Best Mechanical Keyboards for Mac in 2023
If you’re often on your computer, you already know a good keyboard is essential to working comfortably and having a good typing speed.
And fortunately, if you’re on a Mac, you don’t have many complaints, but getting an excellent second-party mechanical keyboard can improve your experience even more.
However, finding a mechanical keyboard optimized for Macs can be more challenging than you’d think.
Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular due to their durability, customizability, and superior typing experience. They also offer excellent tactile feedback and performance benefits worth considering over your standard Mac keyboard.
But not all mechanical keyboards work with Macs, nor are they all good. You may also require specific features or the custom Mac keyboard layout to integrate a mechanical keyboard into your workflow.
This post will review the best mechanical keyboards for Mac, starting with ones with a Mac-specific key layout to everything else. Keep reading to learn more.
What is a Mechanical Keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard is a computer keyboard that uses individual mechanical switches for each key rather than a rubber dome or membrane. These switches typically have a longer lifespan and provide a more tactile and satisfying typing experience than other keyboards. They also offer improved accuracy and responsiveness, as well as the ability to customize keycaps and switches.
Furthermore, several different kinds of key switches are used in mechanical keyboards, each with its own characteristics and feel. The most common key types are:
- Linear switches: have a smooth keystroke without any tactile feedback or audible clicking sound. Gamers often prefer these switches because they allow rapid keystrokes without resistance or feedback.
- Tactile switches provide a bump or click when you press the key, providing tactile and auditory feedback. Typists and programmers often prefer these switches because they provide a more tactile and satisfying typing experience.
- Clicky switches: are similar to tactile switches but provide a louder and more pronounced clicking sound when you press the key. These switches are great if you prefer pronounced audible feedback when typing.
- Hybrid switches: combine the characteristics of two or more switch types, such as a tactile switch with a clicky sound.
Benefits of Mechanical Keyboards
1. Tactile Feedback
Mechanical keyboards use individual mechanical switches under each keycap, providing tactile feedback with each keystroke. This tactile feedback not only makes typing more comfortable but also helps to reduce typing errors.
Mechanical keyboards are built to last. The individual switches can handle millions of keystrokes, making them more durable than traditional membrane keyboards.
Many mechanical keyboards come with programmable macro keys, customizable RGB lighting, and other features that allow users to customize their keyboards to fit their specific needs and preferences.
4. Typing Speed
The tactile feedback and precise actuation point of mechanical keyboards can help improve typing speed and accuracy.
5. Improved Ergonomics
Many mechanical keyboards are designed with ergonomic features such as a split layout or wrist rest. This reduces strain and fatigue on the wrists and hands during extended typing sessions.
Best Mechanical Keyboards with Mac-specific Key Layouts
Here are some excellent examples of mechanical keyboards specifically designed for Mac users.
1. Matias Tactile Pro
Matias Tactile Pro
The Matias Tactile Pro is a mechanical keyboard designed specifically for Macs, featuring a Mac-specific layout and function keys. It also features tactile ALPS switches that offer a satisfying typing experience. Moreover, the keyboard has a solid build quality, with an aluminum frame and laser-etched keycaps.
Here are some other features that make the Matias Tactile Pro mechanical keyboard an excellent choice for Mac users who want a high-quality typing experience.
- Tactile and clicky switches
The Matias switches provide a tactile bump and an audible clicking sound, making typing more satisfying and responsive. These switches are also designed to be quieter than traditional mechanical switches, which is excellent for use in quiet environments like offices or libraries.
- Mac-specific key layout
The keyboard includes special keys for typical Mac functions like Spotlight, Launchpad, and Mission Control, making it feel like a natural extension of the Mac and allowing for efficient workflows.
- Built-in USB hub
The Matias Tactile Pro has a built-in USB hub with two ports for connecting additional peripherals. This can be handy when connecting multiple devices like a mouse or an external hard drive, especially if you’re working on a Mac with limited IO.
- Dedicated media controls
The keyboard has dedicated media controls and function keys for easy access to common Mac settings like adjusting volume and brightness. This makes adjusting standard settings easy and convenient.
- Classic design
The sleek aluminum case and white keycaps give the keyboard a classic, no-nonsense design that matches the Mac aesthetic, which will look great on any desk.
- Tactile and clicky switches provide a satisfying and responsive typing experience
- A Mac-specific key layout makes it feel like a natural extension of the Mac and allows for efficient workflows
- Built-in USB hub with two ports for connecting additional devices
- Dedicated media controls and function keys for easy access to common Mac functions
- Excellent design
- The keyboard is relatively expensive compared to other options on the market
- The white keycaps may show wear and tear over time
- Some users may prefer a quieter keyboard without the audible clicking sound of the Matias switches
- The keyboard does not have programmable keys or RGB lighting, which may be a drawback if you want more customization options
2. Vortexgear Pok3r
The Vortexgear Pok3r mechanical keyboard is a high-quality option if you’re a Mac user who wants a compact keyboard without sacrificing functionality or build quality. The Vortexgear Pok3r has several features that make it an excellent option if you’re looking for a compact and customizable mechanical keyboard, including:
Cherry MX Switches
The keyboard features high-quality Cherry MX switches, widely regarded as some of the best mechanical switches on the market. The switches provide a smooth and responsive typing experience with a tactile bump and no audible clicking sound, making them an excellent choice if you prefer a quieter keyboard.
- Compact design
The keyboard has a compact 60% design, which means it doesn’t have a number pad or dedicated function keys. This makes it great if you have limited desk space or want a keyboard that is easy to transport.
The Vortexgear Pok3r is fully programmable and allows you to customize the key layout and macros using the included software. This means you can set up the keyboard exactly how you want it, saving time and effort by programming macros for frequently used commands.
- DIP switches
The keyboard also has DIP switches on the back you can customize even further. This includes changing the layout from QWERTY to Dvorak or swapping the control and caps lock keys.
- Build quality
The keyboard has a sleek aluminum case and PBT keycaps, which are more durable and resistant to wear and tear than traditional ABS keycaps. This makes the Vortexgear Pok3r a high-quality and long-lasting option if you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard that will stand the test of time.
- Cherry MX switches provide a smooth, responsive typing experience with a nice tactile bump
- Compact 60% design is excellent if you have limited desk space or want a keyboard that is easy to transport
- Fully programmable and allows you to customize the key layout and macros using the included software
- DIP switches on the back allow for further customization
- Sleek aluminum case and PBT keycaps are durable and resistant to wear and tear
- Lacks dedicated function keys and a number pad
- Fully programmable nature may take some time to set up and get used to
- Does not have a Mac-specific key layout
- Relatively expensive compared to other options on the market
3. Keychron K1 Wireless
Keychron K1 Wireless
The Keychron K1 Wireless mechanical keyboard is a sleek and versatile option if you want a mechanical keyboard that is both wireless and compatible with Macs. Here are some of the key features of the Keychron K1:
- Low profile design
The Keychron K1 has a low profile design, with the keys sitting closer to the keyboard’s surface. This makes for a more comfortable typing experience and reduces hand fatigue over extended periods of use.
- Wireless connectivity
The keyboard is Bluetooth compatible and can connect to up to three devices simultaneously, making it easy to switch between devices on the fly. It also comes with a USB-C cable for wired use and charging.
- Customizable RGB lighting
The keyboard features customizable RGB lighting, which allows you to adjust the color and brightness to suit your preferences.
- Long battery life
The Keychron K1 has a long battery life of up to 15 hours with the backlighting on and up to 36 hours with it off. This means you can use the keyboard for an extended period without recharging.
- Compatibility with multiple operating systems
The keyboard is primarily designed for Macs but is also compatible with other operating systems, including Windows, iOS, and Android, making it a versatile option if you work on multiple devices.
- Low profile design makes for a comfortable typing experience and reduces hand fatigue
- Wireless connectivity allows for easy switching between devices
- Customizable RGB lighting adds a touch of personalization to the keyboard
- Has a long battery life
- Compatible with multiple operating systems
- The keycaps are not as high-quality as some other mechanical keyboards on the market
- The key switches may feel a bit mushy
- The backlighting can be a bit too bright in low-light environments
4. Keychron K2
The Keychron K2 is another mechanical keyboard designed for use with Macs. It offers a range of features that make it a great option if you want a high-quality keyboard that’s stylish and functional.
- Compact design
The Keychron K2 has a slim and compact design, which is great if you’re tight on desk space. It takes up less space than a full-sized keyboard, making it easier to use in smaller workspaces or on the go.
- Wireless connection
The Keychron K2 uses Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly to your Mac, so you don’t have to handle cords or cables in your workspace. Furthermore, the keyboard has a long battery life, which you can use for extended periods without recharging.
- Mac-specific keys
The Keychron K2 has a set of dedicated Mac keys that allow you to control your device without using the mouse or trackpad. The keys include Siri, media, and volume control, which are essential for many Mac users.
The Keychron K2 is compatible with macOS and iOS, allowing you to use it with all your Apple devices. This is great if you have multiple Apple devices and want to use the same keyboard.
- Gateron switches
The K2 uses Gateron switches, which are known for their reliability and durability. They also provide a satisfying typing experience and are popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.
- Compact design makes it an excellent option for those with limited desk space
- Wireless connection with long battery life allows for extended use without cords or cables
- Mac-specific keys make it easy to control your device
- Compatible with both macOS and iOS, allowing for seamless switching between devices
- Gateron switches are reliable and durable, providing a satisfying typing experience
- Customizable RGB backlight adds a stylish touch to the keyboard
- No built-in numeric keypad, which may be a downside for some users
- Some users have reported issues with Bluetooth connectivity, although this appears to be rare
Best Windows Mechanical Keyboards Compatible with Macs
1. Das Keyboard 4 Professional
Das Keyboard 4 Professional
The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a high-end mechanical keyboard designed for Mac users. It features Cherry MX Brown switches, which provide a tactile typing experience with a soft-click sound. The keyboard has a sleek and professional design, black aluminum top panel, and black keycaps. Below we look at its features in more detail.
- Cherry MX brown switches
The Das Keyboard 4 Professional features Cherry MX Brown switches. They provide a tactile typing experience with a soft-click sound. These switches are known for their durability and reliability while offering a great typing experience for gaming and work purposes.
- Sturdy build quality
One of the standout features of the Das Keyboard is its build quality. The keyboard feels extremely sturdy and well-built, with a heavy weight that keeps it firmly on your desk. This durability ensures that the keyboard lasts many years of heavy use.
- Dedicated Media Controls
The keyboard includes dedicated media controls, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust your music or video playback without switching windows or using a separate app. This is a convenient feature if you frequently listen to music while working or watch videos on your Mac device.
- Volume Knob
In addition to the media controls, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional also includes a volume knob. This knob provides precise volume control for adjusting your volume settings.
- Sleek and Professional Design
The keyboard has a sleek and professional design with a black aluminum top panel and black keycaps. This gives it a clean and modern look that fits well with any workspace.
- USB 3.0 Hub
The keyboard includes two USB 3.0 ports, allowing you to easily connect and charge other devices, such as smartphones or tablets.
- High build quality
- Great typing experience
- Dedicated media controls and volume knob
- Sleek and professional design
- USB 3.0 hub for additional connectivity
- The keyboard is on the expensive side
- The loud click of the Cherry MX Brown switches may be bothersome
2. Logitech G915 TKL
Logitech G915 TKL
The Logitech G915 TKL is a wireless mechanical keyboard featuring low-profile GL switches and a slim aluminum design. While the keyboard is not specifically designed for Macs, it is compatible with macOS and can be used with Macs without any issues. Here are some of its features.
- Low-Profile Mechanical Switches
The Logitech G915 TKL features low-profile mechanical switches, which provide a great tactile typing experience with less noise and a shorter actuation distance. The switches are also durable and precise and offer a great balance between speed and accuracy.
- Ultra-Thin Design
One of the standout features of the Logitech keyboard is its ultra-thin design. The keyboard is only 22mm thick, making it one of the thinnest mechanical keyboards on the market. This design gives it a sleek, modern look that is perfect for any workspace.
- Wireless Connectivity
The keyboard uses Lightspeed wireless technology, which provides a fast and reliable connection with a response time of just 1 ms. Furthermore, the keyboard allows you to switch between wireless and wired modes depending on your needs.
- RGB Lighting
The keyboard features per-key RGB lighting that you can customize using Logitech’s software. Additionally, it also allows you to program macros and customize the keyboard’s functions.
- Dedicated Media Controls
The keyboard includes dedicated media controls, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust your music or video playback. This is a great convenience feature if you listen to music while working or watch videos on your Mac device.
- Programmable Macros
The Logitech G915 TKL allows you to program macros using the Logitech software. This is an excellent feature if you’re a gamer or a power user and want to customize your keyboard to your specific needs.
- Ultra-thin design
- Low-profile mechanical switches provide a great typing experience
- Fast and reliable wireless connectivity
- Per-key RGB lighting and programmable macros
- Dedicated media controls
- The keyboard is on the expensive side
- The low-profile switches may not be suitable for users who prefer a traditional mechanical keyboard feel.
3. Ducky One 2 Mini
Ducky One 2 Mini
The Ducky One 2 Mini is a compact 60% keyboard with a minimalist design and customizable RGB backlighting. While the keyboard is not specifically designed for Macs, it is compatible with macOS and can be used with Macs without any issues. Its outstanding features include.
- Compact Design
The Ducky One 2 Mini is a 60% keyboard and much more compact than a traditional keyboard. This makes it perfect for those who need a portable keyboard that doesn’t take up much space on their desk.
- Cherry MX Switches
The keyboard features Cherry MX switches, known for their durability and precision. Additionally, the keyboard’s switches are available in various color options, including Red, Blue, Brown, and Silver.
- Customizable RGB Lighting
The Ducky One 2 Mini features customizable RGB lighting, allowing you to choose from a wide range of colors and lighting effects. You can customize the lighting using the Ducky software or the keyboard’s built-in controls.
- PBT Keycaps
The keyboard comes with PBT keycaps, which are more durable than traditional ABS keycaps. They also have a nice textured feel that you will prefer.
- Detachable USB Type-C Cable
The keyboard has a detachable USB Type-C cable, making it easy to connect to your Mac or other devices. The cable is also braided, adding to its durability.
- DIP Switches
The keyboard includes DIP switches, which allow you to customize certain keyboard functions without the need for software. This is a great feature if you prefer a more manual approach to customization.
- Compact design makes it perfect for travel or small workspaces
- Cherry MX switches offer a great typing experience
- Customizable RGB lighting adds a personal touch
- PBT keycaps are more durable than traditional ABS keycaps
- Detachable USB Type-C cable is convenient for connecting to different devices
- DIP switches allow for manual customization
- Some users may find the compact design takes some getting used to
- Lack of dedicated media keys may be a downside for some users
4. Redragon K550
The Redragon K550 is a Mac-compatible mechanical keyboard designed for gamers and power users looking for durability and customization. It has a solid aluminum frame, RGB lighting, and programmable macro keys and offers a range of features to enhance your computing experience. Here are some features in detail.
- Customizable RGB Lighting
The Redragon K550 features customizable RGB lighting, which you can adjust using the keyboard’s built-in controls. It also has a range of colors and lighting effects to personalize your setup.
The keyboard is built with durability in mind, featuring a solid aluminum frame and ABS keycaps designed to withstand heavy use.
- Macro Functionality
The keyboard includes 12 programmable macro keys, which you can customize to perform specific functions or launch applications. This feature is great if you’re a gamer or power user who needs quick access to specific commands.
- Media Controls
The Redragon K550 includes dedicated media controls, allowing you to adjust the volume, skip tracks, and play/pause your music or videos without leaving your tabs.
- N-Key Rollover
The keyboard features N-key rollover, which ensures every key press is registered, even if multiple keys are pressed simultaneously. This is invaluable if you’re a gamer and constantly need multiple precise and accurate inputs.
- Customizable RGB lighting adds a personal touch
- Durable construction with a solid aluminum frame and ABS keycaps
- Macro functionality for power users and gamers
- Dedicated media controls for convenient music and video playback
- N-key rollover ensures accurate input
- Compatible with Mac computers
- Windows-specific function keys may not be fully compatible with Macs
- Keycaps may not be as high quality as other mechanical keyboards in this price range
Mechanical keyboards have been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. They offer several benefits over traditional membrane keyboards, such as increased durability, tactile feedback, and a satisfying typing experience. Furthermore, they also allow you to upgrade your typing experience and optimize your workflows.
However, finding the best mechanical keyboard for your Mac can be challenging. But with the proper knowledge and understanding of the essential features, you can make an informed decision. Hopefully, the keyboards on this post, their features, pros, and cons, get you one step closer to your perfect mechanical keyboard, or at the very least, well on your way.
So what features do you consider most essential for your Mac’s mechanical keyboard? Let us know in the comments section below.
Are all mechanical keyboards compatible with Macs?
No, not all mechanical keyboards are compatible with Macs. Some keyboards are specifically designed for Windows and may not have Mac-specific key layouts or function keys. Contrarily, some are specifically designed for Macs and cannot be used with PCs.
What is the best type of key switch for a Mac mechanical keyboard?
The best kind of key switch for a Mac mechanical keyboard depends on personal preference. However, Cherry MX switches are commonly used and offer a tactile and satisfying typing experience. Other popular switches include Kailh and Gateron switches.
Do I need a separate Mac-specific mechanical keyboard, or can I use a Windows keyboard with my Mac?
You can use a Windows mechanical keyboard with your Mac, but it may not have a Mac-specific key layout or function keys. Using third-party software like Karabiner-Elements can help remap keys and customize the keyboard for your Mac. However, buying a dedicated Mac mechanical keyboard is recommended if you prefer a Mac-specific layout and function keys.
Are wireless mechanical keyboards reliable for Macs?
Wireless mechanical keyboards are reliable for Macs as long as they are compatible and have stable Bluetooth connectivity. However, it’s important to note that wireless keyboards may have a slight delay compared to wired keyboards.
Are mechanical keyboards better than membrane keyboards?
Mechanical keyboards have several advantages over membrane keyboards. They are more durable, offer better tactile feedback, and can be more comfortable to type on for extended periods. However, they tend to be more expensive than membrane keyboards.
What is the difference between a full-size and a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard?
A full-size mechanical keyboard has a number pad on the right side, while a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard does not. This makes the tenkeyless keyboard smaller and more portable but has fewer keys.