Using Third Party Keyboards and Mice with Your Mac

Like many laptop users, I prefer to use an external keyboard and pointing device(s) with my MAcBook and PowerBooks. MacTuts+’s Jordan Merrick has posted an excellent tutorial on using non-Apple input devices with your Mac, and why you might want to.

Apple currently makes a pretty good keyboard, and I think I could be happy using it, but I don’t have one, and I can’t think of an Apple mouse that I ever liked. Except for my very frist Macs, and the built-in keyboards on my laptops, I’ve relatively rarely used Apple input devices, and the newest Apple keyboard I own is a long-retired Blueberry iMac USB keyboard, while my only use of Apple mice is a collection of iMac era “hockey puck” units that I’ve found make great foot-clickers with the ball removed and the ball aperture taped over.

I have chronic polyneuritis and fibromyalgia, and I have to be very picky about input devices, finding that offerings from Logitech and Kensington seem to work best for me. My current keyboard favorites are the Logitech K-750 Solar Wireless Keyboard, and a Logitech wireless laptop mouse with a lovely, weighted, freewheeling scroll wheel, although my primary workstation point/click/drag device is a Contour rollerbar. I also have one of the Logitech K570 thumb-actuated trackballs Merrick prefers, but while it’s good, I like the rollerbar/mouse tandem better.

As Merrick observes, there is no such thing as a keyboard or mouse that everyone can use comfortably, so it’s not a question of “better” or right and wrong choices. If you suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), what you find works for you will be right for you, and happily, most USB and Bluetooth input devices work just fine on the Mac.

You can check out Jordan Merrick’s tutorial and commentary here:

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