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Best mechanical keyboard for Mac in 2017

Best mechanical keyboard for Mac in 2017

As of June 2016, Macs make up just 5% of desktops. Despite having such a small overall market share, many professionals swear by Macs.

Over 25% of software developers use Mac OS X and the vast majority of people in graphical design also use Macs exclusively.

So while Mac users may be outnumbered, they’re often working very serious jobs that require serious hardware!

That’s why we set out to find the best mechanical keyboard for Mac in 2016, to save you some time and let you get back to your creative efforts. Before we dive into the list, let’s start with why you may want a keyboard specific for Mac OS.

Apple keyboards for Mac computers have some key differences from other standard keyboards. Some of the differences are superficial, such as using “Option” instead of “Alt”,  and “Command” instead of the Windows logo key. The placement of these keys differ on the layout as well.

Some other key differences include –

  • Full-sized desktop Apple keyboards with a dedicated numpad have function keys that can range up to F15, F16, or F19. Windows keyboards function keys only range from F1 – F12 regardless of size.
  • Apple keyboards have a “Clear” key instead of “Numlock”, which functions to remove highlighted text as well as some other special functions depending on the app.
  • An “=” key on the numpad.
  • A “fn” (function) key instead of an “Insert” key. This toggles the function keys to behave as normally do, and their special OS functions such as volume control, screen brightness, etc.
  • Apple keyboards typically have an “Eject” key for the disc drive.

You can certainly get by on most tasks without a Mac-specific keyboard, but it doesn’t make much sense to own such a powerful and sophisticated machine only to hamper yourself with a mismatched keyboard. If you do feel like exploring other options, check out our list of the best mechanical keyboards (and pay particular attention to the “Best white MKs” section).

Now that you know why you may want a mechanical keyboard specifically designed for a Mac, here’s a list of the best options available.

 

Das Keyboard 4 Pro for Mac

The Das Keyboard 4 Pro for Mac is easily your best option when you want to upgrade your Apple keyboard to a feature-rich, full-sized keyboard. This keyboard has the same level of quality you come to expect from your Apple products.

It has amazing build quality with an aluminum top panel for a sturdy feel to withstand long nights of work. This mechanical keyboard has 2 built-in USB 3.0 ports, dedicated media control buttons with a volume knob, and Mac OS specific function keys. Of course it has the high quality mechanical switches as well.

Check out our review of the PC version, which showcases the Das Keyboard 4’s impressive quality.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

The Das Keyboard 4 Pro for Mac is the best all-around choice. It could really be the last keyboard you need to buy for 10+ years. We reviewed the PC version here, if you’d like to see some hands-on photos and video of a Das Keyboard in action.

 

Matias Mini Tactile Pro for Mac

If you’re looking for a compact mechanical keyboard for Mac, look no further. The Matias Mini Tactile Pro for Mac is best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard for Mac. It comes with sculpted/contoured keys, Mac OS specific keys like the “fn” key, and 3 USB 2.0 ports. The Matias Mini Tactile Pro also has a detachable USB cable, so you can more easily move it around.

Be sure to take a look at the layout of this keyboard and ensure it will work well for your needs. Not having a numpad won’t be a big deal for some professions, but can be a huge drain on productivity for others. Also, note that it isn’t available on Amazon. You’ll need to purchase it directly from its manufacturer.

 

Matias Quiet Pro for Mac

Finally, if you like the Matias style of keyboard more than the Das Keyboard, here’s a full-sized option from Matias. It comes with all the great features of the Matias Mini, including sculpted keys and 3 USB 2.0 ports. You should be able to find this keyboard ~$30 cheaper than the Das Keyboard Pro 4, so it’s a more frugal option as well.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

 

Azio Mk Mac

Azio recently released a new mechanical keyboard designed specifically for Macs, and it’s very similar to the Azio MGK1-RGB.

This keyboard has the full Mac layout and functions you’d expect, and the silver/white styling of it will be right at home with your other Mac products.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

 

 

Apple Magic Keyboard

We decided to throw one keyboard on the list here that isn’t a mechanical keyboard, but has so many other great features it’s worth considering. The Apple Magic Keyboard is a wireless keyboard that pair automatically with your Mac. No dongles to plug-in or confusing setup process.

The battery is long lasting, and you’ll be able to go about a month between charges. You can plug the keyboard in via Lighting cable to use it as it charges even if the battery is completely dead.

The Magic Keyboard has a flatter key profile, which will save your wrist strain from being bent backwards as you type.

Buy on Amazon   Read user reviews

There it is, 3 great mechanical keyboards and 1 wireless keyboard for Mac computers.  We also have a list of white mechanical keyboards that you might find match your Mac well.

Have other suggestions or questions? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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About The Author
Peter Nivison
8 Comments
Leave a response
  • February 17, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Time to face the music armed with this great inootmarifn.

  • Alain Demoustier
    February 19, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I don’t see any “clear”key on any of the kb here …

  • Jon Bountalas
    April 30, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    For Mac users with a requirement for a quiet mechanical keyboard, the Matias Quiet Pro is a very good choice.
    http://matias.ca/quietpro/mac/
    It’s at least as quiet as my Corsair Strafe RGB with the MX Silent switches, and the Matias has 3 USB ports to boot. It’s not backlighted, but it’s definitely a get-it-done keyboard with all the Mac stuff on it. What would I change ? I’d add backlighting. That’s it. My Mac is my daily driver, and I spend many hours a day in front of it. The switches (please fact check me on this) are based on the old ALPS technology, and it works.

  • Nancy Hammer
    May 14, 2016 at 6:10 am

    I am 75 years old and I am about 75% computer illiterate, but I have a ton of transcribing which needs to be done. My old 1995 Mac stopped working in February, & now I have a 2 or 3-year-old Mac flat-screen. The Geek Garage here in Cheyenne, after three months, said they have been able to save my files on a thumb-drive, but she was unable to transfer them to my new(er) flat-screen, but she’s still working on getting the right connections. In the meantime, I need a keyboard & mouse. I looked at them in the Mac store here in Cheyenne, but I don’t like the flat keys. I loved my old Apple keyboard. Is there a connection for between my old keyboard & my 2014 Mac, so I can use the old keyboard?

    • shilon
      May 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      For what it is worth, I currently use a mac mini with a M7803 (used to call Pro keyboard ’cause it has number pad) plugged in usb…
      The keyboard is a great grandfather type to the mini – but it works. I prefer the more mechanical feel it has, but know I must look for another/similar since the numbers on the pad are becoming problematical.
      But in answer to your question, if you have your old usb keyboard & like it…use it!

  • Daniel
    August 23, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I’m partial to the CODE keyboard by WASD. It has a dip switch in the back to place in into Mac mode and tool to swap the CMD and ALT key-caps.

    It also comes in many different formats, full, 10-keyless, Compact in both US And ISO formats, and you can choose the Cherry switch type. I’m partial to brown.

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