The new Apple keyboard and mouse are here and although – at first glance – they look almost identical to the old ones… nothing could be further from the truth.
This could be the shortest review in history because it should just read;
“If you already own an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse then upgrade – today.”
But, in the spirit of completeness let me expand just a tad on that sentiment.
If my wife were to storm into the room and bark out orders (which she does often) then she would not immediately notice I had a new keyboard. It is still white and it is still small but the angle is more comfortable, the construction a little more robust and the keys feel more responsive. They also make a very satisfying sound when you type… sorry but I cannot explain it any better than that.
However the best feature is something it shares with the new mouse; they are both wireless without the need to always replace batteries.
The keyboard comes with a Lightning cable that plugs in and recharges the battery in about 2 hours and Apple claim that under normal circumstances this charge will last a month or so.
This is awesome news for us keyboard jockeys who till now have had to keep a constant (and costly) supply of batteries in the drawer (you know, the ones that keep getting stolen to give new life to the TV remote!)
While my wife was barking out orders she would have had even less chance of noticing I had a new mouse because it is identical to the old one. However, if she picked it up to help her further illustrate her point on the top of my head, she might notice that this mouse feels sturdier and more precise in its construction.
This is due mainly to the fact that there is no longer a removable panel to insert those pricy batteries. The mouse, like its keyboard stable mate, has a built in rechargeable battery. The battery recharges with the same Lightning cable and takes 2 hours to charge and will keep going for a month or so.
There has been a lot of press about the fact that, unlike the keyboard, the mouse cannot be used while it is being charged because the Lightning port is under the mouse meaning that it needs to be on its side while charging.
Right about now you must be thinking “what the…” but not all is as the haters would have you believe.
Firstly the software will tell you, well in advance, that the battery is running low. This will give you ample time to finish what you are doing for that day and plug the mouse in overnight. If you take notice of the warnings you need never be inconvenienced .
This by the way, is not unlike any other rechargeable mouse that uses a docking station to recharge itself.
Secondly, if you are caught off guard it is worth remembering that a 120 second charge will give you 9 hours of usage so in essence the fact that the mouse is unusable while charging is a non-event.
They feel better, they look better and you won’t be filling the local tip with dead batteries. To my mind that is a winning combination all round and a good enough reason to upgrade.