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In a world of Siri and Dragon voice recognition, the longtime fantasy of completely ditching the keyboard is still pretty much that for folks who spend considerable time transferring words from their brains into their devices. Most are happy with the slim little Apple offerings that offer slick designs, but are less than optimal for touch typists. If you’re interested in moving up into something that is pure pleasure for your fingers, the Matias Laptop Pro is a Bluetooth version of their third-generation, mechanical keyboards that are popular with writers, data entry workers, and anyone who earns a living putting words to screen.
The Laptop Pro is based on a different switch technology than Matias’ Tactile Pro keyboards, resulting in a significantly quieter sound when slamming away on the keys. But keep in mind, “quieter” and “quiet” are not the same thing. The Laptop Pro is still a mechanical switch keyboard—the noise and tactile feedback is either a plus or a minus depending on which side of the fence (or cubicle wall) you’re on.
The keys themselves feel really nice, with sculpted faces and a satisfying sensation as the keys hit bottom. It’s the kind of thing you’ll never feel on a modern Apple keyboard, but which was indeed part of the rather popular Apple Extended keyboards of yesteryear. If you like the action and feel of mechanical keyboards, the Laptop Pro may leave you finding your stock Apple keys lacking—this reviewer can certainly attest to that fact.
The build quality of the keyboard is really good, but the one thing that gives us pause is the power switch, which juts out from the case ever so slightly. It’s possible to accidentally switch the Laptop Pro on if something bumps against it—especially in a tightly packed laptop case. Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn’t include any type of carrying case or pouch, which would have been useful.
Even though it’s touted as a portable keyboard, the weight and dimensions are a bit on the healthier side; at a little over two pounds, it’s almost two iPads in weight—something to keep in mind. A rechargeable battery is built into the unit. You can’t replace it yourself, but Matias claims that a single charging through the included USB cable will get you anywhere from six months to a year of normal usage. There are three USB ports on the keyboard, but, sadly, they can only be used to charge connected USB peripherals; you can’t plug a flash drive into them to send data up to your computer, even when the keyboard is connected with the included USB cable. Keys are laser-etched with characters and modifier key mappings, which is a really nice touch—they’ll never wear off.
The bottom line. If you want a great wireless keyboard with mechanical switch keys, the Laptop Pro is a great choice. The price is high, but serious typists will end up appreciating this keyboard like few others.
Mac or iOS device with Bluetooth
Excellent, quiet tactile feel to keys. Mac and iOS-specific function keys. Solid build quality.
Expensive. Power switch potentially problematic. Bulkier and heavier than other portable keyboards. No carrying case. USB ports of limited use.