We tried the Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard. The new input device from the Californian manufacturer from San Diego shines in many ways, but also has a few weak points.
This article is currently being created on the new keyboard. Basically this version is a further development. There was already a variant without background lighting. Also one with a cable connection to the computer.
In addition to the keyboard, the box contains the instructions, two adhesive feet so that the keyboard has a better angle of attack and two charging cables. Fortunately, the keyboard has a USB-C charging socket on the back. A USB-C to USB-C and a USB-C to USB-A cable are included as charging cables.
The keyboard is already preloaded so you can start right away. It can be coupled with a total of three devices that can be selected by simply pressing a button. Pairing is done by pressing the corresponding button for about three seconds. On the Mac under macOS (from version 10.4.) The keyboard reports as “Compact Keyboard”.
Pairing is done in less than a second. The macOS own keyboard recognition registers the Compact Keyboard as “ISO European” and it starts immediately. Tools like “Karabiner Express” also work together with the keyboard, even if you don’t actually need them because of the Apple layout.
It becomes subjective. The typing feel of the keyboard is comparable to that of the Mac Book pros from 2015 and before. Large keys with a very light recess that are sufficiently spaced. Typing is quiet (significantly quieter than on Mac Book pros 2016/17/18). Overall, typing on the Satechi went well. It is a good compromise between a flat keyboard and a mechanical keyboard.
It has a complete block of 10, but it lacks the block with scrolling and start and end keys. The cursor keys occupy three key positions, because the cursor up and down are only designed as half a key. That’s a bit irritating at first. The lack of the “Remove” key is unfortunately a bit annoying. This is needed more often than you think. Unfortunately, “FN” and “Backspace” do not lead to any results.
The Apple-specific special keys on the top row are pleasing. Here, for example, the usual functions can be called up, such as iTunes start / stop, screen brightness, task switcher and volume. In addition, the brightness of the key illumination (in 10 levels) and the spotlight search.
The keyboard is a lot narrower than the Magic Keyboard, for example, due to the lack of a central block. The background lighting can be set in 10 levels and thus also affects the battery life. After 10 minutes of inactivity, the keyboard will go into sleep mode to save power.
Information from the Hestseller:
- Layout: QWERTZ
- Dimensions: 370 x 120 mm x 10 mm (at the highest point)
- Weight: 400 grams
- Battery life: 46 hours with backlight, 60-70 hours without lighting
- Bluetooth version: 5.0
- Compatible with: 2019/2018/2017/2016 MacBook Pro, 2018 MacBook Air, 2018 iPad Pro, 2018 iMac, iMac Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max / 11 Pro / 11, XS Max / XS / XR / X, 8 Plus / 8 , and most 2011 and newer macOS devices
- Not compatible with: devices older than 2010
- Price: 79.99 euros
The Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard is a good and inexpensive alternative to the Magic keyboard. It does without unnecessary gimmicks and does not require any special driver software. MacOS recognizes it immediately and correctly. Its compact size makes it ideal for the tidy desk or for mobile work with the iPad.
However, the smaller size also means disadvantages. If you have to rely on keys like “Del” or “Pos1” as well as scroll keys, it will be difficult here. The half cursor keys, for example, make it difficult to play games on them if they are on cursor control.
The space gray aluminum finish makes up for a lot. The keyboard looks classy and the typing experience is also relaxed. A real eye-catcher for the tidy desk.
The keyboard is available from Amazon, for example, for 79.99 euros. (Link)
For transparency: We received the Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard for this article free of charge. Thanks to SoulAR for the test position. However, our opinion is not affected.