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New Mac Magic Keyboards – what we want, alts, more


Apple debuted its standalone Magic Keyboard for Mac back in 2015, which wasn’t drastically different from the aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard that launched all the way back in 2007. While we’ve had a few updates to color options over the past years, a new Mac Magic Keyboard is definitely due – here’s what we want in refreshed versions and when we might see them.

New Mac Magic Keyboards

Colors

Space gray

After a decade of only silver and white with the aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Keyboard, Apple released the first space gray version bundled with the iMac Pro in 2017.

Since the new dark-themed Magic Keyboard and mouse/trackpad were exclusive to the iMac Pro, resellers started selling them at huge markups on eBay. But Apple started selling the space gray option standalone four months later in March 2018.

However, the space gray Magic Keyboard came at a $20 premium over the silver and white version. Also, Apple still doesn’t offer space gray for its Magic Keyboard without the numpad.

Silver and black

When the Mac Pro launched in 2019, it arrived with a new special silver and black version of the Magic Keyboard. And it wasn’t available to buy on its own. As it turns out, it’s remained that way until this day (although you can find some on eBay and such).

What we’d like to see

With all of Apple’s Macs coming in either silver and black or space gray and black (ok, MacBook Air with gold too : ) it would only make sense to offer the Magic Keyboard in both numpad and non-numpad versions in space gray, as well as silver black – bonus points for a gold and black version.

And it’d be nice to see Apple offer multiple colors without a price premium for the newest ones.

Side rant: Space gray and silver for MacBook power bricks/cables as well as for AirPods and AirPods Pro plz and thanks! 😅.

Design and functionality

Keys

Alright, so for the key layout, the standalone Magic Keyboard is outdated compared to the latest Magic Keyboard on the MacBook Air, here’s a look (2020 MacBook Air on top, Mac Magic keyboard on bottom):

New Mac Magic Keyboard: What we'd like to see - old function keys

For the function keys, the three changes are that the latest Magic Keyboard built into the MacBook Air includes dedicated Siri/dictation and Do Not Disturb keys as well as Touch ID – the standalone Magic Keyboard is missing all of those.

Also, the standalone Mac Magic Keyboard features the old arrow key layout (horizontal) while the current MacBook Air and Pro notebooks feature the compact inverted T arrow layout (the standalone Magic Keyboard with numpad has a full inverted T arrow layout).

Backlighting

Simple and straightforward one here. At $99-$150, it seems long-past due that Apple includes backlit keys on its standalone Magic Keyboard. I think just basic white backlighting would be fine here.

This has become standard with third-party keyboards at about half the price.



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