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Old 04-24-2009, 08:43 AM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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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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