Apple introduced a wireless keyboard with the numeric keypad over a year ago. Although it is a perfectly fine Mac keyboard, one has to question why one needs to pay $130 when there are other competitors out there. Logitech, for example, has offered a solar-powered full-size keyboard for $60.
Another competitor is Macally that has been selling Mac keyboards for many years now. Its latest keyboard is the Macally Ultra Slim Wireless RF Keyboard for Mac(RFACEKEYA). It is priced at $69.99, but typically sells for $10 less than that.
What makes this keyboard unique is that it has a full-size aluminum keyboard with a numeric keypad that uses a 2.4 GHz RF receiver dongle (like Logitech’s) instead of opting for Bluetooth. Anyone familiar with Bluetooth knows that this platform can be tricky and can often require re-pairing. The RF connection is more stable with fewer interruptions.
This Macally keyboard uses scissor switch keycaps making for a comfortable typing experience. Its ultra-slim shape saves space on your desktop or drawer.
Like Apple’s keyboard, the Macally uses a rechargeable Lithium-polymer battery. The keyboard comes with a micro-USB cable for charging purposes. When the charge light on the keyboard turns red, just connect the cable and in a few hours, the keyboard will be charged.
Macally claims that a full battery will last for 4 months with a usage average of 8 hours per day.
Macally’s other keyboards have been known to provide shortcut keys to make for 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 labeled 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.
The process of installing this keyboard to your Mac is extremely simple:
- Insert your RF receiver into one of your Mac’s USB ports
- Indicate what kind of keyboard you are using (Apple’s own software will automatically open)
- You’re done!
There is no driver or software to install. It’s just that simple!
As much as I admire this keyboard, I did find some negative issues. The primary one is Macally’s User Guidethat comes with the keyboard.
The guide lists the package contents: (1) Wireless RF Keyboard and (2) User’s Guide. It omits that a micro-USB cable is included as well as an RF receiver. The guide also omits information on how and when to recharge the keyboard when the warning LED comes on.
Another complaint 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.
If you are looking for a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad, consider the Macally Ultra Slim Wireless RF Keyboard for Mac. For $60 it’s an incredible value considering the alternatives.