Cheap as chips Mac keyboard for typists.
Just recently I spanked more than I should have on an old G5 Power Mac. One of the downsides was that it didn’t come with a keyboard so I was forced to scour the Internet looking for a Mac compatible keyboard that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg.
A quick look on Amazon threw up the G82-27020 from Cherry, which looked a little cheap and nasty to be honest, but was less than £20, so why not.
Out of the box
When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised, to a degree. The lack of pictures on Amazon (and the web in total) plus the low price point had me feeling that this was going to look like a keyboard from the early 90′s.
In fact the keyboard looks more “retro-chique” than dated, with the use of matt and high-gloss plastics working well together to give an appealing overall look. It’s also lighter than I was expecting, but perhaps I’ve been ruined by the swarm of Alumiunium keyboards flooding the marker over the last few years.
This Cherry unit has everything that you might want from a budget keyboard, you’ve got nicely spaced keys (more on that later), a full array of Mac specific keys to allow for smart functions like opening the optical drive, and retractable feet on the bottom to allow for better positioning.
When it comes to actually using the keyboard it actually feels pretty good. For the past few years there’s been a trend for manufacturers to produce “laptop style” keyboards with short travel keys. Apple have been as guilty as anyone of this with their Aluminium framed keyboards that first shipped with the G5 units.
The problem is that those types of keyboards don’t give a very satisfying typing experience. The key placements are weird and the lack of travel in the keys means that you often have to consciously think about typing rather than just doing it.
By contrast, this Cherry keyboard has excellent key placement and gives a very positive click while typing, the way keyboards should be in my opinion. In fact, I personally find it much easier to touch type on this board than I have on any recent Apple keyboard.
Rubber pads on the base of the board, and the protrouding edge below the keyboard act as further assistance to professional typists.
I’m incredibly happy with this keyboard, the look is not quite in keeping with modern Mac products, but the typing action and construction of the board makes it a winner in my book.
If you’re more concerned about how your keyboard performs than how it looks, then this is definitely a product you should consider, especially with a sub-£20 price tag.
Unfortunately, those that value aesthetics over function may find the G82-27020 a little bland for their tastes, but on balance it’s an excellent product and deserving of the score below.