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Apple keyboards are very good, but an excellent choice for a Mac Studio or Mac mini is the Satechi X3 Slim – which is less expensive than Apple, too.
We absolutely adore our magic keyboard. However, the $129 price tag for the budget-conscious buyer is steep. That’s why we looked at the Satechi Slim X3 backlit Bluetooth keyboard. Featuring a similar design to Apple’s Magic Keyboard, it’s an affordable alternative for those who still want a powerful keyboard.
Satechi Slim X3 – Design
The Slim X3 is made of silver aluminum and features black plastic keys. Plus, the keys are backlit, which is a great feature for night typists.
It houses a full set of function keys on the top and a numeric pad connected to the right side of the keyboard.
It’s a strong feeling, and it’s what makes us happy. Oftentimes, it’s all too easy to find a cheap keyboard that gets the job done, only to discover that the keyboard doesn’t hold up to regular use.
Even though we’ve only had the keyboard for a short time, it’s sure to last. And Satechi offers a one-year warranty just in case the unexpected happens.
However, we do have a critique, and that’s where the function key is. Instead of placing the function key to the left of the left control, Satechi placed it in the second row in the “middle” part of the keyboard. That is, near the Home, End, and Page Up/Down buttons.
If you routinely reach for your pinky to press the function key, that would be an important change.
Still, that’s a relatively minor criticism, and if you don’t routinely press the function button, you might appreciate the larger control button instead.
Satechi Slim X3 – Ease of use
Typing on the Slim X3 is like typing on a magic keyboard. The angle is decent, though somewhat subtle, and there are no “feet” that pop out to set the keyboard at higher levels.
By default, the keyboard is set up with the Mac’s default keys. This is one of the best features about it, as we have tried many keyboards in the past on default Windows key layout.
Since it is Bluetooth enabled, you can pair it with almost any device you want, including your iPhone or iPad.
Satechi Slim X3 – Battery Life
Like most Bluetooth keyboards, the Slim X3 uses an automatic sleep mode to conserve battery life. After 30 minutes of inactivity, the keyboard will sleep to conserve battery. Clicking any key on the keyboard will activate it.
Once the battery is completely depleted, Satechi notes that it will take about two to three hours to fully recharge. We’ve been using it for a while, and the battery is still very strong.
However, if you don’t want to deal with routine battery drain, you can also use the keyboard in wired mode. This is especially useful if you don’t routinely need to move the keyboard and don’t mind the extra wire on your desk.
Satechi Slim X3 matches Apple’s design ethos, and is a good alternative
Apple itself doesn’t skimp on consoles. And if you’re like us, even with this quality, you tend to get to one very quickly, and that can be costly.
Keyboards range in price from very cheap to very expensive. It is also one of the three surfaces of interface with humans, the other two being screens and surfaces such as desks and chairs. It is worth finding a good solution for all three human interface solutions.
If you are looking for a Magic Keyboard alternative after you beat your device to death, or just want a change, the Satechi Slim X3 is a good balance of features, design, and cost. It matches Apple’s aesthetic well, can be used wired or wireless, and comes in at $40 cheaper than the official Apple model.
- Performs very similarly to Apple’s Magic Keyboard
- Long-lasting battery life makes it ideal for cordless setup
- Backlighting is good for low light environments
- The function button takes some time to get used to
Where to buy Satechi Slim X3 keyboard
You can get your own Slim X3 Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard from the Satechi website for $89.99.