Apple’s Mac laptops and desktops have long been the become-to option for creative professionals and tech enthusiasts who value style and simplicity over all else. But while Apple continues to push button the envelope with its PC hardware (and how much people are willing to spend on it), the company’south Magic Keyboard doesn’t savor the aforementioned corporeality of innovation, with its overall look and function remaining nigh unchanged for years. For tighter integration with M1-powered desktops like the Mac Studio and the 24-inch iMac, Apple tree offers an updated full-size Magic Keyboard (starts at $179; $199 as tested), adding Touch ID to the roster of features constitute on its full-size keyboard. Other than this addition, it’s virtually the aforementioned every bit it has ever been, which might delight Apple enthusiasts simply doesn’t make it compelling for anyone else.
Where’s the Magic for All This Money?
If there’s one thing that Apple nails across every device in its product line, information technology’s the overall await and design. The bespoke, high-quality wait and experience of the Magic Keyboard remains in this latest refresh. The full-size keyboard’s height, width, and depth (0.4 by 16.4 by 4.5 inches) remain identical to that of the older keyboard, though it manages to lose some weight, clocking in at 0.81 pound, which is a fraction of an ounce lighter than the older full-size model.
(Photo: Zackery Cuevas)
It also weighs less than our favorite Magic Keyboard alternative, the Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard, which is already light as a feather.
Longtime Mac users volition too discover the new color scheme. The black-on-metal of our review unit was previously available just with the purchase of the Mac Pro tower, though it’s finally available for individual purchase. Bizarrely, getting the black keys will price you $20 more than, bringing the full up to a staggering $199 from the already high $179 for the white-primal variant. Both key-color options are matched with a silverish body.
If you’d prefer a more compact keyboard, the threescore% version is available at $150 and as well features Touch ID. The smaller lath lacks a number pad. Both the full-size and the numpad-less versions are also bachelor in seven different colour schemes to lucifer the colorful 24-inch iMacs, but simply if yous’re also buying an iMac. Otherwise, standalone purchases of the $150 keyboard are bachelor in silver but, with non fifty-fifty an option for the black keys offered on the standalone total-size model.
(Photo: Zackery Cuevas)
The latest full-size Magic Keyboard keeps the trademark slope from front to back, but because of its sparse body, it also keeps the keyboard’s trademark shallow key travel, which is a pain for heavy-handed typists or those who simply type all mean solar day. Comfort-wise, it doesn’t hold a candle to general-use ergonomic keyboard options, like the Logitech Ergo K860 or the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard. Both of these boards characteristic far superior back up for your fingers and wrist during long typing sessions.
Still, the Magic Keyboard can go on to get away with its less-than-ideal tactile operation in office because a majority of the creative types that use Macs—like video editors and graphic designers—are probably not typing for long periods of time and likely value a lite and meaty keyboard that’s easy on the eyes. If that’s not you, still, you’ll find a number of Mac-uniform mechanical keyboards that offer a far superior typing feel.
(Photo: Zackery Cuevas)
If you’ve used a Magic Keyboard earlier, you’ll discover some features familiar. The wireless keyboard is outfitted with a long-lasting battery that promises a full calendar month of power in between charges. It automatically syncs with your Mac, and it includes a woven USB-C-to-Lightning Cable,
for charging and wired utilise—no wireless pairing necessary.
Keyboard customization is accomplished using the Arrangement Preferences app, and it’s pretty basic. Users can create shortcuts, modify keys, and monitor bombardment levels, as well as conform how often a key repeats and the filibuster times between each repeat. Just there’s goose egg here you haven’t seen on a previous iMac or Mac laptop before.
Impact ID Arrives on the Mac
But what of the newest characteristic: Touch ID? Well, if you’ve used Bear upon ID on your iPhone or iPad, you can expect the same thing hither. The Touch ID sensor takes the identify of the defunct squirt push on the previous Magic Keyboard.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
Setting up the Touch ID characteristic is like to how it’s done on other devices. Yous pick your favorite finger (in this case, my pointer), and you place and elevator your fingertip onto the Touch ID scanner multiple times, assuasive your fingerprint to be completely scanned. The whole process takes barely a minute and is pretty foolproof.
The sensor sends encrypted fingerprint data to the M1 chip, which uses it to unlock your Mac, apply Apple Pay, authorize downloads from the iTunes Store, App Store, or Apple Books, and autofill passwords. You can fifty-fifty use the Affect ID sensor to quickly switch users, a prissy feature if you’re using your Mac as the designated family unit computer. You tin can save up to three fingerprints at one time.
Overall, the addition of Impact ID is a bang-up manner to improve security and privacy options, and it works extremely well. Of course, the addition of biometrics to whatever device is a sure-burn way to draw the ire of consumers wary of giving more information to big companies, so the feature is optional. Pressing the Touch ID button without a fingerprint stored volition simply lock your computer.
(Photo: Zackery Cuevas)
With all that being said, one important caveat potential buyers must consider is if the keyboard is fifty-fifty compatible with their organisation. The keyboard requires the latest Apple tree silicon (i.e. the M1 chip or its variants), so if you don’t have an M1-powered iMac or Mac laptop, y’all can forget about making use of Bear on ID. The keyboard volition yet work (even with a Windows PC, then long as it has a USB-C port), merely without Touch ID. And if that’south the case, you’re better off either using a keyboard you lot’ve already got lying effectually, or picking up the previous version of the Magic Keyboard, which Apple tree all the same sells starting at $99.
Expensive, for an Crumbling Pattern
All in all, the full-size Magic Keyboard with Bear on ID is not a step forward or backward for Apple peripherals. It instead embodies the historic period-onetime mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The add-on of Touch ID is a welcome change, but the problems that plague the keyboard—namely its shallow key travel—still provide a less-than-ideal typing experience.
When you factor in an about-$200 price for the black version, it’due south easy to pass on the total-size Magic Keyboard, even if y’all’re the most dice-hard Apple junkie. You’re better off using the keyboard you already take, or looking into wireless alternatives like the Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Keyboard or the Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard.
Apple Magic Keyboard With Bear upon ID
The Bottom Line
The latest Magic Keyboard is a stylish companion for your M1-based Mac, merely improvements amount to Bear upon ID and trivial else, making the $179-to-$199 asking toll hard to consume.
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