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Once you get used to having a backlit keyboard, going back to a regular, non-illuminated keyboard can feel downright primitive. Apple introduced keyboard backlighting with the 17-inch PowerBook G4 in 2003, kept that feature in the MacBook Pro in 2006, and brought it to the MacBook Air in 2011. But Apple has never sold an external backlit keyboard for using an iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, or closed MacBook in the dark. No problem--Mac accessory maker Moshi fills that need (OK, that want) with the Luna, a black plastic USB keyboard that features backlit keys and a clear acrylic frame that glows at the edges.
Luna is a full-size keyboard, stretching 18.6 inches wide, about an inch wider than the wired Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. Made of shiny black plastic with matte black keys, it’s handsome but picks up fingerprints, both on the plastic housing and the acrylic frame. We didn’t notice oily marks on the keys themselves, though--and since they’re black, they don’t get that dingy look that the Apple keyboard’s white keys do with regular use.
The backlighting is controlled on the F5 and F6 buttons (just like on an Apple laptop), but there are only four steps between off and full brightness.. It’s easy to see the keys in a dark room, and the glow around the edge of the acrylic frame makes the keyboard look like it’s floating in space.
We found the scissor-switch keys responsive, and the Mac-specific function keys for things like invoking Mission Control and controlling iTunes worked flawlessly. The 9-degree, nonadjustable tilt was comfortable for typing; we had no trouble keeping our wrists straight. But Luna has a few quirks, too. The Fn key is in a weird spot, in the row of modifier keys to the right of the Space bar. Instead of Command, Option, and Control in a row, the Fn key is dropped in between Option and Control. (On the Apple wired keyboard, it’s in the cluster of six keys above the arrow keys, and on an Apple laptop it’s at the very bottom-left of the keyboard.) The Backslash key, under the Delete key, is extra wide for some reason, and our fingers kept hitting it when we meant to hit Delete. The Caps Lock indicator is in the top-right of the keyboard, disappearing when not in use, instead of on the Caps Lock key itself, which is a very tiny niggle. And the Luna has no extra USB ports since it can draw only enough power from your Mac for the keyboard illumination. This won’t matter if you use a Magic Trackpad or Bluetooth mouse, but if you have a wireless mouse that uses a USB dongle, you’ll need to find another place to plug it in.
The bottom line. If you can’t live without backlighting, you’ll love the handsome, well-made Luna. But at $99.95, it costs as much as two $49 wired Apple keyboards; for the same amount of money you could almost afford the mechanical-switch Das Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac (regularly $133, on sale for $113 at press time).
Keys light up. Number pad. 9-degree tilt. Mac function keys. Supports Windows and Linux too.
No USB ports. Weirdly placed Fn key. Some keys are PC only. Picks up fingerprints.