The Extended Keyboard Wins

For years now, my primary keyboard has been an Apple Extended Keyboard. I fell into it, to be honest. I bought a Mac with an extended keyboard and found myself using those extra keys not so much as a keypad, but as a mechanism to launch automation. Those extra keys came in handy with seven additional function keys, proper arrow keys, and all those number keys. The addition of a Touch ID button sealed the deal.

On the downside, it sometimes looks like you have a battleship parked on your desk. My right hand has to move 10 inches from the keyboard to the mouse. Lately, I’ve put so much of my macro triggers into my various Stream Decks I’ve been thinking about downscaling.

So I purchased an Apple Magic Keyboard with TouchID sans Numeric Keypad last week to see if I could turn the battleship into something smaller. This is an excellent comparison because it is so close (but not identical) to the same keyboard I’ve been using with the right 5 inches chopped off.

When the keyboard arrived, I thought it would be a no-brainer. But it turns out that adjusting was more challenging than you’d think. I’ve given it the better part of a week, and I’ve discovered that I like the layout of the battleship. The smaller keyboard has the Function key where the left control key is on the bigger keyboard. I also use the arrow keys and additional function keys more than you’d think. While I could adjust to the smaller keyboard, I feel the inconvenience of it way more than I enjoy the shorter trip to my mouse.

In the end, this is a clear choice for me. You can get a keyboard that takes less space and makes the trip to the mouse shorter, or you can get the bigger one with more buttons. There isn’t a right answer, but in my case, the battleship won.