Macally IceKey: Keyboarding Perfection

2 minute read

Most people don’t pay attention to their keyboard. I didn’t either for a long time. I actually loved the feel of my Pismo’s keyboard. The scissor key design made for keys that wore very well and pushing on any part of the key had equal resistance. When I started converting my Pismo into mutated desktop, I decided to get an external keyboard. That started my hunt for the perfect keyboard. After thorough research (as I do with every product I buy), I decided on an iKey4 keyboard made by Macally. It was a nice change of pace. It was a far more mechanical keyboard. It was louder and had more resistance. I actually liked the key action. What didn’t I like? The complete lack of volume keys on the keyboard itself. I kept using it and dealt without those keys, but boy, did I miss them.

It wasn’t long before I broke down and got an actual desktop, my MDD Powermac. That of course came with the Apple Pro Keyboard. The key action wasn’t as good as my iKey, but the volume and eject keys made up for it. I adopted that as my new keyboard.

That is until I spilled beer all over it. I freaked and remembered reading that one could dunk keyboards in water and they’d be all right. Well, I got the beer out, but my keyboard didn’t work. I had left my iKey several hours away at my home, but I needed a keyboard to do my work. This led to buying a Logitech Internet Navigator keyboard, which had a full array of keys. It had keys for almost everything. The key action was ok, comparable to Apple’s Pro Keyboard. The problem is that Logitech’s drivers aren’t that good and using the command and shift keys together on the right side would somehow make the keyboard think I was holding the control key and until I tapped it, it wouldn’t quit. My Apple Pro Keyboard dried out and became usable again, so I went back to it.

The left shift key became sticky (ok, ok, I spilled beer on it twice more). I thought I fix it using some silicon spray. That had an effect. The effect of making the key completely inoperable. I finally had motivation to get yet another keyboard. After careful research, I chose the Macally IceKey.

What attracted me first was the scissor-key design, which is used in Apple laptops (including my Pismo, upon which I’m actually typing this). It also has the same exact keys as the Apple Pro Keyboard (which I found to be all the ones I actually used; I didn’t use like any of the extra keys on the Logitech). Finally, reviews indicated great key action and they weren’t lying. Key action may be a subjective thing (some prefer extra firm, some soft), but I found the IceKey to have a nice balance of soft, but firm, with a clear snap when a key is pressed. The keyboard itself is nice and thin, taking up little room. At a price of <$45, it’s a good investment and far more cost effective than the Matias keyboards that go for $100. I highly recommend it!