Review: MacAlly iKeySlim
As the Mac mini does not come with a keyboard or mouse, many companies are offering products to fill this gap rather than letting you give Apple your money. MacAlly has taken the laptop-keys-on-a-regular-keyboard design of the iceKey, dropped the price, and simplified the design in the iKeySlim.
Some wonder what is the point of a keyboard with the thin, laptop keys. For many who use laptops, it is a bit awkward to make the switch between two computers. Some just like the keyboards on laptops better.
iKeySlim USB Ports & Power Button
The layout of the iKeySlim is the same as most other keyboards. Like previous MacAlly keyboards, it is apparent that this keyboard could be a Windows keyboard in some places, as there is a space next to the right Control key. Unlike previous keyboards, it is just a plastic space instead of a “dead” key. Above the function keys, there are buttons for mute, volume up/down, and eject. Next to those is a round power button. It won’t turn on your computer, but it will send a power button signal. On the back of the keyboard, there’s two USB ports for connecting mice and other accessories.
The iKeySlim, like most desktop keyboards has feet that allow it to be propped up at an angle. When it is lying flat on a desk, it is almost completely flat. Ergonomically, this is supposed to be better, although there are lots of conflicting opinions about ergonomics.
Unlike the iceKey, the iKeySlim does not require you to install drivers or set up anything special. Simply plug the five foot USB keyboard into a free USB port and you’re ready to go.
One thing that takes some getting used to is that the iKeySlim has a mushier feel than Apple’s keyboards (on both the desktops and the ‘Books), or even MacAlly’s own iceKey. It’s not as bad as some keyboards, but it is worth noting, especially if you are picky.
In summary, if you’re looking for an inexpensive keyboard that matches your Mac, the iKeySlim is a solid choice. Its unique design might require some adjustment for some users, but it is quite a bit better than a lot of other $20 keyboards.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The iKeySlim takes the basic design of the iceKey, but sells for a fraction of the price.
Pros: Inexpensive, competent keyboard, Mac-specific keys, USB hub in the back (2 ports)
Cons: Keys a bit mushy