After looking high and low, a wonderful commenter, George Canellis, put me on to the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard. Thank you, George. Finally, after collecting a chest full of keyboards full of broken promise, this keyboard delivers.
And I cannot tell you how long I’ve been looking for this keyboard. Apple, stubbornly, stupidly, will not make a wireless keyboard with a numeric keypad. Why? Because they are stupid, stupid people. But I digress.
If I had to guess, Matias found the company that makes Apple’s keyboards, because it feels and looks like an Apple keyboard. The aluminum is the same grade of aluminum as an Apple keyboard. Even the bottom is the same white lucite-like plastic.
It also has has the exact same keyboard layout as the Apple Wireless keyboard, and most the same layout as the Apple USB keyboard. Physically, the Matias keyboard really apes the physicality of the Apple USB keyboard—the USB port block propping up the Apple keyboard is instead a housing for a massive battery. That’s a great thing. No worries about remapping keys, and your muscle memory will transfer to this keyboard without any thought.
It has a rechargeable battery that lasts… wait for it… a whole FREAK’N YEAR! The base that angles the keyboard up seems to be all battery. Sure Apple could have put in a bigger battery in their Magic Keyboard, but why would Apple bother to do anything you might find useful, like spend $0.50 more and put in a larger rechargeable battery in their devices. They’re busy putting out un-ornamented Christmas trees, expensive picture books for overgrown children, and not updating Macs. These are busy people.
The keyboard action and feel is very Apple-like, however, it is a touch stiffer than Apple’s Magic Keyboard. This may soften a bit with use, but be prepared to use a touch more force to hit the keys. But it’s really not bad at all. It’s about the same stiffness as the keyboards you might find in a 2011 MacBook Pro, so well within Apple-ish thresholds.
The keyboard also seems to instantly connect to the Mac as soon as you touch any of its keys. Many bluetooth keyboards, when they go to sleep to save battery life, become unresponsive with the first few keys you depress. Such keyboards, in effect, don’t register your first few key presses as they wake. The Microsoft Surface keyboards suffer from this. Other keyboards will take a while to wake, but will buffer your key presses and still eventually unleash what you typed—a lesser evil. But Apple’s keyboards suffer no such delays, and happily, neither does this Matias.
Matias also offers the keyboard in different colors including: aluminum with white keys, a nice space grey with black keys, and aping Apple’s garish poor taste, in gold and rose gold (i.e., Hello Kitty® pink) as well.
A little bit more on feel. First, the keys have a more matte and/or course feel to them than the smooth Apple keys on its keyboards. In addition, as you type, there is a soft reverb that goes through the keyboard, I mean really really soft. I’ve had some people test it and not felt what I feel. This seems to be an effect of the keyboard sitting atop 4 nice rubber feet. Depending on how sensitive your soul is, you might think this is a good thing, meh who cares thing, or bad thing—I personally fall into the ‘meh’ camp.
Also, this keyboard is a little taller than the current Magic Keyboard, and about the same height as the previous Apple Wireless Keyboard. Depending on which generation of Apple Keyboard you liked, this may be a good or a bad thing, but I’ve personally grown to like the lower placement of Apple’s new Magic Keyboard.
The height is not the ‘meh’ thing, but rather, the Magic Touchpad now doesn’t perfectly line up with the keyboard. That said, it still looks decently at home next to this Matias keyboard. But if Matias were to update the look of this keyboard to better ape the new Magic Keyboard dimensions, they would get another sale from me, no doubt.
You can see the Matias Keyboard behind the Magic Touchpad in the distant left of the photo, and its about the same height as the old Apple Wireless keyboard to its right.
Next: More Meh, a Tiny Quibble, and My Conclusions