Apple Magic Keyboard 2

Long live the Lightning dock!

Back a few months, I somewhat hesitantly bought a Magic Keyboard 2 shortly after my purchase of an MBP 15 2018. I wanted an external wireless keyboard for the laptop because 1) the laptop was uncomfortably hot when connected to an external display 2) I didn’t want to spend money on a dongle just yet to use other keyboards like the HHKB Pro2 3) I liked the freedom of being wireless and 4) I just wanted to try it.

I’ve used it for a few months for at least an hour every day. And here are my picks of goods and bads.

Pros

  • Ultra-portable and light. I adjust my posture quite a lot. So I found its weight (or lack thereof) never an issue when re-position the keyboard on my desk.
  • Long battery
  • Never disconnected once.
  • Mapped to useful functions like brightness control, volume up/down.

Cons

  • No multipairing. I knew it didn’t have multi paring , but I actually didn’t believe it. I honestly thought Apple had a clever way of *magically* handing the pairing off to whichever device I am using at the moment. There is no such magic.
  • Rattly (noisy). I have hypersensitive ears and this drove me nuts.
  • Small arrow cluster. Impossible to reach without leaving the home row, but the problem is the up/down arrows are frustratingly miniature in size. I learned great many keyboard shortcuts though.
  • Eject button for.. what?
  • Expensive. Comparatively speaking, this is the cheapest keyboard in my fleet. Yet I still find its value proposition a bit hard to swallow.
  • Nothing to write home about on its tactility of the switch. I actually preferred the infamous butterfly switch keyboard on my MacBook Pro which I found to be very crisp, precise and tactile (of course, I try not to use the butterfly keyboard because it was repeating the ‘O’ key out of the box).

I stopped using the Magic Keyboard on a daily basis now. I don’t know if I want to keep this around. I will see if I can get great use out of it on my iPad instead.

BetterTouchTool

Shortly after I wrote about the Magic Mouse 2, I actually went out to a store to try a brand new Magic Mouse 2. It sounded a tad bit dampened, but it was essentially as loud as mine.

The next thing I tried was the Better Touch Tool. I heard about how great this app is. It lets you customize the touchbar on the newer MacBooks.

I don’t really use the touchbar as I use an external keyboard anyways (I am rotating between HHKB Pro 2 and the Apple Magic Keyboard 2), but the Better Touch Bar app is also apparently good for changing the Magic Mouse behavior to one’s taste.

I downloaded it, installed it, and tried it. Within a few minutes, I got my Magic Mouse to click on tap. It was all very simple.

BTT: Super easy to setup!

The downside is that if I am using my mouse a lot, the energy impact as per the activity monitor goes as high as my web browsers with handful of tabs open. And BTT having so features, like running a webserver to listen to its iOS apps, it makes sense.

I wouldn’t mind the energy use if I had a desktop. It was unnecesarily complicating the problem I set out to solve. So I decided to part with BTT after a brief encounter.

Perhaps the next thing I have to try is the Magic Trackpad. I wouldn’t mind having one, but I feel like is due for an update.

Magic Mouse 2

I’ve been an avid fan of Logitech MX series. I use it every day at work. It looks great and works like a champ. Despite how much I enjoyed it, a few months ago I thought I’d give the Apple Magic Mouse 2 (in space gray, no less) a try, just because I got a MacBook for work and study. I wasn’t convinced to be honest, so it was more on the side of “giving it a chance”. The MSRP is painfully expensive, but I traded it with some keyboard parts on Reddit. It still hurts though (mechanical keyboard bits for a Magic Mouse!?). Surprisingly, aside from its known quirks, I liked the experience thus far. It blends well into the MacOS, it’s easy to carry around, and I found ergonomics fine. It didn’t glide on my desk as well as I hoped it would, so I put some teflon tape on the bottom. The only thing that I couldn’t do anything about, and drives me nuts every time is how loud the click is. It is ABSURDLY loud. My right ear feels numb especially on a quiet morning like this. I have a pretty sensitive hearing. Perhaps it’s not the mouse, but I can’t do much about my hearing. What to do.. what to do…