Not so long ago I bought an iMac but the keyboard is in the Swiss QWERTZ layout and I absolutely hate it (the layout). I can't get accustomed to not having the tilde, curly brackets and square brackets on my keyboard. I this would like to change it.

I, however, like the format of the keyboard a lot (it's compact and it has 80 keys) and the fact that my hands don't hurt when using it.

Given that the price tag of a new Magic Keyboard is about 100 EUR (i live in Italy), which is not very low, I would like to get an alternative one, even maybe paying something extra. I like the Matias Laptop Pro but I can't find it in Italy, not for less that approx. 200 EUR, and it also have mixed reviews.

Some context:

  • Wireless or wired and wireless (Bluetooth is desirable but not mandatory).
  • Compact format (similar to the Magic Keyboard or Mathias Laptop Pro). I need it to have the individual arrow keys and F row (it's useful for me on my mac). I don't want the numeric keypad, nor do I care much about PgUp, PgDn and Ins keys, though it would be useful to have Home, End and Delete.
  • Don't care much if it's backlit or not.
  • The quality must be good; mustn't last for 100 years but neither do I wish to change it next year.
  • I'd avoid tenkeyless if I could; I'd prefer not to have the arrow buttons further to the right. if, however, I won't find another alternative I'll get a tenkeyless.
  • Mechanical switches, not clicky, not very hard to press.
  • Even if it's a Windows keyboard, should also work on a Mac.
  • I want it for typing/coding, not for gaming.

During my research I found a few models but other than the fact that they cost a lot (more that 200 EUR), the reviews are mixed, and a lot of problems are reported (some keys stop working after a few, won't pair, etc.).

I am a novice in this and don't know much about keyboards so I turn to persons with more knowledge to guide me. Could you please help me find my keyboard?

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


Even if it's a Windows keyboard, should also work on a Mac.

It's painful to use a windows keyboard on mac for writing. But I can really really recommend you the older 2nd Generation Apple Wireless Keyboard (A1314).

It does not have mechanical switches but to be honest, it's my daily keyboard for more than 5 years now and it works just perfectly. I have a mechanical keyboard at home and have to say the feeling on the older Apple Wireless Keyboard is just perfect.

You can get the keyboard on eBay new or rare used for 50-70 USD.

IMHO it has some advantages to the newer one:

  • AA batteries (you can just buy a pack of 4 rechargeable eneloops (or something similar) and they last at least 2 months (9 hours of daily usage) – switching the batteries is done within seconds.
  • The keycaps can be replaced on your own in case something will be damaged
  • Heavier
  • Higher keycaps

All of those advantages can be seen as disadvantages, but this is just my opinion.


Have you looked at changing the keyboard layout within system preferences on the iMac? The physical keyboard will be the same one you have now, but it won’t type using the QWERTZ layout anymore.

The Typing Cat has a good pictorial: https://thetypingcat.com/howto/change-your-keyboard-layout-mac-os-x

Then it’s just a matter of rubbing off the letters/characters you don’t want, drawing/painting on the replacement ones, and covering with a clear nail polish or lacquer.

I did that when I was learning a new language. [I tried the taped-on sticky note trick for the keys, but those wore off too quickly. Used a fine Sharpie pen and lacquer to make it permanent.]

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