I find most notebook computer keyboards cramped. Not unusable, but not as pleasurable to use, or as accurate, as larger keyboards. So I often complement a notebook with an external keyboard even when not connecting it to a monitor. Much of my work involves typing, so I must have a keyboard that provides a good input experience, connects to multiple devices
Keyboards are first and foremost about typing, and I find the Satechi Keyboard as good as possible without mechanical keys. Unlike Apple, who touts its keyboard switch technology, for good or ill, Satechi doesn’t share what’s under the hood. But what is under the hood seems to work just fine. I also like the ten levels of backlighting available. Many will like the included 10-key pad for financial and other numeric applications.
As with most devices these days, the Satechi keyboard uses USB-C for its charging port which continues to make the number of cables on my desk shrink. With intermittent use, the keyboard stays charged for days. Automatic sleep mode helps manage power consumption. Hitting any key awakens the keyboard from its slumber.
I love any Bluetooth device that supports multiple hosts. The Satechi Keyboard easily shifts between three devices at the touch of a button. My MacBook and my two iPad Pros share this keyboard, which saves room on my “mobile” desk. Function keys make to the currently active device.
The Compact Keyboard supports Bluetooth 5.0, which increases range and improves connectivity. Because of the updated Bluetooth, the company suggests not using the keyboard for pre-2011 Apple devices.
What could be improved
The thin design creates issues when the surface is not level. I have a keyboard drawer with raised hinges, either the keyboard fits inside the hinges, as does my Matias Laptop Pro or it needs to rise above the hinges. The Satechi keyboard does neither. The box includes raised rubber feet, not to work on hinges, but to increase the angle of the keyboard for more comfortable typing. Given the elegance of the design, the adhesive feet seems an afterthought. What I would prefer, to solve for unlevel surfaces and typing angle would be adjustable feet built into the unit. Satechi’s demonstrated mechanical prowess suggests they could come up with a solution that would give the Compact Keyboard a built-in ability to change its profile.
My automated SEO coach Yoast informs me that the name “Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard” is too long as a keyword string. Accessory technology companies either get very descriptive in their product names, or they just use model numbers. For this product, there is no ambiguity about the features, but its name is more a product description than a product name. If search engines don’t index it well, the attempt to cram in every keyword possible into the product name could backfire. I would suggest some like Elite Keyboard or Backlit Special. Don’t just tell me what it is, make me want to buy it when I see the name. That is, of course, advice coming straight from my marketing bias.
I would like to see the plastic tray used to secure the keyboard in its box, either become cardboard or use recyclable plastic. As it is, the tray just goes into the trash and contributes to plastic waste.
Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard: The Bottom Line
The Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard currently serves as my primary MacBook and iPad keyboard. With all the keyboards I have evaluated, that should prove compliment enough. But if you need more, buy it for excellent engineering, Apple-complementary design, and solid functionality, especially the multiple device connection feature. Satechi makes some of the most elegantly engineered accessories on the market, and this keyboard is no exception.
Basic Specs: Size: 14.5 x 4.7 x 0.4 inches Weight: 0.88 lbs
The Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard was provided to Serious Insights for review purposes. Images courtesy of Satechi.
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Daniel W. Rasmus
Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.