The official Apple Bluetooth keyboard looks really cool and works smoothly, but it’s expensive… a little too expensive for most purposes people say…
Of course there have been lots of alternative wireless keyboards available, but none really got the looks of a genuine Apple one (for some that is a must). That’s probably the reason why some unknown asian company has made an un-branded ‘white label’ all-plastic knock-off imitation which – at first glance – looks nearly identical to the aluminum Apple bluetooth keyboard. This imitation keyboard is available under a wide variety of brands, like the iClever-brand in most of the world, but for instance also under the dutch supermarket Albert Heijn’s own private label.
The iClever wireless keyboard can be purchased from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk when you want a regular QWERTY-layout, and from Amazon.de if you want a german QWERTZ-layout.
Anyway, the main question is : is it any good ?
Simple answer : Yes, but…
Let me clarify : Yes, it’s a really nice keyboard to have and to use, with an interesting price tag below € 25 (sometimes even in the € 15 region). But it comes with a few flaws, so to quickly round up the verdict :
It’s an ideal low-budget wireless secondary keyboard for use with any Apple device that has a primary keyboard built-in.
To be more specific :
it’s a great low-budget wireless keyboard for use with an AppleTV
it’s a very nice low-budget wireless keyboard for use with an iPad or iPhone (but there might be quite a few handier options, like a iPad-cover with built-in keyboard)
it’s a good low-budget secondary keyboard for use with a MacBook (Air/Pro), for instance when your MacBook is closed and connected to a bigger screen
it’s a handy, but slightly tricky keyboard for use with a Mac mini, iMac or Mac Pro (for these Macs I would advice to keep an regular USB-keyboard at hand for emergencies)
NOTE (*) : the top-left key (the one with the open square) on this keyboard is the [HOME] key
– it doesn’t have an Escape (ESC) key, so when any program on your Mac hangs, you will not be able to Force Quit the application with this keyboard…
UPDATE (*) : to [ESC], use this key-combo : [FN] + [HOME]
so, to Force Quit, use this key-combo : [CMD] + [ALT] + [FN] + [HOME]
– it doesn’t have an Eject key for the DVD/CD-drive, so when this is your only keyboard, you will not be able to get any CD or DVD out of your Mac easily… you will need to do the annoying drag-to-the-trash move using your mouse each and every time…
UPDATE (*) : to Eject, use this key (not a key-combo) : [F5]
– it doesn’t have any option to set the (energy saving) auto-disconnect function to a longer interval… which means that when your Mac also goes into (energy saving) sleep mode, the keyboard has a lot of problems waking your Mac… (e.g. you will need to press any button for a prolonged time, but doing so also makes your Mac see that as input for any application that was still open… you might mess up your open Word-document with an enormous line of spaces in doing so…)
UPDATE (*) : to Wake From Sleep, use this key (not a key combo) : [HOME]
– the keyboard is often recognized too late when starting up your Mac, so you can’t use it to type your password during login, so you can’t start using your Mac… this is possibly only a problem for older Macs and/or older versions of MacOSX, but still…
I have tested this keyboard with Apple devices only, so I can’t tell about the compatibility with other devices, but I would think it will be similar : good to great for use with smartphones and tablets running Android and Windows Mobile, but rather troublesome for use with a Windows-PC…
(*) special thanks to Arjan de Boer for these not-so-obvious, but very useful key-combos