- The Logitech MX Keys is a top pick for its compatibility with Apple devices and its ability to be paired with multiple devices at once.
- The Satechi Bluetooth Keyboard replicates the Apple experience with its sleek design, but has shorter battery life compared to other alternatives.
- The Keychron K8 is a mechanical keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience and long battery life.
- When choosing an alternative to the Apple Magic Keyboard, consider factors such as battery life, key mechanism, and keyboard size.
What are the best alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard? If you’re the owner of a new Mac or other device, you might find yourself puzzling over which accessories to pick up. For example, certain devices like the Magic Mouse are sorely lacking in execution. While the Magic Keyboard certainly has its fans, that isn’t your only choice for Mac computers.
Today’s guide will take a closer look at six of the best alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard. The devices chosen are based on maintaining the same basic core functionality as the main device. However, there are some interesting divergences from Apple’s first-party solution. You don’t have to be stuck buying first-party to make the most out of your Mac, so let’s take a deep dive into your options. Here are our top picks:
- Best Overall: Logitech MX Keys
- Best for Replicating the Apple Experience: Satechi Bluetooth Keyboard
- Best Mechanical Option: Keychron K8
- Best for Macros: Logitech Craft
- Best for Retro Styling: Logitech POP
- Best Ergonomic Choice: JLab Epic Advanced Keyboard
Best Overall: Logitech MX Keys
When it comes to supporting Apple computers, Logitech might just be one of the best. The MX Keys is the first of three alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard from the manufacturer. This base configuration is a fantastic choice, however. The backlight will sap the battery life considerably, averaging about 10 days of constant use.
When switched off, you’re looking at up to 5 months of usage without charging. Instead of this being like some keyboards where you’re contending with Windows keys and the like, this is built with Macs in mind. The fantastic core functionality is further extended with Logitech’s Flow software. You can use this keyboard with multiple devices, so you can sling it along with the iPad and Mac of your choice.
The MX Keys is a seamless way of providing a stable typing platform for both a MacBook and iPad. I love the fact that it can be paired with three devices at a time. The key layout being dedicated to Macs out of the gate is also great. Check out the Logitech MX Keys Keyboard on Amazon.
|It can be paired with multiple devices.
|Tilt can’t be adjusted.
|It has a comfortable typing surface.
|The backlight is only available in white.
Best for Replicating the Apple Experience: Satechi Bluetooth Keyboard
- Scissor-switch keys
- Bluetooth and USB-C connectivity
- Up to 80 hours between charges
- Connect up to 3 Bluetooth devices at a time
- Shortcut function keys designed for Mac devices
When it comes to replicating the experience of Apple devices, Satechi has it down. You’ve got multiple color choices on the Satechi Bluetooth Keyboard which call to mind Apple’s stylings. What makes this one of the best alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard is the rock-solid design.
The outer case is incredibly sturdy and can take a fair amount of punishment. This is also coupled with a comfortable typing surface, which is great for general office work. The overall typing experience isn’t great if you’re looking to do long-form writing or coding. Still, for the price, it is hard to go wrong with the superb functionality of Satechi’s offering.
Where the Satechi falters is in overall battery life. When compared to other keyboards on this, there is significantly less battery life on a single charge. We’re talking a matter of a week or so versus the months seen with other keyboards. This might not be a big deal for some users, but it is something to keep in mind. Check out the Satechi Bluetooth Keyboard on Amazon.
|It has a sturdy design.
|The battery life isn’t the greatest.
|The keyboard has USB-C charging.
|It’s not ideal for long typing sessions.
Best Mechanical Option: Keychron K8
- Gateron G Pro Red switches
- N-key rollover
- White backlighting
- Bluetooth and USB-C connectivity
- Battery life up to 200 hours with backlight off
- Mac layout but also compatible with Windows
Keychron’s K8 keyboard marries mechanical switches with smart connectivity. You’ve got massive battery life on this device, as well as a plethora of switches and keycap options. The keycaps themselves aren’t the best you’ll find on a mechanical keyboard, but those are easily replaced. Where the K8 excels is in the comfort of its typing surface.
You could spend hours upon hours rattling away on this device without feeling much fatigue in the slightest. The key sockets are hot-swappable as well, which is always a boon when looking at a mechanical keyboard. The K8 isn’t going to be for everyone. If you’re a mechanical keyboard enthusiast who is using Apple computers regularly, it is a great fit.
I recognize the MX Keys is arguably a better fit. I love mechanical keyboards though, and I use one daily on my own Mac. The K8 is one of those packages that just makes sense if you love the feel and sensation of typing on a mechanical keyboard. It certainly beats having to go into the Mac system settings to configure all the functions of a keyboard before I can use it. Check out the Keychron K8 Keyboard on Amazon.
|It has fantastic battery life.
|The included keycaps can have some QA issues.
|It has hot-swap sockets.
|The charging port’s placement isn’t great.
Best for Macros: Logitech Craft
The Logitech Craft is made with creatives in mind. Logitech’s companion keyboard to the MX Keys comes with a slew of similar features. However, what makes it a standout is the inclusion of macros on the device. You’ve got a rotary encoder on the top of the keyboard which can be used for a variety of different tasks, like adjusting the playhead in Final Cut Pro.
Battery life isn’t the greatest with this keyboard. You’re looking at maybe a week or so of use before you’ll need to recharge it. That said if you’re working with software suites like Adobe Creative Cloud regularly, a keyboard with pre-mapped macros might be in the cards.
The Craft is a little spotty to get a hold of. When you can find it, it will generally have a higher price tag than the MX Keys. Now, you could just deal with the lack of shortcuts and macros on the other keyboard. However, I am a big believer in buying things for the sake of convenience, which I think the Craft achieves. Check out the Logitech Craft Wireless Keyboard on Amazon.
|The built-in macros are great for creatives.
|It is expensive compared to other alternatives.
|Configuration can be used for Windows and Mac OS.
|The backlight drains the battery significantly.
Best for Retro Styling: Logitech POP
- 84 keys with customizable Emoji keys
- Bluetooth or USB connectivity
- Pair up to 3 devices
- Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS
- 3-year battery life
If you love retro style, the Logitech POP is a blast from the past. This isn’t the most forgiving keyboard when it comes to typing. You’ll need fairly precise fingers to navigate these typewriter-inspired keycaps. Battery life on the device itself is superb though. The batteries themselves aren’t rechargeable, but you’re looking at three years of operational life before you need to replace them.
Like the other Logitech devices mentioned in this list, you do have full support for additional devices. Logitech seems to understand what Apple users are after, and this makes for one of the best alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard you’ll find on the market today. This is going to be a more polarizing device compared to the MX Keys or Craft, sadly.
The POP Keys aren’t going to be a great fit for most users. I do love the retro kitschy styling coupled with real mechanical switches. The keycaps aren’t my favorite. Then again, I still live with the far-off memories of learning to touch type on an unforgiving IBM electric typewriter. Check out the Logitech POP Keyboard on Amazon.
|It has an incredible battery life of three years.
|The keycaps require supreme precision.
|This keyboard supports multiple devices.
|The battery isn’t rechargeable.
Best Ergonomic Choice: JLab Epic Advanced Keyboard
The JLab Epic Advanced Keyboard is built with the user’s comfort in mind first and foremost. You’ve got access to some stellar features, like media controls and hotkeys. The keys themselves are soft to the touch and quiet, which is always great for marathon work sessions late at night. Beyond just the features, the keyboard itself is quite comfortable.
You do have the ability to use it across three devices, which is universal across all of the keyboards on this list. One noticeable drawback is you aren’t able to fully adjust the height of the keyboard itself. That is a bit disappointing considering this is marketed as one of the best alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard in terms of overall ergonomics.
However, with the right work surface and a proper wrist rest, most of those concerns are easy to work around. It is a membrane keyboard, which is fine for most users. I’d love to see the feature set of this keyboard on a proper mechanical deck, but we’re likely getting ahead of ourselves there. Check out the JLab Epic Advanced Keyboard on Amazon.
|Fantastic feel and ergonomics
|You can’t adjust the height
|Reasonable price point for its feature set
|Membrane keys aren’t great for lengthy typing sessions
How to Pick the Best Alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard: Step by Step
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for an alternative to the Apple Magic Keyboard. Most choices are going to come close in terms of overall functionality. If you’re used to the Apple ecosystem, this can have some benefits. After all, you’re getting native functionality with a few extras here and there.
Nonetheless, there are some things you should keep in mind when shopping around for your ideal keyboard.
- Battery life
- Key mechanism
- Keyboard size
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
Battery life is the big selling point for any of these Bluetooth wireless keyboards. The Apple Magic Keyboard 2 has a stated battery life of around a month. Most other keyboards on this list do come with additional features that might sap overall battery life as you can imagine. However, on average, you’ll find the battery life exceeding a week or so for normal usage.
I don’t find battery life to be the biggest selling point of any keyboard. However, when you consider the annoyance of having to charge the thing regularly, it might be a big deal for some.
The key mechanism may or not be a selling point when looking at alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard. Apple’s keyboard uses scissor switches, which certainly have their fans. However, if you’re like me, you might want to opt for something a little more ergonomically comfortable like mechanical switches. Again, this will come down entirely to preference.
The overall size of your keyboard is another determining factor. You might want the option for a numpad, which is always handy to have. Alternatively, you might want something like a tenkeyless setup. Either configuration has its own merits. I can’t imagine working without a numpad personally, but I have friends in the same profession who swear by more compact keyboards.
Both form factors of the keyboard certainly have their merits for typists. It’ll come down to your overall preference as to which one you want. A tenkeyless keyboard is going to be far easier to lug around in a laptop bag for example.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard
Finding the best alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard is going to rely on a few different factors. The previously mentioned factors are all things I would keep in mind when shopping for a keyboard. You don’t want to spend a sum on a keyboard that doesn’t fit your needs ergonomically or functionally.
Keyboards are very subjective, as there is no one-size solution for every user. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from when shopping around for something that works with your Apple setup. All of these devices should likewise sync up with both Apple computers and tablets,
Using the Best Alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard: What It’s Like
The best alternatives to the Apple Magic Keyboard are going to feel like a natural extension of your computer. They should pair automatically and have the sort of longevity you need to get some serious work done daily. There is something to be said for the level of comfort on each keyboard as well. Just make sure you have a comfortable seating solution and hopefully, the rest falls into place.
An external keyboard is always my preference when it comes to typing on a laptop. My MacBook’s keyboard is fine and dandy for emergency use, but it wouldn’t be my preference if I’m going to spend the next six hours typing.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Hadrian/Shutterstock.com.