Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad or plain ‘ol Magic Keyboard?

Last week Apple made its space grey accessories for the iMac Pro available to everyone. They look fantastic, but all of them aren’t for everyone. 

The space gray Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad is available for $149, the space gray Apple Magic Mouse is $99, and the Magic Trackpad. The latter two are great choices for anyone who (like me) prefers space gray over silver (which is why I hope we’ll get a space grey “nob-pro” version of the iMac later this year).

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The question mark among the space grey accessories is the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. Apple isn’t offering a space grey keyboard without the keypad, so you’ll have to decide if the extra features are worth the extra desktop real estate.

The full-size Magic Keyboard with Numerical Keypad is bigger than the standard Magic Keyboard by 5.5 inches due to the additional set of numbers and function keys. 

The standard Magic Keyboard has 12 F keys. You access other features by using the Option or Command keys. The Magic Keyboard with Numerical Keypad boasts 19 F keys, plus full-size up, down, left, and right arrow keys. There are also dedicated control keys for Home, End, page up, page down, and delete, which are very similar to the key combo on Windows-based keyboards. Do you need all these extra features?

If you tend to use keyboard shortcuts a lot, or if you code, the additional control keys are great. If you do a lot of number crunching, the numeric keys are time savers. However, if you don’t work a lot with numbers, there’s little benefit of the 10-key pad. 

The Magic Keyboard and the Magic Keyboard with Numerical Keypad are alike in many ways. They feel the same when you type, the distance between keys is the same, the Apple-specific function controls are the same.

Personally, since I don’t do a lot of number crunching, I find the extra length of the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad too space consuming. I prefer the plain ol’ Magic Keyboard — and wish it was available in space grey.

Actually, my ideal keyboard would be a Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar and backlighting. But that’s another story.