Best Apple Keyboard You’ve Ever Used?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by HappyDude20, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68030

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #1
    Hello,

    I was watching a couple of old apple keynotes and in one of them Steve Jobs mentions in regards to the first gen iPad the iPad keyboard dock and said that if you ever needed to write War & Peace to use the iPad and keyboard dock that’s stored in the attic.

    I honestly don’t think I could comfortably type 25,000-70,000 words on the latest 2nd gen butterfly keyboards. The truth is I need a new portable Mac product but don’t like the new keyboards. I get that I’ll have to use the 2nd gen keyboard when I’m out and about but my goal is to get an older style Apple Keyboard, perhaps from the late 90s or early 2000’s and connect that to my iMac at home.

    I don’t know. I need to type a lot and the butterfly keyboards aren’t great for long writings. Sorry, perhaps they are to you, but to me the older style keyboards are much greater.
     

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  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    The latest wired keyboard with numerical on the right is what I use at work. It’s simply buttery to type on.
     
  3. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #3
    Quite honestly, I detest the recent Apple keyboards. My fav Apple brand keyboard is my A03103E9...

    My Dell keyboard, that has similar appearing keys to the recent Apple keyboard, is distinctly superior to Apple's. My work iMac came with the most recent Apple wired keyboard with the numeric keypad. I've set it aside and use my old personal older Apple keyboard instead.
     
  4. AngerDanger, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018

    AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #4
    Think I've been using the same one as Keys for nearly a decade, and it's my keyboard of choice. It doesn't have all the unnecessary travel of most Windows keyboards, but it has enough travel that your fingers don't feel like they're doing that thing where you walk up stairs, assuming there's one more step at the top than there actually is. :eek: It's gotten some battle damage over the years:

    IMG_0343.JPG

    On the other hand, the worst Apple keyboard I've tried is the one featured on the Apple IIc. It actually feels like every keystroke is breaking the computer. There's an initial click down that does nothing and then a crack that actually results in a character input. Ugh.

    I found my IIc and recorded a few seconds of torture:
     
  5. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #5
    My favorite keyboard is still Apple's Wireless Keyboard A1255.

    s-l300.jpg
     
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #6
    Ah, but not quite! As I’m a britbong, I proudly use the UK model with the phat Enter key — while sipping tea and humming “God Save the Queen”, of course. Creating a new paragraph by touch-slamming that baby is extremely satisfying.

    I always struggle with the small sliver of an Enter key on the US models. The layout is as wonky as our teeth.
     
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    I love the wired keyboard that was introduced with the aluminum iMac.
     
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    My favorite one to use was the Apple Extended Keyboard II.
    keyboard2.jpg
    The one I always dreamed of owning was the Apple Adjustable Keyboard. It was too expensive.
    adjustable.jpeg 9lh7-800.jpg

    The best quality one I used was probably the one built into the Apple IIe. Touch typing was instant going keyboard to screen. Those keyboards handled decades of abuse from students learning touch typing.

    IMG_0610.jpg


    The newer ones are garbage. The Translucent ones were nice but they'd always end up looking filthy inside and are a nightmare to disassemble to clean out.
     
  9. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #9
    Keyboard.jpg

    This is my main keyboard with Cherry reds, if I need all the Appleey functions I prefer the aluminum wired with num pad which I also have and am currently using.
     
  10. jtara, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018

    jtara macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #10
    The best Apple keyboard is not an Apple keyboard.

    Unicomp buckling spring keyboard, with a few Apple keys. The bottom row is awkward, not sure why they didn't make the keys in the right sizes, and only supplied one Command key in the kit, and two different sizes of Option/Alt key with different markings and neither one the right size...

    I need to get a few more Apple-specific keys.

    I have some blank keytops with clear plastic covers that you can put labels under. I should do something useful with e.g. F13-F15 (which I changed out from Print Screen, Scroll Lock, Pause).

    IMG_3312.jpg
     
  11. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #11
    In the late 90s I bought a Microsoft Natural Keyboard. Wanted to like it, but could never get used to it.

    item_XL_10320325_13112447.jpg
     
  12. Lioness~ macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    #12
    Love them both.
    But I would actually buy a space gray without the numeric pad if they existed.
    But I'm getting used to it, and it's a pleasure to type on.
    The MacBook Air keyboard even more so.

    Past is gone for me.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #13
    I still have one like that. It isn’t an MS but it has a badass trackpad built in. It’s so old it has the old COM mouse connector instead of a PS/2. But the keyboard part is PS/2 for some reason.

    This went with a Renau 486 I now wish I never got rid of. I had one of those MS keyboards but it died a few years ago.

    1403C97A-4F97-44FB-9689-3D8EC4DFD0E7.jpeg
     
  14. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68030

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #14
    Some of these older type of keyboards you guys are posting look like a joy to type on. The travel and even sound of the click sound more profound as if my productivity itself would increase just be typing on such keyboards.

    Personally,

    I think I’ll be forced to use the new 2nd gen butterfly keyboards whenever I get a portable MacBook or MacBook Pro, and I’ll get the old wired aluminum keyboard for my iMac and purchase the first gen iPad keyboard dock for home typing use.

    I used to have a cheap Logitech keyboard that I’m sorry to say felt better than the 2nd gen butterfly keyboard; but whatever. Lol.
     
  15. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #15
    I used to like mechanical keyboards, but when I first tried Apple wired slim aluminum keyboard I felt as if they designed it specifically for me. It's just suited me so well in almost every way.

    Perfection is:
    • Apple wired slim aluminum keyboard
    • Full size with number pad
    • Horizontal Enter button with Backslash above
    • Home and End set up in MacOS to jump all the way to the left and right on the current line only
    apple-wired-keyboard.jpg
    -------------------------------------

    For those of us who like the slim aluminum keyboards with chiclet keys, Matias has given us many, many variations including Apple colors (like Space Grey, Gold, Rose Gold, etc.), wireless full size with number pad, various layouts, etc. I would say they improved slightly upon my favorite Apple keyboard by adding backlit keys:

    2.jpg

    -------------------------------------

    But all of the above is history. Apple ruined the Mac Pro in 2013, which pushed me out of the MacOS ecosystem and now I have a Windows PC. So my current keyboard is the "Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader", which is a slim aluminum chiclet keyboard. It is very much the Microsoft version of my favorite Apple keyboard, with the added bonus of fingerprint login.

    Interestingly enough, the fingerprint reader looks, feels, and acts just like any other key. It's literally a plastic chiclet key that even moves up and down just like any other. Clever.

    4036704_en_2.png
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #16
    The best Apple keyboard I've used is the Apple Extended KB. I really like the Apple Extended II also, but prefer the feel of the original Extended over the Extended II. Among AEKIIs, I like the ones with cream Alps switches better than I do the other switch type(whose name escapes me). I use an Extended on my Mac Pro 5,1 via a Griffin iMate.

    With that said, I'm in agreement with the above poster about buckling springs. I have a Unicomp Spacesaver M on my Mac Pro 1,1 at work, and just have never gotten around to buying one to use at home. I have several other Model Ms, both IBM and Unicomp, but the Spacesaver M is nice since it's USB and has "Mac specific" keys on it.

    I've probably typed so much on the older(pre-butterfly) unibody "Chicklet" keyboard, and although it's not my favorite design it's at least passable. The one on my main laptop has enough miles on it that I have keycaps wearing through. I do not like the butterfly keyboard-the keys have way too little travel and I feel myself bottoming them out too easily.
     
  17. Nhwhazup macrumors 68020

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #17
    C01EF5F9-A7AE-40E6-A8CD-0D3AC65A5F9E.jpeg 881E1138-40C4-4A80-94EB-7B0421A57513.jpeg My favorite keyboards are also not Apple.

    I love the RealForce keyboard with topre key switches and also the Filco with cherry reds. Both are tenkeyless. They both have a different feel but very light to the touch.
     
  18. jtara macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #18
    Can somebody tell me the purpose of the key to the left of the right Ctrl button in the picture directly above?

    I have such a key top that fits my Unicomp keyboards, but not sure if it came with the Apple key top kit, or is a Windows thingie that I removed...
     
  19. Nhwhazup macrumors 68020

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #19
    It’s a menu key. Works like the right click on the mouse.
     
  20. jtara macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #20
    Oh! That's handy! It doesn't seem to perform that function, but I might have to remap it (or maybe already did to something else?) with Karabiner-elements.

    Oh! I think I've remapped that position to Function. Hmmm.... where to move Function...
     
  21. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #21
    I'm a novelist who's been using the magic keyboard for a couple of years now. Only improvement would be backlighting. I use it with my Mac mini on my desktop and my iPad Air 2 when traveling.

    And I'm almost done some books!
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #22
    Give them a call at Unicomp and most likely they can take care of you for a few bucks if it's a key cap they've made before.

    A few years back, I bought a University of Kentucky special edition Model M at a flea market for $5. A lot of the keycaps on this particular board are blue, and the one I bought was missing the "Alt" cap(along with the cord). I work for the University of Louisville, but am a big fan of UK athletics. I bought it in March(several years ago) when both schools were still "alive" in the basketball tournament, so wanted to rush it in and get it hooked up to my work computer.

    I gave Unicomp a call to ask about the Alt key, and the person that they put me in touch with in the service said "I think we might have a few of those around here." I heard a drawer open and what sounded like someone sorting through a bunch of keycaps, and he came back and said "Yep, I have one here for you."

    I actually made arrangements to come to the factory later that day-I walked in the front door and they popped the cap on while I waited. I could have done it myself easily enough, but they went ahead and did it for me. I think they charged me $5 or so for the cap, and you can't beat the service. The cable, of course, just has an over-engineered plug on the end of it, so I had no trouble taking care of that myself.
     
  23. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    On the silver scream
    #23
    The last wired keyboard with the number pad. Mine died after 8 years of loyal use earlier this year. Using a wireless “solar” Logitech now.

    I cannot stand the wireless keyboards (and not just due to my 2013 iMac’s Bluetooth becoming overwhelmed by two BT peripherals (to say nothing if my 7+ and 2018 iPad are also on the desk)).

    Wired may not be elegant, but if you need to restore your Mac from the internet, it was the only way I could. Another reason why I wish Apple still made them.
     
  24. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #24
    This is also my favorite, so far.

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't particularly good IMHO. I always tried to use it, but I kept going back to a regular one with better keys.
     
  25. dgdosen macrumors 65816

    dgdosen

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #25
    I use the space grey magic keyboard - and I have to say - it's a grease magnet. More so than any other Apple keyboard, even compared to what you'd think would be very similar MB/MBP keyboards.
     

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