Wireless keyboard: Bluetooth vs RF connection

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tennisproha, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. tennisproha, Dec 29, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014

    tennisproha macrumors 6502a

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    Texas
    #1
    Just bought a mac mini but no peripherals lol. Does it run okay in telepathic mode?

    Anyway, i think im pretty set on the apple trackpad as i hear its the best trackpad available. However idk what keyboard to buy.

    What are the pros/cons of a bluetooth keyboard vs a proprietary RF keyboard?

    I know RF dongle takes USB space and bluetooth can work with my iOS devices, which would be a nice bonus. But i really wanna know how connectivity, energy usage, and performance compare? Ive read other threads on forums and all the info seems to be quite contradictory. So if someone really knows the technologies well, id like your input.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #2
    It depends on your telepathic abilities. ;)
    I would buy the Apple BT Keyboard and Trackpad. I have used them both and was extremely satisfied. Tried many keyboards before but for my needs (quality, durability, design etc.) Apple BT Keyboard and Trackpad suited the most.
     
  3. tennisproha thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Texas
    #3
    I have to say the one thing i dont like about the trackpad is the 'click' is not uniform across the pad. Since the bottom feet provide the click action, theres less resistance when you click towards the bottom of the pad whereas much more resistance, plus taking a harder tap, to click towards the top of the pad. Also, sometimes the cursor shifts down slightly on screen when clicked. Is this only me lol?
     
  4. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #4
    No, it is not only you, but this ("click sensitivity") is the same with the trackpad on MacBooks as well.
     
  5. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Oct 17, 2013
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    Southern Cal
    #5
    Buy Them Both!

    Yes, this has also been my experience. The Magic Trackpad is a great pointing device. The keyboard works fine for me as well. I don't get why some folks slam these two Apple peripherals so frequently. In my experience, the trackpad is one of Apple's best efforts. Although Microsoft has failed miserably with Windows 8 and their attempt to bring the touch interface to the desktop, Apple offers a piece of hardware that elegantly converts their standard GUI into an enjoyable touch experience.

    About those click issues that you mentioned. At first I encountered the click registration issue but a setting made it evaporate. I used the "tap to click" option in Preferences to make both left and right clicks faster and more reliable than even a premium USB mouse. I seldom use "push to click" any more with my trackpad. I also enabled the "two finger tap" for right-click option in Preferences. Try both options when you get your trackpad! For me, tapping is quicker than mashing a button and way more accurate.
     
  6. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

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    Iowa, USA
    #6
    I suspect you find contradictory information because it's hard to generalize all RF and Bluetooth keyboards (Bluetooth itself is just a specific frequency of RF, along with some specs on how it's used, of course). I think you've pretty much got it figured out. I like Bluetooth on Macs because most have Bluetooth built-in, so you don't need any adapters taking up ports. Most (all?) Macs are also smart enough to be able to use Bluetooth keyboards during the boot sequence (e.g., pressing Opt right after you turn on the computer to choose a boot volume, well before OS X has fully loaded), which most PCs can't do.

    If you like Apple's Bluetooth keyboard, I've found it quite reliable. If you're going third-party, my luck has varied: the Kanex BTKey worked well for me (issues with the keyboard's buttons themselves aside), but the MacAlly BTKey took forever to connect after the computer waked and sometimes failed to connect at all. If you're going third-party, check some reviews and see if anyone notes connectivity problems. I think these issues much less frequent with RF (as long as pairing doesn't require special software--hardware buttons are great), but I don't think this is an inherent property of Bluetooth, just a consequence of what chipset the keyboard manufacturer decides to use.

    If you're OK with ether Bluetooth or generic RF, I'd find a keyboard you like and decide that way. You should have plenty of options for both if you're OK with a small keyboard. If you want a numeric keypad, Bluetooth options are much more limited (I only know if the two I mentioned previously) but RF abound.

    Good luck!
     
  7. tennisproha thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    This is true but i think its one of those things where old habits are just too comfortable. I would miss the tactile feedback of the click. Im so used to it since i grew up with those old ball mice lol.

    I think you're right. I might just be overthinking this because there are so many options yet none seem to be the 'ideal' does it all model for me.

    With regards to connectivity, thats something i dont quite get. You'd think bluetooth would be way more reliable since its a standard whereas the RF, to my knowledge, is really proprietary based on how the company wants to confogure it.

    I'm mainly wondering whether there are any major connectivity advantages to RF vs Bluetooth or vice versa…
     
  8. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

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    #8
    I don't think you'll find generalizable differences in connectivity between Bluetooth and RF, but if anything, I've found RF to be better. The paring for Bluetooth is stored in software (e.g., OS X remembers keyboards, mice, etc.), but with RF it's usually the hardware itself--so you can take the device and receiver together to a different computer and use them without any problem, and if it's on a PC, you can even use it during the boot sequence before the OS loads (as I said before, Macs are smart enough to also be able to use Bluetooth like this, which PCs aren't).

    The issue for Bluetooth with me sometimes is that after waking the computer or the device, I have to wait a few seconds for them to recognize each other again. RF seems to be almost instant. Neither is really problematic except with some third-party devices I've used that took extra long to remember the pairing or sometimes forgot it entirely.

    But again, I think you'll be fine with either, especially on a Mac.

    PS - Personally, I went back to using Apple's USB keyboard after getting fed up with not being able to find a good full-size Bluetooth keyboard. I decided the cord didn't bother me that much on a device that never really moves. :)
     
  9. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

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    Sep 3, 2011
    #9
    In my experience, bluetooth does use more power than non-BT RF. Though solar BT keyboards like the K760 from Logitech eliminate this particular issue. Also, as RMo pointed out, BT does take noticeably longer to reconnect.

    One really nice thing about Bluetooth keyboards is that you can use them not only with your computer, but also your phone.
     

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