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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Should I get the new Alu keyboard?


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the8thark

 
Member Since: Jan 27, 2007
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Mac Specs: 17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3

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I currently have a white 17 inch imac with mighty mouse and white keyboard. And I have a few questions about upgrading to the new alu keyboard. Cause I'm not so sure whether I really need it or not. I've been thinking about the issue for a while now. Yes I have played with the new keyboard but I'd still like a few questions answered by some of the experts here.

1. Is the new keyboard easy to clean? And how do you clean the gunk out of underneath of the keys, cause to me it would seem rather hard to remove the keys to do so.

2. Is the keyboard quieter than the old white imac one? As in when after a hard day at work do you notice the notice of your fingers pounding on the keys to use them? Cause for me in the white keyboard, there is rather a lot of noise when using the keyboard. Like tap, tap, tap everytime you hit a key and the taps are rather noisy for me as I'm a rather fast typer. And is the tap, tap of using the new keybuard annoying when compared ot the white one, or do you just use it and never notice something such as this?

3. How long does it take to get used to or feel comfortable with the keyboard with everyday use? As I used it at the store and felt really foreign to me. And are the angle of the board itself and the key spacings an issue at all? Would this new design actually reduce things like RSI?

4. Will the new keyboard function ok in bootcamp? As supposedly I have heard the function keys conflict as apple use them for sound up and down and other things too.

5. I don't use the usb ports on my white keyboard, well only the one to hook it to my imac. But in the new mac, do the usb ports have enough power to do things like sync ipods or would I have to continue to use the ports on my imac itself as I do now?

6. Will it look out of place with my white imac and mighty mouse? As to me having all 3 in white look rather nifty.

7. Is it actually worth it in your opinion to swap over?

8. Would the old white keyboard work fine if attached to a G3 imac running 10.3?

9. Does the new alu keyboard come with the Keyboard software update thing required on a cd or do you have to download it through software update?

10. Is there a little raised dot of the f and j keys as there is on the white keyboard? I'm asking this cause for me it's a good way to know if my fingers are centred on the keyboard. If not is there another way to tell if your fingers are centred on the keyboard?

11. Does the keys always register your press on the new keyboard? As I've heard if you press really lightly, they can be pressed not not register as a keystroke on the mac, ise pressed key but no letter on your screen. Is this true of the new keyboard?

12. This doesn't affect me but I'd like to know do you require an intel mac to use the USB 2 port on the keyboard. I've heard PPC machines won't recognise it. Is this true?

13. How long is the USB cable with it? Long enough to attach to an imac sufficiently without leaving lots of cord hanging somewhere?

14. Are there drivers I'll need for the new keyboard to work in XP? And where would one obtain these?

15. Can I shove a USB stick into the new keyboard and it be recognised on my white imac. I heard only the alum imacs will recognise this. Is that true? Maybe it's something to the fact it supports only 100 mA devices where my white keyboard can support 500 mA sevices. I dunno how true this is though.

Thanks so much. And sorry for all the questions. I'm just so undecided if the upgrade is really worth the money or not but hopefully a few answers here will help me out.
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TopDog

 
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That was a lot of questions... I'll just post my 2c:

I have the bluetooth version, it looks awesome with my Mac Mini!

The feel of the keyboard is much like any laptop keyboard. Since I work with laptop's 90% of the time, I felt right at home with the alu keyboard.

The keys are very silent, much more silent than any external keyboard I've ever used, even more silent than most laptop keyboards.

I'm using it with my old white one-button Apple wireless mouse and they look like they belong together.

I don't use Windows on my Mac, and I've never cleaned it so those questions I can't answer, but I've had no issues with key's not being registered.

Here is a pic of mine:


And here is a bigger picture of it with my mouse and TV.

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powermacj7

 
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I have the same iMac as you, and went for the new keyboard and love it. It is easy to clean and feels nice when typing as you don't have to push the keys down far. And they have nice feedback. I would recommend it....

My only complaint is I am not a big fan of the side USB connections, I would have preferred them in the middle like the original keyboard.
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matt1985

 
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i think the new keyboard is excellent, ive had mine for about 6 weeks now, and when ever i use a normal keyboard i cant belive how bad they are to use.

the only snag ive had with mine is the caps lock button, i find u need to hit further towards the light or it doesnt register.
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Cherokee

 
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I love the new keyboard. It's by far the best keyboard I've ever used. It's extremely quiet to type on. It feels like a MacBook keyboard, but the spacing of the keys is better. It's also quieter than the MacBook keyboard. It doesn't have a plastic-like sound. I like it so much, I'm thinking about getting one for my work machine.

It didn't take me any time to get used to typing on it. Of course, I was using a MacBook exclusively before I got the iMac. That may have made it easier. None the less, I don't see it as much of an issue for anyone. It really is a pleasure to type on, IMO.

The keys are responsive. I haven't noticed any problems with the keystrokes registering. If you have a really light touch it might be different. Normal keystroke pressure works fine for me.

It's easy to clean because the keys are flat.

The F and J keys have a raised line on them.

The USB ports are a little bit of a pain to access because they are recessed underneath the sides. I suppose it will be easier to plug stuff in when I get more accustomed to locating them without looking.

The USB ports will not work with my iPod. I have to plug it into the back.

The cord is the perfect length for an iMac. There isn't much extra at all.

iMac - 2.4 C2D - 4GB RAM | MacBook - 2.0 C2D - 2GB RAM | AirPort Extreme Base Station
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I bought the wired one last fall after the white one that came with the iMac G5 started to be capricious and hard to use: some keys I had to pound in so they'd register the keystroke. I didn't want the wireless one because I wanted the extra keys that come with the wired model.

I love it. I had bought for my old G4 iMac a Macally iCeKey keyboard and loved the feel of it, just like a notebooks keyboard, very soft and responsive to typing. I sold the old G4 along with the keyboard.

This Alu keyboard has the same feel to it, I couldn't be more satisfied.

Easy to clean? Maybe with compressed air, but then again there isn't much space for debris to get in, me thinks.
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the8thark

 
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Mac Specs: 17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3

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Thanks for all your responses. You've all made me want to go and get the keyboard. So later after Christmas sometime I will be doing it. And I have been doing a lot of my own research too on this topic and have answered my own questions. Well most of them. The few I couldn't answer you all have done for me. So I'll post all of my answers I now know here for everyone to see. Someone might be interested.

1. According to MHC there shouldn't be much junk underneath the keys to clean. But if so a little compressed air or a vacuum might do the job.

2. It makes a different sound. Takes some time to get used to, but it is a much quieter sound.

3. Apparently the learning time for the keyboard is short. And soon it'll feel natural to the user. And you have to try out the keyboard to see if the shallow angle and height of the board are for you.

4. On the whole yes. There is a few conflicts I've read but nothing major and most people don't even encounter them.

5. No. Not enough power from the USB ports to power things like ipods.

6. Yes it will a little. But it's the choice. Functionality over colour coordination. It's each person's choice.

7. Most of the people I've spoken to and read on here all say yes.

8. I would assume so. But I'm not 100% sure. Anyways it'd look so out of place compared to it's original keyboard, and it's not worth the effort.

9. Not sure but I've read the drivers come with it. Not from any reliable source though. But many users have just plugged it in and it went ok.

10. From Cherokee:
The F and J keys have a raised line on them.

11. Yes if you press some keys stupidly slowly this can happen. But under normal useage it almost never happens.

12. I've heard this is true. But don't quote me on this.

13. Yes it's long enough for most imac setups. And usb cord extenders also exist if needed.
Cherokee also confirmed this.

14. I don't think so. I think it should be ok. Not sure about the function keys though.

15. Supposedly yes this is true. But honestly I wouldn't use the USB connectors on the for anything. I'd stick to the ones on the computer itself.

Thanks to everyone who posted here. I really appreciated it. It really helped my decision.
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