REVIEW: Macally Solar Powered Slim Wireless RF Keyboard for Mac

One of the more popular Mac keyboards is the Logitech K750 solar powered keyboard.  It features a solar powered panel that uses light instead of batteries to power the keyboard itself.  Now Macally has introduced their own version known as the Macally Ultra Slim Wireless RF Keyboard for Mac(RFSOLARKEYA).  

Although Logitech’s solar keyboard connects via RF only, Macally instead has offered both RF and Bluetooth connectivity in separate keyboards.  The RF one sells for $69.99.  However, if you prefer the alternative Macally also makes this same keyboard with Bluetooth for $89.99.  Frankly I prefer the RF keyboard since it is more stable and less likely to lock up.

This RF keyboard is priced at $10 more than the Logitech K750. But what do you get for that extra charge?

One of the biggest omissions of the Logitech keyboard was the inclusion of a Caps Lock light, presumably due to wanting to keep power consumption to a minimum. Macally has corrected that issue by providing such a light. There are other benefits as well.  This keyboard is slightly heavier making it more stable on your desktop.

Like the Logitech keyboard, this one also uses a dongle instead of opting for Bluetooth.  But the Macally version has a small compartment under the keyboard to house the RF receiver making is harder to lose when traveling.

This Macally keyboard uses 110 full-size thin Scissor-Key-Switch™ keys much like Apple’s keyboards. The keycaps are slightly cupped making it easier to type than flat keys.

Rechargeable Battery

The Macally uses a built-in 600mAh rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.  The company claims that it will last over 2 months even in total darkness.  There is no battery to replace!!

Shortcut Keys

Macally’s other keyboards have been known to provide shortcut keys to make an easier typing experience.  They have programmed the standard F keys to do shortcuts such as cut, paste, copy, previous track, next track, etc.  The shortcut keys are clearly marked on the keyboard itself.

If you prefer to create your own F keys you also have that option as well.  Just by pressing the Fnand esckeys toggles this function on or off.

Installation

The process of installing this keyboard to your Mac is extremely simple:

  1. Insert your RF receiver into one of your Mac’s USB ports
  2. Indicate what kind of keyboard you are using (Apple’s own software will automatically open)
  3. You’re done!

There is no driver or software to install.  It’s just that simple!

Negatives

As much as I admire this keyboard, I did find some negative issues.  The primary one is that the Control, Option andCommandkeycaps are not oversized. In fact, they are the same size as the letter keycaps that could possibly cause confusion while typing.

It would have been better if Macally would have offered some meter to let you know the amount of charge left.  Logitech offers an app to accomplish this.  Instead, Macally just has a built-in LED light letting you know that the battery is low.

My other complaint is that although the keyboard is slightly elevated, it would have been better if there was some elevation control.  Of course, you could always place some papers underneath. 

Specifications

Size: .66” (h) x 17.24” (w) x 6.10” (d)

Platform: Mac OS X v10.6 & later, USB-A port, light source such as sunlight and/or indoor lighting

Conclusion

Although theMacally Ultra Slim Wireless RF Keyboard for Mac does have some minor problems, if you are looking for a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad, consider the Macally Ultra Slim Wireless RF Keyboard for Mac.  For $70 it’s an incredible value when you compare it to the competition.

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