Fast-typing wired keyboard for PC
October 13, 2012 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good keyboard I can connect to a USB port in my work PC? I'm a Mac person who types very fast, so my ideal would be the Apple keyboard. Is there a Windows-compatible equivalent of that?

My keyboard at work has very clunky keys. My job involves typing throughout most of the day, so I feel like I'd be able to leave work significantly earlier if only I had a better keyboard. I type much faster on an Apple keyboard, but I would assume that wouldn't work very well with Windows. (Or am I wrong about that?)

An ergonomically curved keyboard would be nice too, but that isn't essential.

Looking for something available from Amazon or in NYC (Manhattan). Any suggestion? Let me know if I'm leaving out any important details. (But if you're going to ask what version of Windows it is, the answer is I don't know.) Thanks in advance.
posted by John Cohen to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Best answer: The Apple keyboard you linked to will identify as a USB "human interface device" on Windows and will work just fine.

Lifehacker suggests an application which I have not used to add extra Windows-specific functionality to the keyboard.
posted by saeculorum at 3:53 PM on October 13, 2012

If you want a really high-quality keyboard, you should look into something with mechanical switches like the Happy Hacker. There are other, more traditional options, but the Happy Hacker has very nice, relatively quiet Japanese-made switches... other mechanical switches aren't remotely appropriate for an open office environment (too loud).

If you are dead set on the Apple keyboard, you can connect it; the only weird thing will be that the command and apple keys will be mapped to control and Windows keys (I believe). That failing, Newegg has a vast array of keyboards for your perusal.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:21 PM on October 13, 2012

Best answer: Apple keyboards work fine under Windows - think BootCamp. the command (aka cloverleaf) key becomes the windows key.
posted by russm at 4:27 PM on October 13, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. I should add that the only Windows-specific keys I generally use are "control" and "alt." As long as there are equivalent keys on the Apple keyboard, that'd be fine.
posted by John Cohen at 4:28 PM on October 13, 2012

I also discovered a site specializing in mechanical keyboards, so you may want to look there. There's an explanation of the different types of switches at the Das Keyboard site, too.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:45 PM on October 13, 2012

Best answer: alt maps to option, control stays on ctrl.
posted by russm at 4:53 PM on October 13, 2012

Response by poster: Ah, so the main thing would be remembering to hit "control" instead of instinctively hitting "command."
posted by John Cohen at 4:57 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

John, you could also just remap your keyboard so you don't have to think about remembering to hit "control" instead of "command". I'm mainly a Mac user too, but when I find it necessary to use Windows, that's what I do.

And to answer your original question, I recommend a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard. It's fast, quiet, and you will really grow to appreciate those lit keys if you like to work in dimly lit or dark rooms.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 8:00 PM on October 13, 2012

Best answer: Here's an article from someone who used an Apple keyboard on a PC; he used Autohotkey to remap the keys.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:42 AM on October 14, 2012

Best answer: Thanks, everyone. Today I bought a wired Apple keyboard and started using it at work, and everything seems fine. I don't even think I need to remap any keys. "Control" on the Mac is also "control" on the PC, "alt/option" is "alt," and the reverse "delete" key is the one to use in "control-alt-delete." The keys that don't work, like volume up/down, aren't ones I use at work anyway.
posted by John Cohen at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2012

Response by poster: Uh oh, there's a problem: I've accidentally hit the "insert" key. Of course, there is no "insert" on the Apple keyboard, but I've clicked something that has the same effect. So now I can't do normal typing in a word processor. It isn't the "fn" key (which is in the same place as the "insert" key). What can I do (besides returning the keyboard)?
posted by John Cohen at 8:06 AM on October 15, 2012

Response by poster: I fixed the problem by going to the "on-screen keyboard," clicking number lock, and typing "0" on the number pad. Weird.
posted by John Cohen at 8:13 AM on October 15, 2012

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