Wireless Backlit Extended Keyboard
Review by Harvey Rubinstein
Edgar Matias and Steve McGowan (co-owners)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
$139. Matias & Amazon.
(Poor reviews on Amazon, generally 1½ to 3½ stars.)
Comes with a 30 day trial, money back guarantee.
1 year warranty.
Matias specializes in making keyboards, e.g., “quiet”, “Dvorak”, tactile, & one-handed etc., but they also make several accessories.
Overview & Conclusion
- Apple’s wireless extended keyboard is $129. but is not backlit, nor can it “simultaneously” connect with multiple devices.
- Apple’s wired-extended keyboard is 3/8” narrower and 1/16” shorter in depth.
- Designed for Mac (OS 10.6.8+), but works with PCs.
- Includes Numeric Keypad.
- Has 2 (non-user replaceable) lithium-ion polymer batteries, one for the keys, the other for the backlight. [So the keyboard won’t stop working even if the backlight battery is drained; a very nice feature!]
- Brightness of the backlight can be adjusted and timed. And, the backlight fades off after 30 seconds of non-use. [Another very nice feature!]
- At the brightest level, my backlight required recharging after about 60 days. But since I’m always in a lighted room, I now keep it off or at a minimum.
- The Caps Lock key stays lit while charging. [You may also notice there is a cable sticking out of the keyboard.]
- The settings are not lost when recharging.
- Uninterrupted typing time: ~533-1,600 hours.
- 10 different (language) keyboard layouts.
- Easy to pair and never drops pairing.
- Easily connects to 4 different Bluetooth devices with press of a Selector key. Settings for each device are retained. Ergo, no need for a separate switch.
- For moi, all the keyboard shortcuts formerly created on my wired Apple keyboard were retained.
- I like the touch, but then I am not a true typist. Keys are “scissors”, ergo the short 2.0 mm travel distance.
- The Keys battery needs recharging only once a year (comes with a 1 meter micro-USB to USB charging cable) and takes about 9 hours for a full charge. Can use while charging.
- Batteries are calculated/projected to last 15 years. (My projected lifetime is something less…)
- Comes in Silver, Gold, Space Gray, & Rose Gold. Keys can be either black or white (selectable at checkout).
- The backlight key replaced the Eject key, so use the ⌘+E shortcut.
- Setup instructions are clear & concise (1 page).
- Excellent tech support.
- Apple’s wireless extended keyboard is a tiny bit quieter.
- The standard one year warranty seems a bit short.
- There is no way to determine the amount of battery charge remaining. But, the brightness reduces to 20% when the battery needs charging.
- The numeric part of the keyboard works with text documents, Pages, Numbers, & Keynote. but not with Apple’s calculator. So what this portends for use with Apple’s watch or TV, I don’t know. But like many other iOS apps, the calculator probably lacks the required API.
Just as the Command key has the ⌘ symbol, I would prefer the Control, Option, and Shift keys additionally have their symbols. [FYI: I’ll so advise if anyone ever starts listening to me…]
As the shortfalls I noted are small, I give it 4½ stars.
And 1 more thing…
Matias is offering a 10% discount through 31 August 2018. In the notes field of your purchase insert: “As per Steve (Harvey from the Mac User Group)”. The 10% rebate will then be credited to your CC. This results in a net cost of $125.10.