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Casting a broad net when shopping for business technology has lots of benefits for small business shoppers, and that holds true for Mac users as well. Third-party brands are increasingly designing keyboards with Mac users in mind.
Many of the latest products are more ergonomic in design, more durable, fully programmable, and less expensive than Apple’s keyboards. In recent years, many business users have expressed frustration at the quality of Apple keyboards, causing more shoppers to consider alternative options.
Small business owners and managers are increasingly making IT-related purchasing decisions. Buying keyboards might seem incidental in the scope of daily operations of a business, but the right choice can make all the difference for workers who spend upward of eight hours a day on their machines. Mac-centric office managers are smart to consider the way that their employees work (as well as their bottom line) when shopping for keyboards, which is why we sorted this list by use case and included a diverse range of devices at varying price points.
Best Overall: Logitech MX Keys for Mac
The Logitech MX Keys for Mac is just as pretty as an Apple-designed keyboard; it comes in space gray so it will match your Mac devices, and it offers more functionality than the Apple Magic Keyboard for a cheaper price.
Hover your hands over the MX Keys, and the backlighting will brighten in response, dimming only when you’re not using it; you can also program your keyboard to automatically brighten at certain times and to varying degrees. Scan the layout of the keys on the MX Keys and you’ll see all the Mac-specific keys that you’re used to seeing, like volume and media controls at the top, and control, option, and command right where you want them.
In addition to offering a superior typing experience with a bit more travel than an Apple keyboard, and several fully programmable keys, the MX Keys has a built-in switch so that users can seamlessly type on up to three devices at a time and even move files across devices (Windows and Mac OS).
The MX Keys has a claimed battery life of 10 days (with backlighting) to five months (without backlighting) when used wirelessly, but it can also connect via USB.
Winner of the iF Design Award in 2020, the MX Keys keyboard offers best-in-class functionality for Mac users who want style, function, and a good deal.
Best Budget: Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard
The least expensive Apple keyboard is still well over $100. For less than $30, the Logitech K380 can sync with not only your Mac devices but also your Windows, Chrome, and Android devices.
This compact keyboard has the strong build of a traditional Logitech keyboard with a rounded minimalist aesthetic that meshes well with Apple products. You can sync the K380 with up to three devices at a time and switch among them using built-in device keys. The round keys are pleasantly clicky and have a nice feel with decent travel, but the spacing might be cramped for people with large hands.
The build of the K380 is solid and durable, and it syncs more reliably than other low-cost keyboards. The battery life of two years is excellent, too, and is aided by the lack of backlight. There is no full number pad on this keyboard, but the media buttons at the top, ease of syncing, and overall typing experience still make it a good buy. The K380 also comes in three colors: dark gray, off-white, and rose.
Best for Productivity: Logitech Ergo K860
For touch typists who want to increase their speed and improve their posture, the Logitech ERGO K860 offers perfect entry into the world of ergonomic Mac-compatible keyboards. A single-piece keyboard with a traditional key layout, just split, this design offers a milder learning curve than fully detached two-piece ergonomic models. The curve of the ERGO K860 and split design combine to shift the users’ hands, wrists, and arms into a straighter position than a traditional keyboard allows.
Both the design of the typing surface and the inclusion of an attached wrist wrest encourage the user to take on a natural typing position that should help eliminate stress on the hands, wrists, shoulders, and neck. Touch typists who switch from a traditional keyboard to the ERGO K860 report a very short learning curve, and many end up with faster typing speeds once they acclimate to the slightly different typing position.
Also, this Logitech can be connected via USB or Bluetooth, offers classic Mac media keys at the top, has a full number pad, and sports surprisingly quiet keys.
Best Large Print: Azio KB 540 (Mac Version)
Too often, the manufacturers of large-print keyboards and other adaptive technology completely neglect build quality, aesthetics, and even basic functionality. In fact, many don’t even include backlighting—an essential feature for many low-vision users—in their large-print designs.
With the KB540 Mac keyboard, AZIO shows that it is starting to understand that users of assistive tech still care about the things that every other user cares about. Unlike many large-print keyboards, the KB540 is a full-sized keyboard with standard-sized keys. It includes a full number pad and can be purchased in several different configurations: wired or wireless and Mac or PC.
The font on the AZIO KB540 Mac is four times larger than the font on a standard keyboard, but the key size is standard, which is one of its best features. The backlighting can be set to red, blue, or purple, and the light can be changed with the flip of a handy manual switch.
The AZIO KB540 Mac is also waterproof, antimicrobial, comes in black or gray, and is designed with Mac users in mind. It’s a little bulkier than a lot of keyboards, but it’s not bad looking and won’t draw undue attention to itself.
Overall, the KB540 offers low-vision Mac users better functionality than competing keyboards, but we still think this AZIO could improve when it comes to overall feel, key responsiveness, and key travel (it’s a bit shallow, with mediocre tactile response).
Best for Programmers: Razer Pro Type
Programmers who are Mac devotees should seriously consider swapping their Apple keyboards for the Razer Pro Type, and avid typists might want to give it a glance as well.
Long known for its fancy gaming keyboards, Razer decided to get in on the office market when work-from-home life took over. The result of this foray into business gear is the Razer Pro Type, and it’s equal parts cool and beautiful. The soft touch coating on the keys lends a luxe quality to the typing experience, and Razer says its business-ready keyboard is durable for up to 80 million keystrokes.
The Pro Type can be connected to up to four devices at a time via wireless or Bluetooth, sports pretty white backlighting (which can glare a bit in dark rooms), and comes with pleasantly clicky orange switches. If you’re in the camp that believes brown switches are superior for typing, then you can switch them out, just like on other Razer keyboards. Programmable keys with macro recording maintain a dash of Razer gaming functionality to this work keyboard, setting it apart from other business- or gaming-only accessories.
Overall, this is a great-looking keyboard that delivers tons of functionality for users who want to fully customize their work keyboard experience.
Best Ergonomic: Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue
The fully split design of the Kinesis Freestyle2 is completely customizable, which makes it easier to achieve an ergonomically supportive typing setup at work.
The beauty of it definitely isn’t the chassis or the load of necessary cords, but that it can be used both as a split keyboard or combined and flat or at a 5-, 10-, or 15-degree angle. You can even set different positions for each arm, which is useful for people with limb differences or asymmetry.
The keys are designed for optimal ergonomics, with low-force switches that provide the ideal amount of tactile response to ensure users that they have deployed the key. Additionally, this keyboard offers the most intuitive layout possible for a split keyboard, which makes the learning curve a little easier for those looking to make the switch.
Best Mechanical: Azio MK MAC USB Keyboard
The AZIO MK MAC USB is a choice keyboard for typists who love Apple products but crave a better typing experience than shallow Apple Magic keyboards can offer.
Mechanical keyboards like the MK MAC USB provide the ideal tactile experience, as well as the freedom to work as fast as you want without concerns about jamming or keys going untyped. Mechanical keyboards also tend to last longer than their nonmechanical counterparts, and this model is less expensive than the equivalent Apple device.
The main selling point for the MK MAC USB is the Kailh brown switches, a favorite among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, which come standard. Switch type is one of the main determinants of how it feels to type on the keyboard. Brown switches are beloved because they offer the perfect amount of tactile feedback without super-loud clicking. The inclusion of these switches, rather than louder-but-faster ones, shows the thoughtfulness with which this keyboard was designed.
The MK MAC USB isn’t a repurposed gaming keyboard; the white-only backlighting, switch choice, full number pad, detachable wrist rest, Mac function keys, and limited two-year warranty all scream business.
Best for Mobile Devices: Logitech K480 Bluetooth Multidevice Keyboard
With the Bluetooth-enabled Logitech K480, users can easily switch among up to three devices (Mac, Chrome, Android) at a time using the easy switch dial on the side of the keyboard.
The K480 is a little larger than your standard tablet-cover style keyboard, but it’s still light (1.8 pounds) and compact (12 × 10 × 4 inches) enough to take on the go. The 10-inch-long and 0.4-inch-wide slot will fit most tablets and phones, and the angle is ideal for comfortable tabletop or lap typing. The Logitech K480 can also be used alongside laptops and desktops.
Build quality is the downfall of many mobile and compact keyboards, and that’s where the Logitech K480 dominates the competition. This little keyboard will stand up to a lot of typing, carrying, stacking, and storing. Many users report using their K480 keyboards for years on end without any issues, and the battery lasts for two years without a recharge. The typing experience isn’t bad, either.
This keyboard is surprisingly comfortable to use, especially considering its compact size, and the key travel isn’t bad for such a slim design. The only potential downside to this mobile keyboard is the volume—the keys on the K480 are definitely on the clicky side.
The Logitech MX Keys for Mac (view at Amazon) is our top choice for most business users, especially those who like Apple’s design and feel. The MX Keys delivers more functionality than the Apple Magic keyboard—and at a lower price, which is a boon for business owners buying in large numbers. Best of all, it meshes perfectly with the Apple ecosystem, so there’s no learning curve for Mac devotees.
FAQs about Mac keyboards for business
Why aren’t any Apple keyboards on this list?
Apple keyboards are generally attractive and well-built, but they are expensive and offer only basic functionality. Apple’s keyboards are not diverse in their design, feature set, or price point. The keyboards on this list offer best-in-class design and functionality compared with other Mac-compatible keyboards—including those manufactured by Apple.
What is a mechanical keyboard?
On a mechanical keyboard, each key has its own mechanical switch inside, and that switch acts as a trigger for that key alone. Because of this, multiple keys may be pressed at the same time without the computer jamming or missing any of the keys being pressed. Most laptops do not have mechanical keyboards. Instead, laptops usually have individual keys that each touch a sensor strip, which runs across the entire keyboard and hits each of the keys in turn. On a nonmechanical keyboard, if you type too quickly or press multiple keys at the same time, then the keys will sometimes fail to register or jam up.
What position is best for ergonomic typing?
Everything from shoulder width to height to arm length impacts ergonomics.
“You should be able to comfortably type on the keyboard with your hands as flat, level, not [bent] up or down,” says Humanuse ergonomics consultant and Cornell University Professor Emeritus Dr. Alan Hedge. “You should be able to comfortably press the keys; not too stiff, not too little resistance. If the keys are too stiff or too light when you press them, it can slow you down and be uncomfortable.”
Investing in a more ergonomic workplace benefits workers by supporting their long-term health and businesses by enhancing productivity. Creating an ergonomic work space doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; there are lots of free business resources available online.
But not all ergonomically designed keyboards, or split keyboards, will work for all users. “If the keyboard is sloped too steeply, it can slow you down. If you have small hands, don’t use a large keyboard, and vice versa. If you aren’t a touch typist, don’t try a split keyboard,” said Hedge.
What is touch typing?
Touch typing is the act of typing on a keyboard without looking at your hands or the keyboard. Muscle memory allows many computer users to type without looking, which allows them to type at faster speeds and adapt to different types of keyboards more easily. Taking classes in typing may help you develop the ability to type by touch rather than by sight.
Why Trust Investopedia
This list was compiled by creating a master list of keyboard models that are Mac compatible and broadly sold and reviewed. The writer relied on her own expertise, then winnowed the list by removing the lowest-performing keyboards based on basic usability, durability, feature set, price, and ergonomics. The remaining keyboards were sorted by use case, then compared on a more detailed level to one another until there was a resulting list of eight keyboards. The intention of this strategy was to create a list of high-quality Mac keyboards that meet the needs of diverse business users.
Mona Bushnell is a former information technology professional with a passion for comparison shopping and research. As a tech writer, she has reviewed hardware and software for many national outlets, primarily focusing on the small business market.