Apple Magic KeyBoard 2 Review
I've always loved Apple keyboards, but I've never really written about it. And then the case turned up. 10 years with the same (but not quite) keyboard has come to an end. Now I'm using Magic Keyboard 2 and I don't have a soul in it. But when you type daily and a lot, then the attitude to the keyboard changes. An ordinary element of a computer turns into an archival working tool, where every little thing affects the result and the process.
Mine is an early 2000s Apple Wired Keyboard. I like absolutely everything about her. This is also because that it repeats the MacBook keyboards in the layout of the keys and many other little things. It also looks great against the background of 99% of the blocks from the store. Why this keyboard?
- Choice. I tried to try something else, but I didn’t like anything as much: somewhere it’s cheap, somewhere it’s inconvenient to type quickly, somewhere it takes too long to relearn. Well, or it looks terrible, I will not hide it.
- Apple Wired Keyboard. For 10 years, I have replaced more than a dozen Apple Wired Keyboards, had all versions and modifications of different years. There is also a long one, I have it at home, two working pieces. One of them is spare, waiting in the wings.
- Key travel. Key travel, tactile feedback and everything that I listed earlier, I consider ideal in these blocks. The sound is quiet but clear. No extra crunches. The buttons are solid. The solidity is generally incredible, nothing bends, as if I'm knocking on concrete. At least make bridges out of it.
- Experience. Continuing the analogy, I can build a garage from keyboards that I have bought and tested for 10 years. If I liked one more, it would have stayed for a long time. But no. I did not find anything of the same utilitarian and high-quality.
- USB. Another feature of the Wired Keyboard is the presence of two USB ports. They stand on the sides in the far raised part. The location is not ideal: some thick flash drives and cables will not fit there. But the mouse transmitter, cable from the iPhone climb through without problems and allow you not to reach anywhere to quickly connect any USB to your computer. You get used instantly that you always have two ports at hand. Certainly, more convenient than throwing concentrators on the table.
- There is no replacement. For several years, I have periodically searched for something similar on sale from other manufacturers. Alas, there are literally dozens of keyboards with at least one USB port, and most of them are frankly Chinese or gaming, in the worst sense of these words. Another one copies the Apple Wired Keyboard one-on-one, and openly.
Since everything is so great, why change it?
There's a difficulty: it's getting harder and more expensive to buy an Apple Wired Keyboard every year. The production of my favorite short versions stopped over 10 years ago. And the wide one was removed in 2017. Since then, the rest have been sold. The price scared away the mass consumer in Russia, so for quite a long time they remained untouched on the shelves. In 2020, alas, these were also sold out. Therefore, if I ask this question, I immediately buy in reserve, literally for a rainy day. But even Internet searches of flea markets in the past 5 years have been less and less successful, or they are scared by inadequately bent prices. The last two that failed. I cleaned one unsuccessfully, spilled water on the second.
During these 10 years, I had about 15 Apple keyboards killed after unsuccessful cleaning, spilled liquids or broken due to a broken cable. They are reliable on their own, but require cautious and intelligent care. It is almost impossible to repair them, the assembly is absolutely monolithic. If it's broken, then that's it, throw it away. Apple has been selling the second generation Magic Keyboard for 5 years now. I had three of the first one, and what I disliked the most was that they only connected via Bluetooth. She also messed up often.
Therefore, for a very long time I bypassed the new block. Yes, cute, it seems no worse, but to have direct motivation – no. As a result, I got tired of being afraid, that after the next cleaning (white keys require care), your favorite working tool will fail, and you will have to quickly take anything. The solution was this: we needed a black one to clean less typically and risk reliability. Large, so that there is NUM and everything is as it should be. And yes, from Apple. Fortunately, they started selling this two years ago.
Now I have Magic Keyboard 2
- Construction. Absolutely monolithic metal bar with a plastic bottom. Moderately heavy. Rubberized legs. Stands on the table steadily, does not crawl when typing, but moves easily if you give it your thumb. I do this periodically when I type for a long time so that my hands do not stick to the table in one position.
- Design. In addition to the aesthetic pleasure of a strict aluminum black keyboard on a black table, the design of the Magic Keyboard is wonderful. No wonder, many have been trying to repeat it for ten years in “elite” versions of keyboards. But they couldn’t, otherwise they would have been using them for a long time.
- Magic Trackpad. Since this is a wireless keyboard (nominally!), there is an on/off switch on the back panel – the same as on the Magic Trackpad.
- Lightning. There is also a lightning port for charging the built-in battery. He is non-removable. There used to be finger batteries. Their disappearance made it possible to make the keyboard smaller. This did not greatly affect the time of work.
- Battery. Like the old model, the “new” one works up to 2 months on a single charge. And it charges in just 2 hours.
Magic Keyboard 2 was released in October 2015 (the version with NUM appeared in 2017), half a year after the first 12- inch MacBook with a new type of keyboard. The so-called “butterfly” broke so much firewood that I don't want to remember it again. Apple even then decided to use the time-tested mechanism in the Magic Keyboard 2: “scissors”, as in all MacBook keyboards until 2015 and from 2020. The same was in the Apple Wired Keyboard and the previous version of MK. This mechanism is unmistakable in any version, be it 2010 or 2020. Initially, the strong resistance of the keys is replaced by a sharp, shock stroke with a specific click. The elastic membrane abruptly returns the key up, pointing out that it is pressed, and you can start moving your finger to the next one. Sharp and clear feedback, tactile elasticity of the keys are addictive.
After it, 99% of others will begin to seem wadded, spineless, as if made of jelly. Click, click, you beat here a hundred words a minute, blindly and subconsciously feeling every letter. In the Magic Keyboard 2, the keys are noticeably more stable in the grooves, and the travel has become insignificant, but smaller. You can see this in direct comparison. You forget after a few minutes. I can blindly identify both, but when I'm typing, I don't miss the old wired one. The mechanism itself was made quite a bit quieter. The surface of the buttons is matte, feeling absolutely identical to the old models. But the shape of the lids is already different. They are now quite a bit concave inward, centering fingers. The same covers are now on all current MacBook models, and people like it. Yes, and I have no complaints.
Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Trackpad 2
Legs — no coasters. The slope has always been low, and even decreased in the new model. Now the block is almost flat. Maybe, it's an amateur (or I'm used to it), but I don't feel any discomfort. Still, typing is as comfortable as ever. Functions:
- Ergonomics. The absence of excess plastic or metal along the edges of the keyboard is a giant plus for ergonomics: nothing sticks in, does not interfere. I place my hands up to the top of my palm on the table and quietly conduct my fingers across the keyboard. The wrists always rest without straining the muscles of the arms or shoulders. The body is relaxed.
- Numpad. The arrows are correct. The F-key row is full-sized, not squished like it used to be. Numpad is fully functional.
- macOS. Yes, I alternate between macOS and Windows daily. Different computers at home and at work. Using the Magic Keyboard on “Windows” is absolutely comfortable for me. Unless I can forget and start using macOS combinations on Windows, but this is literally on the occasion of a week, muscle memory failure.
- Windows. Where the command is, there is the Windows button. Alt has always been in place of Option. Well, Control is the same Control on Windows. If you feel like it, you can pull the Apple drivers from the Bootcamp package to make all function keys like volume control work properly on Windows.
- Connections. Magic Keyboard 2 is not only a wireless keyboard, but also absolutely the same wired one. No mode switching. Nothing to do. I poked a wire into the computer, Bluetooth turned off, I work directly. Removed, BT is active again.
- Bluetooth. For me, working by cable, not Bluetooth, is the most important thing. When there are about 10 active gadgets around the table, even the most powerful Bluetooth transmitter will start to work intermittently. I hate it, I just can't stand it when text input from the keyboard (and even more so in games!) Is accompanied by anymore or less noticeable delay. The letter should appear on the screen instantly. Otherwise, it confuses the thought, throws it out of the stream. Cable one love.
- MK. Therefore, I work on MK mainly without Bluetooth. I take it out sometimes if you need more freedom on your desktop. But cable is quieter. Like with the good old Wired Keyboard.
- Lightning. The black Magic Keyboard comes with the same black lightning cord. The rest is no different from white, it just looks more organic with a keyboard.
No cons, but there are dreams
Firstly, a backlight would be nice. It is absolutely realistic to make it without a noticeable thickening of the body. Moreover, I am certain that Apple has prototypes. This is the obvious point. I think that the backlight was left for the future. By the way, if you pay attention to the photo above, you will notice how strange the light reflects on the letters. It's like there's a backlight. But she is not. For some reason, this paint reflects light from the screen strongly. Maybe, so intended? In any case, everything is visible in complete darkness in front of the monitor. And, secondly, sometimes I miss USB ports. The keyboard is wireless, so there can be no talk of any connected peripherals. I doubt that Cupertino would want to make a special wired version just for ports and two and a half enthusiasts like me.
After trying all this for a couple of weeks, I can say for sure: Magic Keyboard 2 is a real replacement for the rare Wired Keyboard. If an ancient model has fans here, I advise you to stop stockpiling the old ones and try the new one. She is no worse in reality. And if you're just looking for a good keyboard and want to get away from boring plastic crafts, then you're unlikely to find anything better than Apple's block. All in all, an ideal keyboard for any task, which is hard to do better. The black version is also especially practical. One question remains.
Is the Magic Keyboard 2 Worth the Money? If you type a lot, and are even more familiar with MacBook layouts, then unconditionally YES. Like a man who lives by text and makes a living from it (now I write less often, but still) for more than 10 years, I definitely recommend spending money and improving the working tool. Even if you're on Windows.