When Apple released their new iMacs in august 2007 they came with a new keyboard, upon researching this keyboard I became intrigued not just because they were manufactured by apple, instead I was interested in their stunning looks. Since I do not feel like spending a grand on a brand new iMac I just decided to pay the $49 for this keyboard. Now I didn't purchase this to use with any Apple products, instead I bought it so I could use it on my Windows XP desktop. Now as odd as this may seem, the newer Apple keyboards are compatible and seem to work great with XP because they are USB. Apple of course doesn't mention the fact you can use these with XP but I been using them with windows for a couple years, since the G4 Power PC models. You can buy this keyboard anywhere that sells apple products, I have a certified retailer up the street from me so I got this for the retail price of $49, and probably if you dig around online you can find it for less. Apple also offers a Bluetooth wireless version, now this version doesn't include a number pad so it's significantly smaller, and I really don't have any use for a wireless keyboard. So this review is focusing on the wired model that is available with the iMac 2007/8 models.
Now remember that I'm not reviewing especially from a Apple standpoint since I'm using this with a windows XP desktop, I'm sure this works perfect with Vista also and if I ever upgrade to Vista I will update this review.
the Review :
The keyboard is in many ways close to the Macbook Laptops, it is very svelte compared to other similar keyboards, in fact if you're short on desk space this keyboard only takes up a short amount of space, which is great for people with small houses and limited desk space. I know that I hate a huge keyboard and this is the smallest I've seen, even smaller then the original iMac keyboard which was pretty small back in the day. The keyboard has an all aluminum design which looks like something out of back to the future, I never would have imagined seeing a keyboard like these four years ago. You cannot configure the height of this keyboard, which never bothered me because I don't care, but if you need an adjustable keyboard this definitely isn't suited to you. The feel of this keyboard is excellent, when you write for a living like I do you need to be able to execute jobs comfortably and you can definitely do that with this keyboard. The keyboard actually feels like it was pulled off of a Macbook notebook, except it isn't backlit, but thanks to how smooth this keyboard feels I can type much faster then with the previous generic keyboards of yesteryear. The keyboard also has special feature keys for Mac OSX, like Volume, Screen Brightness, Expose, and Pause/Play/Stop/, however if you are going to use these with OSX they require an update from apple as some of them have changed locations from previous models.
Located on each side of the keyboard are two USB 2.0 Ports, which are upgraded from the previous USB 1.1 ports on the previous models, now these are unpowered ports which means they will not work with your iPod contrary to what apple says, these ports are great for hooking up optical mice or game controllers, which also frees up your computers available USB ports. The overall response time from this keyboard seems to be very fast, I don't know any technical stats but I'm able to write a 2000 word article in less then twenty minutes using this keyboard, something that use to take me a few hours easy. The quality of this keyboard is really top notch, especially compared to ordinary $40 dollar windows keyboards, you just can't find quality like this from anyone but Apple.
Closing Opinion :
This is by far my favorite keyboard and probably will be for years to come, with exceptional build quality, a thin small profile, lighting fast key response, and with a cost of only $49.00 you cannot beat this value. Plus you get apples piece of mind like most of their products, and remember that this keyboard does work on XP because I'm using it so if you don't have money hanging around for a iMac then you can get the next best thing.
~Thanks for Reading~