Apple recently refreshed its Bluetooth keyboard offering, making it a bit smaller and removing the need for AA batteries to power it. The Magic Keyboard offers a scissor mechanism beneath each key to increase its stability, as well as an optimized key travel. This time around, Apple has actually reduced the profile of the keyboard even more, making it more portable than ever.
Bottom line: If you want the best wireless keyboard, Apple's own offering is the way to go. It will give you that keystroke that you've grown to love with Apple products over the years in a small, compact shell.
One more thing: The keyboard is now rechargeable thanks to the built-in battery so you won't be caught looking for batteries when the keyboard is running low.
Why Apple's Magic Keyboard is the best
Ultra portable, rechargeable and a keystroke to fall in love with.
It isn't often that we see Apple refresh its Mac accessories, but recently the company unveiled the Magic Keyboard. Taking the strong points of the previous wireless keyboard and improving upon them, Apple has made a really desirable product here. Slimming the profile while increasing the stability with a scissor mechanism, this keyboard will be great for cranking out quick emails and long term papers alike.
There are a number of third-party options available, and most of them come in at a lower price point. Apple charges more than its competition for a reason this time around.
iMore editor-in-chief, Rene Ritchie, said this in his Magic Keyboard review:
The Magic Keyboard is Apple's next-generation wireless keyboard. In every sense of the word. Technologically it incorporates Lightning for charging and quick-pairing, and new scissor mechanisms for better stability. But it also builds on what Apple has been doing with the MacBooks and especially with the MacBook.
By offering a similar feel to the MacBook, Apple has created a comfort for users so they can quickly adapt to using the keyboard as soon as it is taken out of the box. Pairing the keyboard has never been easier. If you get it with a new computer, it will come pre-paired, but if not you will have to do it on your own.
Pairing is as simple as using the supplied Lightning cable to connect the keyboard to your computer. That's it. There will be a notification that confirms that you have paired the keyboard and then you can begin typing. You are able to switch between multiple devices on the go by powering the keyboard off and on again.
If you are looking to use the keyboard with an iPad or iPhone, you will need to use the conventional way to connect the keyboard and phone / tablet through the Bluetooth menu.
The battery is said to last around a month per charge, and with the built-in battery you can easily recharge with with a Lightning cable. This means you won't have to go hunting around for some AA batteries when you get the low battery warning, and instead you can hook up the cable and keep on typing.
If you want the best compact Bluetooth keyboard to hook up to your Mac, MacBook, iPad or iPhone, this is the one.
Best for your budget
Anker's Ultra Compact Bluetooth keyboard is perfect for those who don't want to spend a lot but also don't want to sacrifice much. It has a great low-profile design, a matte finish on the keys for a better typing experience, and it automatically connects to the device it was last connected to. If you were to use the keyboard for two hours a day non-stop, the 800mAh battery will last for around six months and it recharges with a standard microUSB cable.
Bottom-line: If you are looking for a great option but have a budget to keep in mind, Anker's offering should be considered. You'll get great performance, a slim design and a keyboard that should last for quite a while.
One more thing: Like Apple's Magic Keyboard, you've got a built-in rechargeable battery on this keyboard that boasts six months of use between charges, which is a very long time.
Best for portability
Portability is important, and having a keyboard that you can take around with you to crank out an email or a paper is a great thing. 1byone's folding keyboard folds down to just under 6-inches by 4-inches, which is rather small. With the keyboard folded you also protect the keys while you are traveling with it in your bag. It automatically turns on and off when you open or close it, and it should last for around 64 hours per charge.
Bottom-line: If you are looking for something to carry around with you, this 1byone keyboard is the best option. It folds up into a small, compact package and isn't heavy so you won't notice it in your bag.
One more thing: The smart on/off switch works by simply opening and closing the keyboard. That's right, you don't have to worry about remembering to turn it off before packing it into your bag.
If you really want the best quality, you are going to have to pay for it. Apple's offering is the best you can get, but if your budget has other plans you can always pick from one of the others for a similar experience.
Apple's Magic Keyboard is the best compact Bluetooth keyboard that you can buy right now. Improving upon the previous generation, Apple has built the battery inside, and it now charges via a Lightning cable so you don't have to keep extra AA batteries around. The keystroke has been improved thanks to the new scissor mechanism, giving you a feel that you should be used to.
Bottom line: If you want the very best compact keyboard you can get, Apple's Magic Keyboard is the one to get.
One more thing: This time around, Apple has included a Lightning port to charge the built-in battery, ditching the AA batteries.