Buying Guides Mac

The 9 Best Alternatives to Apple’s Official Magic Keyboard

Kris Wouk Updated 17-02-2020

The Apple Magic keyboard is a quality keyboard, but it’s not for everyone. It’s also not that cheap. While you might have got one with your brand new Mac, it’s not the only option you have if you’re looking for a new keyboard to pair with your MacBook Pro or Mac Mini.

Advertisement

You might prefer mechanical switches or want a wireless keyboard for Mac that you can use with other devices. No matter what type you prefer, if you’re in search of the best keyboard for Mac, these choices are a great place to start.

1. Das Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac

Das Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac Das Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac Buy Now On Amazon $74.37

They’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but mechanical keyboards provide a tactile experience that many touch typists are fond of. The Das Keyboard Model S is a sleek mechanical model that uses Cherry MX Blue switches with gold contacts. These provide the most “click” in a button press of the entire Cherry MX line.

While some mechanical keyboards are relatively barebones affairs, this one is not. In addition to the standard keys, which use the Mac keyboard layout, this has media keys, including volume and playback control. An onboard USB hub means you don’t have to reach far to plug in your phone or other accessories.

2. Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac

Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac Buy Now On Amazon $154.56

Advertisement

Das Keyboard is a major name when it comes to Mac compatible keyboards of the mechanical variety, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see them appear twice on this list. While the Model S uses Cherry MX Blue switches, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional uses Cherry MX Brown, which are softer and quieter while still providing a tactile click to let you know you pressed the key.

Like the Model S, this edition has media keys and a full number pad. It also has an onboard USB hub. While the Model S only has a USB 2.0 hub, this model includes a faster USB 3 hub. The aluminum top panel makes the keyboard tough and sleek-looking, making it one of the best keyboards for Mac you’ll find.

3. Keychron K2 RGB Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Keychron K2 RGB Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Keychron K2 RGB Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon

If you want a mechanical keyboard for Mac with the exciting RGB lighting you’ll find on many PC keyboards, your options are limited. That said, the Keychron K2 RGB Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has a lot going for it. For starters, you don’t often find wireless mechanical keyboards.

Advertisement

You also get your choice of switches. While this uses Gateron switches instead of the more popular Cherry MX switches, you get your choice of blue, brown, or red switches. These are roughly equivalent to Cherry MX offerings, with blue being the clickiest, red being the most quiet, and brown being somewhere in between.

4. Velocifire M87 Mac Layout Mechanical Keyboard

Velocifire M87 Mac Layout Mechanical Keyboard Velocifire M87 Mac Layout Mechanical Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $44.99

Mechanical keyboards are generally on the expensive side, but there are affordable options as well. The Velocifire M87 is a mechanical model that is a little more slimmed-down than some of the other options we’ve covered. It doesn’t feature Cherry MX or even Gateron switches, but if you want to try a mechanical keyboard for Mac, this is a good place to start.

This uses the standard Mac keyboard layout but doesn’t have the number pad. If you don’t work with numbers, this can be a positive, as it means a smaller physical footprint. The switches are brown-style, meaning it’s not so loud that it will bother anyone else around you.

Advertisement

5. Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac

Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac Buy Now On Amazon $35.95

If you don’t count Apple’s own models, the Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard is often mentioned as one of the best wireless keyboards for Mac users. It has a Mac-style layout, plus it’s a super-thin, stylish addition to your desk. Even better, it’s solar-powered, so you don’t have to worry about plugging it in or changing batteries.

This model uses concave keycaps, which is nice for touch typists. It also has a dedicated key for Launchpad, top-mounted on/off switch, and a handy indicator light to show you if it’s getting enough sunlight. I’ve used these keyboards a lot over the years, and never found a situation where it didn’t receive enough light to stay charged.

6. Macally Ultra-Slim USB Wired Computer Keyboard

Macally Ultra-Slim USB Wired Computer Keyboard Macally Ultra-Slim USB Wired Computer Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $48.99

Advertisement

If you want the look and feel of the Apple Magic Keyboard without the so-called Apple tax, the Macally Ultra-Slim USB Wired Keyboard gets you most of the way there. Specifically, this is similar to the model with the number pad. It’s plastic and feels a little lighter, but the style is close.

This model uses standard scissor-style keys, unlike the Apple butterfly keyboard that has caused so many problems in MacBooks. The keys are fairly responsive, but they don’t feel exactly like the Magic Keyboard. That said, it gets pretty close.

7. Macally Slim USB Wired Small Compact Mini Computer Keyboard

Macally Slim USB Wired Small Compact Mini Computer Keyboard Macally Slim USB Wired Small Compact Mini Computer Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $29.99

The Macally Slim USB Wired Small Compact Mini Computer Keyboard is similar to the above model, only without the number pad. As mentioned earlier, some people will see this as a positive since this model takes up less space on a desk, making more room for a mouse or even a cup of coffee.

As with the other Macally model, this looks the most like an Apple Magic Keyboard from far away. Get close, and you’ll notice it’s plastic, not aluminum, though it does look fairly similar.

8. Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $38.99

If you need a keyboard that can work with multiple devices, the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard is worth checking out. The small, circular keys will take some getting used to, but the benefits might be worth it. In addition to your Mac, this keyboard can work with your iPhone, iPad, and even Android devices.

It doesn’t stop there either. If you want an easier time typing on your Apple TV, you can use this keyboard with that too. For easy switching, you can connect to up to three devices at a time. That means this might be the best keyboard for your MacBook Pro if you also want to control your other Apple hardware.

9. Anker Ultra Compact Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard

Anker Ultra Compact Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Anker Ultra Compact Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $15.63

If you want a Bluetooth keyboard that matches your Apple hardware better than the Logitech keyboard, take a look at the Anker Ultra Compact Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. This rechargeable keyboard will work with your Mac, plus iOS, Android, and even Windows devices.

Don’t worry though, this still has a Mac keyboard layout, so you don’t have to worry about pressing the wrong keys.

The Best Apple Keyboard Replacement

There are a lot of options out there other than the Apple Magic Keyboard. Whether you’re after the best Mac keyboard or another Mac-compatible keyboard, we’re sure you’ll find a great Apple keyboard alternative here.

Apple also produces the defacto-standard Mac mouse, the Magic Mouse. However, before you go searching for a Magic Mouse alternative, be sure to check out the things you need to know when buying a mouse The Computer Mouse Guide: 8 Things to Know When Buying a Mouse Planning on buying a new mouse? Here's everything you need to know before making your purchase to get the best mouse for your needs. Read More .

Related topics: Keyboard, MacBook, Mechanical Keyboard, Touch Typing.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

    Hello,

    Kindly provide us your best price for the following item;

    Magic Mouse 2------------186 pieces

    Looking forward to doing business with your company

    Thank you.
    Sincerely yours,

    David Mwangi
    Director, Purchase & Strategic Sourcing
    CVS Health Corporation
    One CVS Drive
    Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895

  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 spaceā€”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.