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Old 04-24-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default New keyboard

I have been looking for a new keyboard for my iMac for months, without much success. But it got urgent this week when the Command key began to stick. And it has lots of yucky crumbs and junk in the transparent frame that I cannot figure out how to clean.

Earlier I looked at the clickety-clack Das Keyboard (in this thread). It had nonstandard Mac buttons and I am too old to learn new tricks. Fortunately, they have an excellent return policy, so back it went.

The Edge from Logitech caught my eye — it replaces the numerical keypad with a scroll thingy, which seemed logical (I rarely use the numbers there) until I remembered my aversion to scrolling that way, and the page up/down keys were cramped. And there was no regular delete key (required a two-key press) and I do a lot of deleting. And it costs more than $100. And requires special Logitech software to work, and I have never had much luck with their software. So, cute as it was, not for me.

Finally, I web-searched for keyboard + mac and found the new Apple ultra-thin aluminum keyboard. The more I saw, the more I liked, so I ordered one (USB — I am about fed up with battery battles, and the keyboard, once attached, just sits there); it arrived yesterday.

It has the smallest surface area I have ever seen on a keyboard, with just enough room for well-sized and decently spaced keys plus a narrow rim. The keys appear to have silk-screened labels; have to see if the labels wear off with use. Right now they are lovely.

Might not suit Function-key addicts — it arrives with many of the keys assigned to particular functions. (They can be customized with Keyboard or Keyboard Shortcuts prefs, however.) I do not have strong opinions either way so will see if I care.

At first I kept hitting the Caps Lock inadvertently — the gap is the same as between other keys, which may not be such a good idea. (I had a little problem with that on the original iMac keyboard as well, with a wider gap.) But I haven’t been having that problem today, so perhaps I have adapted.

It has a marvelous touch, and a tiny clickety-clack sound — enough to give me a feeling of satisfaction but not enough to be really noisy. Extremely low profile — I wondered if I would need an extra prop in back to give it more tilt, but it seems fine (24 hours later; I could change my mind about that).

All this for $50. Newer keyboards from Apple omit the numerical-keypad, btw. Or offer them only by special order.

   
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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I have a couple of those for use with my Mac Minis. Superb minimalist design.

   
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
Newer keyboards from Apple omit the numerical-keypad, btw. Or offer them only by special order.
My iMac came with one of the smaller aluminum keyboards, which has the same layout as a laptop keyboard. As you said, I would have had to special order to get one of the larger ones. I like the feel more than I expected to, and I miss the Home-End-Page-Up-Page-Down quartet and Forward Delete more than the numeric keypad. I have to hold down the Fn key along with the arrows and Delete to get the missing keys. What I do like is not having to reach so far for the mouse and being able to hit the Delete key without letting go of the mouse. So far, I haven't been tempted to switch to one of my leftover PC keyboards.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
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KT: But it got urgent this week when the Command key began to stick. And it has lots of yucky crumbs and junk in the transparent frame that I cannot figure out how to clean.
Taking out the keys doesn't get it clean enough for you?

   
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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Taking out the keys doesn't get it clean enough for you?
It might fix the sticking key but I have never found a way to get the yucky stuff out of the aquarium-like bottom of the thing. A narrow-mouthed vacuum doesn’t get all of it. Holding the thing upside-down and abusing it doesn’t either.

I have read of people putting them in the dishwasher, and I might try that some time (I now have three of the ugly ones and could risk it on one of them).

   
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Interesting: it has a Delete key, but no Backspace key (that I can find); my MacBook has the opposite which I find annoying: even my compact PC keyboard has both, as it should.

   
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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Interesting: it has a Delete key, but no Backspace key (that I can find); my MacBook has the opposite which I find annoying: even my compact PC keyboard has both, as it should.
The key labeled “delete” at top right is, essentially, the backspace key. That is, it deletes text from right to left. The one labeled “delete X” with a right-thrusting arrow deletes forward.

If you want to the move the cursor forward or backwards without erasing anything, use the arrow keys next to the numerical keypad.

What else would you need? I must be missing something.

   
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:31 AM   #8
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KT: I have read of people putting them in the dishwasher, and I might try that some time (I now have three of the ugly ones and could risk it on one of them).
That's what I've been told you can do. I've managed to kill the keyboards before needing to test the dishwasher method. This current one isn't dirty underneath the white plastic layer yet, so I've only taken off the keys to clean it.

   
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cristen Gillespie View Post
That's what I've been told you can do. I've managed to kill the keyboards before needing to test the dishwasher method. This current one isn't dirty underneath the white plastic layer yet, so I've only taken off the keys to clean it.
If I do it, I shall report on the results.

   
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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The key labeled “delete” at top right is, essentially, the backspace key. That is, it deletes text from right to left.
So it's mis-labeled: "Delete" is not the same thing as "Backspace"! On my MacBook at least that key is correctly labeled with a back-arrow.

Quote:
The one labeled “delete X” with a right-thrusting arrow deletes forward.
I see no such key on your keyboard! Nor on mine, for that matter: they only keys with a forward-pointing arrow on it is the arrow-right cursor key and the TAB key.

Quote:
What else would you need? I must be missing something.
A bloody delete key! Needing two keystrokes just to delete one character drives me nuts at times. Then I begin to get used to it - and find myself using two keystrokes where one would suffice on one of my PC keyboards. Most keyboard-layout differences I get used to (using 5, on and off), but this one keeps bugging me.

   
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