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Apple Wired Keyboard (with numerical keypad and usb ports)
I have had this keyboard for as long as I have had my apple mac, which is nearly three years I think and I use this keyboard literally everyday! This keyboard came with our apple mac and at the time you could pay a bit more a get the wireless version of this but we decided to just have this one as MACs are not cheap.
- Main features, specifications and Apple’s description
Some of the main features of the keyboard includes: the numerical keypad, which most larger pc/mac keyboards have, Volume increase/decrease/mute buttons, play/stop/pause/fast forward/rewind buttons, Eject CD/dvd button and some individual keys which perform specific tasks on a mac. There are all of the normal buttons on the keyboard which you would expect on a normal pc keyboard and some additional ones. The length of the keyboard is approximately 43.5cm or 13.5inches. The width of the keyboard is approximately 12cm or 5inches. And the keyboard is more raised on one side than the other so the maximum depth of the keyboard when it is on a flat surface is about 1cm and the minimum depth is a couple of millimeters.
“The Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad features an extended layout; an elegant, ultrathin anodized aluminum enclosure; low-profile keys; and two USB 2.0 ports.” Apple uk site.
- Using the keyboard
This keyboard is really quite different in my opinion to a normal pc keyboard as firstly some of the buttons are in different places when compared to other keyboards. For example the ‘@’ button is located differently on the apple keyboard/pc keyboards and also the buttons themselves are not as raised as other keyboards. The buttons only stand out from the keyboard by about 2/3mm (low profile keys) - unlike all PC keyboards I have used where the buttons are really quite big and they really stand out from the keyboard a lot more than these apple buttons do. The buttons in my opinion are a lot quicker and easier to press down than a normal/pc keyboard probably because they are low on the keyboard and also the buttons do not put up any resistance when pressing them - you don’t have to press down a lot on the buttons with this keyboard. The letter buttons are of a similar size to the buttons my Acer notebook which are about 1.5cm by 1.5cm. One thing that I don’t like about the layout of this keyboard is that there is the separate number keypad on the far right of the keyboard but there is also a set of numbers from 0 to 9 above the letter section - I don’t see why there needs to be two sets of numbers on one keyboard. One other thing that I do not like about this keyboard is that the caps lock button can get stuck/become really quite unresponsive and some times I have to press the button a number of times for it to work - although I have had this same keyboard now for about three years. One thing I would have liked this keyboard to have is a actual print screen/screen grab button as you have to press three buttons together to get a print screen whereas a pc/normal keyboard has a separate button for this task (with the apple keyboard you have to press the apple key, shift and 3 to get a print screen). I really like the volume control buttons on this keyboard as they are really quite handy and conveniently placed so that you can control the volume really quickly and easily - this is the same for the brightness, play/rewind/fast forward/pause and stop buttons and the eject button. Although the eject cd/dvd button is handy I sometimes find that it does not work and then I have to use the mouse to eject the disk - which really does not take long at all but the button should actually work. Overall I like this keyboard with my mac, it works well on the whole but there are some flaws such as the unresponsiveness of a couple of the buttons.
- USB ports
There are two 2.0 USB ports on either side of this keyboard, which is a feature I personally have not seen on any other keyboard other than the apple keyboards. The two usb ports are so useful as my mac only has thee usb ports in the back of the screen (two of them are in use all of the time as the keyboard and mouse are connected to the mac via these usb ports at the back). The two usb ports are very handy in my opinion as I use them to connect my memory sticks to my mac, to connect my SD card reader to my mac and my printer connects to my mac via these keyboard usb ports too. So overall they are very convenient and a great addition to this keyboard. They are fantastic, although they do have some flaws, as sometimes I get a message on my mac saying that the keyboard usb ports do not have the capabilities to connect my memory stick to my mac. Also the usb ports can be a little bit sensitive - by this I mean that if I have my SD card reader in one of the usb ports the mac can sometimes drop the connection between the usb port and the mac.
Overall I really like this keyboard as it is easy to use - due to the low set buttons. The two usb ports on either side of the keyboard are very useful and convenient. There are specific apple keys on this key board which have specific functions for an apple mac, so you can’t really plug this in to another pc that is not a mac because of these apple buttons. The keyboard is really quite durable as I have had this one for about three years and it is still just as good - although a couple of buttons have become less responsive over the years, as you would expect. The keyboard is really easy to clean, I just get a cotton pad and put a very small amount of nail polish remover on it and wipe it gently over the keyboard and it gets rid of all of the marks/dust etc without damaging the keyboard. The positive points about this keyboard out weight the negatives in my opinion. Although the occasional unresponsiveness of the usb ports/a couple of the buttons and the price are fairly large negative points against this product - these two points are the reason for the loss of two stars.
- Price and availability
The price of this product is really quite high for a keyboard in my opinion - and it is the cheapest of the two apple keyboards available! This product came with our mac and it can be bought from an apple store or the apple uk online store for £40. And the apple wireless keyboard is available from the same sources and is priced at £57!
Easy to use due to the low set buttons
Easy to clean and it is easy to store if you wanted to as it is thin and it is not heavy either
Two USB ports on either side of the keyboard are really handy and conveniently located
Connects to my mac via a usb port/cable but you can get a wireless version of this keyboard
Handy short cut buttons, eg: play, pause, fast forward, rewind, mute, volume increase/decrease, eject, brightness increase/decrease buttons
Some buttons can become unresponsive over time, such as the eject button and the caps lock button
Price! It is £40 for this wired version and £57 for the wireless version
Wired version takes up one usb slot that could be used for other things