A great external keyboard for any Mac user.

One of my favorite accessories is the keyboard. I remember playing around with my mom’s old typewriter just because I liked the sounds the keys made. As I was growing up, computers were becoming a common device in households and emails and the Internet was just starting to grow. So, whenever I get the chance to work with different keyboards, I jump at it. I like how many different varieties there are and how each one can feel just a little bit different. My current set-up lends itself to an external keyboard to pair alongside my MacBook Pro. I have a massive mechanical keyboard connected via USB at this time, but have been considering switching to a wireless keyboard just for the sake of saving space on my desktop. About a month ago, Satechi, one of my favorite accessory designers announced the release of the Slim X3 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to work with it for a couple of weeks. It’s a great departure from my standard mechanical keyboard and I’ve really enjoyed using it. 

DETAILS

The Slim X3 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard is designed to use with Mac devices and features an extended layout with a full numeric keypad, multi-Bluetooth, and shortcut keys that are optimized for Apple devices. The keyboard is ultra-slim and is fully equipped with adjustable backlit keys (white light only). The keyboard is rechargeable via USB-C (cable included) and users can connect up to four Bluetooth devices to one keyboard. Depending on the brightness level of the backlight, the battery can last up to 80 hours before needing to be recharged. There is a battery LED indicator above the number keypad that shows the battery level by flashing when it gets low. The X3 measures 16.65” x 4.5” x 0.4” and only weighs 0.97 pounds. Satechi offers a 1-year manufacturer warranty on the keyboard and it ships with a user manual that describes all the shortcut keys and functions of the keyboard. 

USER EXPERIENCE

The keyboard comes in a standard Satechi retail box. The front of the box has a large picture of the keyboard along with the name of the product printed on it.  The back of the box has several additional photos of the product in use featured along with some of the main details included. Those details are: Bluetooth wireless, function keys, connect up to 4 devices, aluminum construction, backlit keyboard, slim design, USB-C charging port, and rechargeable battery. When you open the outer carton you’ll find a black box with the words “Slim X3” and “Satechi” embossed on the top. When you open this box, you’ll find the keyboard with a small box nested beneath it. That box houses the USB-C charging cable, the user manual, and a pair of feet that you can attach to raise the keyboard to a more exaggerated angle. The backlight is plenty bright and I love how easy it is to adjust.

Getting started with the keyboard is pretty easy. I found that the keyboard had a charge out of the box so I was able to turn it on and immediately connect it to my MacBook Pro. In order to set the keyboard into pairing mode you simply press and hold one of the Bluetooth keys for approximately 3 second until it starts blinking and then you search for “Slim X3 Keyboard” to appear in your Bluetooth menu. Even though the X3 is designed for Mac use, it does just connect via Bluetooth or through the USB-C cable so it can connect to other computers. After 30 minutes of non-use, the keyboard goes into sleep mode. Pressing any key will wake it up. 

Aside from set-up and ease of connection, I usually test keyboards by completing a typing test. Using a simple typing test online I measured my typing speed and accuracy on the Satechi Slim X3 keyboard. The test showed I had 98% accuracy and an adjusted WPM rating of 72 WPM with the Satechi keyboard. I took the same typing test using my mechanical keyboard and ended up with 72 WPM adjusted speed with 100% accuracy. I noticed on both tests that I had a couple of messed up words that I corrected and I guess the test adjusted for that both times I took it. 

CONCLUSION

The Slim X3 keyboard is a great option for any type of productivity work. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and think that it works just a good – if not better than – my mechanical keyboard. If you like the Apple keyboard’s low profile, then you will like the Slim X3, too. I haven’t had any connection problems with the keyboard. It’s talked to my computer really well and with the exception of just a few double key taps, it’s been a great keyboard. 

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