Do you need to replace your Mac’s Magic keyboard but don’t really want to pay the “Apple tax”? Or what about that hated default Butterfly keyboard that leads you to use an external keyboard instead? You’re in luck. We’ve assembled a list of some great alternatives that maintain the functionality and mimic the aesthetics of Apple’s Magic keyboard. Furthermore, we’ve organized the list from lowest to highest list price (USD) so that you can find a Magic Keyboard alternative that fits your budget.
Under $20: iHome Full Size Mac Keyboard
iHome has been making Apple-compatible peripherals for years, so it should come as no surprise that iHome has a keyboard that looks the part. The iHome Full Size Mac keyboard is about as basic as you can get. It connects to your Mac via USB and features a numeric keypad with dedicated multimedia keys. It’s not all that flashy, but it is inexpensive and sleek.
iHome also has a wireless version of this keyboard available for only a few dollars more. That being said, it does not have a rechargeable battery, instead relying on two AAAs for power. Furthermore, it does not connect via Bluetooth, opting for a wireless USB dongle instead, so make sure you have a free USB port.
$30 All-Rounder: OMOTON Bluetooth Keyboard for Mac
At first glance. you might mistake the OMOTON Bluetooth keyboard for the real deal. It perfectly parrots the design of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, retaining the same layout of the keys and overall size. Additionally, the OMOTON features the same silver/white color combo favored by Apple.
The OMOTON connects via Bluetooth and can be paired to three devices simultaneously. Furthermore, it features a built-in rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to fuss around with batteries. The manufacturer claims that the battery can be recharged in one to two hours and has a standby life of 120 hours. While that’s impressive, the best part of this keyboard is easily it’s price. On Amazon, the OMOTON can be purchased for only $30, and it can be even cheaper when coupons roll around.
$30-60: Macally Ultra-Slim USB Wired Keyboard/Macally Slim USB Wired Compact Mini Keyboard
If you don’t need a wireless keyboard, you may want to consider the ultra slim keyboards from Macally. The Macally Ultra-Slim USB Wired Keyboard is a full-sized extended keyboard with a ten-key numeric keypad for data entry. Furthermore, there are 20 Apple shortcut keys, including cut/copy/paste, iTunes control, Volume up/down and more. In addition, there are multimedia shortcuts for Windows-based PCs.
On the other hand, the Macally Slim USB Wired Compact Mini Keyboard is only two-thirds the size of a normal keyboard. Despite its small size, it still features full-size keys and thirteen Apple shortcut keys as well as multimedia shortcuts or Windows. Both Macally keyboards feature an aluminum finish with white keys that evoke the Apple aesthetic. Additionally, each keyboard has a long 4-foot 7-inch USB cable for plug-and-play simplicity.
$80: Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard
If you’re after a more premium keyboard, look no further than the Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard. This is a sleek, extended keyboard with a full numeric keypad. The keyboard connects via Bluetooth and can be connected to up to three devices simultaneously. The Satechi keyboard has a selector switch to quickly switch between your smartphone, tablet and computer, all without having to connect and disconnect.
Furthermore, the keyboard charges via USB-C and can last for 80 hours of uninterrupted use before needing a top-up. Fortunately, if you’re not looking for a full-sized keyboard, Satechi makes a compact model that still retains the number pad. The Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard is available in Space Grey and Silver.
$80 Mechanical Keyboard: Keychron K8
Mechanical keyboards are more robust and an improved typing experience. In addition, the clicky sound that the keys make is very satisfying. If you want a mechanical keyboard that fits in with the rest of your Apple gizmos, you’ll want to check out the Keychron K8.
The Keychron K8 features both Bluetooth and wired USB-C connections. Furthermore, it boasts a 240-hour battery life (with backlighting off). While the Keychron K8 caters to Apple users by adopting the Mac layout, the keyboard is also compatible with Windows. Finally, the Keychron K8 utilizes Gateron G Pro Red, Brown or Blue switches.
$100: Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard
If you need a wireless keyboard but shudder at the prospect of swapping out batteries or recharging it, the Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard is for you. This keyboard is totally solar-powered and can run for up to three months in total darkness on a single charge. Furthermore, the Logitech K750 can be charged by any light source, including indoor lighting.
The K750 keyboard also features the familiar Mac layout, complete with a Launchpad hotkey. The only downside to this particular keyboard is that it does not operate via Bluetooth. Instead, it connects via a 2.4 GHz receiver, meaning it will chew up one of your USB ports. However, it’s a small price to pay knowing that you’ll never have to swap out batteries and are doing the environment a solid.
You don’t have to pay the “Apple tax” to get a quality keyboard that works well with macOS. In addition, many of the third-party alternatives know that consumers want an option that closely aligns with the Magic Keyboard aesthetic. Fortunately, there are a bunch of options available. The keyboards listed above can fit into any budget, all while offering the functionality and looks that pair well with a Mac. Do you have a favorite Apple Magic Keyboard alternative that wasn’t listed above? Let us know in the comments!
Image credit: Unsplash
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox