As someone who spends more time typing than shooting pictures, I value the keyboard I use quite a lot. Having tried a number of keyboards over the years, I still stick with the Apple Magic Keyboard. Here is why.
I know one or two things about keyboards. Not just the ones you use for typing, but also the ones you use for music. As such, I have a decade of piano behind me. By the end of it, I was able to tell quite a number of specific things about a piano just by the way the keys were pressed. This was a curse and a blessing. In short, I am very particular about the type of keyboard I use. It can either be an eternal pleasure or a never-ending struggle. Things such as key size, travel, and layout matter a lot to me. Naturally, being a writer for various outlets since 2019 also made me appreciate a good keyboard for its speed and reliability.
Out of all the keyboards used over these years, I keep coming back to the Apple Magic Keyboard. More specifically, the Apple Magic Keyboard 2.
I got this keyboard a while back at a great discount. Given my love for aesthetics and the desktop layout that I have, I had to go with the more expensive Space Gray option. There is literally no difference between the Space Gray and the silver, except for the price. At the time, the Space Gray one was made for the pro version of the iMac, which also shipped in Space Gray, so the price tag was increased to reflect the elevated status of the keyboard. Let’s dive into my long-term experience with the Apple Magic Keyboard.
The keyboard I own comes with a number pad, which makes it longer, which for some could immediately mean that it bends. However, the body of the device is made out of metal, which makes it more sturdy and reliable. While the body of my keyboard almost looks brand new even after so many years of usage, it has only been used on my desk. There are barely any scratches or discoloration on the Magic Keyboard.
A possible concern for many users would be that over time as you use the keyboard, it will inevitably get scratched, and the Space Gray paint will come off, like with the iPhone 5. However, this simply isn’t the case with the keyboard. Where it did scratch, we just see exposed metal, and even that is barely noticeable. Most importantly, it looks as sleek as it did when I bought it.
The weight of the keyboard is comparable to that of an iPhone 14 Pro. Despite it being so lightweight, it doesn’t shift around your desk as you type, which can’t be said about every keyboard on the market. The back panel features four rubber supports, which make it stand very solidly on the desk. Add a good desk mat to your setup, and your keyboard won’t move ever. This is very useful if you are spending long hours typing or answering emails and is one of the reasons I advise avoiding the first-generation Apple keyboards.
The keys themselves are plastic and have a decent amount of travel that is perfect, sitting between the shallow Intel MacBooks and the first-generation keyboards. Being a fairly fast typer, a keyboard that has too much travel will naturally slow down my typing speed, while a keyboard with no travel will simply feel odd in my hands. The Apple keyboard managed to find the perfect sweet spot for people who like to type fast. There is just enough travel. I’ve been told I’m a loud typer. While I don’t hear it because I am listening to music, the people around me do. There is little I can do about that, as my piano experience taught me to press every key with force and passion. This puts me on the more hardcore end of keyboard users. Also, given that I type quite fast, there is a lot of force being repetitively applied to the keys. Fortunately, they have held up incredibly well. The keys are plastic, as well as the mechanism under them. However, they are made with longevity in mind, which is much welcomed by many users. I’m sure there is a way to type quietly with this keyboard, as many reviews claim it to be a very quiet keyboard, but I can’t. Even on the horrible MacBook low-travel keyboard, which was advertised as silent, I managed to disturb people around me.
There are very few requirements I generally have for the features of a keyboard. However, experience has shown me that those can be hard to implement perfectly. First of all, the keyboard is Bluetooth only and works best with macOS, of course. While you can use it with Windows and Linux, I haven’t tried it and would not recommend it either. Pairing is pretty much all you have to do to set it up. Afterward, it connects automatically via Bluetooth if you are in the vicinity of it. If you wish to turn it off, you can do so by using the only switch on it. When turned on, simply press a few keys, and it will be connected automatically to your MacBook. This seamless connectivity is something that no other keyboard manages to pull off with MacBooks. The Apple ecosystem is something I’ve come to appreciate over the years. Also worth mentioning are the layout and size of the keys.
From my experience switching between my Mac keyboard and the standalone Magic Keyboard, there is little difference in the size or layout of the keys. This improves efficiency and allows your fingers to remember where everything is so that you type even faster and can simply look at the screen while typing. While this is a skill everyone needs to learn, it is much easier to learn it if your keyboard layout does not change. Sure, there is no Touch Bar, and there is a whole numeric pad for digit inputs, but the basic layout of the letters is the same, which is all that counts. Lastly, let’s talk about battery life. As this is a Bluetooth keyboard, it must require recharging every now and then. Fortunately, the battery on this is incredibly good, and I did not notice any degradation in the capacity over three or perhaps even four years. As for how frequently I charge it, I would struggle to answer, but it's somewhere around once a month.
This is not the latest model, and there are, of course, some things I wish to see in the new Apple Magic Keyboard. First of all, a proper height adjustment. While it will decrease stability, it will be more ergonomic for users. Another one would be a Touch ID scanner, however, that has already been implemented.
What I Liked
- Seamless connectivity
- Overall feeling
What Could Be Improved
- Touch ID
- Height adjustments