Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth keyboard with keypad overhaul: good shape, unreliable function

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Products like the Satechi aluminum Bluetooth keyboard give us a glimpse of the apple that could Be – in this case, an Apple who remains in love with gray aluminum, but who also agrees for keyboards generating a large number of keys. And the Satechi keyboard is a decent effort, heavy and pleasant to type, and it allows you to pair it with three different Bluetooth devices. Seen on the other side of the room, Jony Ive has the impression to see him appear.

Still, I have never felt a close connection to the Satechi keyboard, mainly because it was always hard to connect to my Mac.

We may be able to see this as a reminder that an Apple logo actually translates into quality, but most importantly, it's also important to keep in mind that the lack of the logo you lets find out what's actually a passable cousin of the Apple Magic Keyboard 2 with Keyboard for only $ 79.99. If it sounds expensive, remember that Apple sells its own Space Gray version at $ 149. You can almost buy two Satechi keyboards for this price.

Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Magic Keyboard Leif Johnson / IDG

The Apple Magic Keyboard 2. keyboard (top) and the Satechi aluminum Bluetooth keyboard have a caps lock light, but Satechi has placed its light in the upper right corner, where it is less likely to be hidden by your fingers.

Satechi's 17-inch aluminum panel is heavy and luxurious. At just under half an inch tall, it is about as far from my writing surface as the Magic Keyboard. Unlike the Apple model, it is also made of gold and rose gold with the expected variations of white and space gray. The battery life is not as impressive – Satechi says it will spend 80 hours in active use and 100 inactive before needing to be recharged via its USB-C port – but after leaving it at the office for nearly Two weeks during the holidays, I was delighted to find that he greeted me with almost an almost complete load.

Satechi aluminum bluetooth keyboard portsLeif Johnson / IDG

At the rear you'll find a power slider similar to Apple's and a USB-C charging port.

You would be wrong to consider Satechi as an inexpensive imitation of Apple's keyboard. This keyboard is intended for Apple fans who aspire to better typing experience than those offered by Apple and, therefore, this card offers a longer touch stroke than that found on the keyboard Magic Keyboard. There is just enough resistance to capture this feeling of creating, something that gets lost on Apple's almost flat cards. The keys are not backlit, but I find that I like the way Satechi carved a barely noticeable cut for every finger in the crown of every key. The rounded corners of the keys also have a playful side that I miss in Apple's own work. I would never call it one of the best Bluetooth keyboards I've ever typed, but it's a pretty big improvement over the Apple keyboard that I got more and more handy when I dive in long writing sessions.

satechi aluminum Bluetooth keyboard keysLeif Johnson / IDG

It offers the full range of shortcuts you expect from an Apple keyboard.

Connect three

The other big reason to buy Satechi's keyboard from Apple's is that it allows you to connect up to three different Bluetooth devices. Not everyone needs this feature, but I find it particularly well suited to my workflow: sometimes I start a rough draft on my iPhone with a Bluetooth keyboard (where I'm less likely to be distracted with each sentence of the writing process.) and then I will move to the Mac to edit it. With this keyboard, the input means never changes.

I had forgotten how it could be liberating. Apple's Magic keyboards do not allow you to pair with multiple devices; In fact, they resist all attempts to pair with an iPhone while remaining linked to their parent Mac. The only way to separate the two is to set the parameters of the Mac and forget the keyboard. It's impossible if you slipped it into your bag for prolonged use with your iPad or iPhone. With Satechi, all you have to do is press a button.

satechi keyboard by magic keyboardLeif Johnson / IDG

The Satechi keyboard (left) has a slightly steeper tilt than the Apple Magic Keyboard.

If only everything else worked so well. On tight deadlines, I ended up pushing the Satechi out of frustration because she refused to wake up with a simple touch of a button after a few minutes of rest. Holding a random key for several seconds was often enough to reactivate it, but it was not guaranteed. Even worse, connecting it to the Mac does not improve responsiveness because the Satechi keyboard continues to work via Bluetooth even while charging.

At one point, I could not even operate the Satechi keyboard even though it was displayed as connected in the Bluetooth panel of my Mac and I was manipulating the three connection keys. I've tried to charge it for an hour. Nothing. Even a reboot did not help. I just matched it and started again.

It happened three times. I was tempted to blame the incredible number of Bluetooth devices that we continue to use in the office, but the problem persisted even when I brought Satechi home. There were also times when the Bluetooth delay caused the letters to repeat or simply not display.

Bottom line

When the Satechi works, it works very well. The words flow from my fingers on percussive and heavy keys. I would go so far as to say that I prefer his design to that of Apple.

Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard BackLeif Johnson / IDG

Even in the under is pretty elegant.

But the main feature of any Bluetooth keyboard should be its ability to come to life on demand. If that fails, the comfort of the keys does not matter.

I long mocked the name of the Magic Keyboards, but after a few weeks with the Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth keyboard, I see where Apple comes from. Apple's keyboards are so magically responsive that I sometimes feel like I can breathe on them and are ready to type.

With the Satechi? I usually hold my breath.

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