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A few days ago I received a new Bluetooth keyboard from Satechi: That Slim wireless keyboard - with German QWERTZ keyboard layout. As the name "Slim" suggests, it is less large than the "normal" Satechi keyboard, which has the cursor block and other keys between the number block and the actual keyboard. But I will tell you a little more about the layout of the keyboard and its special keys later.
In the following there is a short list with the technical details that describe the slim Satechi keyboard:
The keyboard is compatible with all iOS and macOS devices. In detail, the iMac Pro, iMac, 2018 Mac Mini, 2018 MacBook Pro / Air, MacBook, iPhone XS Max, XS, XR, X, 8 Plus, 8, iPad Pro, iPad Mini and all other iPad or iPhone models.
You can already see that this keyboard was specially developed for Apple users. For example, when using an iPad, you can use a special key that calls up the home screen. There is also a button for the app switcher (which also works under macOS such as CMD + TAB) and of course you also have all the special buttons with which you can call up functions such as mission control or similar under macOS. Multimedia buttons such as for play and pause or louder, quiet and mute can also be found, but the "brighter and darker buttons" for the screen brightness known from the Apple keyword are missing. Since I never use them, I won't miss them.
The keyboard can also be linked to a Windows PC, but I have read that special characters, for example, do not work here. It can therefore at best be viewed as an "emergency solution".
Since I've been working with the old Apple Magic Keyboard for many years (still the version in which the cursor keys are all the same size as they should be!), A comparison with this keyboard is of course obvious. The keyboard layout of the Apple Magic Keyboard can also be found on MacBook Pro laptops. Only the 12 inch MacBook has a smaller keyboard and therefore a space-saving design.
As you can see in the photos, the size and layout of the buttons is relatively similar. The only difference is that the Satechi keyboard still has the numeric keypad and the shift keys for the various Bluetooth devices on the right.
From the keyboard feel, I would say that the Satechi keyboard is a bit "tighter". That means I have to build up a little more pressure so that a key is recognized as being pressed. Especially in the first two days after the changeover, this meant that a letter was missing here and there in the written texts. However, you get used to it quickly and then have no more problems typing.
Another difference to the Magic Keyboard is the incline of the keyboard. The Satechi keybard is slightly flatter and therefore the angle at which the keyboard is inclined on the table is smaller. Here, too, it took some getting used to. Humans are creatures of habit and if you have been working with a keyboard for decades, you will of course find everything "new" strange at first. But that's not a real problem.
I didn't notice it at first, but there are exactly three keys that are in a different location on the Satechi Slim Bluetooth Keyboard than on the Apple Magic Keyboard. It refers to:
The Enter key is in one line on the Satechi keyboard and the diamond is one line higher. The angle brackets, on the other hand, no longer have their own key, but you type in the angle brackets using the "fn" function key and the letters X and Y. This should take a lot of getting used to, especially for programmers, as they very often work with diamonds and angle brackets.
I've photographed the differences in the photos below so that you can get an idea for yourself:
One small thing that the Apple Keyboard offers, but the Satechi keyboard does not, is the battery percentage that you see when you open the Bluetooth menu on the Mac. This is useful with the Mac keyboard, but mostly because my model runs on AA batteries that run out every two weeks.
If you can see the runtime of the Satechi keyboard, you can maybe just get into the habit of connecting it to the USB-C connector every two to three months and you will have enough power for the next few months.
Since there are many people complaining about the volume of the butterfly keyboards in the MacBooks, I wanted to make a comparison with it. The result: it is significantly quieter. I wouldn't say noiseless, but anyone who has ever typed on an Apple Magic Keyboard can imagine the noise development to be roughly similarly loud or rather quiet. The typing noises don't bother me at all, as they are not as high-pitched as with the MacBook keyboards.
Pairing is pretty easy. If you have switched on the keyboard using the slide switch on the back, it is immediately displayed in the Bluetooth area (in the system settings on the Mac). There you can then press the "Connect" button and a number is displayed on the Mac that you type on the keyboard. The coupling is now complete.
Immediately after the first pairing, a macOS window opens in which you get a message that the Mac does not yet know the keyboard. In order to carry out a recognition, one presses different keys and then receives the suggestion "ANSI (for USA and other countries)".
I had first selected the "ISO (European)" keyboard type, but then realized that I have no way to write angle brackets (<>). This only worked after I changed the keyboard type to "ANSI". Then you get to the angle brackets with the key combination fn + Y and fn + X.
Coupling with the iPad (or iPhone) works just as easily: You press the Bluetooth number with which you want to couple the new device in the upper right corner. If it is still free, the blue LED starts to flash and signals the pairing mode.
In the iPhone or iPad you go to Bluetooth in the settings and you get the "Satechi Slim Keyboard" in the list. With the selection by touch you get a number that you enter on the keyboard (confirm with Enter) and you have already connected the keyboard.
If you want to cancel a pairing, keep the corresponding Bluetooth button (1 to 4) pressed for approx. 3 seconds. The flashing, blue LED then shows that it is ready for a new pairing.
Important: Switching from one Bluetooth device to the other takes one to two seconds. So you can really switch back and forth pretty quickly.
There was actually only one thing that I changed after pairing the keyboard: The key repetition was set to "Off" for me, which prevents you from moving through texts with the cursor keys pressed. I moved the slider all the way to the right to get the previous setting for my Apple keyboard.
In other reviews, people complain that the keys are not labeled with a laser, they are simply "glued". However, it should be noted that these stickers are extremely strong and resistant. As a test, I tried to loosen or scratch any corners on the glue with my fingernails, but you have no chance. The stickers are as if welded to the plastic of the buttons.
The transparent adhesive edge around the black lettering can only be seen in a certain incidence of light. For the photo I tried out how to set the light so that you can see the reflection of the sticker. In normal office light you have to look very carefully to see that it is just a sticker.
In my opinion, the slim Satechi keyboard is aimed precisely at the target group who would otherwise buy the Apple Magic Keyboard. With a price difference of approx. 50 EUR, the Satechi keyboard is significantly below the alternative from Apple despite its price of approx. 75 euros (as of 04/2019 on Amazon).
I cannot see a qualitative advantage of the Apple keyboard. On the contrary: I find the USB-C charging port much more practical than the Lightning port that Apple's current wireless keyboards have. I think that after the switch from Lightning to USB-C on the iPad Pro, the days of the Lightning socket should be numbered.
So that you can compare current prices, I have here a product list that contains both the Satechi keyboard and both versions of the Apple Magic Keyboard (with and without a number pad):
I am happy that Satechi has made another slim version. The normal-sized keyboards take up too much space on my desk. Since I had the Apple Magic Keyboard before, switching to the Slim Keyboard from Satechi is very easy. Only the somewhat harder pressure point compared to the Apple keyboard caused problems at first.
The ability to charge the Bluetooth keyboard via USB-C cable is future-proof and the right choice from Satechi. Incidentally, the keyboard also works while it is being charged. However, you cannot plug it into the Mac with a USB-C cable and use it as a wired USB keyboard. It must be paired via Bluetooth.
I find the specialization on Mac and iOS users basically practical, but in general I rarely use the special keys on keyboards. Most of the time I only use the multimedia buttons when listening to music.
The ability to connect the keyboard to the iPad or iPhone is also rarely used because I use the corresponding Mac clients for Whatsapp and Telegram so that I don't have to type long texts on the iPhone.
The workmanship of the Satechi Slim Wireless Keyboard is extremely good. It is made of aluminum and has silicone nipples on the underside to prevent it from slipping.
I especially like the mechanical slide switch on the back, with which you can turn off the keyboard in seconds when you are out and about with the keyboard.
I often pack my MacBook Pro for vacation and take my keyboard and mouse with me because I want to type "as usual". Since the Apple Keyboard does not have a real power switch, it often loses a lot of power "on the go" if any key is pressed while being transported. So it is more or less on "continuous transmission", which is at the expense of the battery.
With the Satechi keyboard, this can be easily prevented by simply turning it off. And in many cases I prefer mechanical switches to newfangled touch stuff. For the reason: thumbs up for it!
If you are interested in the Satechi keyboard, you will find it here via the partner link on Amazon or via this product box:
You can read the instruction manual in German Download or view here as a JPG file.
As always with test reports about devices that I have received from manufacturers, I would also like to note here: It is an honest report. I have not received any payment and the manufacturer did not have a say in my item. The links to Amazon are partner links, so that I get a little commission on orders that support the blog.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de