If you’ve been looking for a keyboard that is comparable to Apple’s own devices, Logitech would seem to be a likely contender. Their keyboards offer Bluetooth® connections but also solar panels, illuminated keys and can control tablets and phones, just to name a few.
Very few Mac owners would consider Macally keyboards, yet they, like Logitech, have kept up with technology. The latest example is the Macally Quick Switch Bluetooth® Keyboard(ACEBTKEY) that even tops Apple and Logitech’s keyboards.
Although most of these keyboards feature specific media controls designed for Macs, they will work with PCs as well. This Macally keyboard does just that. Their “Quick Switch” feature refers to the ability to use Bluetooth® on many devices. In fact, this keyboard can handle up to 3 different devices including Macs, PCs, tablets (iPads) and smartphones (iOS and Android).
This keyboard is ultra slim with only 15mm (0.59”) in thickness. This amazing since it has 110 keys including 20 shortcut keys, presets and a numerical pad. The thin keycaps with its fast scissor flexors will be appreciated by most typists.
Macally & the Competition
So why buy this Macally keyboard? Here are some basic differences:
Bluetooth® and USB Connections– The keyboard can be paired with up to 3 different Bluetooth™ devices simultaneously, however it includes a wired USB cable to allow continued use in case the batteries die or if no Bluetooth® connection is available.
Lighted Caps Lock Indicator– This keyboard has an illuminated LED to show whether Caps Lockis active.
Specialty Keys– Although both Logitech and Apple offer a few specialty keys (Volume up/down, brightness, eject), the Macally Quick Switch keyboard has some unique specialty keys including:
- Print Screen
These keys work right out-of-the-box without any specialty key configurations.
Macs: OSX v. 10.6 or later
Windows: XP, 7, 8,10
IOS: 5.0 and above
Android: 3.0 and above
Size: 17.1 x 0.98” x 6.5”
Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Keyboard installation is usually an easy process and the Macally keyboard was no exception:
- Turn the keyboard’s switch to “On.”
- Go to the Bluetooth® menu in the menu bar and click on Set Up Bluetooth Device.
- Press the key for the device that you want to connect (up to 3) and then press the blue Bluetooth® pairing button for 3 seconds until it blinks.
- Follow the directions until you receive the Connectedconfirmation
- Repeat for each device you wish to connect.
Like other modern technology keyboards, the ACEBTKEY has a Lithium-Ion built-in battery. To charge, just attach the included Micro-USB cable. The charging light turns red. You need to wait until it turns green for a full charge that should last several weeks. To Macally’s credit, while you attach the cable for charging, the keyboard still operates normally. No down time!
My keyboard was already charged when pairing and setup began. To make sure it was fully charged, I plugged in the included USB cable and had a full charge in about 2 hours.
Another feature of this keyboard is that it automatically goes to sleep when not in use, conserving battery power. No setting is necessary for activation.
As much as I like this keyboard, there are some negative concerns.
Even though this keyboard has a Caps Locklight, it is located on the upper right corner of the keyboard. It should have been placed directly on the Caps Lockkey itself like Apple has done. Of course, this is better than some Logitech keyboards that offer no Caps Lock light due to the keyboard’s energy issues.
This Macally keyboard has a slight vertical height. There is no option to increase this height.
The included User’s Guide spends most of its 20-page manual informing the user on how to pair the keyboard with their devices using Bluetooth®. However, there was very little documentation on the charging procedure. The guide illustrated where to place your micro-USB cable for charging, but no indication on how long the keyboard would retain the charge or how long charging takes. I had to call Macally’s technical support to get these answers. The agent said that he needs to charge every 2-3 weeks since he does a lot of typing. It took me about 2 hours for an initial complete charge.
Macally has set the price for this keyboard at $69.99 that is much less than Apple’s offerings. Apple sells a full Bluetooth® keyboard with a number pad for $129 or a standard keyboard without the number pad for $99. Just compare the features and judge for yourself.
Be advised that you can find online discounts on this Macally keyboard around $60. Try and find any discount on Apple’s keyboards!
This keyboard worked perfectly as advertised with easy setup and operation. There was very little to criticize. Macally has made a technically advanced Mac/PC/Tablet/Phone keyboard for most of us at a competitive price.
The light touch of its keyboard was a real plus especially when compared to other keyboards. Since keyboards are so personal, you owe it to yourself to check out this keyboard and see how it compares to what you are used to. You’ll probably find a lot to like.