Being somewhat profligate at times, and always somewhat lacking in funds as a result, when my MacBook Pro keyboard began giving me grief (the ‘w' key in particular simply failed to work), my thoughts turned to the Apple Smart keyboard. At £99 GBP, though, this was not an option.
Accordingly, I opted for a far cheaper Anker Wireless keyboard - bought from AnkerDirect on Amazon.
So far, so good. The keyboard arrived promptly, and in a well protected box. Apart from the keyboard itself, the package contained a 2-3ft micro USB charger cable, and documentation (in the smallest possible size of font).
The keyboard is intended to be used with devices that run any of: iOS, Android 3.0 and above, MacOS X 10.2.8 or above (but bizarrely, not El Capitan), Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8. Here, I can only speak of my experience using this kit on a MacBook Pro running MacOS Catalina.
Setting up was pretty much a doddle, a matter of connecting the keyboard via the Bluetooth option under ’System Preferences’ on the MacBook, a two minute job. Obviously, other operating systems will have a different methodology.
The internal, non-removeable lithium battery is rechargeable, so unless one has the supplied cord plugged in, the keyboard is well…cordless. In theory one could use it from a distance: I’ve tried it from 6 feet away and it was okay, but why anyone would want to do that (being that what appears on the screen can’t easily be read from that distance) is beyond me. It’s also light (308g) and is quite slim - the max depth is 0.5in, tapering down to a depth at the front of the keyboard of 0.2in. Overall, its’ diameters are 11.3 × 5.0in. / 28.5 cm × 12.7 cm.
The keyboard itself is perfectly fine for what might be deemed ‘everyday’ use: key presses are quiet; laid out in much the same way as the Apple keyboard, although slightly smaller, and after a short while using it becomes second-nature. Unlike the usual Apple keyboards, by the way, this does not have a backlight.
I’ve only been using it for a week or so, and can’t therefore pass judgement on its’ longevity. Nor can I vouch for the claim that it has a 6-month battery life based on, “2 hours non-stop use per day”.
If the keys are still working after a year then certainly, for the price, I’ll be adding an extra star to this review (but I’d not use if for gaming which requires the constant mashing of keys) and for the most part, I’m happy to leave it on charge for most of the time as I’m not one for constantly having to take my device out and about that often; though I can see that using it “on the go” with something like an iPad is its’ main purpose.
A point I’d like to gripe about, is that it doesn’t come with a protective case of some sort. If one is constantly having to carry it around this would have been really useful. Still, a bit of research may yield something that fits the bill.
As I said, so far so good. It’s not the build quality of an Apple Smart keyboard, but nor is it the price.