The New, Thin Apple Keyboard vs…

Apple recently shocked the experts and rolled out an amazing looking keyboard with the new iMacs that is thin, thin, thin! Like, insane thin. It’s almost frightening to behold (while remaining sexy, sexy, sexy). I’ve been daily pestering the three Apple Stores in my area – “are they in yet?!” Finally they arrived, well, the wired version anyway. Yesterday I grabbed one.

This is a thin keyboard.

As I was enjoying some time down in the computer room last night, fingering the sleek, new addition, I rolled across the room (in a chair, mind you) to fiddle a bit with my Lisa 2, which has gotten some recent use as I attempt to set it up to work with a newly acquired ImageWriter II printer (but that’s for another post, another day). It occurred to me as I stroked those 23 year old keys that, while Apple’s thinnest keyboard by far is sitting across the room attached to my Mac Pro, I was typing on the most bulky, detached keyboard our friends in Cupertino ever produced. The interesting contrast had me reaching for my camera in a flash.

I have taken a few photos of the new keyboard sitting next to the aforementioned (rather bulky) Lisa 2 keyboard, as well as my Mac Plus keyboard, Apple IIgs keyboard (the first ADB keyboard and my long-time favorite Apple ‘board), and the elusive, diminutive Newton keyboard. I hope you find the comparisons of interest.

UPDATE [8.17.2007]: On the suggestion of an article commenter, I’ve added a photo of the Apple Keyboard alongside the NeXT ADB keyboard from my NeXTstation Turbo color workstation. It was foolish of me to have omitted such an obvious shot.

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9 Responses to The New, Thin Apple Keyboard vs…

  1. Daniel says:

    You need to take a picture of it beside a NeXT keyboard. ;)

  2. Derek says:

    Similiar, yet so different. I bet the hipsters will begin to embrace the big bulky keyboards and mod them to work with their slick laptops – just to be ironic.

  3. Matt says:

    It’s strikingly similar to the NeXT keyboard, which is hardly surprising, but it lacks its most useful feature.

    The NeXT ADB keyboard had a 4″-wide Command key placed below the space bar. This enabled you to use either thumb to hit Command key combinations with MUCH greater ease.

    Combos like Shift-Cmd-Y can be nearly impossible to accomplish on a normal Apple keyboard, but the NeXT ADB keyboard makes it a cinch. I’d LOVE to see Apple bring that back, or see a 3rd party do so.

  4. Matt says:

    Oh, I meant to say that combos like Shift-Cmd-Y are nigh impossible to hit *with one hand* on a typical Apple keyboard.

  5. nik says:

    I think it looks great and having touched one on Saturday initially it feels good as well.

    My main concern though, and this shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly in a work environment, is where do you rest your pen/pencil?

    I would be sunk if I couldn’t place my pen above the number keys so when I take a call and need to scribble something down I can quickly retrieve it.

  6. Scott says:

    I hate Apple’s pretty new toy. Cuts my typing speed in half, and doubles my errors. I’ll bet i’d have it worn out in 2 months.

    Got no feel. It’s flat, requiring maximum reach. They revised the layout, which was fine before. And except for the aluminum, it feels like cheap crap. As bad or worse than lousy laptop keyboards and only about a micron above a membrane.

  7. Ed says:

    Typing this on the Apple keyboard, feels amazing, looks amazing especially next to a Mac mini. Will be getting another one ASAP.

  8. Ed says:

    (sorry for posting twice)

    The Shift-cmd-y is just the default combo. I reassigned it to F18 in Keyboard&Mouse preferences. a lot easier than shift-cmd-y.

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