Review: Moshi Celesta
A few weeks ago, Apple introduced new slim, aluminum keyboards. While that was going on, we had been testing Aevoe’s Moshi brand’s Celesta, a $120 keyboard that might look a lot like Apple’s offerings, but offers some distinct advantages in the eye-candy department.
The Celesta is available in two color schemes: all-black with red key labels and LEDs or silver with white keys, dark grey key labels, and blue LEDs. Both feature Mac OS X-specific keys, but work with Windows, Linux, and anything else you could possibly think of. Two USB 2.0 ports are located on the right side for mice, flash drives, or anything else. Along the top edge of the keyboard are indicators for num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock, as well as an illuminated Moshi logo.
The layout is the pretty standard as it seems like a Mac-keys-crammed-on-a-traditional-Windows-layout. Mute is located between the right Option and Control keys, white the volume adjustments and Eject are located below Delete/End/Page Down. The keys themselves are laptop-style, but not like Apple’s idea of spaced-out-Chiclets, but do feature plastic scissors below the keys. Other than that, the keyboard takes no getting used to from a typing standpoint.
Other than the advantage of a more “traditional” design than compared with Apple’s keyboards, the Celesta features a flip-down riser to adjust the angle. The thin, flat design is intended to provide a more ergonomic design without weird layouts or awkward wrist rests. If you have a bigger desk/keyboard drawer, the keyboard can sit further back and not have the riser flipped down. This causes your arms to stay straight and rest on the desk itself. If you have it on the edge of your desk, flip the riser down and your arms stay straight and your palms rest on the 1″ space at the bottom edge of the keyboard. Mix in the scissor-switch keys which require less force and you have a rather comfortable keyboard.
The Celesta is a bit on the pricey side for keyboards, but feels very well-made and is designed to be a bit more of a “high-end” keyboard. It looks great, is packaged much like a product from Apple, and even includes a microfiber dust cover and packaging that is actually worth saving in case you want to pack up your keyboard. The ergonomic design is actually quite nice and just works without having to get used to it. This is similar to the MacAlly IceKey, a similar product that sells for less than half the price.
Although our first unit stopped functioning after about two weeks of use, we received a replacement unit very quickly. After about three months of everyday use with that unit, our only complaints with the Celesta are the lack of USB ports on the left side (but there still are two), and the silver/white version needs to be cleaned periodically. However, that’s pretty standard with most white keyboards. Other than that, if you’re looking for a keyboard that looks good and has a solid feel, the Celesta might be a good choice next to your Mac.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
If Apple’s newest keyboards are uncomfortable, but you still want something that looks good next to your Mac, the Celesta is an attractive alternative.
Pros: Standard layout, fancy design, comfortable ergonomics, USB 2.0 ports
Cons: Expensive, USB ports only on right side, silver/white version shows dirt