Mechanical keyboard for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by glitched, May 4, 2017.

  1. glitched macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2017
    Hey all, I recently acquired a new Mac! I tried the one that came with the iMac, but it isn't tactile enough for me. I need a beefier typing experience. With that said, my question is simple. For those of you who peruse mechanical keyboards for your Mac, which would be best?

    I want one with key caps for Mac specific keys. Preferably, one with ALPS switches, but I've heard bad things about Matias keyboards, and the Das Keyboard I desire is $50 out of my price range.

    I need one with 1-2 USB ports on it, so I can plug in my mouse. Switches that aren't loud would be cool too, because I don't wanna annoy customers with that noise. But anyways, any help would be appreciated!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Here's a possibility:

    A friend has one, definitely an "old-time mechanical" typing experience!

    Cheaper alternative:
    Consider a used Macally keyboard from ebay.
    I have an old "iMediaKey" that just keeps going and going.
  3. MultiFinder17, May 5, 2017
    Last edited: May 5, 2017

    MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    Personally, for long typing sessions, I have an Apple Extended Keyboard II around. I love the feel of it, and it's actually relatively quiet. My own AEKII is from 1990 and could use a little Retr0bright, but it still looks good on the desk. They go for around $30-50 on eBay, though do note that you would need a USB-ADB adapter to use it, and it doesn't provide the on-keyboard USB port, but goodness does it feel good under the fingers. And it's an Apple-created keyboard, so it has all of the Apple-specific keys like Command, Option, etc.

    Plus it's built like a tank, so you could probably wield it as an office weapon should the need ever arise :p
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    OP, a couple of questions. What is your budget? Which layout are you looking for - 61/87/88/104/105 key?

    Matias "revived" ALPS switches for it's now-older keyboards. Their newer keyboards appear to use clones of those clones - reddit around and you'll find plenty of negative comments about the newer switches, I think they're garbage - I've sent the free demos I received from a vendor back (they were free to me and I hated the poor build quality, and none of my employees wanted them either).

    For your price point, you may not have too many options. If you're not sure which keys and dampeners you want try a sampler/tester like the one in my home office:

    Personally, I use a CODE 61 with MX Brown switches along with a Logitech K811 when I need to switch between a Mac and an iOS device, but neither has the USB ports you're looking for I use a USB hub. CODE keyboards also offer the quieter Clear switches.

    A couple of my employees use the Keyed Up Labs KUL ES-87 keyboard, also with Brown keys, but again without USB ports.

    iMore updated a post a couple of weeks ago:
  5. jsmonet macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    kul es-87 with browns and dolch dsa caps, possibly another with blues.

    you don't need it to come with mac-specific caps.
  6. markovchain macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2015
    I bought the spacesaver M and have to pay twice:( for the replacement!

    There are random keys failure in a few months' use.

    I now have the Happy Hacking Keyboard II. It never disappoints me :D
  7. AppleSmack macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2010
    Thanks, useful to know this because I was very close to buying the spacesaver M because mmm, clack clack clack. I've just ordered Das Keyboard 4 Pro for Mac… fingers crossed it's a good one.
  8. raccoontail, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017

    raccoontail macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    I have a Unicomp Spacesaver M and LOVE it. I've tried other mechanical keyboards with Cherry and other newer keyswitch designs, and found them all vastly inferior to the 1980s era buckling spring technology, which you can only find in Unicomp keyboards. The unique feature of buckling springs is you feel a "bump" and hear a loud click at the precise moment the key activates. This helps improve your typing rhythm and accuracy, as you don't need to bottom out the keys. It connects by USB (sadly no extra ports for a mouse), and has the standard mac command keys and function keys for expose, brightness, audio controls, etc. It's very solid and weighs more than a 13" macbook pro. Spacesaver is a bit of a misnomer. The only compact thing about the keyboard is it doesn't have the enormous top bezel that keyboards in the pre-mouse days used to have to hold a cheatsheet card for the function keys (Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect users will remember them well).

    Caveats are the key press takes substantially more effort than a macbook keyboard - not a problem if you are a heavy typist, the left command key is a bit tall compared to the adjacent spacebar, and it's possibly the loudest keyboard on the market. The noise is not a problem if you work alone or have an office with a door. Using one in an office with an open plan might result in a pot of hot coffee being poured on the keyboard, if not your head.
  9. Porkchop Sandwich, May 12, 2017
    Last edited: May 12, 2017

    Porkchop Sandwich macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    I’ve been using three of the better known keyboards. I haven’t a bad thing to say about any of them. I’ll add some adjectives to describe.

    Das Keyboard 4 for Mac (clicky)
    Wonderful build, a shade bulky, fantastic connectivity, good responsive controls, nicely laid out, dust magnet (in my shop), a little inconsistent key to key but overall good, good heft, overall very, very nice.

    Matias mini tactile pro (clicky)
    Overall quite nice, retro, loose feel in a good for typing sort of way, very good build quality, consistent key to key, light touch = wonderful typing experience, heavy touch = very hollow sounding (i.e.; not so pleasant for heavy typists), detachable cable : )

    Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless (ninja - clicky)
    Only one word can describe - PRECISE..fantastic keyboard (wish it had usb port(s) and was Mac specific)
  10. turbineseaplane macrumors 601


    Mar 19, 2008
  11. Annnngo macrumors newbie


    May 16, 2017
    I got a Mechanical keyboard from my friend, which is quite popular named Lofree



    I am keeping a black one, while I am not a big fan of mechanical keyboard.

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