When you suddenly find yourself having to work from home, trapped with a knackered old Macbook Air instead of your trusty work PC, Apple's range of snazzy peripherals may suddenly seem very tempting.
If certain keys on your ancient laptop are next-to-useless after years of wear and tear, you might find the Apple Magic Keyboard With Numeric Keypad to be a tantalising proposition.
Its RRP is £129.99, but at the time of writing,
that will get you one for £116.48. Either way, spending triple-digits on a keyboard will be a difficult decision to make. Is the Apple Magic Keyboard worth it?
We took the plunge, paid that deal price, and we're never going to look back. Here's why...
Unboxing and first impressions - Score 100
Although it arrived in a particularly massive Amazon parcel, the box containing the Magic Keyboard is actually sleek and slender. It's just a bit long, which is probably why Amazon struggled to find a more fitted box for it.
After pulling open the box and carefully unfolding the paper wrapper within, we came face to face with the Apple Magic Keyboard. The first thing you notice is that it looks very cool - you can immediately tell that you've got a high-end piece of kit in your hands.
The first thing you notice is that it looks very cool.
At risk of sounding overly dramatic, the Apple Magic Keyboard is full of likeable contradictions: it's unfathomably thin but somehow still sturdy, noticeably light without feeling flimsy, and surprisingly compact despite the fact we ordered the one with the extra numeric keypad.
The white-on-grey design that we chose looks elegant and understated on the wooden kitchen table that has recently been requisitioned for a hastily-assembled home office. The black and grey variant might look better if you've got darker furnishings.
One of the first things we did was
. This isn't just a keyboard you'll want to chuck in a drawer to gather dust. Rather, this is the new crowning jewel of your home office - you'll want to look after it.
Set up and use - Score 100
It looks great, but will it be a faff to set this keyboard up? Thankfully not! You just flick a discrete switch on the top side of the keyboard, and then plug the keyboard into your Mac with the USB-to-lightning cable that comes included.
Prepare to be stunned, because within MERE SECONDS you'll see a notification pop up on the screen and tell you the keyboard is connected. You're now free to disconnect the cable and let the built-in bluetooth do the work. It's honestly hard to think how this set-up process could be any easier.
When it comes to actually typing things, there is no discernable delay between your fingertips and the words that appear on the screen. No longer having to lean over your laptop is an added bonus, but then again you could say that about any wireless keyboard.
It's worth stating, then, that the overall feel of this particular keyboard is top-notch: the keys clack away quietly and have just the right amount of give to them, controlling the brightness and volume of your Macbook is easy on the Magic Keyboard, and you'll also appreciate the slightly tilted design (which allows you to glimpse down and get your bearings if your fingers ever get lost). It's very satisfying to type on this keyboard, and it doesn't feel like hard work.
The battery life is ridiculously good.
It's also worth stating that the battery life of the Apple Magic Keyboard is ridiculously good, and you can check how much juice you've got left by simply clicking on the Bluetooth icon that sits next to the Wifi signal at the top off your Mac screen.
Our keyboard came with about 85% charge - we've been using it 9-to-5 for over a week since, and the battery has only reduced to 76%. It could be well over a month before we have to worry about plugging this bad boy in.
Does the numeric keyboard make much difference? It is quite handy when you're writing about things like the
, prices and specs all day... and it makes jumping from mouse to numbers particularly easy. That being said, if you're a bit short on space, you probably wouldn't miss the number pad that much unless you use numbers a lot in your daily work.
Also, although this keyboard is very much geared towards work-based usage, it's worth saying that it does work for gaming too. We loaded up K
nights Of The Old Republic
and the Magic Keyboard's WASD keys and arrow keys did the trick fine - it was actually quite a nice, light-touch way to play.
Price - Score 75
It's the only downside, it really is, but it is also par for the course with Apple. This is an iconic, established company and you wouldn't expect them to give away their snazzy tech on the cheap. We were actually pretty grateful to see that deal on
That being said, paying less than a hundred quid for the genuine pleasure of using this keyboard would have been amazing. Of course it would. But it might be unfair to expect that.
That being said, for upwards of £100 you might like to have seen some sort of case included. Or perhaps a plug to go with the cable. At least it has a year's warranty, though.
- Very light
- Incredibly quick to set up
- Very sleek design
- Easy to use
- Battery lasts for ages
- A bit on the pricey side
- Doesn't come with a case or a plug
When you put the word 'magic' in the name of your product, you had better deliver something great or you will just look a bit weird. This keyboard absolutely lives up to its moniker, though. You could even say its spellbinding... if you were feeling a bit dramatic.