Yesterday I reviewed Belkin's new Express Dock for iPad, a well-designed aluminum charging and sync dock that works with Lightning connector devices. Today, my attention has been captured a useful accessory for any Bluetooth-equipped Mac -- the Belkin YourType Wireless Keypad (US$59.99).
As I noted in an earlier review of another Bluetooth numeric keypad, the usual market for this type of device consists of accountants and others who need to input a lot of numbers quickly. Apple's default Bluetooth keyboard for the Mac does not include a numeric keypad, so it's fallen on those in the accessory business to create this useful accessory.
I wasn't overwhelmed with Satechi's entry in the numeric keypad market due to several design factors -- its use of AAA batteries instead of a built-in battery pack, an unnecessary built-in calculator and the form factor of the keypad. Here, Belkin sticks to the basics. The keypad matches Apple's Wireless Keyboard in size and design; in fact, it's exactly the same size as the Magic Trackpad. I think this is brilliant, since several manufacturers (Henge Docks for one) make "holders" that merge a Magic Trackpad and Wireless Keyboard into one big assembly. One could remove the Magic Trackpad from a Henge Clique and place the Belkin YourType Wireless Keypad directly into the vacated spot for a top-notch keyboard/numeric keypad combo.
Like the Satechi keypad, the Belkin keypad also uses batteries -- in this case, two AA batteries (included), like those that come with Apple's Battery Charger, fit into the cylindrical battery holder. The keypad adds the standard numeric keys (the zero is double-width), a large enter key, a decimal point, a clear key, the mathematical operators and an equals key. In addition, there are F13 through F16 keys to add more programmable function keys, as well as home, end, Spotlight, page up, page down and delete keys.
While the keys are shaped a bit differently from those on the Apple Wireless Keyboard, they're very close and the feel and feedback of the keys is extremely similar. Pairing with both an iMac and then a MacBook Pro was fast and simple.
Number-crunchers who would like a numeric keypad that matches their Apple Wireless Keyboard don't need to look any further. The Belkin YourType Wireless Keypad looks as if it could have been designed by Apple, and it works well.
- Design is nearly identical to that of Apple's Wireless Keyboard.
- A very useful layout of keys for those who use numeric keypads.
- Easy and fast Bluetooth pairing.
- Same size as the Magic Trackpad.
- A built-in rechargeable battery pack might be more useful.
Who is it for?
- Anyone with an Apple Wireless Keyboard who is looking for a matching numeric keypad.
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 October 19, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected and will receive a Belkin YourType Wireless Keypad valued at $59.99
- Click Here for complete Official Rules.