Apple-Style Full Sized Wireless Keyboards

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by haravikk, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. haravikk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #1
    Okay, so I investigated this a while ago after continuing to be disappointed at the lack of a wireless version of Apple's full-sized aluminium keyboard, as I love the feel of the wired one, but can't use it in my current setup.

    Unfortunately I opted for the Logitech K750 solar-powered wireless keyboard and really wish I hadn't; it was premium priced but is badly made which leads to sporadic charging and frequent disconnects (when the battery loses its connection due to the flexing plastic) and it's just a generally miserable affair thanks to badly placed, non-customisable media functions and horrible keys. In fact it's a technical marvel that such flat keys with so little travel distance can feel so mushy and be so unreliable. Since I bought mine the price has nearly halved which kind of tells you everything you need to know about how cheap the damned thing actually is, and I hate it.

    Anyway, that aside, I'm now once again looking for alternatives; I'd really like a full-sized, aluminium wireless keyboard. Of course a Mac layout would be preferred, but since I don't need to look to type I suppose it doesn't matter if there's a Windows key or not. However I will need to eliminate options that don't come with their own receiver, unless there's a way I can make my own receiver (i.e - pair a Bluetooth keyboard with an inexpensive Bluetooth USB adapter such that it will behave as if it were connected directly?), as my built-in Bluetooth isn't working well at all.
     
  2. Cyphaze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    #2
    Just curious, do you have the K750 keyboard for Windows, or the Mac version? I'm considering getting a K750 Mac version and everything I've read says the feel is pretty similar to the Apple keyboards. Is that not true?
     
  3. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #3
    It's the Mac version, and admittedly I may just be more annoyed at it than usual, but while it's certainly similar, I'm not sure I'd say it's close; I love the feel of the full-sized Apple wired keyboard and the wireless one too, it's just that the former is wired and the latter is too small/cramped. But it's definitely different as well; I have real trouble with some shortcuts because the command or shift key isn't registering.

    It may also depend how you intend to use the K750; I use mine on my lap rather than a solid surface, so that clearly gives it the opportunity to flex a lot more (heat may contribute too), whereas on a desk it might be just fine.

    But yeah, I'm just not happy with it personally, plus the other minor niggles like the (IMO) poor media key layout. The caps lock also has no indicator which is annoying, and I think even worse of all is that I paid £60 for mine, and it's since plummeted in price down to around half that :)

    I dunno, plenty of other people seem to swear by them, but I just don't think it's worth the price I paid at all. If you get it for less then you might not feel the same of course, plus I'm a bit picky. But it's just frustrating as the feel of the Apple aluminium keyboards is just great, but they're being really pig-headed about offering a full-sized wireless model which is silly, as the laptop sized one only really caters to people who want to cut the wires and save space at the same time, as anyone that wanted portability would have a laptop anyway, and the keyboard is basically the same thing. A full-sized seems more more useful for people who want to get rid of cables and clutter but still want a full-sized layout, I was surprised they didn't release one alongside the Mac Pro such a beautifully neat machine simply begs for one.
     
  4. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    Personally I don't see a large market for full sized Bluetooth keyboards as they're almost exclusively used on stationary computers and you need to replace batteries. As an added bonus on some USB keyboards you get another pair of USB ports.

    It might be nice if they used USB 3.0 for the extra ports.
     
  5. Cyphaze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    #5
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm in the market for a keyboard to use with my MacBook Air when in desktop mode. I bought the Apple wired keyboard and I like it, but I'm not a huge fan of the texture of the keys, they're a little too... chalky? So I'm looking for an alternative.
     
  6. Alimar macrumors 6502a

    Alimar

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Location:
    New York State
    #6
    I have the Mac version, and it is perfect for my usage. I haven't experienced any problems so far. There are similarities and differences in the feel of the keys. Low profile and some flat/concave/convex keys. Also, not as chalky feeling. It was an easy transition.
     
  7. Cyphaze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    #7
    Not as chalky huh? Sounds like it might be the keyboard for me.
     
  8. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #8
    Anyway, I didn't really mean to spur a discussion of the K750; are there any alternatives? Does anyone else make aluminium wireless keyboards, or even just something more solid?

    For example, the K750 is a "thin" keyboard so it has no kind of structure it's just flat, but a keyboard with something running underneath ought to be more sturdy and unable to flex, even if it were still plastic.
     
  9. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #9
    I have looked for almost the same thing as you, except I was looking for Bluetooth keyboards since I didn't want to take up a USB port with a receiver. (Don't let that stop you, by the way--you can use an external USB Bluetooth receiver like the IOGEAR GBU521. Note that the keyboard doesn't pair with the receiver; the computer pairs the keyboard with the receiver and the OS stores that information, so you can't move it from computer to computer without re-pairing like you generally can with generic RF USB receivers on non-Bluetooth keyboards.)

    I initially rejected the K750 because it wasn't Bluetooth. The two I found that were Bluetooth were the Macally BTKey and the Kanex BTKey. I did not like the Macally for two reasons. First, I like media keys (play/pause), but the Macally had only volume keys, much like the old full-size white Apple Bluetooth keyboard. But second and more importantly, the Bluetooth connection constantly failed. I even tried it on two computers, so I think it was the keyboard. It would often take 30 or more seconds to pair with the computer upon waking, and sometimes it would never pair at all and I'd have to re-do the pairing. The Kanex BTKey was better, but it still had problems--the media keys didn't work with anything besides iTunes (unlike any other keyboard), there was no way to turn function key F behavior on by default (and some of the hotkeys on the function keys were terribly inconveniently easy to press, like the ones that switched the keyboard between different devices or, worse, the one that put the computer to sleep!). The "Home" and "Spotlight" keys were also so large that they made the Cmd button and other modifiers smaller and slightly shifted relative to their typical position, which was a bit jarring but not too hard to get used to. I don't use this keyboard on a regular basis anymore, but I do still have it, and the ability to pair with up to three devices or use it as a USB keyboard was nice.

    Beyond these, of course, there is the original white Apple Bluetooth keyboard. They obviously stopped making them years ago, so your best bet would be to find a used one on eBay. I stopped buying these because they had the same inconveniences as the Macally BTKey except for the flawless Bluetooth connection.

    The K750 was just about the only other option on my list, but apparently you're not a fan of that, either. I had never tried. If you're wondering what I did, I went back to wired: I decided I was willing to trade a USB cable for the better (compared to all the third-party Bluetooth options I'd tried) experience of Apple's aluminum USB keyboard--although even that's a partial lie, since I prefer the first generation of this keyboard where the special key on F4 is Dashboard rather than the useless Launchpad, so if this one ever dies, I might need to start my hunt again in the future. :D

    (BTW, KeyRemap4MacBook, which works on any Mac despite the name, can help with some of these special-key problems, but I really don't want to need to use an extension just to get my keyboard to work the way that I want it to.)
     
  10. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #10
    Maybe, though I wouldn't discount the advantage of eliminating wires, even on a keyboard. For example, if you use the cable hole on an iMac's stand, and use a wireless keyboard and mouse, you can end up with a very neat looking setup with just a bunch of cables disappearing behind the desk. The new Mac Pro is the same if done right, but it looks downright awful if you have keyboard and mouse cables snaking out of it, which is a huge shame when the only wireless keyboard is poorly suited to a lot of professional apps that need as many shortcut keys as possible (particularly 3d apps).

    Also, Apple is offering a wireless keyboard, so they clearly see a demand for it, but I don't see where it's really meant to fit in; it offers no real advantage for laptop users since it's exactly the same layout. For cutting desk clutter it may be a neater option for some users, but compared to the profile of an iMac you should have plenty of room for a full-sized keyboard + space for a mouse or magic trackpad anyway. It just seems a really weird decision to me.

    I'm sorely tempted to do so, as I love the full-size aluminium keyboard, but my computer set-up's not exactly typical; I use an HDTV as a main monitor and sit about two metres away with no kind of desk to put a keyboard on (so I just use my lap). I do have a USB hub on the wall for convenience, so I could connect a wired keyboard, but the issue becomes where to put it when not in use, whereas with a wireless keyboard I can place it anywhere. Maybe there's something I could use to stick one to the wall when not in use?

    Before I got the K750 I did use the first generation Apple wireless keyboard; I actually have two though one became somewhat unreliable after I spilled a drink on it ;)
    I don't dislike them, they've served me well, but I much prefer typing on the aluminium keyboards, plus the first generation models are surprisingly heavy.

    Is it necessary to use that? I've never tried with the official Apple keyboards, but most third party keyboards just map their special keys for launchpad etc. onto the standard shortcut keys, so a Mission Control key would be F9 or whatever. In this case you can use the standard Keyboard Shortcuts section to change them, though yeah, I'd rather not do it, especially as they need to be nuked to switch to a new keyboard.


    I'm starting to think that I may have to find a way to just make the wired full-size keyboard work for me. Actually I do have the smaller wireless keyboard (came with my old Mac Pro at the time) so I could try and use that some of the time, and switch to the wired one when I need it? I dunno, I'm particularly surprised at the seeming lack of aluminium keyboards in general, even wired let alone full-sized wireless ones, as I'm having a tough time settling for anything else after using one.
     
  11. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #11
    I too liked the full size Apple wired (aluminum) keyboard - but not the wire. I wish Apple would put out a BT version.

    Tried the wireless (aluminum) for a while, but it was too small and I use the keypad and ancillary keys more than I thought.

    I had the Logitech K750 for over a year, and although it's very nice, there was just something about it I didn't "love" (and the fact it took up a USB port).

    I finally found one of the original Apple "white plastic" BT keyboards on ebay for a decent price, cleaned it up a little, and have been using it ever since - love it!
     
  12. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #12
    I like that keyboard too and bought a couple used ones on eBay (keyboards rarely last me more than a couple years before I spill water or something on them and destroy them), but I really miss the hotkeys, particularly those for media playback since I'm pretty much always listening to iTunes or Spotify in the background. KeyRemap4MacBook helped a bit, but then I lost actual function keys, and as I said, I don't really like needing to use an extension just to get desired functionality form my keyboard.

    I just bought a hub and learned to live without one of my USB ports. :)
     

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