Apple's Latest Magic Keyboard And Mouse Make Typing Fun Again

Apple's New Magic Keyboard and Mouse Make Typing Fun Again

I've been using Apple's Bluetooth keyboard and mouse on a daily basis for around seven years. The design is delightful, and the gadgets are pretty dependable. Then I spent a day with Apple's new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse. Typing is suddenly fun again.

Apple released three things, actually. In addition to a redesigned Bluetooth keyboard a very-much-the-same-design Magic Mouse, the company also revealed a touchpad with ForceTouch capabilities. I don't have much use for a touchpad -- like a lot of people, I suspect -- so I compared the new keyboard and mouse to the previous version that I've had on my desk for years. We'll be taking an in depth look at the new TouchPad soon.

For the sake of brevity, let's talk about the Magic Mouse 2 first. Save for some smoother lines on the edges, it's virtually identical to the Magic Mouse 1. That's a good thing because the original design is uniquely pleasing. The big difference is that the Magic Mouse 2 is rechargeable and doesn't have a battery compartment. You plug the Lightning cable into the bottom of the mouse to charge it, so you can't actually use it while it's charging.

Is that a big deal? I'm not sure. If you plan ahead and charge it while you're away from your computer, it's probably fine. If your mouse suddenly runs out of juice during the workday, it's less fine.

Apple's New Magic Keyboard and Mouse Make Typing Fun Again

Using the new Magic Mouse is a lot like using the old Magic Mouse. To be perfectly honest, I couldn't tell the difference. Some have said that it's "not quite as clicky" as the old one. But maybe that's just the joy of using a brand new mouse. It costs $US80.

Where everyone will notice a difference is in the all new Magic Keyboard. Shaped like the world's most beautiful doorstop, this wedge of a device fits flush on your desk. Unlike the wafer of a keyboard that was the old one, the new Magic Keyboard is lightweight but a noticeably more solid piece of hardware. This geometry makes good sense, as it does away with the annoying rattling problem I've noticed on its predecessor. It also sits a little bit lower, so it's slightly more comfortable.

Apple's New Magic Keyboard and Mouse Make Typing Fun Again

I noticed a big difference when I typed on it. And I noticed an even bigger difference when I switched back to my old keyboard. For the Magic Keyboard, the design team at Apple "reengineered the scissor mechanism to increase key stability by 33 per cent and optimised key travel."

What the hell does that mean? It does not mean that the keyboard has the same butterfly mechanism that's in the new MacBook. The keyboard layout is very similar to the new MacBook, though. Having typed on both, I'll admit that I prefer the Magic Keyboard. The keys feel noticeably more stable. It also felt like typing took a little bit less effort than the older Bluetooth keyboard. Whether or not that's thanks to "optimised key travel," I can't say, but pressing the keys is just more buttery.

Like the Magic Mouse 2, the Magic Keyboard comes with an internal battery that you charge through a Lightning cable. Thankfully, Apple decided to put the port in a sensible place -- it's in the center on the back, not the bottom -- so you can type and charge at the same time. You'll also notice that Apple's done away with the smaller key size, favouring a grid of full-size keys that aren't really that hard to get used to. The new keyboard costs $US100.

Apple's New Magic Keyboard and Mouse Make Typing Fun Again

The real question you're asking yourself shouldn't be whether these are good gadgets. They're both meaningful upgrades to a great pair of products, though one upgrade is more meaningful than the other. What you should be wondering is whether or not to fork over the $US180 for a full upgrade.

If you're buying one of the new iMacs, you decision is pretty easy because you'll get a new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 in the box. If you need a new keyboard or mouse, you'll probably like what Apple's done here. If you're enjoying the previous generation but really hate replacing batteries every other month or so, the rechargeable feature is for you. If you're pretty happy with your regular old Magic Mouse, you're probably not going to notice a difference in the Magic Mouse 2 beyond that battery-free detail.

Apple's New Magic Keyboard and Mouse Make Typing Fun Again

The keyboard is a different question. It really is fun to type on, and I like the sturdier design. Like I said, it's hard to switch back to the old keyboard, but it's not the end of the world.

All photos by Michael Hession



    The Magic Mouse is garbage. It's not even remotely comfortable to hold.

      Same, I have never been a fan, always odd, I chose the touch pad with my last iMac as a result. I use Logitech MX for my mouse.

      Agreed. I tried persevering with it for over a year on my imac at work. I guess I could put up with it so long because it isn't my primary computer, but the $5 mouse on the PC next to it was better in every way.

        I have a pc gaming mouse attached to my shitty mac at work. Would love a new keyboard instead of the new 'magic' keyboard but apple keys you know.

          What keys are missing?

          If you are after the Command and Option keys, they are mapped to the Windows and Alt keys respectively.

    Charging port *under* the mouse. Enough said.

    Personally, I don't mind the magic mice.

    But this update is just idiotic. First, if there has to be a charge cable it should have been engineered in a way so that I could plug it in at the 'top' of the mouse and still be able to use it like a regular mouse.

    And second, I don't mind mice having a rechargeable battery but it is down right stupid making it the only option and not allowing users to put in disposables or even their own rechargeable into the mouse.

    If OS X El Capitan wasn't notice enough, the fact that such a basic peripheral for a computer can be botched so bad clearly shows Apple has gone of the deep end since the death of Jobs.

      Exactly. What kind of engineer would put a charging cable underneath a mouse. Now you need a second mouse to use while your apple mouse is charging. So stupid.

    What are you so against the numbered Apple? I'd love to buy one of these cordless keyboards, but I'm still on the old wired one because it has the numbers out to the right. I use that so much I feel crippled on a keyboard without them, especially on a laptop. I sometimes feel this is to cripple the desktops to the same extent as the laptops to make a consistent experience between both.

    Just in case anyone believes that this keyboard is 'fun to type on'. Its not. Its a keyboard ffs, its exactly the same as the old one but they removed batteries, enlarged the left and right arrow keys while still keeping the annoying as fuck tiny up down arrow keys and made the function keys bigger. Its a keyboard, nothing more.

      Well I'm sad now. I was going to get one just so work could be fun.
      Misleading title...

    No backlit keys on the keyboard is a huge missed opportunity for the price you're paying for it.

    HAHAHAHA more pro Apple shenanigans, come on Gizmodo, are they paying you for this? That keyboard is pretty much identical to the old apple keyboard that's been around for a decade. Apple, Dell, HP and any other PC makers don't make good keyboards (I'm talking from experience) hence the fact that there are 3rd party manufacturers.

    That mice looks absolutely shocking to use. Does it let you right click?

      Apple users don't right-click so it's not a problem.

        So despite not being ergonomic, you have to move it around even more to do things and find menus. It's one of the most useful things to do when doing 'creative' stuff to instantly bring up contextual menus directly above the mouse cursor.

      I hate the magic mouse but yes, it does right click. I believe you have to enable the function in settings first though. The reason it is so flat is because it is touch sensitive and has gestures you can use... scrolling is also a touch thing and works reverse from normal by default.

      As bad as it is it's actually and improvement over the old plastic corded one with the tiny scroll ball that got clogged up all the time. That mouse wasn't quite as flat but still too flat to be in any way ergonomic. The hockey puck mouse before that was indeed a thing of nightmares. In short, Apple make terrible mice and any improvements they make seem to be out of chance and are usually coupled with a backward step in some other way.

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