Mini review of Apple's new bluetooth keyboard - ehMac.ca
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 06:06 PM   #1
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Mini review of Apple's new bluetooth keyboard

After a long wait, my new bluetooth keyboard arrived yesterday...just in time for me to start banging out a report for a Friday deadline.

So after burning the midnight oil last night and again today with my new purchase, I have a few thoughts.

First, it takes some getting used to having such a small keyboard. But not for the reasons you might think. The letter keys themselves are fine. As is the smaller space bar. No...my problem stemmed from no longer having that extra Return key at the far-right (the one located with the number pad on a full-sized keyboard). It's going to require some deprogramming on my part. I hadn't realized I used it until...thunk...thunk...it wasn't there anymore.

Same goes for the option key, which I use a lot when working in Pages. On the new BT product, it's located a bit closer to the spacebar than on the old Keyboard Pro. As a result, I often end up hitting the control key by mistake. I'm curious if anyone knows a workaround to this so that I can reprogram those two pesky keys.

Some folks have made a big deal about the loss of the mini Apple logo on the command key. Meh! I'll live with it. And unlike the previous BT offering, this product finally has a power button located on the side of the unit. So no more wasting battery juice.

The new buttons that have been piggybacked onto the F1-12 keys are really handy. It's great to be able to control my iTunes listening habits without having to pull away from the keyboard. I would have preferred that Apple had featured the "clear to desktop" exposé feature for the pre-loaded F3 function, but it was pretty easy to add it as F5 using System Preferences. Just remember that you have to run the software update before it will install the files you need to make these new key functions work.

The keyboard comes equipped with batteries, which is a rather nice touch. But since it takes an odd number (three) that may mean that I'm always going to be stuck with one extra when I crack open a new pack of batteries. Not a big complaint, really.

Now for the really important part of my review...performance. As a writer-by-trade, I'm really fussy about keyboards--it's my number-one business tool. Little things, like angle and key action matter a lot to me. So I am pleased to report that this thing is smoking fast. For those of you who are using a MacBook, you're already familiar with this (and my the way, this keyboard has the same dimensions as its notebook counterpart).

Overall, I'm very happy with the new keyboard. The folks at Apple clearly did their homework with this one and designed a model that different from the run-of-the-mill products out there, creating something compact, fast, and pretty snazzy looking, too.
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 06:41 PM   #2
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Hey pg

Thanks for taking the time to put this together - I am also a writer and this is the information I needed.

Have a great weekend!
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 06:52 PM   #3
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PG

Did you order your's from the Apple Store? I ordered one last weekend and I'm still being told that it will ship by Oct 16th.

RE: batteries. Get some NIMH. Buy 7. Charge 4, put 3 in. Charge 2 more and wait for the first 3 to die. Insert charged 3, and re-charge the 3 that you took out plus 1 new one. Repeat. Easy. Ya, I know, can't buy only 7. And why'd they come up with 3. It's hard to charge 3 as you normally have to do them in pairs I think. What size of batteries does it use?

Any idea of what the impact to the battery life is if you don't turn the keyboard off? What if the Mac shuts down, does the keyboard know to do so?
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atroz View Post
Did you order your's from the Apple Store? I ordered one last weekend and I'm still being told that it will ship by Oct 16th.
I ordered mine from the Apple Store around mid-August, and was advised at the time that it wouldn't ship until Sept 20. So they were right on schedule.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Atroz View Post
RE: batteries. Get some NIMH. Buy 7. Charge 4, put 3 in. Charge 2 more and wait for the first 3 to die. Insert charged 3, and re-charge the 3 that you took out plus 1 new one. Repeat. Easy. Ya, I know, can't buy only 7. And why'd they come up with 3. It's hard to charge 3 as you normally have to do them in pairs I think. What size of batteries does it use?
Standard AAs. I think I'll just grab a bunch of rechargeables at some point. As for battery life, if it's anything like the previous BT model, then it's reasonable to expect about 3-4 months...and that's with heavy use on a daily basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atroz View Post
Any idea of what the impact to the battery life is if you don't turn the keyboard off? What if the Mac shuts down, does the keyboard know to do so?
From my experience with the BT mouse, your battery life is extended significantly by turning off these peripherals when they're not in use. But then you also have to remember to turn them back on when you reboot otherwise you get the dreaded "lost connection" alert.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:16 AM   #5
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Ok, I really want one of those for my iMac, but my wife won't accept something without a number pad. And I don't like the keyboard that came with the iMac (feels like I have to mash the keys) so the old Bluetooth one (that is selling for really cheap now) is not an option. Is there another BT keyboard that offers a light feel, and has a number pad? Or can I get the Apple one and then a separate BT number pad (I'm dreaming?).

BTW, I tried one of the new wired ones in the Apple store, and it was dreamy.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 09:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Is there another BT keyboard that offers a light feel, and has a number pad? Or can I get the Apple one and then a separate BT number pad (I'm dreaming?).
Not a dream. get the Apple wireless, and then grab a separate number pad, like this one:


http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/no...pads/&cl=au,en
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 09:08 AM   #7
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According to Apple.ca:

Quote:
The keyboard automatically powers down when you're not using it and turns on instantly as soon as you start typing. This intelligent power management means you'll get up to nine months of battery life based on average usage patterns. It also has an on/off switch for when you're away from your computer for a long time.
Any thoughts - does the keyboard actually seem to do this? Nine months seems like a pretty optimistic claim for some reason.

I would like to get one for my MacBook, but paying $80 to get the same keyboard I already have seems just a little silly... heh.
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