Many current keyboards are not mechanical – pushing a key pushes two membranes together, which sends an electrical current to your Mac to tell it to produce a letter. Mechanical keyboards have physical switches that cause that electrical current to be produced and sent, which makes them louder, and ensure you really know when you've pressed a key. A lot of folks are going back to mechanical keyboards, since the "mushy" keyboards of today just aren't responsive enough.
If you're typing away on your Magic Keyboard and thinking "once more, with feeling," then check out our favorite mechanical keyboards!
- Das Keyboard 4
- CODE 104-key illuminated mechanical keyboard – Cherry MX Clear
- KUL ES-87 tenkeyless mechanical keyboard – Cherry MX Brown
- Matias Quiet Pro
- Logitech G710 – Cherry MX Blue
- EagleTec KG010
- SteelSeries Apex M750
If you don't say "Das Keyboard" in your best Arnie impression, then you aren't living. The 4 from Das Keyboard is a tactile keyboard lover's dream. If you're someone who likes to feel and hear every stroke, then which keyboard should you choose? DAS KEYBOARD.
In the Das Keyboard 4 Professional, you have your choice of Cherry MX Blue, which gives tactile feedback and a very audible click, or Cherry MX Brown, which gives very noticeable tactile feedback but is much, much quieter.
You get the full keyboard experience here, complete with number pad, an oversized volume knob (so nice!), and dedicated media controls, so if you're the productive type, you can do the thing with the numbers and control your tunes on the fly. You'll be able to keep your devices charged, thanks to the two USB 3.0 ports, and the instant sleep button helps you save on power. The only downside is the lack of backlighting and the price (around $150).
This slick, black mechanical keyboard is the kaiser of keyboards, and it's just plain fun to say.
Quiet, tactile feedback and lovely backlighting are what the CODE 104-key keyboard with Cherry MX Clear is all about. Clear isn't the most popular option, but if you want a quiet, smooth ride, while really feeling every stroke, then this is the mechanical keyboard for your Mac.
The full white LEDs have seven levels of brightness, so you can work comfortably in any light and the onboard memory saves your last lighting preference so that you're not going to work in the dead of night and suddenly blinded by the alphabet.
A comforting feature of the CODE keyboards is that, though they work with both Mac and PC, they don't have the Windows key by default, so you won't have to stare at the nastiness every time you want to hit command.
If you like a back-lit keyboard with great tactile feedback but not a ton of audible feedback, then go with the CODE 104-key with Cherry MX Clear. If you do want some more click, CODE has all the other MX options you could want. $155 on Amazon.
If you have minimal desk space or just no need for a number pad, then the KUL ES-87 is the perfect compact option to add to your Mac arsenal.
KUL bills this keyboard as perfect for gamers, power users, and professionals, so if you're all about productivity and enjoy tactile feedback with some clickety-clack as you type, this is one to consider.
Extendable feet allow you to adjust the ES-87's height to your comfort, and it has a modern style that's sleek, sexy, and sophisticated.
Rated up to 50 million key presses, the KUL ES-87 should last you a long, long time, without taking up too much space. And it's only around $90.
Matias makes some of the best Mac keyboards money can buy, and the Quiet Pro is no different.
It features a quiet keystroke, atop traditional, curved keys that help you stay in home position, with an overall curved design that's ergonomic and comfortable.
The Quiet Pro features dedicated volume up/down and mute keys and the characters are laser-etched and burned into each key, so you should never see any fading.
Every keystroke is designed to be comfortable and quiet without sacrificing any tactile feedback, and the extended legs make it adjustable to your comfort. There are also two USB ports so that you can charge your iPhone or iPad (or both!) while you work. $150 on Newegg.
The $95 G710+ from Logitech is a blue key lover's hot rod. It's made for gamers, so it's super responsive and clicky as all getout. You can even adjust the brightness of the WASD keys separately from the rest of the board, and the six G keys can be configured to up to 18 different actions per game.
The anti-ghosting keys will be welcomed by gamers and even writers who have a habit of mashing the keys sometimes, and the one-touch media keys will let you control volume and media playback in a snap (or a click).
You do have the option of Cherry MX Brown if you'd prefer a more tactile and less clickety-clackety experience.
If you're a gamer or just like to go to town on your keyboard on a regular basis, then consider the Logitech G710+.
EagleTec's KG010 keyboard is an awesome tool for gamers and professionals alike. Its backlit keyboard is perfect for late-night gaming sessions, and it features splash-proof keys and a full numeric pad.
This is also the perfect keyboard for anyone who likes their setup to reflect their personal taste since you have eight options to choose from including black with blue backlight, white and silver with blue backlight, white with rainbow backlight, and more.
Pricing starts around $50, EagleTec's keyboards are also great for anyone looking for quality on a budget.
For all the gamers in the house, SteelSeries' Apex M750 just might be the pinnacle of mechanical keyboards. It features the brands own "QX2" switches, which are fairly similar to Cherry MX Red switches in other keyboards.
Where the Apex M750 really shines is in its companion software, which allows you to customize the backlighting color to create awesome lighting effects, like reacting to in-game scenarios such as low ammo or specific key presses so you know you're always hitting the keys you want. The Engine software also lets you control your device settings, including those of other SteelSeries accessories you might have.
If you're looking for the utmost in a gaming keyboard for your Mac, then the SteelSeries Apex M750 is where it's at. Pricing starts around $125.
What's your type?
Are you using a sweet mechanical keyboard with your Mac that you think deserves a mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Updated July 2018: Updated pricing, swapped in the newer Logitech G710+ in place of the G710.