In the beginning (of the Mac), there was no numeric keyboard on the keyboard. If you wanted to type numbers, you used the number row on the keyboard of your Mac 512KE. Then some accountant and financial types got interested in Macs because of an application called Microsoft Excel, which shipped for Mac in September of 1985 but didn't show up on PCs until November of 1987. The result? Mac keyboards started showing up with numeric keypads. Lately, though, those nice little wireless keyboards from Apple have been missing the keypad. Now Satechi has introduced the Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keypad (US$49.99, special intro pricing of $34.99), a Bluetooth 3.0 keypad that will make your favorite accountant more giddy than if she got a request to audit your books.
The Wireless Smart Keypad is designed to match the appearance of Apple's Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. As such, it is made of aluminum-colored plastic with white keys and black numbers. The device runs on two AAA batteries -- there are no figures available from Satechi on exactly how long those batteries will last under normal usage. Rather than being just a keypad, the Wireless Smart Keypad is also a four-function calculator with memory, so it has a very legible (but non-backlit) LCD for showing calculation results.
The addition of the calculator display extends the depth of the keypad so that it doesn't match up with the dimensions of Apple's keyboard and trackpad. If I had been designing the Wireless Smart Keypad, I would have deleted the display since a) it probably uses most of the battery power and b) that would make it about the same depth as the Apple devices. Most Mac users probably use the built-in Calculator app or a really good calculator like PCalc ($9.99) anyway, so why go all 1970s on us and slap a 4-function memory calculator into this product?
The keys on the keypad are the same size as those on the Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, with the exception of the double-wide zero key. The keypad is in the traditional "ten key pad" layout and will be very familiar to your favorite accountant (if there is such a thing...).
The feel of the Satechi keypad is quite nice, and the oversized Enter key makes it simple to enter data into a spreadsheet or complete calculations without having to look at the keys.
Satechi's new Wireless Smart Keypad is a good buy for those who need to enter a lot of numbers into spreadsheets or accounting software.
Color of case and keys match the Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard and Magic Trackpad
Keys have a good feel, and the layout of the keys is instantly familiar to anyone who has used a ten key pad before
At $34.99, the keypad is reasonably priced. At $49.99, it's overpriced, as there are competing ten key pads that are available for $10 - $15 less.
The calculator seems unnecessary and detracts from the design of the keypad
The keypad should use a rechargeable internal battery or a solar panel for power, not disposable AAA batteries
Calculator display should be backlit
Who is it for?
Your accountant, of course! And if you buy him/her one of these to use with a favorite Mac or PC, perhaps they'll find a nice tax credit for you...
Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before September 7, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive a Satechi Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keypad valued at $49.99