On my way home from my current contract in Sheffield I stopped off at Meadowhell to pick up a spare keyboard from the Apple Store. I’d heard about the new aluminium keyboards being quite thin, and since I tend to carry a full keyboard around with me when I’m contracting this seemed like a good acquisition.

I’ve been using it for about half an hour now to get used to it, and a number of things annoy me – not least the ergonomics. The problem lies in the profile – it’s almost flat to the table, and consequently use of a wrist rest is prohibitive. It also means you have to hold your hands almost vertically over the keyboard itself which (after low use) has given me a bit of an achy wrist; the keys don’t seem to travel enough, sometimes leaving me hitting them probably a bit too hard. Maybe I’ll get used to that.

Second thing that’s naffed me off – merging the volume keys and the function keys. I realist that F16..F19 are probably very important, but it would have been really nice if Apple had kept the volume keys over that way rather than the function key / utility key merging. I have my MacBook Pro configured so that the utility keys are at the foreground, with FN key combinations being required for use of F1..F12 but prefer it the other way round on the keyboard itself. I can’t do that in MacOS, I can either have it all one way or all the other.

It will go in my bag and be used at contracts, but I doubt I’d want to use one of these ‘in anger’ at a workstation. I think I may acquire a couple of the older white Apple keyboards just as spares for when I get a new desktop (which will happen one day or the other when I’m back with a solid office base to work from).