on the consumer MacBooks; it sports white keys with rounded square edges rather than the Pro's beveled, metallic colored keys. In addition to the unique look, the white keys have a bit more of an audible tap to them, while the MacBook Pro keyboard is softer and has a nearly silent key action. Besides noticing the differences, I don't have a preference for either key style, and didn't really notice the differences while using them.



The back of the keyboard is glossy white plastic (below), with two nub feed on the front edge. The cylindrical portion has two rubberized edges on either end. That means the keyboard rests on plastic and rubber bumps, making it unlikely for the metal edges to scuff up your desk surface as it slides around.



On page 2 of 2: Bluetooth Pairing; The F Key Mystery; What's Missing?; and Rating.

Bluetooth Pairing

With the green light flashing, the keyboard is paired the same as any other standard Bluetooth keyboard. Under Mac OS X, the keyboard shows up as a device under the "Setup Bluetooth Device" assistant (below top), and you are prompted to type in a pairing number (below bottom). Once pairing is completed, the keyboard just works. It can be turned off by holding the power button down, which lights the LED for about four seconds and then turns off the LED to indicate the keyboard is now off. Turn it back on, and it automatically begins working without having to pair it again.





Keyboard range appeared to be limited to about 20 feet in my testing, although Apple says 30 feet on its website. As with any Bluetooth device, usable range will depend upon sources of interference such as metal objects or other wireless devices, including cordless phones and WiFi. When trying to type from a distance, keys seem to stick down like thiiisssss before it loses signal completely. In normal operation, the keyboard worked well, but Bluetooth does not work for long distance wireless, such as typing to a presentation PC from across a large auditorium.

The F Key Mystery

The new keyboard also sports a series of new key assignments. Rather than using the default F9 thru F12 keys for Exposé functions, the new keyboard assigns Exposé's "all windows" hotkey to F3 (it is F9 by default), and similarly maps the Dashboard trigger (usually F12) to F4. Both keys have unique icons that haven't appeared on any keyboards before (below). F1 and F2 are assigned to screen brightness, as they commonly are on Apple's notebooks.



F3 thru F5 are commonly mapped to volume controls on Apple's notebooks, but the thin new aluminum models remap audio controls to the other end of the keyboard. It also adds playback controls for back, play/pause, and forward to F7, F8, F9 (below). These playback controls work for the foreground application. That means if you're listening to music but working in iPhoto, hitting the advance forward button doesn't skip to the next song, but rather advanced to the next photo. Hitting the play icon starts an iPhoto slideshow, and other applications can interpret these keys to mean whatever they wish.

Depending on whether you expect them to only control audio playback (as similar keys on Windows keyboards typically do), or whether you like the idea of having a multifunction set of buttons that work in different applications, this is either a frustrating problem or a great feature.



F5 and F6 have no icons, while audio volume controls are mapped to F10, F11, and F12 (below), next to an eject button.



These controls seemed to work inconsistently. When I paired the keyboard to a MacBook Pro, the keys worked as labeled (for example, F4 brought up Dashboard), while the MacBook Pro's own F4 continued to work as a volume key. The wireless keyboard's actions therefore did not match keyboard settings in Mac OS X. Holding down the Function key on the keyboard had no effect on how the F keys worked either.

When I paired the keyboard to a different desktop system using a Belkin USB Bluetooth dongle, the keyboard paired properly, but the keys did not work as marked; instead, the F keys all worked as they were assigned by Mac OS X. That system also failed to properly display the keyboard under System Preferences' Keyboard section, which is supposed to indicate its battery level. The keyboard worked, it just failed to show up (below).



This puzzle was only solved by consulting the user manual, which indicated that new software needed to be installed. The keyboard does not ship with a CD (it also requires Mac OS X 10.4.10, so you'll have to have an updated version of Tiger running to use it). Instead, the manual tells you to run Software Update. Unfortunately, my system did not find any updates when I did this. I had to search for the update on Apple's site. Sure enough, Apple released a Keyboard Software Update 1.2 in early September. I had to manually install it.

Once installed (it requires a reboot) my battery level indicator worked correctly (below top), the translucent Bezel Services "keyboard disconnect" graphic was updated to match the thin keyboard outline (below middle), and a new check box appeared in System Preferences (below bottom).







The new control in the Keyboard & Mouse settings allows you to choose between using the keyboard keys as they are marked, or to use the default F key settings, which can be configured as desired. Mystery solved.

The other change on the new aluminum keyboards is the departure of the Apple logo from the command key, which now features the word "command" along with the Mac propeller icon (below) used for command in menu listings. The story behind that change was related in the article, "How Apple Keyboards Lost a Logo and Windows PCs Gained One."

Somewhat oddly, the Option, Shift and Esc keys are not labeled with their menu icons. Apple only puts some of these icons on foreign keyboard layouts, leaving new users to guess at what the glyphs might mean.



What's Missing?

One feature I'd like to see added requires new software support on the iPhone: the ability to pair the phone to the Bluetooth keyboard. Imagine using the duo (below) as a hyper thin traveling companion for taping out notes. Unfortunately, while the iPhone now supports Bluetooth pairing with a computer, it does not yet advertise support for any Bluetooth profiles apart from hands free, which used for the Apple Headset Adapter we reviewed in July: AppleInsider | Review: Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset.



That means no keyboard input for the iPhone, no stereo Bluetooth headphones for music, no Bluetooth sync, support for printers, nor any other features, at least not yet. Until then, Apple's Bluetooth keyboard makes for a stylish way to work without cords, or to control a PC or Mac from across the room.

With a cheap USB - Bluetooth dongle, the Apple TV would also make a keyboard candidate, particularly if Apple expands upon the device with other applications beyond wireless iTunes access. The ultra thin, ultralight keyboard would pair well with the unit to turn a living room widescreen HDTV into a web browsing, iChatting new general purpose Internet device.

Apart from asking more of systems that might make use of this keyboard, it's hard to find faults with anything in the keyboard itself. It's nearly identical to the MacBook's keyboard, which is quickly becoming one of the most popular notebooks available. Unless you're looking for something big and heavy or cheap and flimsy, the $79 Apple Bluetooth Keyboard represents a very well built, attractive wireless keyboard at a reasonable price.

Rating: 5 of 5


Pros:Ultra thin, ultra light, highly portable design.Ruggedly solid and rigid construction.Elegantly attractive design.Comfortable typing angle and key action.Easy to set up and use.Functional even without installing any software.Batteries not excluded; reasonable price.Â*
Cons:Had to self-search for applicable software update.
post #2 of 67
Goes without saying; "For people who really want that number pad, it's not there." should have been added as a con. It is a con whatever way you look at it, still it wouldn't put me off getting the keyboard. It would put some people off though.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 67
I really like the way the keyboard looks and am willing to to forego my bagel bit collection

HOWEVER,

the lack of a numeric keypad makes it an absolue non-starter. I realize that you guys are writers/geeks and I'm sure that you've never input more than three different numbers at a time but there's a reason why all those office suites include a spreadsheet. Mac users aren't just graphic artists or writers anymore. Some of us make our living working with numbers and for us, the numeric keypad is absolutely indispensable.

PS. Ireland posted while I was writing. I obviously agree 100%
post #4 of 67
Quote:
Depending on whether you expect them to only control audio playback (as similar keys on Windows keyboards typically do), or whether you like the idea of having a multifunction set of buttons that work in different applications, this is either a frustrating problem or a great feature.

This is kind of misleading. I have the wired aluminum keyboard from Apple and the audio controls work from any app. If I am in photoshop, Firefox, Mail, wherever, and hit Play/Pause or next track, iTunes will do what it is supposed to.

The controls are different for some media apps like iPhoto, but if you're not in one of them the keys work as they should for iTunes
post #5 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DumboD View Post

I really like the way the keyboard looks and am willing to to forego my bagel bit collection

HOWEVER,
Mac users aren't just graphic artists or writers anymore. Some of us make our living working with numbers and for us, the numeric keypad is absolutely indispensable.

Graphic users also need the numeric keypad for some apps. After Effects and Maya to name a few. Actually Maya is almost unusable without the home key readily available.
Definitely a negative not having the numeric.
post #6 of 67
AppleInsider reviews have now gotten worse than MacWorld reviews.

This product certainly has some benefits and looks slick, but the lack if a numeric keypad is glaring enough for a large number of us to find this product next to useless.

It's stunning you would give a perfect rating to a product that isn't perfect. Absolutely ridiculous. I suppose we should be surprised at AI's slide to mediocracy. The number of posts per day have increased, while the amount of useful, unbiased information in news posts has plummeted.

Please stick with Apple product release prognosticating, and dump the fanboy, MacSheep approach of MacNN and MacWorld.
post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Goes without saying; "For people who really want that number pad, it's not there." should have been added as a con. It is a con whatever way you look at it, still it wouldn't put me off getting the keyboard. It wouldn't put some people off though.

Targus and Toshiba (maybe others) make stand-alone numeric keypads. Both USB connected and wireless. In yesterdays paper, I saw an ad (Circuit City, I think) for a wireless Targus numeric pad for $19.00.

I like that idea. Because it's not attached to the keyboard, I would be able to use it in any position I wanted.
For long term number crunching, it would be less tiring.
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post #8 of 67
I have the new wireless keyboard on our new family iMac and I love it. I'm glad that it doesn't have a number pad, the compact size is perfect. What's wrong with the number keys along the top anyway? Most touch typists will use these rather than the number pad anyway. I do prefer to use a number pad when entering numbers, but I'm the only one out of my touch typing friends that does. When using the keyboard on my wife's/family iMac, I've never found the lack of number pad a problem.

The only grumble that I do have is that I wish the LED power light would stay lit so that we know when it has been left on!
post #9 of 67
ok, no numeric i could live with, but no arrow keys? give me a break. plus this keyboard is so short you cant keep it on top of your legs when you are at home and legs are on the desk...
post #10 of 67
Personally I like the fact that it doesn't have the numeric keyboard. At least this way we have a solution for both groups (those who need the numeric keyboard and those who don't) rather than Apple's traditional one size fits all approach to peripherals.

The only wish I have is that Apple would bring out an ergonomic version as well (preferably wireless) for people like me who type a lot. Currently the only solution is to buy a third party product from Microsoft or Logitech. An ugly Microsoft keyboard with my lovely new iMac doesn't look right somehow.
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by umijin View Post

AppleInsider reviews have now gotten worse than MacWorld reviews.

This product certainly has some benefits and looks slick, but the lack if a numeric keypad is glaring enough for a large number of us to find this product next to useless.

It's stunning you would give a perfect rating to a product that isn't perfect. Absolutely ridiculous. I suppose we should be surprised at AI's slide to mediocracy. The number of posts per day have increased, while the amount of useful, unbiased information in news posts has plummeted.

Please stick with Apple product release prognosticating, and dump the fanboy, MacSheep approach of MacNN and MacWorld.

For all of you complaining about no keypad, this is for mobile computing. While a full bluetooth keyboard is a big want for me (and I hope Apple is hearing that), this keyboard is obviously created for the mobile crowd who need to throw a keyboard in their backpack.
post #12 of 67
I have one on order and plan to use it, but it's a flawed product. Like others, I really miss the numeric keypad. The lack of an Enter key is also a major oversight. I do a lot of work with FileMaker. Typically, the Return key creates new paragraphs in text fields and the Enter key commits a record.

The keyboard is next to useless for a a home media system because it has no mouse-type device. I have an old B&W G3 hidden inside some home theater cabinetry that I use for listening to iTunes and surfing the Internet on the big screen. I use an RF keyboard with a built-in mouse pointer. Without that, you need the keyboard and a separate mouse, which is nearly unusable from your sofa.

In the review, nothing was mentioned about an auto power off mode. If you have to manually turn off the keyboard when you're not using it, that's a major inconvenience.

I wanted Apple's Bluetooth keyboard, and while it looks great, its utility is not very impressive. The "Mighty Mouse" is even less functional, with its lack of buttons.
post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Targus and Toshiba (maybe others) make stand-alone numeric keypads. Both USB connected and wireless. In yesterdays paper, I saw an ad (Circuit City, I think) for a wireless Targus numeric pad for $19.00.

I like that idea. Because it's not attached to the keyboard, I would be able to use it in any position I wanted.
For long term number crunching, it would be less tiring.

As I said it wouldn't put me off the keyboard, but for many people it's a con, whatever way you look at it.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #14 of 67
Big question (for me, atleast):

What about the other former functions of Expose?
F10 - other windows in same app
F11 - desktop

I use them all the time, F9 not so much
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post #15 of 67
I honestly don't understand the bitching that has went on from the start with this keyboard. If you put a numpad on it, not only would that screw the ergonomic placement of the mouse but it would actually make it worse to use on your lap which *is* a major expected capability for many wireless keyboards. If a person wants a fixed numpad and they are going to be working on the desk, then the USB version should be strictly better since it has downstream ports.

Not to mention people looking for a numpad will be well served by almost any keyboard on the market. It is curious behavior to complain because the last 5% of keyboards are not the same way, too. How dare someone prefer a different hardware setup?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Goes without saying; "For people who really want that number pad, it's not there." should have been added as a con. It is a con whatever way you look at it

No numpad is a pro for me and for loads of other people. I can type numbers faster with the numpad, but practically refuse to use keyboards with one because the benefit I can get from it for miscellanous typing and programming is near zero, and I value my mouse ergonomics. If a numpad ever grows important enough to me, I'll grab a separate one.
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by palex9 View Post

ok, no numeric i could live with, but no arrow keys? give me a break. plus this keyboard is so short you cant keep it on top of your legs when you are at home and legs are on the desk...

What are you talking about, it does have arrow keys.
post #17 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Contonio View Post

For all of you complaining about no keypad, this is for mobile computing. While a full bluetooth keyboard is a big want for me (and I hope Apple is hearing that), this keyboard is obviously created for the mobile crowd who need to throw a keyboard in their backpack.

I am curious now. Why would you throw a keyboard in your backpack? Doesn't your notebook have a keyboard?

I really don't think it's about mobility, I think it's about not making everyone have buttons that aren't that necessary for most users. Wireless gives people the option of getting rid of a couple wires on their desk. For mobile computing, most notebooks include a built-in keyboard, I'd think that bringing along a separate keyboard is a niche use.

For me, no num pad is fine for my use on my HTPC. It replaced a Logitech bluetooth surfboard. I do input a LOT of numbers at my desktop, so it's a non-starter at my desktop.

I wish it had a backspace key though.
post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Targus and Toshiba (maybe others) make stand-alone numeric keypads. Both USB connected and wireless. In yesterdays paper, I saw an ad (Circuit City, I think) for a wireless Targus numeric pad for $19.00.

I like that idea. Because it's not attached to the keyboard, I would be able to use it in any position I wanted.
For long term number crunching, it would be less tiring.

Has anyone here tried a separate num pad? Last I heard someone trying it, I think last year, they ran into problems with OS X insisting that the user press the keys next to the shift keys to tell what language it is - but those keys don't exist.
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by palex9 View Post

ok, no numeric i could live with, but no arrow keys? give me a break.

The review says no inverted-T arrow keys, but what are those 4 keys at lower right of kbd in the shape of an inverted T with arrows on them?
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDrift View Post

The only grumble that I do have is that I wish the LED power light would stay lit so that we know when it has been left on!

Why? See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonro View Post

In the review, nothing was mentioned about an auto power off mode. If you have to manually turn off the keyboard when you're not using it, that's a major inconvenience.

It's there. I've never turned off a wireless keyboard. My logitech didn't even feature a switch for that and it lasted over a year on batteries.

"Intelligent power management conserves battery life by automatically powering down the keyboard when you’re not using it and turning it on the instant you start typing."

http://www.apple.com/keyboard/
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by npiw View Post

The review says no inverted-T arrow keys, but what are those 4 keys at lower right of kbd in the shape of an inverted T with arrows on them?

I'd call that a gaffe, it really does have a working set of inverted-T set of arrow keys. They are a bit on the small side though.
post #22 of 67
To me is seems a waste to make good use of those F keys, and yet leave two unused.



Pressing F5 takes a full screenshot, and leaves that image file on the desktop. Pressing F6 brings up the cross-hairs, so the user can use their mouse to snap a partial screenshot.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Contonio View Post

For all of you complaining about no keypad, this is for mobile computing. While a full bluetooth keyboard is a big want for me (and I hope Apple is hearing that), this keyboard is obviously created for the mobile crowd who need to throw a keyboard in their backpack.

That makes no sense. If this is a mobile keypad one would assume that it is to be used with a laptop. Which would be kinda useless seeing as it would be extra hardware to carry as well as being the same size and missing the same keys as the keyboard that the laptop comes with.

What are the benefits?
post #24 of 67
Great design but form should follow function- it is a tool isn't it??? No numeric keypad, no sale.
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post #25 of 67
There will be apps for the Iphone for use with this keyboard very quickly. If apple doesn't make it others will. One month tops. It is amazing how some people are so short sighted.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by drjjones View Post

There will be apps for the Iphone for use with this keyboard very quickly. If apple doesn't make it others will. One month tops. It is amazing how some people are so short sighted.

I think it's possible, but I don't think it's an app, I think the bluetooth driver structure has to be modified to allow for a keyboard profile. And then the pairing program would need to be modified to have another selection so that it offers the option to pair the keyboard.
post #27 of 67
I pretty much live out of a motel room, (267 nights last year), my iBook sits on and icurve, with my full size Apple wireless keyboard on the desk. I do alot of number input, and a lack of a keypad would be a detriment for me.
post #28 of 67
It took me forever to finally get one, but after almost 2 weeks with it, I love it. The action is great and it's very comfortable (for a non-ergo keyboard). In fact, the only thing that would make this an even better keyboard is a slight split in the middle for more natural positioning.

I am someone who in the past used my keyboard's number pad for shortcuts or number entry, but I use my mouse a hell of a lot more and have been waiting for a decent keyboard that didn't require my mouse to be half way across the desk. I love the lack of wires, but the lack of keypad (and not Bluetooth) is why I bought this. If the wired version had the same form factor I would have probably purchased that one since I wouldn't have had to wait so long.

An earlier poster said it best, 95% of the keyboards on the market have a number pad. Why complain about the 5% that don't?
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny View Post

Graphic users also need the numeric keypad for some apps. After Effects and Maya to name a few. Actually Maya is almost unusable without the home key readily available.
Definitely a negative not having the numeric.

Yeah, and some number people aren't using the num pad at all. I asked a programmer friend of mine why he never seemed to use the num pad, and he was like "Uh... I don't know... isn't that for auditors and economists and such..?". I guess for a programmer to constantly move the fingers to the numpad whenever you're inserting numbers would take too much time.
I only use the num pad occasionally... so I set myself up on the waiting list They sure took their time getting this one out to the stores. It looks awesome. Thanks for the review.
post #30 of 67
I got this keyboard a couple of weeks ago, and it's probably the best keyboard I've ever used, including ones on laptops. Yes, I prefer that it doesn't have a numeric keypad. I rarely use those keys and there is more room for the mouse. I do find the new Exposé button placement to be annoying, so I just turned the keys off and use F9-F11 for Exposé like the old keyboard.

About mobility, it's a big factor that you can stow your keyboard away easily on a cramped space. It's a good side effect that my table is now clean, where it was dirty and dusty underneath with a wired keyboard.

I do however think that Apple should have made a bluetooh version with numeric keypad as well. But this thing is lightyears better than the old bluetooth keyboard, even without numeric keypad.
post #31 of 67
"Despite the fact that the new keyboard's keys are a fraction of the height of standard keyboards and have a throw action (how far they depress when hit) that is similarly much shorter"

Is this a measurement or an assumption? Because Apple laptops have the SAME throw distance as Apple desktop keyboards. Measure and see (Other laptops are the same--very few actually have a short throw distance--people just psychologically expect it. Or more to the point, even desktop keyboards with tall keys have a surprisingly SHORT throw distance, not difficult to replicate with thin keys.)
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

"Despite the fact that the new keyboard's keys are a fraction of the height of standard keyboards and have a throw action (how far they depress when hit) that is similarly much shorter"

Is this a measurement or an assumption? Because Apple laptops have the SAME throw distance as Apple desktop keyboards. Measure and see (Other laptops are the same--very few actually have a short throw distance--people just psychologically expect it. Or more to the point, even desktop keyboards with tall keys have a surprisingly SHORT throw distance, not difficult to replicate with thin keys.)

I really don't know where you are getting this. I just measured two keyboards, the key throw on Apple's lint terrarium keyboard is 0.15" and key throw on the new wireless keyboard is 0.06". That's a factor of 2.5. While there are some cases what you say is true, I have not seen many notebooks with the longer throw, and I have not seen many desktop keyboards with the shorter throw.
post #33 of 67
We got burnt with this downgrade. On one hand, I should have read around more before we ordered the new iMac. On the other hand, Apple should state quite clearly on the Apple Store that the bluetooth version does NOT have a numeric keypad. I wish Apple would have included the numeric keypad as a separate bluetooth device that could clip to the edge of the keyboard or be used independently...
post #34 of 67
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the "Return" button also the "Enter" button? I think you hold fn and it turns it into an enter button, right. Well, if that's the case, that's one less reason to gripe about this wireless keyboard .

BTW, I'm getting it with my new Imac once Leopard comes around because it's so freakin' awesome .
post #35 of 67
aggree.

<QUOTE>I do however think that Apple should have made a bluetooh version with numeric keypad as well. But this thing is lightyears better than the old bluetooth keyboard, even without numeric keypad.</QUOTE>
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pomo View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the "Return" button also the "Enter" button? I think you hold fn and it turns it into an enter button, right. Well, if that's the case, that's one less reason to gripe about this wireless keyboard .

BTW, I'm getting it with my new Imac once Leopard comes around because it's so freakin' awesome .

There are two enter keys on many keyboards, one is sometimes called a return key. They do have different meanings in some programs. I think Fn+Enter might get you the other enter, but I have no way to test that that I can think of at the moment. I should check to see if Fn+Backspace functions as a delete key or not. If need be, it is also possible to differentiate between the two shift bars, two control buttons (though this keyboard only has one) and so on.
post #37 of 67
i got the keyboard a few days ago and like ai i give it a 5 on 5. It really comes down to the personal rating. I never used the numeric pad and never will. I have always used the top row of numbers because they are right there above the letters. I believe the keyboard is both beautiful and works great and i recommend it to anyone who wants a keyboard that's both light and wireless and doesn't need the number pad.
MacBook Pro
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
120GB Serial ATA Drive@5400rpm
SuperDrive 8x
15" Glossy Widescreen Display

with a wireless Apple keyboard

and

iPod Touch
8GB
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MacBook Pro
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
120GB Serial ATA Drive@5400rpm
SuperDrive 8x
15" Glossy Widescreen Display

with a wireless Apple keyboard

and

iPod Touch
8GB
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post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

I honestly don't understand the bitching that has went on from the start with this keyboard. If you put a numpad on it, not only would that screw the ergonomic placement of the mouse but it would actually make it worse to use on your lap which *is* a major expected capability for many wireless keyboards. If a person wants a fixed numpad and they are going to be working on the desk, then the USB version should be strictly better since it has downstream ports.

Not to mention people looking for a numpad will be well served by almost any keyboard on the market. It is curious behavior to complain because the last 5% of keyboards are not the same way, too. How dare someone prefer a different hardware setup?

100% Agree. It's about choice guys, you can choose not to buy it. And there are people in the thread who obviously already own the current bluetooth keyboard, including myself. Keep using yours, it is not broken because a new style is out.

I'm actually gonna sell my original BT keyboard because it's too damn big to use off the desk, this one is awesome. If you want a full size get the full size one they're still around, or get another company's offering.
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post #39 of 67
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Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I really don't know where you are getting this. I just measured two keyboards, the key throw on Apple's lint terrarium keyboard is 0.15" and key throw on the new wireless keyboard is 0.06". That's a factor of 2.5. While there are some cases what you say is true, I have not seen many notebooks with the longer throw, and I have not seen many desktop keyboards with the shorter throw.

Interesting--and you seem to know what you're talking about, but I still wonder if you're measuring the right thing: my PowerBook has the same (or VERY close) throw as both generations of white keyboard I own, and I've used my friends' newer MacBook Pros without noticing any difference vs. my AlBook. (I know the new desktop keyboards are more like MacBook non-Pros.)

Just to be sure, here's how to measure the throw (it's nothing to do with the height of the key "side walls", it's how far the motion is):

1. Put a credit card on top of the keys, so it just touches the top corner of some key, leaving the rest exposed for you to press.

2. Press it down and measure the gap--and be sure to measure the same point that was touching before (not a part that is curved lower). That's how far the key moved down.

(I do notice that both my desktop and laptop keyboards will stop, and then if you press HARD will go a little further. That doesn't happen in daily typing, but if you pressed hard while measuring one keyboard and not another, it could be a factor.)

I'd be astonished if the new desktop keyboards have 2/5 the travel (less than half!) of my PowerBook, and I didn't notice anything like that when I tried the new iMac at the store.

Plus, visually you can see the new keyboards' keys depress about the same as their visible height. And that's about the same (without measuring) as the travel on my older Mac keyboards and my PowerBook. Certainly not less than half.

EDIT: I just re-measured my desktop keyboards (~.15 as you say) and my aluminum PowerBook--JUST under, maybe ~.13 or so. My older Apple desktop keyboards definitely NOT throwing 2.5x farther than my PowerBook, which seems to have the same exact keyboard as the current Intel MacBook Pros. I don't see Apple using less than half the throw for their desktops as their MacBook Pros have, so I remain skeptical about your .06" measurement (but will test that again next time I'm around the new keyboards).

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying I have enough cause for doubt that I'm curious to be sure either way
post #40 of 67
The wired aluminum is fantastic. I'm buying a couple more.

Works great in Linux as well. The only thing I have yet to see are the keymappings for the custom keys for Linux.
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