If you want a wired Apple keyboard, you’re out of luck. The only Apple-made options for your Mac are the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, both of which connect via Bluetooth. Soon, though, excellent Mac keyboard maker Matias will sell you a replacement — the Matias Wired Aluminum Keyboard. And not only that, it beats out the Apple original in one key way.
USB keyboards might seem old-fashioned in the age of wireless Bluetooth accessories, but Bluetooth keyboards are ill-suited to the desktop.
For starters, you must charge them or feed them new batteries every once in a while, which you don’t have to do with a wired keyboard. Second, a USB keyboard can also function as a USB hub, letting you quickly hook up things to your Mac to charge or connect.
Third, a USB keyboard can issue startup commands to your Mac for troubleshooting purposes. That doesn’t work with Bluetooth. And finally, they’re cheaper.
Matias Wired Aluminum Keyboard
Matias makes all kinds of neat keyboards for the Mac, from clicky to super-secure to ergonomic. And this one has all the Mac compatibility of an Apple-made model. Mac-specific function keys control screen brightness, Mission Control, iTunes playback and so on. Plus, the design apes the original to the extent that you might mistake it for the Apple model from a distance.
That’s a good thing, though. Apple’s keyboard looks great and lasts forever. If Matias can manage the same, as well as mimicking the original’s functionality, the company will have a winner. Especially at $59.
But there’s more. Around the back of the Matias Wired Aluminum Keyboard is a little volume knob. Instead of tapping keys, you can just turn the knob. I guess it doesn’t make much difference when you’re at the desk, but if you’re using your Mac for music and movies, it’s easier to reach over to a knob than it is to work out which keys to press. The keyboard also packs a pair of USB 2 ports for connecting further peripherals.
All in all, it’s a neat replacement if your beloved Apple model is on its last legs (unlikely, given how tough they are), or if you just don’t care for Bluetooth. And the price is most certainly right. Pre-order now, available in November.
Buy from: Matias