Matias Mini Tactile Pro
by Sanjeeva Wijeyesakere
Since Apple discontinued its wired tenkeyless keyboard, I have been looking for an alternative that didn’t rely on Bluetooth or another wireless technology to communicate with my PC. Matias makes a variety of mechanical Macintosh keyboards and their tenkeyless Mini Tactile Pro looked like a viable alternative to Apple’s discontinued product.
The Mini Tactile Pro was packed in a sturdy rectangular box that looks similar to the packaging used by Apple for its products. This keyboard includes two USB cables - a long (2 metre) one for use at home and a shorter (1 metre) one for travel. Unlike Apple’s trend towards using aluminum as their material of choice, the Matias keyboard is made of white plastic, but feels sturdy and well-built.
Figure 1: The Matias Mini Tactile Pro keyboard.
The keycaps use ALPS-style switches which give the keys a distinctly ‘clicky’ feel. The keys have a travel distance of 3.5nm with an actuation force of 59 cN.
When typing on the Mini Tactile Pro, the keystrokes feel crisp and I found that my typing speed wasn’t significantly affected as a result of the switch to a mechanical keyboard (tested using the online typing speed test at typeonline.co.uk) (Fig. 2).
Figure 2: My average typing speed (±SEM) on the Matias Mini Tactile Pro versus the standard Apple keyboard and a virtual keyboard.
Overall, the build quality of this keyboard is excellent and I have noticed my typing accuracy has improved over time.
Here is a video demonstrating the sound of the Matias keyswitches: