first_imgAt the same time that so many people tell themselves typing on a touchscreen isn’t too bad, another set of users is shifting back to mechanical keyboards. Logitech, Razer, and a number of other companies are making aggressive moves with mechanicals, while long-time manufacturers are strengthening their lineups. One such company is Matias, who has long been known for their mechanical keyboards, especially those built for use on Apple’s computers.The latest from Matias is the Laptop Pro Bluetooth keyboard. This is the rare keyboard that is both wireless and mechanical, taking advantage of Bluetooth and Matia’s “Quiet Click”  switches. This is, for some small section of buyers, a killer combination as there are relatively few wireless mechanical keyboards (OK, very few — I can’t think of any aside from the XArmor U9W).The downside of the niche nature of Laptop Pro Bluetooth for Mac is that it keyboard sells for $170. If you can live without the Bluetooth and you don’t need a Mac layout, then Matias’ Mini Quiet Pro sells for a more palatable $130.There is a lot to like about the Matias. First off, the Quiet Click mechanical switches are very pleasant to type on, all while being quiet enough to use in an office setting. The Bluetooth connection worked perfectly, even when being utilized from 25 (or so) feet away, and it had no problem pairing with my MacBook Pro. The rechargeable 1600mAh battery is good for 6-12 months of life and is powered using USB, which is never hard to find. And the keyboard has two USB ports, so you can share that USB connection when it’s plugged in.On the downside, they Laptop Pro isn’t that portable — at over two pounds and about 13 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches it’s not something that you’re going to take back and forth to work or that you’ll carry around with your iPad (unless you are a serious keyboard geek). Also, while $170 is far from unheard of for a mechanical keyboard, you can get a model that uses Cherry’s switches for less (this wired Leopold keyboard is $99). The Matias a well-built device with a nice layout that should outlast your next four computers, but it’s still not cheap.While typing on the Laptop Pro I had very few complaints about its performance. The Cherry Browns are my switch of choice these days, but I was instantly at home using Matias’ “Alps-inspired” switches. After a few minutes of adjustment, I was typing away like a champ, and really enjoying the combination of mechanical switches and OS X.From design standpoint, I was less impressed. I understand that if you want a good typing experience you need a stiff keyboard with no flex, sufficient height for the key travel and the physical size of the switch, and enough width to encompass a standard layout. This means that the keyboard inherently can’t be too light, thin, or small. Even so, I would have liked to see this laptop keyboard trimmed down so it was a bit less bulky. I would have taken a 3-month battery life and dropped the extra USB ports if it could have meant a few ounces shaved off. Also, the characters printed on the switches makes for a very busy look, with multiple alternate functions on almost every key. Finally, the glossy silver kind of fits in with the MacBook Pro, but I’d have rather seen a nice matte silver or black.Overall, the Matias Laptop Pro Bluetooth keyboard for Mac is a product that’s hard to complain about. I enjoyed typing on it, Matias’ keyboards are know for their quality and longevity, the mechanical switches are a proven, popular choice, and it’s great to see a wireless mechanical keyboard. If $170 is the price of admission, I could see more than a few people spending the money and picking up an input device that will last them for multiple years of typing.last_img

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