Apple Intros USB Keyboard Sans Numeric Keypad

| Product News

Apple Unveiled a USB-based version of its low-profile aluminum keyboard without a numeric keypad on Tuesday. Like its full-sized keyboard cousin, the new Apple Keyboard includes two built-in USB 2.0 ports, specialized function keys for adjusting volume and display brightness, ejecting CDs, and accessing Expose and Dashboard.

Apple Keyboard without numeric keypad.

The new USB Apple Keyboard is priced at US$49 -- the same price as the Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad -- and is shipping now.

[Thanks to Twitter follower Rob Hansen for the heads up.]

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21 Comments Leave Your Own

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Dear Apple,

Please create a Bluetooth keyboard with built-in multi-touch glass trackpad.

Signed,

Everyone who has a Mac Mini anchoring their living room.

davebarnes

I think it makes a lot of sense.
I have a big fat Microsoft Natural Keyboard and I never use any of the keys to right of the Enter key.

With one exception. The [forward] delete key. I like having both back and forward delete keys.

That said, most people won’t notice and it enables Apple to lower the cost.

Lee Dronick

I use the numeric keypad a bit, but I could get used to working without. My wife is back in college and uses the numeric keypad a lot for her math and science courses, so for her I would by the optional keyboard, or just swap with an older one (an older keyboard, not an older wife).

Mice, that is different story; I wish Apple would introduce a new one that doesn’t gum up so easily or that could be more easily cleaned.

FixedOn66

Okay. So now how about a Bluetooth version WITH the numeric keypad for those of us accounting types that aren’t so boring… ie. we use Macs not Windows.

geoduck

[quoteI wish Apple would introduce a new one that doesn?t gum up so easily or that could be more easily cleaned.[/quote
Yes, something about 3 inches across and perfectly round. Kinda…I don’t know, puck-like maybe?

LOL

Lee Dronick

Geoduck, that hockey puck mouse was one of the worst designed things Apple ever sold. The MightyMouse has a dirt collection problem, but it is far better than that horrid puck.

I mentioned a redesign of the MightyMouse because over the last few days I have been shopping for a replacement. Can anyone here recommend one? A wired mouse is fine, Wired is not, I use a mouse for graphics work.

geoduck

[quotethat hockey puck mouse was one of the worst designed things Apple ever sold. The MightyMouse has a dirt collection problem, but it is far better than that horrid puck.

I agree it was terrible. I liked that it was large enough for full sized hands like mine, but it was always pointing the wrong way when I went to use it.

All kidding aside, Apple designs wonderful things, except for mice. They stayed with one button mice way too long, (the OS supported two button mice years before Apple made and sold one), they had the puck, now the Mighty Mouse with no good way to clean it. It seems like they have a blind spot when it comes to designing mice. I LOVE Apple products, but for over a decade now I have immediately replaced the mouse that came with whatever Mac I’ve been setting up, with something from Macally, or MS, or somewhere. Right now our G4 tower is using a little red and black mouse we got at ShopKo. It’s simple, inexpensive, has worked great for several years. The Mighty Mouse feels small and the roller is uncomfortably tiny, not to mention the dirt build up problem.

It just strikes me as strange that Apple would have so much trouble with something that should be fairly simple and that they pioneered.

vasic

Sir Harry,

The new keyboard is just added to the existing line of optional keybaoards. You can now buy a full keyboard, or a compact keyboard, or a compact wireless (bluetooth) keyboard. The wired models are same price. Just make your choice.

xmattingly

*/ So now how about a Bluetooth version WITH the numeric keypad for those of us accounting types that aren?t so boring /*

Couldn’t agree with you more about this, Fixed66. yet again, Apple regresses into fashion over function territory. I’m sorry, but this addition is just plain dumb. The older models HAD a full sized Bluetooth keyboard; what on earth is Apple thinking?

vasic

XMattingly;

you seem confused; Apple didn’t release a bluetooth keyboard; the new compact model is a wired one. Nothing has changed with respect to current offerings of bluetooth.

The only change is a choice: if you want wired, you can now freely choose between full and compact model. Do we have an issue with this concept?

xmattingly

vasic:

You seem to take pleasure in being a condescending jerk.

I was referring to the previous style keyboards that Apple sold - the clear plastic “deep dish” tray w/ white keys. Wired and wireless models for that design were both full sized - since Apple seems insistent that few people have a need for a numeric keypad, forward delete, full sized arrow keys, etc. these latest offerings are definitely a step backward.

So “choice” is the operative word regarding wired/wireless, as long as you’re happy with a truncated keyboard.

vasic

XMattingly:

Condescending? Jerk? How? Where?

Your comment (“this addition is just plain dumb”) was clearly referring to the new keyboard, which is not bluetooth; it is wired. And when we look at their wired offerings, there STILL is a full-sized wired keyboard, complete with 15 function keys, insert/delete/home/end/pageup/down combo, as well as numeric keypad. In other words, people can CHOOSE between a compact and a full wired keyboard.

The old, plastic bluetooth keyboard (“deep dish”, as you refer to it) has been discontinued for over a year and a half ago. How could we possibly guess you were referring to that one??

I have no doubt there are many people who would love to have a full-size bluetooth keyboard. Apple stopped selling those in 2007. Today’s offering did nothing to address that. However, it did address an issue many had with scarce desktop (or server rack) space, which is good. Perhaps Apple could complete their offerings by putting a bluetooth radio in their full-size model?

xmattingly

*/ Perhaps Apple could complete their offerings by putting a bluetooth radio in their full-size model? /*

That’s exactly the point. A full sized bluetooth should have been offered from the get-go for the flat keys design. With the truncated bluetooth, you pay exactly the same price as you would have paid for the older style. LESS functionality for the same price? That’s bass-ackwards.

Kat

“With one exception. The [forward] delete key. I like having both back and forward delete keys.”

Fn + delete does this on my Macbook, I’m assuming it will be the same on this keyboard (which looks like it has the function key).

iJack

FixedOn66 - I’m with you, brother.  Can’t live without a keypad, and can’t go back to wires.

Sir Harry - Logitech MX Revolution.  Lots O’buttons (and configurations), feels good in the hand, and it recharges in it’s own little base.  It rawks!

Dio Gratia

As a lefty I’m all in favor of separate keypads and maybe Apple could offer one for those feeling the need?

How about a back lighted version of the keyboard, seeing as how you’re not tied to those AAA batteries?

cramar

I’m typing this on the old white deep-dish BT keyboard. The functionality is perfect since I use the right delete/home/end/page up-dn/enter keys all the time. And it uses bigger AA batteries. I use rechargeable alkalines, and leave the KB on all week. The batteries last for many months. Apple does not have a modern BT KB this functional.

As for mouse, I use a Logitech trackball that has NEVER needed maintenance plus BT Might Mouse which gums up often.

Apple needs to get serious about KBs and mice and bring them up to the standards everyone expects.

bweels

I bought the wireless version a few months ago and gave up on it - I use numbers way too much and the numeric keypad is so much easier to use. I love the feel of these keyboards, so I wouldn’t change anything on them. I just wish they’d sell a BT full keyboard model. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t. Sometimes I think Apple, in its occasional arrogant moments, decides to push a new paradigm on the public that the public can’t accept. I NEED a full keyboard, it’d be NICE if it was wireless.

Actually, what I’d REALLY like is a separate BT numeric keypad that I could locate to the left of the keyboard. I do a lot of CAD work that involves going back and forth from numeric input to mouse. That means constantly taking my hand off the mouse. If I could input numbers with my left hand, I could leave my right hand on the mouse and work much faster and with less arm strain. A matching BT numeric keypad would also be a nice accessory for those with notebooks who find an occasional need for one. (Yes, I know they’re available, but they all look pretty clunky.)

And yes, Apple’s mice suck. All of them. Ever.

saintlouisranger

A full keyboard is just that, FULL. I want and need all sixteen function keys, dedicated help, forward delete, home, end, page up, page down, all three sound control keys and a FULL numeric keypad. I have been selling Macs, for a living, for over 25 years and you would not believe how many people want a numeric keypad on the MacBook Pro 17 inch. So, why would Apple think it was a good idea to cripple the most popular consumer desktop, the iMac with this abomination? The ‘shave tail’ wireless keyboard has been an option for some time - if a customer wants small and compact, then, make the wired ?shorty? version optional as well. Is it worth alienating Apple’s customer/fan base just to save a buck or two? I think not.

vasic

Apple hasn’t crippled the iMac with anything. When you buy an iMac (for example, at the Apple store), you have a choice of 8 keyboards (English, Spanish, French and Japanese, full or compact); in other words, you get a keyboard of your choice. Nobody is forcing you to choose compact. The list on the ordering page isn’t even a flip—down box (which initially only shows the default selection); it is a list with radio boxes. The selected option is English Compact, but it is obvious that you can chose any other, including four more choices of wireless, for additional $30. When ordering Mac Pro, the default selection is the English Full keyboard, but choices are identical.

I just can’t understand why so many people claim that the iMac is now somehow worse off as a consequence of the introduction of the wired compact keyboard. This surely is an Apple forum, for nowhere else would an introduction of a USB keyboard result in such vocal and emotional debate…

xmattingly

Pfft right, eight choices. Who are you trying to convince that a foreign language keyboard amounts to “more choice”?

Unless you specifically tell Apple, “I WANT YOU TO SUBSTITUTE THE DEFAULT HALF-BOARD FOR A REGULAR ONE”, it should just be assumed that you wanted the small one in the first place, even if you’re not aware that’s what is in the box. Obviously you haven’t put any thought into how this transaction works in retail stores.

The reason why people are so vocal is because it’s a pointless move on Apple’s part. We are talking about a WIRED input device, which means something that will be used on a desk where the vast majority of people do not have a need to save 4” of horizontal space. My best guess is that since they’ve lowered the price of iMacs, they’re using this as a chintzy way to save on material costs. Let’s see Apple come out with a full sized Bluetooth keyboard (and at the same price as the little guy!). And also quit trying to cram this one-size-fits-all keyboard layout across THEIR ENTIRE PRODUCT LINE down everyone’s throat. Then we’ll talk about choice.

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