The 7 Best Alternatives to Apple’s Official Magic Keyboard

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Apple’s Magic Keyboard is the default option for every Mac desktop and a popular choice for MacBook users using a dock. But did you know you have far better options?

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The Magic Keyboard costs $99, has a slim profile, and doesn’t include a number pad. It feature scissor keys, which aren’t as bad as the Butterfly form on new MacBook models, but are nowhere near as good as the old Apple Keyboard. Its bigger keys are more stable, but lack in key travel—this can make typing for a long time uncomfortable.

Whether you need a slim portable option, a mechanical keyboard, or an ergonomic design, here are the best keyboards for Mac users.

1. Logitech K380

Logitech K380

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard, Windows, Mac, Chrome OS Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard, Windows, Mac, Chrome OS Buy Now On Amazon $29.95

This model packs a lot of functionality in the size of the Magic Keyboard, and is the best wireless keyboard Logitech makes. The Logitech K380 comes with multi-device support, so you can connect up to three different devices and quickly switch between them using the function keys at the top. It supports macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS.

Even better, it intelligently switches the keyboard layout when you pair to another device. For example, when you swap from a Mac to a Windows PC, the Option key becomes the Windows key.

The Logitech K380 hits the sweet spot. It’s compact enough that you can keep it in your bag wherever you go, but the keys are big enough to serve as a full-time desktop keyboard. The keyboard runs off two AAA batteries, which should last for a year.

If you love the idea of this keyboard, check out other great wireless keyboards The 12 Best Wireless RF and Bluetooth Keyboards of 2019 The 12 Best Wireless RF and Bluetooth Keyboards of 2019 Choosing a wireless keyboard can be a great way to clear cable clutter from your desk. Which is the best wireless keyboard for you? Read More as well.

2. Anker Ultra Compact Keyboard

Anker Compact Keyboard

Anker Ultra Compact Slim Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Anker Ultra Compact Slim Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $21.99

Anker’s Ultra Compact Keyboard gives you a Magic Keyboard-style layout at a fifth of the price. If you’re taken by the Magic Keyboard’s slim profile and design, but can’t justify the $99 price tag, take a look at the Anker Ultra Compact Keyboard.

It’s a great option for MacBook users who need a keyboard occasionally when traveling. The keyboard comes with a Mac layout, complete with media playback and macOS function keys at the top. There’s a built-in 800mAh battery that will last for six months.

3. Matias Wireless Aluminium Keyboard

Matius wireless keyboard

Matias FK418BTB Bluetooth Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and 4-Device Sync - Compatible with Mac, Windows, Android Devices (Space Gray) Matias FK418BTB Bluetooth Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and 4-Device Sync - Compatible with Mac, Windows, Android Devices (Space Gray) Buy Now On Amazon $94.62

Matias makes some of the best keyboards for Mac, and the Wireless Aluminium Keyboard is no exception. It comes in Space Gray, along with a full numeric pad. You’ll find your familiar macOS function and playback keys at the top.

The Matias keyboard pairs with up to four devices and you can easily switch between them. Unlike some of the cheaper keyboards from Logitech, Matias provides dedicated buttons for device switching (instead of doubling them up with function keys).

The keyboard lasts for a year on a full charge and comes with a rechargeable battery. The only downside is that you can’t change the typing angle of the keyboard.

4. Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac

Das Keyboard Professional 4

Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Keyboard - Soft Tactile Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Keyboard - Soft Tactile Buy Now On Amazon $168.99

Das Keyboard means business. And if you type all day on your Mac, we recommend a mechanical keyboard. The tactile keys make it easy to type for longer periods of time.

Das is one of the few companies that make mechanical keyboards with full macOS support. The layout mimics the Magic Keyboard and there’s no need to install a driver. Just like a Magic Keyboard, it works reliably every time.

This keyboard gives you a choice between MX Cherry Brown and Blue switches. If you’re new to the mechanical switches scene, the difference is simple. Blue switches are more clicky and thus make a louder noise, while Brown switches are softer and quieter. Both give you the same tactile feeling when pressing them.

The board comes with a 6.5-foot cable and a big volume dial that’s satisfying to use. The Professional version of the Das keyboard includes two USB-A 3.0 ports as well.

While there’s no built-in elevation on the keyboard, it does come with a detachable magnetic foot bar that also acts as a ruler. In all, the Das Professional 4 Keyboard is the best option for Mac users who want a reliable, high-end mechanical keyboard.

5. WASD Code


Code 104-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard with White LED Backlighting - Cherry MX Green Code 104-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard with White LED Backlighting - Cherry MX Green Buy Now On Amazon

WASD’s Code mechanical keyboard is all about the features, even if it looks basic at first glance. This options is designed with minimalism in mind. It doesn’t even have a logo on the front, and is all black and white.

Look a bit further, and you’ll find that the keyboard is backlit. It comes with a six-foot detachable USB cable with five channel cable management built-in. WASD’s stellar keycap puller is included in the box, so you can easily pull out a key.

At the back, you’ll find some DIP switches that let you switch between different modes. You can switch to Mac layout, disable the function keys, or even try an alternative ergonomic typing layout like Dvorak. All of this is built right into the hardware, so there’s no need to mess around with software.

This keyboard comes in many layouts, from 61 keys to a full 104-key layout. And you can get it with Cherry MX Clear, Brown, Blue, or Green switches based on your key preference.

6. Azio MK Mac Keyboard

Azio MK Mac Wired Keyboard

Azio USB Mechanical Backlit Keyboard for Mac (Brown K-Switch) Azio USB Mechanical Backlit Keyboard for Mac (Brown K-Switch) Buy Now On Amazon $95.99

Azio MK brings back memories of the old Apple II keyboard. Its pure white isn’t just for looks; it’s rugged as well.

The Azio MK Mac Keyboard is one of the few keyboards with a full Mac layout and numeric pad. It comes with a brushed aluminum face plate that gives it the 80s look. While it’s quite bulky, you can detach the handrest to reclaim some space. This mechanical keyboard comes with Cherry MX Brown switches.

Azio MK makes both wired and wireless versions. The wired version comes with a branded USB cable and is backlit.

7. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001 ) Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001 ) Buy Now On Amazon $53.92

If you’re a programmer, or you type for hours on end, you should try using an ergonomic keyboard. It will help you deal with fatigue, pain, and RSI issues.

Of the many ergonomic keyboards available, Microsoft’s Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard is the best option for most users. It works well with a Mac and doesn’t do anything extreme in the name of ergonomics.

You’ll find a standard split keyset design that partitions the keyboard in two halves. There’s a slight curve to the two halves, which make it easier to position your hands on the cushioned palm rest. The keyboard comes with a detachable number pad, so you can place it at a distance that’s comfortable for you.

Make Any Keyboard Better With Keyboard Shortcuts

Choosing the perfect keyboard How to Choose the Perfect Keyboard for Your Typing Tasks How to Choose the Perfect Keyboard for Your Typing Tasks Planning to buy a new keyboard? Need one that is comfortable and reliable, or just cheap? Here's how to choose a new keyboard. Read More is highly subjective. If you need something portable that you can use with multiple devices, buy the Logitech K380. But if you plan to use your MacBook as a desktop, buying an ergonomic or a mechanical keyboard makes a lot more sense.

If you need something more suite for gaming, check out the best gaming keyboards The 7 Best Gaming Keyboards of 2019 The 7 Best Gaming Keyboards of 2019 A dedicated gaming keyboard could transform your enjoyment and experience. Which is the best gaming keyboard for you? Read More around. And remember, whichever keyboard you end up buying, you can use that one keyboard to control multiple computers!

Explore more about: Keyboard, MacBook, Touch Typing.

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  1. David Mwangi
    November 14, 2019 at 6:25 am


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  2. Chris
    September 13, 2019 at 4:23 am

    This article is just dumb. None of these alternatives are as good as the magic keyboard. Come on, a keyboard that is $19.99 is going to compare to $100.00? Get real. Idiots.

  3. Damien
    July 17, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Lovin' my Apple Magic Keyboard. Using it with my PC. The fast, precise, lightweight feel of the keypresses is perfect for me. Was also glad to be finally rid of the numeric keypad, which I never use.

  4. Sophie
    June 13, 2019 at 10:41 am

    I also suggest to have a look at Velocifire M87, tactile brown switch, the only Mac layout MK I found under USD60. I am glad to see it join the mac keyboard alternatives.

  5. Bun
    January 31, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Sculpt doesn't work well with the new touchbar Macbook Pros unfortunately. They require the use of a usb receiver, which needs to be plugged into an adapter/dongle, and the result is really choppy, unreliable input from both the keyboard and mouse.

  6. Peg
    December 16, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    We have had ongoing problems with the Apple keyboard and mice failing Bluetooth connections. I had two Magic Mice in a row that wouldn't connect consistently and my partner has a keyboard and mouse with same problems. Might one of these be better in that respect? (I talked to Apple for hours about one of the mice and the person I worked with ended up turning my Mac Mini into a brick for me. SO, no, not going back there.)

  7. Ron
    June 21, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    While I kind of like the Apple keyboard, what I really detest on it is the caps lock key. I usually hit it at the start of a sentence then hit it again to go to lower case but what happens is that my initial hit on the key does nothing then my second hit turns caps lock with the result that any sentence I type starts with a lower case letter and the rest in capitals. It doesn't help that the caps lock light is on the actual key as the way I type my fingers conceal it. I just wish the caps lock light was at the top of the keyboard.

  8. Julian Pereira
    September 1, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I tried out my brother's Razor mechanical gaming keyboard just to give it a try. I was considering getting a mechanical keyboard. Honestly, I did not feel as comfortable and I was not able type as fast on it as I am able to do on the Apple.

    To be honest, I am not able to use the DELL keyboard at my office workstation as well as I am able to type on the Apple. Maybe it is low key-travel and stuff. Certainly would take a bit more getting used to.

    I just do not find anything more comfortable than my Apple keyboard.

    • Dann Albright
      September 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      I really like my Apple keyboards, too. I haven't yet tried a mechanical one, though I've been meaning to do that for quite a while now . . . but the low profile of the Apple boards are great. It took me a while to get used to it, but I'm a big fan now. I recently switched from the USB keyboard to the Bluetooth one, and I'm not digging the smaller space—it feels a bit cramped on the shift keys. But other than that, I'm also a big fan.

  9. Lucy Rasmussen
    August 9, 2016 at 1:42 am

    The spacebar has failed now on two Apple keyboards.

    • Dann Albright
      August 16, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Really? That's strange . . . haven't heard of that being a widespread problem. Do you use the spacebar more than most people? :-)

      • Jonathan
        March 20, 2019 at 9:15 am

        I realise this is old, but I couldn't help but notice Lucy's comment.

        The space bar (and one other key, I forget which now, but I think it was number 8 key) simultaneously died on my previous bluetooth mac keyboard. So I had to fork out for a new one.

        The new KB has been fine for about two years. But this morning, out of the blue, the right command key and the tilde ` key died simultaneously. They worked last night, yet both didn't work the next morning.

        Needless to say, that's how I ended up on your blog post, in my search for a better (cheaper and more reliable) external keyboard for my Mac. Here in New Zealand, Apple charges $150 for these Magic keyboards. It seems to me the only thing "magic" about them is how two seemingly unrelated keys can simultaneously and spontaneously die on their own accord.

  10. p4vlos
    April 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I have razer mouse and razer mechanical keyboard and I feel that using magic mouse and magic keyboard is more suitable for both.

    Magic keyboard: the magic keyboard has the same layout with my macbook's keyboard so I have better muscle memory using it than the mechanical keyboard with the thick key caps and the difference of the layout. I am changing keyboards almost every 2-3 weeks but still i don't deny that I really like the magic keyboard.

    Magic mouse 2: I'm using gestures with my trackpad when i am on the way and the most common is three fingers slide right and left for changing fullscreen windows. I like the ergonomics of my Razer Deathadder but it doesn't feel and work as the Magic Mouse. I still prefer my Razer mouse for gaming like Counter Strike but still for daily drive i prefer Magic Mouse. It needs some time to get used to it but then is perfect.

    • Dann Albright
      April 20, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks for weighing in! You're right; there are definitely advantages to being very Mac-focused on the keyboard and the mouse. I don't use too many gestures on my trackpad, so that might be why I prefer a non-Apple mouse. I do really like my keyboard, though.

  11. Justin Pot
    December 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I have the Logitech Wireless Solar K750 for Mac, and it's working really well for me. In sunny Boulder it was always fully charged, but since moving to cloudy Portland it tends to hover around 90% charged. Never been close to depleted in a couple years of use, and I really like the layout. Number pad is a nice perk.

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      Now that I'm back in Colorado and out of England, that's a definite contender on my list. :-) Especially with the number pad; I don't use it often, but when I do, I'm really glad that I have it. Also, I'd say that 90% charged in Portland is pretty impressive!

      • Justin Pot
        December 9, 2015 at 8:56 pm

        Yeah I'm also a lot further away from the window than before so I'm pretty impressed with how well it keeps charged.

    • Martin Robbins
      November 16, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      I have used the Logitech wireless K750 on my Mac for many years and wouldn't even think of trading it for some other keyboard. It's been on the market for quite a while and well-tested and received by numerous users. It is a solid product, designed for the Mac. I have never had any operating problems or issues with the product but perhaps I am just lucky.

      1. It works the way it is supposed to with no problems!!! Can I really say more, but I will.

      2. It is light and easily portable, even carrying it around in my backpack for some of my travels. I just switch the dongle from my desktop to my laptop giving me access to the keyboard as well as my wireless mouse. If you have a second Logitech unifying dongle, which I do, you don't even have to switch the dongle.

      3. No need to worry about batteries or Bluetooth connections (although I do not mean to imply there is anything wrong with Bluetooth.) Just follow a few simple directions to install the unifying software and then forget about it.

      4. Solar works well, even when sun is not shining. However, after years of use, I still haven't figured out whether I really get a recharge from non-solar light sources. Anybody out there with some information on this issue?

      5. The "unifying" dongle works perfectly with my mouse as well as keyboard. One dongle for both. Saves a USB port, which is particularly important on a laptop.

      • Dann Albright
        November 28, 2016 at 2:44 am

        I've heard really good things about that keyboard, but I haven't had the chance to try one myself. It sounds great, though! And you have a really good point about the Logitech unifying dongle; I have one for my mouse, and not using another port would be really convenient.

  12. Anonymous
    December 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I don't like Apple's input devices. I don't like the limited key travel or keys missing relative to the standard 104 key PC keyboard. I hate the battery annihilating Bluetooth wireless models. I think the ergonomics on its laptop keyboards are even worse, mostly because of the hard corner and too large touchpad.

    So for me, the best keyboard got a Mac is whatever $10 Logitech, Microsoft or Amazon keyboard happens to be closest.

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      I agree on the Bluetooth/battery issue; I'm hoping that low energy Bluetooth becomes a lot more widespread in the near future. I don't mind the key layout, but I agree about the key travel; there's not much, and it doesn't make for a very satisfying typing experience. I've had my Apple keyboard for a long time, and I've gotten used to it, but I'm hoping to move to something a bit better in the near future.