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Apple Announces New Keyboards to Go With New iMacs


Today at a special event Apple, Inc. honcho Steve Jobs announced a whole slew of new products including a revamped iLife '08 suite, enhancements to the .Mac service and something which makes me particularly happy: redesigned and enhanced iMacs. These new computers sport cool new enclosures made of glass and sleek plastic as well as a host of internal refinements to processor, memory and video.

And what goes better with a cool new iMac than brand new input devices? Yes, in addition to the re-designed iMac, Jobs also announced two versions of a slick new anodized aluminum keyboard to go with them or to purchase separately. The new keyboards have been completely redesigned and seriously put previous Apple keyboards to shame -- at least in terms of looks.

The new keyboard comes in two different versions, one is USB 2.0 and sports the full complement of keys including document navigation controls, a numeric keypad and special function keys for Mac features such as brightness, volume, eject, play/pause, Exposé, and more. The second keyboard option is smaller, more compact and is wireless via Bluetooth.

It features the same low-profile keys as the wired version as well as the same access to Mac features as its larger sibling. However, it does not have the numeric keypad like the larger version. It also features what Apple calls "intelligent power management" which conserves battery life by powering down the keyboard when not in use and then bringing it back to life the moment you start typing again.

Yes, the new keyboards look super cool. After all, they do come from Apple, which excels at making things that look great. However, I'm a stickler for a good keyboard, so I really hope these work and feel as good as they look. When I get my hands on one, I'll report back. Until then, if any of you get one first, let us know how it is.

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