Best mechanical keyboard for Mac in 2017
Over 25% of software developers use Mac OS X and the vast majority of people in graphical design also use Macs exclusively. So, while Mac users may be outnumbered, they’re often working very serious jobs that require serious hardware!
That’s why we set out to find the best mechanical keyboard for Mac in 2017, to save you some time and let you get back to your creative efforts. Before we dive into the list, let’s start with why you may want a keyboard specific for Mac OS.
Apple keyboards for Mac computers have some key differences from other standard keyboards. Some of the differences are superficial, such as using “Option” instead of “Alt”, and “Command” instead of the Windows logo key. The placement of these keys differ on the layout as well. If you like the Windows style keyboards over Mac, that this could be a huge deal for you.
Some other key differences include –
- Full-sized desktop Apple keyboards with a dedicated numpad have function keys that can range up to F15, F16, or F19. Windows keyboards function keys only range from F1 – F12 regardless of size.
- Apple keyboards have a “Clear” key instead of “Numlock”, which functions to remove highlighted text as well as some other special functions depending on the app.
- An “=” key on the numpad.
- A “fn” (function) key instead of an “Insert” key. This toggles the function keys to behave as normally do, and their special OS functions such as volume control, screen brightness, etc.
- Apple keyboards typically have an “Eject” key for the disc drive.
Most importantly, Mac keyboards aren’t mechanical which make them pretty bad for gaming and programming. You can certainly get by on most tasks without a Mac-specific keyboard, but it doesn’t make much sense to own such a powerful and sophisticated machine only to hamper yourself with a mismatched mechanical keyboard. If you do feel like exploring other options, check out our list of the best mechanical keyboards in 2017 (and pay particular attention to the “Best white MKs” section).
Now that you know why you may want a mechanical keyboard specifically designed for a Mac, let’s take a look at our guide and list for the best and most popular mechanical keyboards for Macs (updated for 2017).
Das Keyboard 4 Pro for Mac
The Das Keyboard 4 Pro for Mac is easily your best option when you want to upgrade your Apple keyboard to a feature-rich, full-sized mechanical keyboard. This mechanical keyboard has the same level of quality you come to expect from your Apple products.
Das mechanical keyboards have amazing build quality with an aluminum top panel for a sturdy feel to withstand long nights of work. This mechanical keyboard has 2 built-in USB 3.0 ports, dedicated media control buttons with a volume knob, and Mac OS specific function keys. Of course, it has the high-quality mechanical switches as well.
Check out our review of the PC version, which showcases the Das Keyboard 4’s impressive quality.
The Das Keyboard 4 Pro for Mac is the best all-around choice. It could really be the last keyboard you need to buy for 10+ years. We’ve hand reviewed this keyboard so you can be assured that this is mechanical board is the real deal. Perfect for gaming, programming, or just everyday use.
Matias Mini Tactile Pro for Mac
If you’re looking for a compact mechanical keyboard for Mac, look no further. The Matias Mini Tactile Pro for Mac is the best of tenkeyless mechanical keyboards for Mac. It comes with sculpted/contoured keys, Mac OS specific keys like the “fn” key, and 3 USB 2.0 ports. The Matias Mini Tactile Pro also has a detachable USB cable, so you can more easily move it around.
Be sure to take a look at the layout of this keyboard and ensure it will work well for your needs. Not having a numpad won’t be a big deal for some professions, but can be a huge drain on productivity for others. Also, note that it isn’t available on Amazon. You’ll need to purchase it directly from its manufacturer.
Matias Quiet Pro for Mac
Finally, if you like the Matias style of mechanical keyboards more than the Das, here’s a full-sized option from Matias. It comes with all the great features of the Matias Mini, including sculpted keys and 3 USB 2.0 ports. You should be able to find this keyboard ~$30 cheaper than the Das Keyboard Pro 4, so it’s a more frugal option as well.
Azio Mk Mac
Azio recently released a new mechanical keyboard designed specifically for Macs, and it’s very similar to the Azio MGK1-RGB.
This keyboard has the full Mac layout and functions you’d expect, and the silver/white styling of it will be right at home with your other Mac products. The sleek Mac like design will fit in with all of your Mac gear. This mechanical board is an excellent buy if you’re looking for a nice minimalist design with a professional feel.
Apple Magic Keyboard
We decided to throw one keyboard on the list here that isn’t a mechanical keyboard, but has so many other great features it’s worth considering. The Apple Magic Keyboard is a wireless keyboard that pair automatically with your Mac. No dongles to plug-in or confusing setup process. Although not on the mechanical keyboards list, this Mac keyboard has excellent features and is compatible for just everyday work. If you’re looking at gaming, then I would suggest the other mechanical keyboards on this list and they can likely handle more force.
The battery is long lasting, and you’ll be able to go about a month between charges. You can plug the keyboard in via Lighting cable to use it as it charges even if the battery is completely dead.
The Magic Keyboard has a flatter key profile, which will save your wrist strain from being bent backwards as you type. That being said, it may not have that nice clicky sound you get from a nice cherry mechanical keyboard.
There it is, 3 great mechanical keyboards and 1 wireless keyboard for Mac computers. We also have a list of white mechanical keyboards that you might find match your Mac well.
Have other suggestions or questions? Feel free to leave a comment below.