Finest Mac Keyboards for 2022

Apple’s Magic Keyboard is compact and stylish, nevertheless it’s removed from the one worthy keyboard choice for Mac customers. Whether or not you write all day, play fast-paced video games, want higher ergonomics, or desire the cacophonous consolation of mechanical keys, there are many nice Mac keyboards on the market. That mentioned, not each keyboard works completely with Macs, so let’s speak about what you have to know earlier than selecting a brand new one.

Why You Want a Mac-Pleasant Keyboard

Technically, you should use any keyboard together with your Mac. Plug it in (presumably with the assistance of a USB-A-to-USB-C adapter) or pair it over Bluetooth, and its primary typing features will work simply as nicely. That mentioned, if you happen to’re used to Macs and particularly if you happen to’re utilizing Apple’s Magic Keyboard, you are certain to grow to be accustomed to a few of the keys and options you will need in any new keyboard you purchase. .

The default Magic Keyboard has a compact, 78-key design that crunches all of its keys, together with the arrows, into the smallest attainable typing block. Only a few different keyboards, even smaller ones, use the sort of format. Apple additionally makes a full-size Magic Keyboard with a quantity pad, however Apple treats it just like the XL mannequin, whereas most keyboard makers see the full-size 104-key format because the default.

A helpful time period to search for if you happen to desire a smaller keyboard keyless Or TKL, referring to a keyboard that lacks a 10-key quantity pad. You might also see the keyboard known as a share—it is not a share of the size and width of a full-size keyboard, however a share of keys primarily based on the 104-key customary. Some drop the arrow keys, operate keys, and extra to stand up to 60% or 65%, typically with a really compact format.

Apple Magic Keyboard, Trackpad and Mouse

Apple’s Magic Keyboard, trackpad and mouse have a really low profile.

The keys on the highest row of the Apple keyboard are assigned to system-level features akin to display screen brightness and quantity management. They can be utilized because the traditional F1-F12 operate keys, however it will require you to press the Fn key. On any keyboard not made particularly for the Mac, the roles are reversed: F1-F12 are the first makes use of for these top-row keys, and system-level duties require some type of shortcut. .

Lastly, Macs have just a few distinctive keys. The one you most likely know finest is the Command key, which is used for a lot of well-liked keyboard shortcuts. It’s used very in a different way from the Home windows key. The Possibility key’s parallel to the Alt key on Home windows. And the newest Magic Keyboard, which comes with the M1 iMac, has a TouchID button, which has no equal on a Home windows keyboard.

If you’d like a keyboard that comes with a Mac key configuration, your choices are fairly restricted. Some firms, akin to Logitech, make Mac-specific fashions of their keyboards with Command and Possibility keys; These fashions are labeled “Mac Model” or “Made for Mac”. However that is not the one solution to get the keys and features you want. Remappable keyboards have gotten more and more well-liked amongst Home windows avid gamers, and Mac customers can typically profit from them as nicely.

Keyboard software program on Mac: mapping and customization

For those who’ve solely used the usual productiveness keyboard, you will be amazed by the large world of mechanical, gaming-oriented, and ergonomic keyboards. Gaming keyboards deliver dazzling with customizable multi-colored RGB lighting, an aesthetic that might be a refreshing break from Apple’s clear monochrome type, and plenty of have programmable macro keys for generally used features. Mechanical keyboards have a satisfying typing sound and tactile really feel, and most of them characteristic lengthy journey—your keycap strikes while you depress all of it the best way—to be extra supportive and cozy.

Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard

(Photograph: Mike Epstein)

For those who’re beginning to expertise ache in your fingers, wrists, or shoulders whereas typing, you would possibly take into account switching to an ergonomic keyboard that is designed to ease the ache of repetitive pressure accidents. A keyboard that is simpler and extra snug to kind on might be a life-changing improve.

Most premium productiveness and gaming keyboards will be reconfigured with manufacturer-provided software program. Configuration apps assist you to substitute (remap) every key; Change different settings, akin to how rapidly the wi-fi keyboard goes to sleep; and RGB lighting program. That is how one can flip a Home windows key right into a Command key, set your Caps Lock to activate the choice, or in any other case create your superb keyboard format.

Screenshot of the Corsair K100 RGB gaming keyboard software

Corsair’s iCue software program makes it simple to remap the K100 RGB gaming keyboard.

While you’re organising a keyboard that is not explicitly designed for the Mac, it is essential to have the ability to use its configuration software program. Sadly, configuration apps from many producers do not run on macOS, so be sure you discover one which does. The largest Mac-friendly names in productiveness keyboards are Logitech and Kensington. For gaming, we’re speaking about Corsair, Logitech and SteelSeries.

Some smaller producers, together with Kinesis and Drop, do not have conventional config apps. As a substitute, they provide customization help by a mixture of onboard controls and both driverless apps that work by way of the keyboard or an internet app. These processes could also be rather less handy than with an app, however they’re extensively suitable.

drop keyboard configuration app

The online-based configuration device for the Drop Shift mechanical keyboard works on any laptop.

For those who suppose it’ll confuse you to remap a key’s operate with out re-labeling the important thing, do not resort to masking tape. As a substitute, purchase a sheet of low cost key label stickers. They’re meant for keyboards the place legends have been misplaced, however in addition they serve to re-label remapped keys. Some mechanical keyboards include replaceable keycaps for instructions and choices, however if you wish to arrange Mac-style operate keys, you will most likely want labels.

Prepared for our ideas?

With all the small print, you’re prepared to decide on one of the best keyboard in your Mac. Our suggestions and evaluations will assist you determine which of our favorites can be match. For those who’re searching for unique options, take a look at our record of one of the best wi-fi keyboards and finest ergonomic keyboards. And if you happen to want a mouse to match, take into account the Finest Mice for Mac in addition to the Finest Gaming Mice for Mac, that are designed for gaming however work nicely for almost any function. We do.

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