Saturday, March 27, 2010

Apple wireless compact keyboard

I got this an an iPad companion and for travel use. It's ridiculously small and light.

It's also ridiculously beautiful. I can understand those who get irritated about all the attention and praise always heaped on Apple, but really, nobody else makes products like this. You wonder why, for looking at this, it seems so obvious. But I have a hunch that technically it is not easy to do this.
(Not fragile either, I heard a large man trod on his by accident, enough to bend the case a little, but it still works perfectly.)

I am large, so I prefer the monster keyboard you also see, with noisy keys with long travel. But I can feel that even with the very short travel, the Apple keyboard works well, and I could get used to it. And I've heard that many people think this is the best keyboard they have ever used.

You have to see it in real life. Seriously, it's one of the most gorgeous pieces of hardware I've ever seen.

Just to balance things out: Apple also insists on having these long-lived odd, irritating flaws, like much too short cables on accessories to make it look neat. For many years one was that a portrait-oriented photo which was taller than the screen could not be scaled to the screen by the OS. Lame. But fortunately fixed now. Another embarrassing one is that Windows for fifteen years has had a choice between various mouse pointer sizes. Apple's OS has the same 16x16 pixel arrow they have had since the very first Mac with its tiny screen!
Oh, in the newest OS you can scale it up. But it just blows up the pixels, so it looks horrible. Seriously, with all the finetuning they do, I don't know how they can live with this.

Also re the keyboard: from the Apple store, it looks to me like they don't have a wireless keyboard with numeric keyboard and Home and End keys and so on. While I think this is great for a travel keyboard (but how many uses that), it's a little surprising to be so careful about space for a stationary keyboard.
Also the thinness: I can understand it in a laptop computer, but I'd have thought people on average want a little more travel in the keys? No? Well, some do, and I hear some people who tend to hammer the keys hard get sore fingertips after a day's use on a flat keyboard. Of course one could say it's unnecessary and unergonomic to hammer the keys so hard. Waste of energy anyway.


Timo Lehtinen said...

It's nice alright. Apple sure knows how to make thin hardware.

Is there a reason you didn't go with the Keyboard Dock though? To me that seems like the ideal (travel) companion for the iPad.

Unknown said...

I'll get a dock anyway. And this way, the placement of the pad is much more flexible.
Also, there were concerns about the strength of the dock part on that keyboard when packing it.

Gail said...

Yeah, this little tiny keyboard is cute and all, but 50 year old eyeballs like mine need a BIG FAT KEYBOARD. Thanks!

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

You think you'd have problems locating a small keyboard? :-)

Miserere said...

My officemate had one of these. I think she complained about the batteries for some reason. In any case, it's pretty, and light, and I like that type of keys, so despite my slightly anti-apple bias, I give it the thumbs up. I'm sure you will too :-)

Anonymous said...

Apple does just about everything right when it comes to their products' design. They shame other manufacturers, by always making their designs look dated when up against an Apple product. Hell, even their packaging is nicely designed in it's well thought out functionality, not to mention presentation. It was a treat opening up my new Mac Pro last week. It too has a great looking keyboard.

uknewalready said...

Probably hasn't heard that padphorm is the official new name, and you knew this anyway, of course, but wdf here goes:

Tip of the Week: Special Characters on iPhone OS (including iPad) By Sebastian Massey

While it’s true that the interface for the iPad is amazingly intuitive, its simplicity can sometimes hide a number of important advanced features. One such feature I recently discovered is the ability to type accent marks with the on-screen keyboard. This feature is part of the keyboard, not a particular app, so it can be used with Mail, Notes or even Pages.

To type a letter with an accent, simply hold your finger down on the letter for a second or two, and a number of options will appear. While still holding down your finger, just slide to the accented letter you want and release. It’s that simple to type è, ñ, or even ü. Try holding down other buttons on the keyboard and see what happens. As another example, try holding down the “.com” button in the safari keyboard. It will give you options for other suffixes like “.org” or “.edu.”

These options are incredibly useful and I honestly had no idea they were there until someone who needed them asked me how to get accents. I wonder what other hidden powers I can find in the iPad and iPhone OS.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, dude!