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I'm a Macbook Pro user. I like Apple products in general, but I hate their keyboards.

I work on my computer/laptop 10+ hours a day, so I would like to have a keyboard that is Mac-compatible and ergonomic.

I found this one on Amazon. It is specifically made for Mac. However, I would like to get some suggestions from people who found good keyboards for Mac.

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8 Answers 8

up vote 12 down vote accepted

I've not seen any USB keyboard not work with OS X..

The only "problem" is the Windows(/Command) and Alt(/Option) key are swapped in location from the regular Apple keyboards... but you can easily fix this by going to System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard > Modifier Keys:

Modifier keys preference

..then swapping Option and Command keys

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Using a PC keyboard is a no-go for non-US keyboards as the non-alphanumeric layout differs significantly. The solution is to download in that case is to download Ukelele which comes bundled with PC layouts for Mac. Then you can swap the option and command keys. –  Lloeki Sep 30 '11 at 9:29

Any keyboard (for the most part) will work in a Mac thats USB. The only difference is that the Windows key becomes the Command key, Alt becomes Option and are reversed from the Mac standard. If this isn't a problem, then go for any keyboard you would want.

Logitech makes great stuff.

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/keyboards/keyboard/devices/3071&cl=us,en

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That's what I mean when I say Mac compatible. Many keyboards don't work with Option/Apple keys. I bought a logitech keyboard in the past and did not work. –  codingbear Jul 15 '09 at 23:48
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Did not work, meaning no apple key support at all. Windows key wasn't doing anything. –  codingbear Jul 15 '09 at 23:49
    
"Compatible" usually means works. –  Daniel A. White Jul 15 '09 at 23:49
    
That one is listed as mac compatible. –  Daniel A. White Jul 15 '09 at 23:50
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@Daniel A. White: If apple key doesn't work, I take it as "not Mac-compatible". I use that key all the time and can't live without it on my Mac. –  codingbear Jul 16 '09 at 0:01

Try the Matias Tactile Pro series of keyboards. Available in Windows and Mac flavors. Wonderful old-school mechanical actions.

I've got a Tactile Pro 2 which is an absolute delight - apart from some key ghosting. Hopefully the Pro 3.0 will resolve those issues.

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I just got a notice that the Matias Tactile Pro 3 is coming out and the price?? $160!!! This is a big giant absolutely NO. I wish I could - it looks great, but man...... hasnt anyone heard of the "mild" recession we're having? Oh well. –  Electric Automation Oct 5 '09 at 19:53

I've got a bunch of Kinesis ergonomic keyboards and am currently typing this (on my iMac) on a Kinesis Advantage. Great keyboard, especially if you're suffering from RSI or similar, works fine with my Mac and even comes with Mac key caps.

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looks great, but.. damn too expensive for me! :) –  codingbear Jul 17 '09 at 21:54
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Heh. They aren't cheap but they do seem to last a long time. I've got two of them dating back from about 2001 and they're still working fine. I expect a few more years of use out of them! –  Timo Geusch Jul 18 '09 at 18:55

The Model M class of keyboards, historically made by IBM and now by Unicomp, are incredible from an ergonomy point of view.

Unicomp now makes them with USB interface. They have a PC layout, so you'll need to swap Option and Command in System Preferences on the Mac. They may be able to customize what's printed on the keys for you if you ask.

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I've used a PC keyboard on a mac for years. At first, I used DoubleCommand to swap the windows and alt keys to be in the same position as mac keyboards. Now I just use the keyboard preferences. Recently they updated it to remember devices. Before, I'd have to go to Prefs->Keyboard & Mouse -> Modifier Keys each time I wanted to change from using my pc keyboard to the laptop keyboard. Now, the preferences remembers devices I plug in and lets me set up my modifier keys.

The main difference is going to be the lack of an eject key, but you can press and hold F12. For power off, press ctrl-F12. You might miss the media keys (volume up, pause itunes etc) but I live without them.

The keyboard I use all the time isn't ergonomic, but has a very nice key action. It uses brown cherry switches to make a less mushy response than the apple pro keyboard. It's called a Filco Majestouch Linear.

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Nobody's recommended the Microsoft Natural line yet? The MS Natural 4000 is truly the Cadillac of keyboards... pleather palmrests, good key action, extremely sturdy and well-built. There is also a native Mac driver for mapping command/ctrl/alt, hotkeys, etc., but the keyboard will still work as a standard USB device without it.

If you are a serious typist, it's well worth the investment.

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Personal annoyances with that particular keyboard are - No USB ports - No right hand Windows key (astonishing considering this is an MS product) - The zoom control is pointless unless you reconfigure it as a scroller - The space bar is awful, the curved design makes it really hard to press - It is not wireless - I would prefer a volume knob like you get on the freebie Dell keyboards –  adolf garlic Jan 8 '10 at 10:42
    
The main annoyance I have with this keyboard is it causes OS X to crash like, er... something that crashes. A lot. I've had two hangs inside of an hour now. I've just updated the drivers to Intellipoint 7.1 too, which seems to make the problem worse. If you actually want to do some work, avoid the MS Natural 4000 like the plague. –  John Gallagher Mar 31 '10 at 11:37

If you're running Snow Leopard, don't get the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000.

It's certainly a pleasure to type on, but has caused my Mac to crash so often now that it's impractical to use if I want to get any work done at all.

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