Aluminum keyboard loses its luster

When Apple first released the aluminum iMac in August 2007, I wrote in my review that:

In some ways, I think the keyboard design is more of a triumph than the iMac itself.. and I highly suggest giving it a chance before writing it off as being too different.

I was impressed by the design, media controls, USB 2.0 ports, and feel of the keys, which as I noted, were very similar to those on my MacBook.

Recently, I replaced my aging dual-processor Power Mac G5 tower with latest generation of 24-inch iMac. And on the whole, I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. But I think I may have changed my mind—the one aspect that doesn’t leave me completely satisfied is that keyboard.

Why the change of heart? Well, I find it more difficult to type using the aluminum keyboard than with my old Apple keyboard (something that’s more noticeable now that I’m using the keyboard as my primary method of input, not just on a test system for a review). Specifically, I find that it doesn’t record all my keystrokes as easily, and requires me to press harder on the keys to make sure everything gets registered (and yes, I’m writing this blog from home on my aluminum keyboard).

Perhaps if I had a better setup at home (a keyboard tray instead of just putting my keyboard on the six-foot-long Rubbermaid table I call my desk), I might have an easier time using the new iMac keyboard. Or maybe I’ll get used to it, and develop stronger fingers in the process. But at the moment, I am considering replacing the keyboard with my old Apple one or a third-party keyboard—which is a shame, because I still believe Apple made a lot of nice design decisions with the aluminum keyboard.

Those of you who’ve purchased an iMac in the last 10 months, how do you feel about the keyboard? Are you still using it? Did it take you a while to get used to it? Please share your feedback.

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