Thursday, December 7, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The Magic Keyboard With Numeric Keypad Is Apparently Bendy

Bluetooth problems forced me to give up my aluminum wireless Apple keyboard and also plagued the Magic Keyboard and Logitech K811 that I tried as replacements. For the last several months, I’ve been using a Logitech K750. I chose this because it’s wireless but uses its own USB transceiver rather than Bluetooth, thus bypassing the problems introduced in Sierra. Unfortunately, I’ve started encountering problems with the K750. It now reports that its solar cells are not getting enough light to keep it charged. I don’t understand how this is possible since my office as four bright light bulbs, two displays, and a window. Is December in New England that much darker? In any event, there’s no way to charge the K750 directly, and the solar charging now only works when it’s away from my desk. The other problem is that it keeps forgetting that I’ve set the function keys to operate in standard mode, i.e. pressing F1 doesn’t require fn. Perhaps this is because the battery level is low.

So it’s time to change keyboards again. After many years using compact Apple keyboards—because of their feel and similarity with internal MacBook Pro keyboards—the K750 reminded me of how nice full-sized keyboards are. Most importantly, I use Page Up/Page Down and Home/End all the time, and it’s more comfortable to able to type those without chords. I also appreciate having the numeric keypad, a real Enter key (since fn-Return doesn’t work properly on third-party keyboards), good arrow keys, and extra function keys.

Right now I’m back to using my old Apple wired aluminum keyboard, which is no longer sold. The angle and feel are not as nice as with Apple’s newer keyboards, but otherwise it works well. Since it’s an Apple keyboard, I don’t need third-party software to make the function keys work without fn, and the fn key is also available to accept taps for dictation and LaunchBar. I was never able to get this to work with a third-party keyboard.

The old keyboard works fine, but since I would prefer something wireless I thought I would check out Apple’s new full-sized offering, which it calls the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. The price is kind of ridiculous. But aside from that, it seems like it would be great, presuming the Bluetooth issues are ever fixed. However, I noticed a large number of reviews from Apple’s own store that describe it as “bendy.”

Guy P:

Brand new just opened box - keyboard is bent!

Christopher E:

BENT! - it has become slightly bent (or perhaps it started that way and I didn’t notice it) - obviously it needs an additional rubber foot/feet in the middle, since the force of typing is concentrated in the centre of the keyboard, while the feet are on the edges. time will tell whether this becomes a functional problem - for now it is just very uncool for such an expensive item from the “it just works” company.

Kevin L:

After only five weeks of light use my “caps locks” key stopped working reliably. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes I have to tap it 5-6 times—very annoying. And, like many of the posts below, my keyboard is warping like a banana. The entire keyboard is sagging in the middle. I am really disappointed in the flimsy quality and poor workmanship. I expect so much more from Apple. I hope there is a recall so I can get one that works better. I went to an Apple store today and they agree to replace it; but, they don't have any in stock so I am waiting for a phone call when it comes in. I appreciate that Apple will replace it after six weeks, but I fear that the replacement will be just as bad.

Natalie J:

My space key through normal typing has gotten stuck on the left side so typing is now cumbersome on it. The entire keyboard appears to be bent despite my best efforts.

Adrien L:

The keyboard is bent. Seriously. It moves on the desk when I'm typing. This is bad, Apple, really bad.

Jan B:

After I paired the Keyboard with the Macbook I started typing. Immediately the Keyboard bounced around on my desk while using the Shift / Tab or Control Keys. After looking closely I saw that my Keyboard was bent in the middle so I filed a refund. After doing so Apples shipping time jumped to over 2 Months. So I ordered another Magic Keyboard from Amazon. This one had the exact same Problem.

Jeffrey C:

This keyboard is too thin and within a few weeks will bend in the center to the extent that it's touching the desk (while the rubber feet on the sides tilt up). I returned mine to our local Apple Store thinking it was defective, only to find all of the keyboards there with the same issue. I loved everything about the keyboard except for the flimsy construction. Hopefully Apple recognizes this issue and fixes it soon. For now, I went back to my 10-year old wired Apple keyboard, which works perfectly.

Mark W:

The problems - and it is a really annoying one - is that the keyboard is warped; wobbly on a flat surface. I like my Mac, my magic mouse, and even a trackpad, but this keyboard is just too stylish to hold up to it's basic function.

Kevin C:

The keyboard was so warped straight out of the box that it was unusable. Placed on a flat desktop it rocked from side to side. This is both a design and quality control failure. Ready to return in the box without its shrink wrap and the box is bulging on one end, push that end and it bulges on the other.

My first Mac was a 512K, there have been many since and there are six Apple products in the room I am writing from; Retina5K, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, MacMini. I have never seen anything so completely shoddy before, never imagined it possible.

Very disappointed.

Donald M:

But after 5 weeks of use, typing hours a day (I'm a writer and book designer), it bent down in the center of the QWERTY portion, the pads at the end couldn't contact my desk, and the kb slid around. Useless.

No help from Apple -- they claimed I must have damaged it, that there was no way it could have happened except from accidental damage. Ridiculous.

Peter C:

I used this keyboard for two months. It had a distinct warp - while typing on the left side, the right side would rise off the desk. I decided to exchange mine for a new one, which we unboxed in store (Apple's policy - they return the old one in the new box). The new keyboard had the same warping problem, so I returned mine instead. That was disappointing - otherwise really liked the product.

This is just from the first page of reviews. MacRumors readers are reporting the same thing.

Fravin:

Mine is one week old and it looks like a banana. The bottom is bending down, making the edges being lifted from my table.

AppleSmack:

Yes, mine arrived bent, dipping in the middle. I gently bent, twisted, persuaded it until it was as straight as I could make it.

The previous model aluminium keyboard was aluminium all through. The Magic keyboard, despite being 2.5x more expensive than the previous version, is thin aluminium on top, plastic underneath. “Our best keyboard ever: lighter, thinner, flexibler.” Great.

Fravin:

I’m leaving an Apple Store without my keyboard but with the money back. The guy in the store had opened four bed news keyboards and all of them was bent.

Addie2020:

I had the same problem. Contacted Apple support and they arranged replacement very quickly after I returned the curved keyboard. It was a bit of a nuisance, but Apple support put it right efficiently.

iBug2:

Went to an Apple store to replace mine. They opened 4 boxes, all bent. So they will replace mine when they get a new shipment.

NightFox:

Yeah, I’ve just had one delivered and without even knowing of this issue, the first thing I thought when I got it out of the box was “that’s bent”!

When I put it on my desk, the middle touches the desk whereas the edges are unsupported, up in the air like a see-saw, one side more than the other.

Frankfurt:

2 months in and my keyboard is bent. That is probably too late for an exchange.

As the keyboard has been sitting on a flat service ever since I acquired it, this is clearly a design flaw.

davita70:

The rise at each side IS small, but big enough to make the keyboard rattle as you type. Like the sensation of eating at a table with one leg slightly slightly shorter than the others.

For the very expensive cost of this accessory, it’s a pretty fundamental issue, that outweighs some of the good points.

ZapNZs:

I was hesitant to say too much either way at first, given the tendency for an isolated issue to quickly become a something-SOMETHING-gate. But, from what I can gather, this is a serious problem that is affecting a significant portion of keyboards - i.e., more than half the models sold from one location have been returned (and, considering not everyone who gets a bendy keyboard is going to return it...) Some have had functional problems - it is unclear if these functional issues were related to the bending, were related to some other design issue, were related to misuse, or something else.

The US version is backordered too. Hopefully Apple is addressing this - whether that means recalling a batch of lots with bad heat treatments, or redesigning the keyboard if this is in fact a design flaw that affects all models.

This is discouraging, especially after the problems with the MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards. I wonder whether this will be addressed in the dark version for the forthcoming iMac Pro.

Update (2017-12-07): Aaron Vegh:

Heh, thought it was just me. Replaced my first keyboard, and the new one is the same. Functionally fine, but aesthetically annoying.

Here’s a brief video showing the extent of it.

11 Comments

Chris Brandow

I love my K750 as well. I bring it with me to any new job. That solar thing seems like an aberration. Might we worth getting (Logitech to give you) a replacement. Everything about the key travel, etc, is so nice with this keyboard.

I'd take an old, big, thick, solid keyboard that makes klackity noises when you press a key every day over the flimsy crap that Apple is trying to sell to us now.

Wow, I almost bought one. Thanks, but no thanks! Old USB-Keyboad it is.

Yeah, I used that same (or a similar) Logitech model for years before someone dumped a coke on it at work. I ended up getting a wired Apple USB keyboard I've been using since, which is pretty much the same to me. I love having the number pad as well. I was thinking of getting the newer Magic Keyboard but now I'll wait and see if this issue is ever resolved.

The most important thing here, is Apple decide to put out a product which they had never thought deep enough. Had this been tested at any level the bending issues should have been noticed.

I have a K750 that had the same problem. Replacing the battery solved the problem.

If you're looking for a keyboard, I can thoroughly recommend the Matias Quiet Pro. It's like a USB AEK II but with higher quality switches. They also make a good replica of the Apple aluminum keyboard, but I don't like flat keys. It's really sad that Apple isn't even producing working keyboards anymore though. Tim Cook is really starting to seem like John Sculley 2.0.

@Peter That is a link to the new wireless one that I’m talking about.

[…] Update (2017-12-13): No word yet on whether the keyboard is bendy. […]

[…] I don’t personally care for keyboard backlighting, but I have renewed interest in wired keyboards since macOS 10.13 continues to have Bluetooth disconnection problems and does not always recognize wireless keyboards at boot. Apple no longer makes a wired keyboard. Its wireless one is $129 and bendy. […]

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