The Macally iKey keyboard is a full-sized USB 105-key extended keyboard for the Macintosh.
It sports quiet soft keys, tactile feedback key switch control, a power button, a
5 foot USB cable, and extra USB ports. The iKey retails for only $29.99. The original
iKey comes in Bondi Blue, and the iKey4 comes in Graphite. This review is of the
- New curved two tone
translucent design (Available in Bondi Blue/Ice or Graphite/Ice)
- Power Switch (USB
- Plug & Play and
- Excellent Feel and
- Quiet soft touch
with tactile feedback key switch control
- G3/G4, iMac or PowerBook with a
built-in USB port or any PowerPC with 3rd party USB adapter installed
- MacOS 8.6 or later
- Maximum Cable Length
- Net Weight : 2.2lbs
- Dimensions : (W)
18.4",(L) 7.4",(H) 1.6"
- 3 year warranty
Installation & Configuration
The iKey is "Plug and Play" all the way. I connected the iKey keyboard
to my Mac Mini, and it was working like a charm. There was no software or drivers
I've used several keyboards, from the original ADB Apple Extended Keyboard II, to
the latest USB Apple keyboards, and I have always preferred the Macally keyboards.
I'm very sensitive to key pressure and texture, as well as key size and spacing.
All of the iKey keys are spaced well, and have a soft but very sturdy feel to them.
Macally calls this "Quiet
soft touch with tactile feedback key switch control". I call it "feels
good to use!" I prefer the
feel of the keys on the iKey over any of the Apple designed keyboards.
Unlike the iMediaKey which has an extra set of programmable keys above the function
keys, the iKey is closer to the design of the full-sized Apple keyboard, with a few
exceptions. It does not include the volume keys and CD eject key that are right above
the numeric keypad on the latest Apple keyboards, so if you are used to those keys,
this may not be the keyboard for you. On the other hand, the iKey spaces the function
keys away from the rest of the keys (the way that old Apple keyboards were designed),
and I much prefer that spacing. I don't like the way that the function keys are crammed
up against the rest of the keys on the Apple keyboards because it makes it too easy
to hit one by accident, and makes the keyboard look more crowded. If you are looking
for a compact design, then the Apple keyboard is the way to go, but if you're looking
for a more spacious keyboard design, the iKey fills the bill.
The iKey also comes with a power button. The power button is a welcomed feature,
one that I have missed from the ADB keyboards of old. It's unfortunate that Macs
can no longer be powered on by any keyboard, but I still like being able to trigger
the shutdown by pressing the keyboard power button. The button is leveled with the
keyboard surface, so it's not easy to press it by accident.
Visually, the iKey is a very attractive keyboard with an ergonomically pleasing curved
design. Unlike the plain white of Apple's keyboard (which shows dirt and grime too
easily), the iKey4 has a beautiful graphite translucent design, and features dark
keys with white print. The only drawback of the dark keys is that in poor lighting,
I think the white keys with black print are a little easier to see.
The one thing I've always been annoyed with on the new Apple keyboards is the length
of the keyboard cord. At best, the cord barely reaches the destination port into
which I need to plug the keyboard. In many cases, however, it simply doesn't reach
at all. The iKey, on the other hand, comes with a generous length of cord, giving
you 5 feet of distance to reach your USB port. The iKey also comes with two USB ports
for plugging in low-powered devices, such as a mouse.
The MacAlly iKey4 keyboard design is a wonderful replacement keyboard for any of
the Apple keyboards. It has a full-sized keyboard layout, with an added power button.
You won't be able to boot up a Mac with the power button, but you can trigger a shutdown.
In terms of texture and pressure of the keys, I prefer the feel of the iKey keyboard
over any of the Apple keyboards. Likewise, the translucent case design is beautiful,
and does not show dirt like the Apple white keyboards. In poor lighting, however,
Apple's white keys with black print may be easier to see than the iKey's dark keys
with white print. The iKey also doesn't include the volume and CD eject keys that
come with the Apple keyboard, and is not as compact as the Apple keyboard. On the
other hand, I prefer the spacial design of the iKey, especially the space between
the function keys and the other keys. I also prefer the 5 foot cord on the iKey,
giving me reaching distance for any system setup. The Macally iKey4 is an excellent
and affordable replacement keyboard for a situation where your Apple keyboard is
broken, or you have one of those older super compact keyboards, or you want to add
a full-sized keyboard to your laptop. I prefer the keyboard design and the tactile
keys of the iKey4 over any of the Apple keyboards.
- Soft and sturdy feel to the keys
- 5 foot USB cable
- Beautiful graphite translucent design
(doesn't show dirt like white does)
- Good key spacing, with function
keys elevated from the rest of the keys
- Power button
- No volume or CD eject keys
- Harder to see keys in poor lighting
- Power key does not boot up Mac,
only shuts down (Apple's fault)
4 out of 5 Mice