Confessions of a keyboard snob / by Joseph Palumbo

Yes, I am a keyboard snob. I'm always looking at finding that magical, unicorn of a keyboard that provides the perfect combination of design, ergonomics, tactile feedback and functionality. So it says something that even though I've got a stash of fancy mechanical keyboards equal in value to the GDP of a small island nation, I always come back to Apple's Magic Keyboard.

As I type this I've got three keyboards on my desk: 

  1. CODE Keyboard (87 key + Cherry MX Blue), a collaboration between WASDKeyboards and Jeff "Coding Horror" Atwood
  2. Matias Tactile Pro (full sized, big enough to ward off an angry grizzly)
  3. Apple Magic Keyboard

I bought the CODE because I was looking for a compact mechanical keyboard that still had arrow keys. There were several options in the market, but CODE had a good reputation and it looked sleek and modern. 

I bought the Matias Tactile because it was designed to mimic Apple's first keyboards, when the standard was the famed IBM Model M with the incomparable buckling tensioners that signify your productivity to the world by singing its clicky-clacky song of its people. 

So why the Apple Magic Keyboard? 

Evolution of the serial typist

I guess the easy answer is that the move to flatter, laptop style keyboards has completely changed the way I type. My fingers glide over the surface of keys now rather than dive bomb them from above. This makes me more efficient and accurate typing on the Apple Keyboard. 

Location, Location, Location

Second, the compact nature of the keyboard allows me to keep my Magic Mouse and/or Magic Trackpad closer to the keyboard, minimizing the distance my arm/wrist needs to travel, which sounds like a small thing, but when you're doing it all day, becomes a real convenience. 

Walled Garden FTW

Do you know who is best at making software and hardware that integrate seamlessly with MacOS and iOS? Yes, Apple. The default key placement and function work great for MacOS, but the ability to remap the keys and customize keyboard function make it even better, at least for me. This has been the stumbling block with a lot of the expensive mechanical keyboards collecting dust in my closet, they feel great, but they don't mesh with MacOS as well. On a side note, when I've spent time working on Windows and Ubuntu desktops, these keyboards are excellent, but seem to miss the nuances that make MacOS as elegant and simplistic as it is.