Tactile keyboards for Mac and iOS

Tactile KeyboardsI was in the market for a new keyboard for my Mac and iPad I only had a short checklist:

  • Mac specific – if the keyboard had a Windows key, it would immediately be struck off the list.
  • Tactile – no mushy keys please, if I wanted a standard Mac keyboard, I would have bought the standard Mac keyboard available from Apple.
  • Tenkeyless – nice but not essential, I like compact keyboards, just a personal preference thing.

To my surprise there were only three keyboards that satisfy this criteria.

  1. Das Professional Keyboard for Mac – full sized keyboard uses “clicky” Cherry MX switches, only available in black.
  2. Matias Tactile Pro (and Quiet Pro) Keyboard – full sized or tenkeyless, this keyboard uses the classic Alps switches, available in white or black and silver.
  3. Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 – the little keyboard with a cult following, uses the patented Topre switches. Available in white or black.

Picking a keyboard is such a personal choice.  My reasons for liking a keyboard are not the same reasons you will like your keyboard.  I eventually choose the Happy Hacking Keyboard, the premium keyboard from Japan.

On the subject of a tactile keyboard for iPad, there are has already been people that have tried to make their Happy Hacking Keyboard work on their iPad, with mixed results.  Personally, the way to make this work on the iPad is to turn the keyboard into a Bluetooth keyboard via  a USB-to-Bluetooth adapter.  I’ll post more about this topic later.

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