Apple makes great primary devices… but has the worst peripherals on the market. Look at how the Magic Mouse charges, or how unrepairable the AirPods are, or that godawful AirPods Max carrying case, or even the fact that their Magic Keyboard (for both the iMac and iPad) don’t come with backlit keys. The products look remarkably sleek and cutting edge, but there’s really no excuse for bad usability… and rather than just wait for Apple to fix their problems, Satechi just decided to make a better version of their products instead.
Meet the Satechi Slim X3, a vastly better version of Apple’s own Magic Keyboard. The beauty of the X3 is that it acknowledges that the Magic Keyboard’s design doesn’t need changing, but its functionality does. Made to look strikingly similar to Apple’s own keyboard, the Slim X3 offers unique features, like the ability to connect to and switch between multiple devices, USB-C charging (so you can use the same iPad charger with your keyboard), and perhaps the greatest feature of them all, backlit keys that glow to help you easily type at night. The X3 comes with an extended 100% layout featuring arrow keys and a numpad too, although Satechi also makes the X1, with a compact 60% layout for people looking for a smaller keyboard.
Right off the bat, the Satechi Slim X3’s design stands out as something an Apple aficionado would absolutely love. You’ve got the keyboard in both silver and space-grey variants, with a machined aluminum outer chassis that has a slight angular tilt, and black plastic keys for that familiar Magic Keyboard experience. The Slim X3’s layout is as expansive as the Magic Keyboard, featuring all the necessary keys along with the function keys on top as well, although understandably enough, there’s no TouchID key on this particular device, given that it’s proprietary Apple technology.
The lack of a TouchID key, however, is more than made up for by the Slim X3’s more prized features. The entire keyboard offers a backlit experience, giving you the ability to work comfortably even in low-light settings or at night without needing to have a table lamp or a light switched on. It’s a simple yet crucial detail that bizarrely enough, Apple completely missed… much to Satechi’s advantage. The Slim X3 also supports connections with 4 devices at the same time, using Bluetooth 5.0, and the ability to even switch between them by tapping the device keys located right above the numpad.
The Slim X3 offers a pretty uncompromising experience for Apple lovers looking for a better solution than the Magic Keyboard. Satechi’s attention to visual design has resulted in a keyboard that’s so remarkably similar to Apple’s own, it blends in with your work setup beautifully. Moreover, the keyboard sports a USB-C port, allowing you to use a regular cable to charge it rather than needing a special Lightning cable handy all the time. If you’ve got an iMac or MacBook, or even an iPad, chances are you’ll have a USB-C cable lying around (since all those devices have USB-C ports of their own), making the Slim X3’s integration even more seamless. Moreover, the Slim X3 Wireless Keyboard boasts compatibility with any Apple device launched in or after 2012, making it perfect for your MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Studio, iPhone, or any iPad you’ve got from the past decade. Chances are, it’ll probably work with the Apple Watch too!