I’ve got two Bluetooth keyboards from Apple, but I don’t tend to use them with anything other than the iPhone/iPad. Why? They lack a numpad/home/end and other vital keys. LMP have a solution for this problem, both for die-hard fans of the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and, of course, laptop owners.
The LMP Bluetooth Keypad is a very convincingly styled plastic numpad which takes its own pair of AA batteries and can either add a numpad to your Apple Bluetooth Keyboard by means of a plastic adaptor, or provide a separate numpad for your laptop. It’s a great piece of kit and, perhaps, the holy grail for some MacBook/MacBook Pro users.
It has its strengths, and it has its drawbacks, and it also takes some getting used to, so I wont be able to churn a review out quickly.
Despite being made of plastic, it looks convincingly aluminum and is just a shade darker than the official Apple peripherals. Obviously the plastic construction doesn’t lend it the best build quality in the world. But the key response is great.
The main problem, at the moment, is that I keep reaching for the arrow keys where they are on the full-sized Apple wired keyboard I was using not 10 minutes ago. Secondly, as I’m sure you can see from the images, the layout of the pageup/pagedown/del keys is… bizarre, but these are an added bonus on top of the num-pad itself. Also the F keys only run up to 17, instead of 19 on the full Apple wired keyboard.
Finally, it seems to be completely unaffected by the Function key on the Bluetooth keyboard, and lacks a function key of its own. F14 through F17 will always work as such- but this means they’re useful for Spotlight functions without ever needing to hold own Function, whilst the rest of your Function keys can be used in their function modes – brightness/transport controls/volume etc. So, this is a strength of a weakness depending on how you look at it.
The LMP Bluetooth Bluetooth Keypad can be had for £39.99, which is a little steep for something that isn’t of the same aluminium finish and build quality as the Apple accessory it’s designed to complement. But, hey, it looks the part.
Whilst you wait for a full review, here are some pictures to whet your appetite: