Newsletter Issue #835: Revisiting the Apple Magic Keyboard

November 30th, 2015

Before I get started, I really wonder what Apple means by “Magic Keyboard.” I mean, what’s magic about it anyway? Is it any more “magical” than the Wireless Keyboard that it replaced for $30 more? What’s so different to demand a higher price? Will your keyboarding experience be so much better? Or is it all about the embedded lithium-ion battery, charged with a lighting cable, which pairs when it’s charging for the very first time?

In my initial review, published earlier this month, I was skeptical. I couldn’t see much of an advantage. But I was also coming from a totally different sort of keyboard, the Matias Quiet Pro, which uses a traditional mechanical switch close in feel to the original Apple Extended Keyboard II. The keys have a long travel, and feel fairly similar to the electronic typewriters of old. It helps that Matias has managed to managed to tame the noise, so the incessant clacking is mostly subdued.

Indeed, it was sufficiently quiet as to not qualify in a movie or TV product placement, since computers, Mac or PC, must always have loud keyboards to draw attention to themselves when used as a plot device. It’s also curious that the onscreen interfaces seem largely to descend from DOS and the early graphical operating systems. I suppose it’s intended to drive home the point that this is a computer doing computer-type things. Take a look at the visuals in the CBS crime drama, “CSI: Cyber.” In that show, instead of cutting up dead bodies — and that is still done on occasion — they cut up computer code to catch nasty online criminals.

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