Apple Keyboard with Numpad

Score: 8/10

Price: $35 AUD (RRP $55)

Pro:

  • Crisp key action
  • Great design
  • Nice weight to the keyboard
  • Good for typing long documents

Con:

  • No numpad less version (well there was a wired one that is similar to the Apple wireless keyboard but was discontinued in Dec 2010).
  • White coloured keycap gets dirty easily
  • Extension cable can only be used with this keyboard
  • USB hub only operates at USB 1.1 speed when used in Windows environment

Verdict: This is probably one of the best island key style desktop keyboard on the market, it combines great design and build quality with crisp key action. Definitely a good keyboard to purchase for the price, whether you are an Apple fan or not. But if you play a lot of FPS games, then this keyboard is not something you should consider as the primary gaming keyboard.

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 1

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 2

Picture 1. Pictures of the Apple wired keyboard from Apple website. [1]

 

Review

I bought this keyboard during a recent sales event at Officework for $35 (it normally retails for $55), which was great since i have wanted to buy this keyboard as a replacement for my ageing Apple Pro keyboard that came bundled with the Apple iMac G5 computer that i bought in 2004. The trusty Apple Pro keyboard have served me since 2004 when i bought the first iMac PC, since then it had been my Apple keyboard of choice for the various iMac and Mac Mini that i have owned over the years (the Apple mouse didn’t pass muster). The Apple Pro keyboard’s spacebar recently failed when my friend spilled some Sprite on it, i guess the keyboard didn’t have much of a thirst when it drank about 100 ml from the drink can. I was planning to open up the Apple pro keyboard and fix up the damage, but i never had the time to get around to do it, and considering that the Apple replacement keyboard was only around 60 to 70 dollars mark, there was little point spending a full day on the old keyboard just for the sake of fixing it up (also i wasn’t sure of my ability to fix it).

I was never a big fan of the Apple island style keyboard prior to buying this keyboard for myself, since i never liked this particular keyboard style on the Macbook Pro 13 that i had. But due to the recent passing of the Apple Pro keyboard, i was forced to get a new Apple keyboard and get acquainted with it. I was quite surprised by the key tactility of this Apple wired keyboard, i have used this particular keyboard several times prior to this, but i never remembered them to be so well balanced. As far, this is the one of the best non-mechanical keyboard that i have used, so much so i am pretty much using this keyboard all the time now (i actually went out and bought another one for my work). Apart from the tactility of the key mechanism, the ultrathin profile and short key travel also reduces hand/finger fatigue typing up long documents, which is great if you do lot of document processing.

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 3

Picture 2. Apple wireless and wired keyboard comparison.

The only major complaint that i have about this keyboard (well not really about this keyboard), is that Apple did not make the compact version of it (without the numpad). While, Apple did make the wired version of the Apple Wireless Keyboard, i was told the key feel is nowhere near as good as the Apple wired keyboard with numpad, in other words it was pretty much rubbish (ditto for the current Apple Wireless Keyboard, you can read my review here). Also, i hate the miniaturised direction key used on Apple’s compact keyboard design, they are way too small and not user friendly.

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 4

Picture 3. Apple wired compact keyboard (now no longer produced). [1]

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 5

Picture 4. My ideal Apple compact wired/wireless keyboard.

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 6

Picture 5. The Apple wired keyboard with the Magic Touchpad on its side.

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 7

Picture 6. The rear side of the Apple wired keyboard.

However, a note of warning the Apple wired keyboard is not very good when it comes to playing FPS games, and if you are a gamer, then i would suggest you look elsewhere. Also, the extension cable that comes with the Apple keyboard can only be used with the Apple wired keyboard’s usb port, there is a notch on the extension cable’s female usb, and a protrusion on the male usb of the Apple keyboard.

Apple Keyboard with Numpad 8

Picture 7. Protrusion on the female usb port of the extension cable that comes with the Apple wired keyboard.

 

Conclusion

The Apple wired keyboard is excellent typing keyboard, it comes tactility with good ergonomics, which makes it unbeatable as a typing keyboard under $60 dollars. My only gripe with Apple is why they can’t produce a numpad less version of this keyboard with the same key mechanism.

 

References

[1] www.apple.com.au

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