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New slimline iMac keyboard revealed? [U]

updated 08:25 am EDT, Fri July 27, 2007

New iMac Keyboard

(Updated with new info and photo) The heavily rumored new iMac keyboard may prove to be a reality. Confirming earlier claims, the design shown in photos is exceptionally thin and uses individually isolated keys similar to the MacBook or Sony's VAIO TZ; the entire design is less than 1cm (0.39 inches) thick and requires extrusions just to hold the USB ports, according to the photos. Apple has also changed the keyboard layout, adding F17-F19 keys and a Function key that modifies the role of the F-keys similar to past Apple notebooks. Several of those keys now control basic media play functions, display brightness, and MacOS features such as Dashboard and Expose.

Notably, the company has also removed the Apple logo from the Command keys in a likely attempt to simplify understanding of key commands for newcomers. The aluminum-bodied keyboard photographed has what appears to be a legitimate Apple Development Team logo and is likely a development sample for the actual keyboard, which has been rumored to accompany a newer, thinner iMac design for a release later this summer.











By Electronista Staff
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  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    Brushed Aluminum iMac

    Guess the new iMacs are going to dump the white plastic and go with the aluminum (similar to the Cinema Displays).

    OR this can be the keyboard for a new, midrange expandable desktop.

    One can only hope and dream.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    great work

    fuzzing the numbers on the BARCODE - now we'll never know what the sticker means...

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    0

    Touchpad

    It would be so nice to have a small keyboard for desktops with the same layout as the laptops. Moving from mobile to fixed stations would be very nice. Mice are so 1972. Can anyone point me to a good smallish desktop keyboard with an integrated Touchpad?

  1. zeebe

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Mar 2001

    0

    Command Key

    I think this is a fake, would Apple REALLY get rid of the ? on the command key??? I don't think so, it has been there since the Apple II.

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    Yep, way to protect your

    sources, Engadget/MacNN. Apple is notoriously ingenious in protecting its products, giving each group a different project names to find leaks. I wouldn't even be surprised if the color of the rubber feet is named uniquely or at least selectively distributed. But to leave the barcode and wipe the number in the guise of protecting sources is laughable.

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    I never understood

    why Apple introduced the clover anyway. Why get rid of the Apple? I even remember open-apple and closed-apple differences...

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    backlighting...?

    ...similar to my macbook pro keyboard would be my most requested option for those nighthawk shifts... ;-)

  1. zeebe

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Mar 2001

    0

    command key part II

    OK, after looking over the photos more, I can understand how it could be real, and not have the Apple key (why can't the symbol for the Apple show up here?). If it is still in development, they could be showing different looking keys. I hope they do not get rid of the Apple, like above, I would rather they get rid of the clover and add the word command (although that would be a HUGE overhaul of the OS to redo the shortcuts, wouldn't it?).

  1. JacquesDav

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2002

    0

    However...

    Perhaps I'm just not seeing it properly, but there appears to be a real discrepancy between the full bottom view (http://www.engadget.com/photos/is-this-the-new-imac-keyboard/328237/) and the side view that exposes the USB port (http://www.engadget.com/photos/is-this-the-new-imac-keyboard/328235/). The side view suggests that the bottom view should reveal an upwards protruding USB port in the right side of the bottom view, and likely some form of symmetrical piece to balance it on the left. However the bottom view shows no such protuberance, no hard-edged shadow. Indeed, the bottom view does not correspond to the side view at all, and has a very different profile. Which leads me to believe that the bottom view may be the only legitimate Apple product, the others clever forgeries, cheap Chinese knockoffs or some other possibility I haven't considered. This is particularly true since the bottom view is the only one that truly seems to be genuine mainly due to the very credible looking Apple Development sticker. I once tested a G4 tower prototype in my home (I've the shots to prove it...) for 6 months in 2000 as part of the Apple CQF program, and the sticker looks legit to me, even more detailed than the one that graced the bottom of the keyboard that came with the unit I had.

    All the images may in fact be genuine, I'm just not an expert and consequently can't say with any authority, but I suspect that all's not quite as it appears here. I just wouldn't bet the far on it...

  1. Visnaut

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2000

    0

    Design secrets

    It is really in bad taste to show the development tag. I love sneak peeks at Apple stuff like any other mac geek voyeur, but there's no need to reveal what sort of materials and colours Apple is using to build the thing. You're just giving Apple's competitors a head start in copying the same look and feel.

    As for the keyboard itself, it's hella cool. The one thing that bugs me is the USB bar in the rear. When I saw the first pictures, I was hoping it could lie flat on a table, giving it as low of a profile as possible. I hate raised keyboards. But the USB bar along the bottom won't allow for that.

    Oh well, I'm sure it will still feel great.

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