Apple’s new Magic Keyboard

The new Apple Magic Keyboard is a fantastic update to an old keyboard that has needed an update for years. The new version gets a few important upgrades that make it worth the $99 price tag. Is it Magic? No. Should you buy one over a Logitech keyboard? Depends.

Apple announced the new Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad and updated Magic Mouse yesterday along with its new 4K iMacs. Why they named it “Magic” I have no idea. It isn’t like they invented something new here. Its just a keyboard. I am going to review it though because I love keyboards (I own more than I should probably admit.)

The new Magic Keyboard looks similar to the old wireless keyboard. It has white keys on a stainless bottom frame. The font on the keyboard has changed slightly to the new San Fransisco font that Apple has infused into all of its new operating systems: El Capitan and iOS 9. The fonts are generally thought to be more legible. The keyboard no longer has a big gap under it — rather it sits flush to the surface underneath it. This makes the keyboard feel more solid. It also makes the keyboard work better on your lap or surfaces that aren’t totally flat. The keyboard feels a little smaller than the previous model too. While the keys are roughly the same size and spacing between the keys feels the same, the overall keyboard is more compact.

The keys use the new scissor action that was introduced in the new Macbook. I own the Macbook it is my daily driver and I love the keyboard action on it. It probably comes as no surprise that I’m also fan of the new Magic Keyboard. Its action feels similar to the Macbook. It has a little more travel but otherwise feels the same. Typing on this keyboard is easy and accurate. It only took a few minutes to warm up to it. If you’ve ever used an Apple keyboard you’ll feel right at home.

The Magic Keyboard has two new features that make it much better than the previous model. First it has a physical on/off toggle switch. This is so important for me. I like to drop my keyboard into my backpack and on my old Apple Wireless keyboard (the one without the switch) it would turn on from a button press while it was in my backpack. Then as the keys were depressed from moving around it would start playing music on my iPad. So I’d be walking around and suddenly a movie or a song starts playing from my backpack. I would need to disable the bluetooth on my iPad to get around this annoying problem. With the Magic Keyboard the problem is gone because you can toggle the switch to off and it will stay off. I don’t know how Apple allowed the original keyboard to be in the wild for long without fixing this problem.

The other important new feature on this keyboard is that it has an internal rechargeable battery. The keyboard comes with a standard lightning cable to charge it. I tried hooking it up to my computer and it started charging immediately. The keyboard is supposed to work for a month on a single charge. It also gives you 9 hours of use after 1 minute of charging. With stats like that you won’t need to recharge it very much. I’m a fan of devices that use USB charging because I can plug them into my solar powered battery for a sunlight powered computing experience. (The solar panel is called the Solartab and it is awesome.)

I’m a fan of all things Apple so take this review with a grain of salt. Would I recommend this keyboard to others? Yes. Would I recommend it to a road warrior who has multiple devices and wants to get things done? No. The Magic Keyboard doesn’t easily switch between multiple devices. You pair it to one and it stays paired to that device. The Logitech on the other hand has a button to swap between devices.

If you are into esthetics then you will love the look and the feel of this keyboard. It is without a doubt the slickest looking keyboard I’ve ever used. I’ll be keeping mine and maybe even buying a few more for the office.

If you want to buy the keyboard head over to this page on Apple’s website.

By joshkerr

Josh is an 8x startup founder and angel investor.

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