Monday, 8 January 2018

Best Keyboards for Mac 2018: Upgrade Your Mac With a New Keyboard

If you spend hours typing each day, it"s so important to find the keyboard that suits you best. There are plenty of options to choose from, and here we look at ten of the best keyboards for Mac to help you decide.

We have all sorts of Mac keyboards in this round-up, from wired keyboards (for those fed up with searching for new batteries every few weeks) to ergonomic solutions to help you avoid RSI, as well as the best gaming keyboards for Mac, and some pretty stylish offerings that give Apple a run for its money.

Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

As power users, we"re not big fans of the little Magic Keyboard that Apple includes with new Macs these days. It feels far too small and flimsy to let us type quickly when we"re working, let alone being able to take a pounding when we"re in gaming mode.

We much prefer to use this larger model, which includes a full-size numeric keypad that you can use to enter numbers into a spreadsheet or database, or just tap out a few quick calculations with the Mac’s Calculator app.

It includes a larger set of arrow keys that are moved over to the side of the main keyboard, along with an extra set of navigation keys - such as Home and End - that allow you to quickly scroll through long documents and web pages.

Moving the arrow keys over to the side of the main keyboard also means that there’s room for a larger Space bar, and Command and Alt (Option) keys, which makes the keyboard feel less cramped when you’re typing quickly. It also has no less than 19 function keys that you can use to control music playback, and features such as Mission Control and Exposé.

Previously only available wired, this is now a wireless keyboard, which Apple claims offers a month of use between charges.

Apple Magic Keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard

The Magic Keyboard is a wireless, rechargeable keyboard that comes included with most Mac computers. However, those of us who are on old Macs or want a new keyboard, the small Magic keyboard might be the answer.

Despite not being our favourite recommendation for power users, it still is a very versatile keyboard which can be taken on-the-go, due to its low-profile and slender design.

We do find the keyboard to be slightly expensive at £99 for its somewhat limited functionalities, but given its portability and low-profile design, some will be able to justify the purchase.

Logitech Craft

Logitech Craft

The Craft is Logitech"s latest - and very possibly greatest - wireless keyboard designed for creatives across Windows and Mac. The keyboard is sleek, gorgeous and features a solid body, providing a sturdy keyboard that will never move when in use.

The Craft features increased key stability that doesn"t only reduce noise when compared to similar keyboards, but the spherical key imprint makes it easier to orient your fingers and type quickly and accurately. The typing experience is near perfection, with both comfort and accuracy in mind.

It features backlit LED keys like many other keyboards, but with a difference. Thanks to a built-in proximity sensor, the keys will only light up when your hands are near the keyboard. Admittedly it"s only a small feature, but it really highlights the attention to detail required to develop this keyboard.

Of course, the key feature of the Logitech Craft is the Microsoft Dial-esque input dial on the top-left of the keyboard. The dial is completely contextual, and the functions will change depending on the app you"re using.

This is done automatically for popular apps like Google Chrome, Photoshop and Illustrator, but it can also be set up manually via the Logitech Options app. Tapping the dial provides access to a range of functions, from volume control to brush size to tab switching. Whatever you need, the dial can provide it.

The Logitech Craft is stunningly gorgeous and impressively practical, and is a must-have for all Mac power users, not just creatives.

Belkin Wireless YourType Numeric Keypad

Belkin Wireless YourType Numeric Keypad

This little numeric keypad is a bit pricey – at around £50 it costs as much as many full-size keyboards – but it’s neatly designed and will be a useful add-on for anyone that needs to do a bit of number-crunching at work.

The design of the YourType closely matches that of Apple’s own keyboards, right down to the aluminium casing and even the little coin-notches that let you open the battery slot. It’s also the same size as Apple’s Magic Trackpad, so you can line both devices up on your desk and move easily from one to the other whenever you need to.

It doesn’t replace the Magic Trackpad though - the YourType uses Bluetooth to connect to your Mac, and you can use it alongside an existing mouse or trackpad, so you don’t have to give them up when you’re using the YourType.

There’s a full-size numeric keypad for data entry, along with an additional set of navigation keys, such as Page Up and Page down. There’s also a proper Delete key – which is missing from Apple’s smaller Magic Keyboard – and a Search button as well.

It even adds some extra function keys – F13 through to F16 – that carry on from the 12 function keys on the Apple Magic keyboard, so it works really well as an extension of your existing keyboard.

However, the wireless connection means that you’ll need to add another pair of AA batteries for the YourType, along with the batteries for all your other wireless widgets.

Penclic KB3

Penclic KB3

Penclic is a Swedish accessory company with a specific focus on products that help reduce repetitive strain injury and other desk-related ailments.

That means the KB3 has a firm focus on ergonomics, with a light key travel, comfortable spacing, full-sized keys, and a subtle gradient to the aluminium body.

The KB3 is a similar size and style to Apple"s own Magic Keyboard, but opts for a more colourful design, the black body broken by orange and teal highlights to illustrate the various secondary key functions.

Like the Magic Keyboard it"s wireless and rechargeable - though it uses Micro-USB rather than Lightning - and is compatible with iOS. It also has the added benefit of working with Windows and Android in case you ever need to break out of the Apple ecosystem.

Kanex MultiSync Aluminium Mac keyboard

Kanex MultiSync Aluminium Mac keyboard

The Kanex MultiSync Mac keyboard is an ideal option for those that want to switch between multiple Bluetooth-enabled devices quickly without trading in on design and functionality.

The MultiSync is crafted from aluminium, meaning it won"t look out of place next to an iMac or an iPad and feels comfortable to use over extended periods of time. It"s also wireless, meaning the design isn"t sullied by miles of winding cables.

The extended Bluetooth functionality allows users the ability to switch between iPad and Mac keyboard input with a single button press, and takes only seconds to switch. How? This is due to the fact that the MultiSync can be connected to not one, not two, not even three, but four Bluetooth devices simultaneously.

The MultiSync keyboard also features a full numeric keypad for easy number input, and a number of Mac (and iOS) specific keys including a Home button, music controls and even an brightness controls.

But, is it comfortable to use? We find it generally quite comfortable to use with handy shortcut keys and a low-profile design, but it isn"t perfect. The first issue is that there is no UK-specific keyboard, so those of us in the UK find ourselves hitting the wrong keys at the wrong time (especially the Enter key!) as it"s US-only.

We"ve also noticed that when we"re typing extremely fast, the keyboard may not register two button presses that happen almost simultaneously. While this isn"t a massive deal for us, it can cause frustration after extended periods of time.



Lofree offers something unique when compared to other keyboards in our chart: a mechanical keyboard inspired by the classic typewriter.

While the majority of mechanical keyboards on the market are focused on PC gamers and are wired for split-second response times, Lofree offers a completely wireless mechanical keyboard experience for not only Mac users, but iOS, Android and PC users too – just flip the switch on the side of the keyboard to change input mode. It can also connect to three devices at once, making multitasking between devices a fairly simple process.

Of course, the main draw of the Lofree keyboard is the design: it’s a blend of new and old, featuring round, concave buttons like those used on a typewriter – although this keyboard features backlit keys, something that old-school typists didn’t have.

It’s available in three colours: Pure White, Turquoise Blue and Sandstone Black, and two finishes, matte and glossy, although the matte look is exclusive to the black keyboard. If you’re on the market for a keyboard that’ll make people stop in their tracks, look no further.

The downsides to the gorgeous keyboard? It generates quite a bit of noise when typing, so it may not be the best keyboard to use in an office environment. Also, it requires a bit of a learning curve.

Due to the irregular shape of the keys, it takes a little while to adjust the positioning of your fingers and in the meantime, it’s likely that you’ll be making spelling mistakes left, right and centre. Rest assured though, after a couple of days of using it, you should be able to touch type like with any other keyboard (if you can, of course!).

It’s also quite weighty for a portable keyboard at 800g, especially when compared to Apple’s 320g wireless keyboard.

SteelSeries M800 Mechanical Keyboard

SteelSeries M800 Mechanical Keyboard

The SteelSeries M800 Mechanical Keyboard is aimed primarily at gamers; however those wanting a customisable RGB mechanical experience without having to source custom Cherry MX switches for Mac, the Apex M800 will have you covered.

Within the package, you"ll find SteelSeries have included Mac-specific keys as they know people will be looking to use the keyboard on Mac. The software that"s bundled with the keyboard also works flawlessly on Mac and allows you to remap every key.

The biggest selling point of the M800 for Mac users like ourselves is the fact that it has a flat, low-profile design, which is similar to the look and feel of the standard Mac keyboard.

We really like the fact that SteelSeries have thought about gamers who use a Mac to play games, by having included the Mac keys within the packaging and not as an additional purchase.

Finally, for gamers the Apex M800 is deemed as the "World"s Fastest Keyboard" and this is due to the keyboard"s actuation point being lower than other mechanical keyboards on the market.

LogicKeyboard Final Cut Pro X Shortcut

LogicKeyboard Final Cut Pro X Shortcut

Video-editing programs such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro often use dozens of keyboard shortcuts to activate various editing tools and commands, and trying to remember all those shortcuts can be a real headache when you’re trying to get your work done in a hurry.

LogicKeyboard produces specialised keyboards designed for Final Cut and other creative applications. The basic design of the keyboard is very similar to Apple’s own keyboards, with a slimline design and aluminium casing, and a handy pair of USB ports for plugging in a mouse and other devices.

It has all the same function keys as Apple’s keyboards, so you can control iTunes or adjust the brightness and volume. And, of course, it can be used like an ordinary keyboard for typing in Microsoft Word and other programs, and there’s a numeric keypad for data entry as well.

However, it also has the most important Final Cut editing commands printed on the relevant keys, and the keys themselves are colour-coded for quick access.

LogicKeyboard also makes similar keyboards for other apps, such as Apple’s Logic Pro X and Adobe’s After Effects. And, if you don’t want to pay for an entirely new keyboard, the company sells plastic overlay ‘skins’ that can be applied to your existing Apple keyboard for about £30.

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