Review: Macally Quick Switch Bluetooth Keyboard

KeyboardIf 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 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® to control tablets, smartphones as well as Macs or PCs. In fact, this keyboard can handle 5 different devices.

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 5 different Bluetooth™ devices simultaneiously, however it includes a wired USB cable to allow continued use in case the batteries die or if no Bluetooth® connection is available.
  • Lighted Specialty Keys – This keyboard has an illuminated LED to show Caps Lock, Num Lock/Battery Low and Function Key active.
  • Specialty Keys – The Macally Quick Switch keyboard has unique specialty keys including:
    • Delete Reverse
    • Delete Reverse
    • Print Screen
    • Print

These keys are in addition to standard keys found on most Macs (eject, volume, brightness).

Enlarged Return/Enter button

Compatibility & Specifications

This keyboard will work will work with all Macs as well as PCs. It will also work with tablets and phones, both iOS and Android.

Macs: OSX v. 10.8 or later
Windows: XP, 7, 8
IOS: 5.0 and above
Android: 3.0 and above
Size: 17.5” x 6” x 1”
Weight: 1.4 lbs.

Installation

Keyboard installation is usually an easy process and the Macally keyboard was no exception:

  1. Install the 2 included AA batteries
  2. Go to the Bluetooth® menu in the menu bar and click on Set Up Bluetooth Device.
  3. Press the key for the device that you want to connect and then press the blue Bluetooth® pairing button for 3 seconds until it blinks.
  4. Follow the directions until you receive the Connected confirmation
  5. Repeat for each device you wish to connect.

Batteries

Since most Bluetooth devices do not get their power from a USB port, batteries are a normal way of life. The Macally uses 2 AA batteries (included). Macally promises 2 months of use with these batteries.

Height Adjustment

This Macally keyboard has an unadjusted height of ¾” on your desktop. But what makes this keyboard unique is that has a lever that lifts the keyboard’s elevation to slightly over 1”.

Negatives

As much as I like this keyboard, there are some negative concerns.

Even though this keyboard has a Caps Lock light, it is located on the upper right corner of the keyboard. It should have been placed directly on the Caps Lock key itself like Apple has done.

The keyboard is made entirely of plastic. For as much as Macally charges, a more attractive and lighter weight aluminum keyboard would have been preferable.

Pricing

Macally has set the price for this keyboard at $69.99, about the same as Apple’s Wireless Keyboard. A number pad is only available on Apple’s Wired Keyboard which sells for $49.00.

Be advised that you can find online discounts on the Macally keyboard around $50. Try and find any discount on Apple’s keyboards!

Conclusion

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 and raised latches were 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.

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