Apple Magic Keyboard Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 20, 2020 at 09:11 am
Apple Magic Keyboard Picture
Test Methodology v0.8
6.3
Mixed usage
4.2
Gaming
7.7
Mobile/Tablet
7.9
Office
6.0
Programming
Connectivity Wireless
Size
Compact (60%)
Mechanical
No

The Apple Magic Keyboard is a good Bluetooth wireless keyboard for office use. Its scissor switches provide a quiet yet satisfying typing experience, but it lacks certain features such as backlighting, and the keyboard uses Apple's proprietary lightning connector to charge. It has a minimalist design that's great for those looking for a clean, wireless setup; however, it's only fully compatible with Apple products, as some keys aren't functional when used with Windows or Linux. This keyboard has a full-size variant that includes a numeric keypad, but the overall performance should remain the same.

Our Verdict

6.3 Mixed usage

The Magic Keyboard is mediocre for mixed usage. Though it performs well for general office use, the lack of programmable keys and software support makes it difficult to recommend for gaming or for programming. However, it's a good choice for those looking for a compact and stylish keyboard that won't take up a lot of space.

4.2 Gaming

The Magic Keyboard is bad for gaming. It doesn't have any programmable macro keys or backlighting, which is disappointing for those who like to game in a dark room. There's also no software support for customization or to save profiles for different games.

See our Gaming recommendations
7.7 Mobile/Tablet

The Magic Keyboard is good when used with mobile devices, but only with those running on iOS or iPadOS, as it doesn't work at all with Android devices. On the upside, the keyboard is very small and light, making it easy to travel with.

7.9 Office

The Magic Keyboard is good for office use. It provides a comfortable typing experience and makes very little noise, which is great for noise-sensitive offices. Unfortunately, its compatibility with other operating systems is quite limiting, but for those using an Apple computer, it's an okay choice.

6.0 Programming

The Magic Keyboard is disappointing for programming. Although the typing experience is good, it doesn't have any programmable keys. Additionally, it's only fully compatible with macOS, as functionality is limited when connected to devices running on Windows or Linux.

  • 6.3 Mixed usage
  • 4.2 Gaming
  • 7.7 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.9 Office
  • 6.0 Programming
Pros
  • Clean design.
  • Sturdy build.
  • Comfortable typing experience.
Cons
  • No app support for customization.
  • No backlighting.

Check Price

Silver Magic Keyboard
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
0.4" (1.1 cm)
Width 11.0" (27.9 cm)
Depth 4.5" (11.5 cm)
Weight 0.5 lbs (0.2 kg)

The Magic Keyboard has a very small footprint since it's a tenkeyless keyboard. However, there's a full-size variant with a numeric keypad available.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is excellent. It has a rigid aluminum chassis and it's also very light. The keyboard doesn't exhibit any flex at all, and since the keys are very low profile, it leaves very little room for debris to accumulate, which helps to keep the keyboard clean.

7.0
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
0
Wrist Rest No

This keyboard has decent ergonomics. It doesn't have incline settings and doesn't come with a wrist rest, however, the low profile keys are very comfortable to type on.

0
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting No
Color No Backlighting
Brightness Settings
No
Individually Backlit Keys
No

The Magic Keyboard doesn't have backlighting, making it unsuitable for dark room settings.

Design
Cable
Detachable
Yes (Wired Mode and Charge)
Length 3.3 ft (1.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) Lightning

The keyboard charges via Apple's proprietary lightning connector and can be used wired as well.

7.5
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Proprietary Receiver
No
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Battery Type
Rechargeable

This keyboard has good wireless versatility, as it can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth with almost any device, with the exception of devices running on Android. It has a built-in rechargeable battery and Apple claims that it should last over a month between charges, though this isn't something that we test for. For a wireless keyboard that can connect to multiple devices simultaneously, check out the Logitech K780.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
No
Extra Controls
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
No

Unfortunately, this keyboard has very few extra features. There are media control hotkeys, but it lacks features such as programmable keys or USB passthrough.

Design
In The Box

  • Apple Magic Keyboard
  • Lightning to USB cable
  • User Guide

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Scissor
Feel
Tactile
Actuation Force
36.3 gf
Pre-Travel
0.86 mm
Total Travel
1.15 mm

As with most scissor switches, the actuation point is low and it requires very little force to actuate, which can sometimes cause unintended keystrokes to register.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The typing experience on the Magic Keyboard is great. It has a similar typing experience to Apple laptops and is very easy to type on. Although it has a low key travel (more than the butterfly switches that we've seen in recent years), the keys feel responsive and provide a satisfying tactile feedback to let you know when a key has been actuated. The keys are well-spaced, which is great for typing accuracy; also, they're very stable and don't wobble at all.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Very Quiet

Typing noise on this keyboard is very quiet and shouldn't be bothersome to those around you.

Software and Operating System
0
Software and Operating System
Software
Software Name No Software
Account Required
No Software
Profiles
No Profile
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
No
RGB Programming
No
Macro Programming
No
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No

This keyboard doesn't have a software for customization.

8.4
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Partial
macOS Full
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS Full
iPadOS Full

The Apple Magic Keyboard has great compatibility. It can be connected to almost any device via Bluetooth, except for devices running on Android. The keyboard has full functionality when used with one of Apple's operating systems; however, function keys and OS-specific keys such as the launch pad and mission control don't work on Windows and Linux.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

The Apple Magic keyboard is available in a full size variant with a numeric keypad and it's the only difference between them.

Compared to other keyboards

Logitech MX Keys
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Logitech MX Keys is significantly better than the Apple Magic Keyboard in mixed usage, though they're both decent for general office use. However, the Logitech is a full-sized keyboard with a numeric pad and also has backlighting. The build quality isn't as good as the Magic Keyboard, but it has full compatibility with Windows and has software for customization. The MX Keys can also be paired with up to three devices at the same time, making it much easier to switch between them.

Microsoft Surface Keyboard
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Microsoft Surface Keyboard and the Apple Magic Keyboard are very similar in terms of build and features. The main differences are that the Apple has a built-in rechargeable battery, while the Surface uses disposable batteries. The Surface keyboard is a full-size keyboard that includes a NumPad, and its higher actuation point can be better for typing accuracy, as there's less of a chance for unintended keystrokes to be registered.

Logitech K780
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Logitech K780 is a more versatile keyboard than the Apple Magic Keyboard. All of the K780's keys work on all platforms, while the Magic Keyboard is only partially compatible with Windows, and can't be used with Android devices. The K780 can also be connected to three devices simultaneously, while the Magic Keyboard can only be connected to one. On the other hand, the Magic Keyboard is lighter and has a 60% compact design.

Logitech Keys-To-Go
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Apple Magic Keyboard is much better than the Logitech Keys-To-Go in mixed usage, though the Logitech is meant more as a portable keyboard to be used with mobile devices. It's not as well-built as the Magic Keyboard, but it has dedicated media keys and typing noise is also kept to a minimum. It also uses a micro-USB cable to charge rather than a proprietary connector.

Logitech K840 Mechanical Keyboard
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Logitech K840 Mechanical Keyboard is better than the Apple Magic Keyboard in mixed usage. Although they use different switches, the Magic keyboard's scissor switches provide a satisfying typing experience with minimal noise. Unfortunately, there's no backlighting on this keyboard and it only has full compatibility with other Apple devices. It also lacks other features such as dedicated media controls and USB passthrough.

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