My job is to type. More accurately, to transport words from my brain onto the Internet. As such, it’s important I use a keyboard I feel most comfortable with. And for the past two years, I’ve been getting my work done with Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard, which has a sleek and minimal design, and is about as unobtrusive as they come. So what’s it like using Apple’s new Magic Keyboard after having used the other one for so long? It’s actually a pretty easy transition.
Before we go any further, I realize there’s a whole world of keyboards out there, and I know many people prefer the quality and feedback of a mechanical keyboard, which many typists swear by. That’s great. I’m not here to convince you to ditch what you have and use Apple’s gear just because it looks nice. I just wanted to share a few quick impressions as someone who previously used the Apple keyboard on a daily basis.
I’ve actually used a mechanical keyboard—one is sitting right behind me in my office—but I just prefer keys that aren’t quite as tall, and I like the silence of a more “normal” keyboard. I think I might be the only one. With that said, these impressions exist in the vacuum of Apple’s keyboards, not as a comparison to the keyboard world as a whole. (Maybe in the future I can further explore what mechanical keyboards have to offer.)
When you use something for so long, it’s never easy to change. Even though the new Magic Keyboard looks a lot like Apple’s old keyboard, they’re actually a lot different. And let me tell you, the immediate experience of switching over was quite jarring. In fact, I was ready to give up after just five minutes with the new one, happy to just keep on trucking with what I had. But I’m glad I didn’t.
What’s different about the Magic Keyboard is that it has a much smaller incline, and it’s incredibly light now that the battery has been built in. It’s about the same size as the older one, though the top function keys are now full squares, which actually makes a bigger impact than you think. And because it’s now a solid piece of aluminum, it’s not as easily moved, and it doesn’t rattle at all, which is something my old one did quite a bit.
It’s also lower, too, but I haven’t found that to be a major deal at all. Initially I thought it would make a difference, but I actually prefer the more subtle incline; my hands more easily rest over the keyboard, making the experience more comfortable.
Now, when I first started typing on the Magic Keyboard, it wasn’t easy. The keys aren’t as tall, and the scissor mechanism has been tweaked slightly, leading to a different kind of key travel; it’s more shallow, for sure, which takes some getting used to. This isn’t like the butterfly mechanism Apple introduced with the new MacBook, but it doesn’t feel too different either. It’s like a good in-between balance of the MacBook keyboard and old Bluetooth keyboard.
And it feels nice! Like I said, I wasn’t big on the typing experience immediately after I made the switch, but I’ve gotten used to it pretty quickly, and I don’t think I’d go back. Typing on the Magic Keyboard just feels better compared to the old one, and I’m glad I stuck with it after the initial switch. If you’re thinking of switching, I’d say the new keyboard is worth it, but at $100, I realize it isn’t exactly cheap.