3rd-Party and Apple Brand KeyboardsShopping for a replacement, add-on or upgrade to your existing Apple computer keyboard? 'Stuff Happens' and sometimes an accidental spill, a falling object, or a chew-happy dog can ruin a working keyboard in an instant. Review our Made For Mac and iOS keyboard recommendations:
While you could always order an Apple branded keyboard directly from the Apple Store, you'll pay full list price. However, many computer accessory manufacturers make alternatives with iOS and Mac-specific features and needs in mind, often at far more competitive prices. Among these Apple Compatible Keyboard links you'll see low-cost Kensignton, MacAlly keyboards, high-end Logitech, KeyboardLogic and Mattias brand input peripherals worth exploring.
|Mac Keyboard With USB Ports||Mac+iPad+iPhone Keyboard|
|MacAlly USB Keyboard
Dual Side USB Ports
|Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard
Switch Between 3 Devices
|Bluetooth Mini Keyboard||Rechargeable Bluetooth Keyboard|
|Adesso Mac or iOS Keyboard
|IOS + Mac Mini Keyboard
Recharges Via USB Cable
Apple's best USB keyboard is full-size yet in a slim-line aluminum case that offers separate cursor keys and a numeric keypad. Mac-specific Onscreen, Backlighting, Dashboard, Expose and Media playback controls are present. Of note: it's two USB 2.0 high-speed side ports offer reasonably fast connectivity for additional external peripherals. And the keyboard's low power requirements leave a few more spare milliamps of power for running or recharging external USB devices than earlier models did. Apple's compact Bluetooth keyboard is usable on an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or a Mac and very popular for those who wish to be cable-free. It's changed over the years from using 3 AA batteries to only 2, and now the latest version currently has a built-in LiOn battery that recharges via a Lightning connection.
Bluetooth vs USB Computer Keyboards for MacThere's good reason to want to use a USB keyboard with your Macintosh computer. No batteries to futz with and recharge, no erratic wireless response, no Bluetooth or RF radio interference from other computer accessories and household gadgets. A wired device is simply more predictable and reliable than any wireless and/or battery-operated peripheral. And, you get the bonus of extra USB ports for other Mac peripherals or syncing and charging Apple iGadgets. Paired with the best Mac mouse you can find, that may avert the need for a separate USB hub - or at least make plugging and unplugging certain frequently used devices more convenient.
Wireless RF and Bluetooth computer keyboards give your Macintosh or iOS device the freedom to roam untangled at close range. Apple users love wireless accessories and in spite of the periodic battery replacement or recharging thats needed with a wireless OSX or iOS keyboard, the untethered freedom is worth the tradeoffs.
Can You "Fix" A Mac Keyboard?Broken and damaged keys on an Apple keyboard often require replacing the entire thing. A single hopelessly stuck or unresponsivekey is usually caused by liquid spills or damaged or stuck micro-switch underneath. They're so small and tiny there is just NO way to 'repair' the key switch. Key-tops that are missing or cracked can sometimes be replaced, but often tiny plastic latches to hold the keytop in place get broken when something falls onto your Mac keyboard. Simply buying new Apple branded or 3rd-party Mac keyboard is the most direct solution for 'repairing' the majority of keyboard problems.
Windows Keyboards On A Macintosh : The TradeoffsNearly ANY Windows PC USB keyboard will 'largely' work on a Mac. Well, usually most of it. Extra function keys and special PC media control key features only supported on Windows may very well do nothing in OSX. Or something unpredictable can happen. Most frustrating the 'Windows' icon key is NOT mapped to the Apple 'Command' key - and when you want the Option key you have to press ALT instead. You can get used to the CMD-ALT-WIN-CTRL differences. But it's a far from elegant solution when Mac specific keytop keyboards can be had for under $20.
One frustration you may find trying to use a 3rd-party or Windows computer keyboard is that on bootup your Mac may have problems initially recognizing the non-Apple keyboard and require you to follow on-screen instructions built-into OSX to press specific keys alongside the space-bar on it at boot-up to help your Macintosh identify your PC keyboard's unique layout.
Who Makes Mac Compatible Keyboards? : ManufacturersThere's a surprising number of computer technology companies in the Apple compatible keyboard space. The Macintosh market has been growing steadily over the years and some of the long-standing Mac keyboard makers are finding the space even more lucrative to participate in. The arrival of the iPhone and then iPad really exploded the Bluetooth keyboard marketplace with hundreds of millions of iOS devices in use. Tap-Typing is fine, but select Apple handheld device users on the go really need two-handed touch-typing keyboards to efficiently and accurately enter large amounts of text.
Of note: The biggest players in the Apple/Mac computer keyboard space after Apple itself includes: Logitech North America, MacAlly USA, Kensington, Adesso, Matias, LogicKeyboard and others.
You'll also find cheap keyboards for Mac - and particularly IOS devices - flooding the market from China. Many are made by the same OEM hardware maker sold under a multitude of ever-chaning manufacturer or brand-names. If you're on a budget, adding or replacing an external USB or Bluetooth keyboard that's Apple compatible won't cost you more than 10 or 20 bucks.