Satechi's new SM1 Slim Mechanical Keyboard has a 75% layout and low-profile switches for a thin yet clacky typing experience

Satechi SM1 Slim Mechanical Keyboard
(Image credit: Satechi)

It's true that there are a dizzying number of keyboards available on the market today. There are Mac keyboards from all the usual brands including Logitech and of course Apple, but then there is the world of mechanical keyboards from brands that some might never have heard from. Spoiler — they're often some of the better ones on the market. But then there's Satechi, a company that you might associate with other products like its new 145W GaN Travel Charger or its Qi2 iPhone stands.

The company is no stranger to making a keyboard, but it has a new one to shout about. The SM1 Slim Mechanical Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard, or the SM1 as I'll be calling it from here on out, has a lot going for it. That starts with the way it looks, to be sure. But beyond that, there are features that mechanical keyboard fans are going to like while people who just want a nice keyboard to type on will enjoy some of the others.

The end result? A mechanical keyboard that has plenty to offer and a 75% layout that has everything you need without any of the cruft that you don't. If you type for a living, or just find yourself tapping away a lot for fun, now might be the perfect time to treat yourself to a new keyboard. In fact, now is the time to do it with Satechi offering a discount on its new product for a limited time. More on that at the end.

Backlights and battery life for days

There sure is a lot to like about what Satechi has done with this new keyboard. In the press release sent to iMore, the company says that the SM1 is "its first mechanical keyboard that is designed to seamlessly function with both Mac and Windows systems." We're more interested in the former of course, but flexibility is important, and being able to use your keyboard at work, if you have to use a Windows PC, is a big deal.

After that, Satechi gets straight into the specifications. They start with a 75% layout which means you'll lose out on things like a number pad, but I'd wager that few people use those anywhere near as much as they think they do. And this keyboard looks so great it'd be ruined with those extra keys on the side anyway.

Moving on, the next point of order is the low-profile brown switches that promise "the smoothness of red switches with the physical feedback of blue switches." Satechi says that the keyboard is "designed to strike the perfect balance between typing and gaming and that "the keyboard’s brown switches boast a shorter travel distance that reduces finger fatigue and promotes a more comfortable typing experience." We're also promised a quieter operation, something that might be a big thing if you plan on using this keyboard in an office environment.

Next, the battery. With the backlights in use (there are 14 patterns, by the way) you'll get around 16.5 hours from a single charge. With the backlight off, expect two months between the times you have to plug the USB-C cable in.

Other features include adjustable feet and an aluminum frame, the only thing left to discuss is the price. At $99.99 it's far from expensive for a mechanical keyboard. But enter the code CES20 at checkout and the price falls by 20% while the promotion is running.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.