I’m not an Apple fanboi, but I do appreciate that Apple has brought some better design influence to the otherwise price-fixated PC market. Case in point: the Apple peripherals, which have a specific look and feel to impart a premium experience. Other manufacturers are emulating them, and that brings me neatly to, a maker of limited-run keyboards for Mac (and occasionally, Windows) users.
Today, my daytime workplace got a shipment of Matias Mac keyboards in all the colours of the – read on if Macs are something you work on daily. Look and Feel The represents a new product direction for this Canadian company – they have been around for years, making ‘boards with mechanical switches of their own design, and up to now, they only had all-plastic casings. But, Matias’ latest offerings come with a fine-grained anodised-colour aluminium face, and they look like dead-set copies of the Apple wired keyboard, so there’s no learning curve to deal with if you are upgrading from the default Apple wired ‘board. The Gold and Space Grey ‘boards have black keys and a black backing plate, the Silver and Rose Gold ‘boards have white keys, and a white backing plate. Keyset The keys on the are preprinted with all the Mac-specific special functions, like brightness adjust, Option and Command, so if you pair with Windows devices, you’ll need learn what Windows-equivalent functions these keys produce, eg; the “Command” key maps to the “Windows Logo” key function. Matias claims the keyboard will even adjust to the correct layout that is optimal for the device being paired to (e.g., Mac layout when paired to Mac; PC layout when paired to PC, etc, although I’ve no Macs here to test that with. Click the pics below for close-up detail.
Interestingly, the function keys across the top row number up to 15 (Windows tops out at 12), so for Windows users, those last three will do the jobs of PrintScrn, ScrollLock, and Pause (although they are not labelled as such). I did ask Steve, the bloke in charge at Matias, if he planned on making a Windows-key-labelled version, or if he could just print a little Windows “flag” on the Command key for us, but he felt that this wasn’t necessary, and that most Windows users wanting a keyboard this elegant should be bright enough to cope with the Mac-centric labels. The jobs done by the function keys are modified by holding down a Fn key above the directional arrows – from left->right, for Mac users, they can be used for screen brightness down/up, MissionControl/Search, Launchpad/Home, Lock, Show/Hide keyboard, Previous track, Play/Pause, Mute, Volume up, Volume down, and Power/Shutdown. Windows users get just the media-player control keys in this row. Turbotax military. There’s no dedicated Insert or NumLock for Windows users either – these are available by pressing Fn + Delete / Fn + Clear respectively – my usage of these keys on a regular Windows ‘board is usually only when I hit them by accident anyway. For iOS users with iPhones / iPads, the function keys work with those too – volume/mute/brightness/show-keyboard button were all tested to function on an iPhone 6. For more detail on the keys, have a look at the manual.