Bi-incurious Keyboard Sought
November 1, 2007 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Recommend a keyboard for use on a Bootcamp'd Mac.

1. Wireless in some form.
2. Keys in their proper, standard-Windows keyboard places and shapes. No thanks on funny arrow keys and oversized Delete buttons. No thanks on Mac keyboards.
3. If USB and with a mouse, one USB receiver is preferable, though not required. I'm working on a stainless steel work. surface, so the signal has a bit of trouble with that.
4. Has Mac drivers/ ways to customize keys.

I just bought this and it's going back because it doesn't have any Mac drivers and sucks in two operating systems. On the plus side, the mouse USB dongle plugs into the keyboard USB receiver a la Voltron if Voltron were shoddily made and incapable of defending the universe. And the mouse is fairly nice, except the scroll wheel click is some kind of joke.

Price isn't too much of an issue, as I'll be using this 365 days a year. I'm open to Bluetooth, but it looks as though that's not an option as the Bootcamp Bluetooth drivers don't seem to work well in Windows (I have a copy of Leopard sitting on my desk uninstalled if that will help me*).

* I realize it would need to be installed to help me. It wouldn't help for much but killing large bugs right now.
posted by yerfatma to Shopping (11 answers total)
Would you rate those five requirements in order of importance?
posted by Prospero at 12:41 PM on November 1, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah, I was going to mention that. In order of importance:

1. Standard layout
2. Quiet
3. Mac customization
4. Wireless w/ one receiver
posted by yerfatma at 12:44 PM on November 1, 2007

I just bought a Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v2.0, and it's the greatest keyboard I've ever owned. The keys are soft and responsive, and angled inward just slightly for ergonomics. The whole thing is programmable on my mac from an installed control panel, and it's incredibly useful.

The mouse is great, but there are better ones out there.
posted by Oktober at 1:25 PM on November 1, 2007

Response by poster: I've been avoiding the Microsoft keyboards only because the included mice look like something you might use to weigh down a tarp. I guess I should stop looking at them as a combo deal.
posted by yerfatma at 1:56 PM on November 1, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, one question on the programmable keyboard: can you make a true Mac eject button? On the old Logitech keyboard I was using, I mapped a key to open the CD drive, but it didn't seem to have the other functionality of the eject button (specifically, CMD + EJECT = Sleep).
posted by yerfatma at 1:57 PM on November 1, 2007

How about apple's bluetooth keyboard? The key stroke length great and sound level is pretty low. I got one of the wired ones for home, and made work get me another one.

Not only does it work great in the mac world, all of its keys work on the PC side too, even making it so you can swap the windows / command key locations, so they line up.

You do have to use a function key to swap to doing stuff like page up / down, but it is pretty easy to get used too.

There is a review of it here

Also, stay away from Logitech mice for now, they require installation of "Application Enhancer" a freeware app that breaks under leopard (and is a general nuisance).
posted by mrzarquon at 2:05 PM on November 1, 2007

(i missed the part on the no apple keyboards, didn't know if you looked at their new aluminum bluetooth ones, or the just white old ones)
posted by mrzarquon at 2:07 PM on November 1, 2007

I also highly recommend the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000. (But toss the mouse in the garbage.)
posted by dmd at 2:55 PM on November 1, 2007

Response by poster: No worries, I had only used the old white ones. Is there a reason the full size doesn't come in Bluetooth? Just too many keys to possibly power? The damned thing would look nice on the tabletop. Which is an awful, shallow, Mac-user thing to say. I'm changing.

It is impressive your suggestion broke 3/5 rules and still might be a good fit.
posted by yerfatma at 2:56 PM on November 1, 2007

Response by poster: Ah, it must be the USB ports that require the wire, but why is there no wireless version? Maybe I will shake an Apple Genius until they agree to find me one.
posted by yerfatma at 2:58 PM on November 1, 2007

They used to have a full sized one in bluetooth, but they dropped it when it came to the new aluminum one. The keyboard layout is nearly identical to their laptops on the wireless ones, so they probably just decided to pull it from that. And in their minimalist fashion, they decided to only make one kind of bluetooth keyboard. Possibly they were going for the "casual, laying back in your recliner" keyboard user. (I really want apple to make a bluetooth numeric pad in the same fashion, since i don't need it all the time, but when I do it sucks not to have it).

The big one is wired for its USB ports, and more traditional layout.

I would suggest trying it out in person to get a feel for it.

I am a 90% mac, 10% windows user, so my feel for standard keys are apple keys, not windows. And I used apple powerbooks for so long, i got used to their layout, and if this machine had bluetooth, i would probably have gotten the wireless keyboard instead, just because it has everything i need to use on a daily basis without having to move my hands from the general keyboard area.
posted by mrzarquon at 3:09 PM on November 1, 2007

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