Will Mac Mini work with any keyboard? (Explained)

Mac keyboards provide more versatility and may boost productivity. The ideal Mac keyboard must have the following features: First and foremost, it must be pleasant to write on; it must seem familiar to Mac users; and it must provide some useful additions.

The mac mini does not have a keyboard, However the issue that has to be answered is whether or not the Mac mini will use any keyboard at all? Let us see the explanation by continue reading.

Will Mac Mini work with any keyboard

Will Mac mini work with any keyboard?

Be it a professional programmer, an avid gamer, or just a seldom-computer-using housewife, a good keyboard is perhaps the most essential peripheral for a productive user experience.

However, when it comes to Macs, or anything related to Apple, the first thing that comes to mind is the compatibility question: Will my luxurious Mac support this cheap USB keyboard?

Luckily, for Mac mini keyboard selection there is no such problem.

Mac mini will work with almost any modern keyboard there is. It has several USB-A and Thunderbolt ports. It also has the option of connecting a device via Bluetooth.

The USB-A ports are compatible with USB-A and USB-B cables, and the thunderbolt ports are compatible with USB-C cables.

Since most keyboards come with either a USB cable or a Bluetooth option, you should not have a problem connecting them to your Mac mini.

Read: How many displays can the M1 Mac Mini handle?

What Mac mini won’t support?

It is a bit tricky business to connect a midi cable to a Mac so those good-old vintage keyboards that use to come with these older cables are not directly supported by Mac mini since it doesn’t have midi ports.

You can still figure out ways to connect the older keyboards to Mac mini but that would cost you a bit. With the advent of these newer cheap keyboards, it’s a much more convenient thing to just use them instead.

Anyways, be it a Mac Magic keyboard, or just any other modern keyboard, the Mac mini will support them all. But really, what is the difference between a normal keyboard and an Apple keyboard?

Read: How might a Mac mini be used as a media server?

Mac Keyboard vs other keyboards

There are several differences between a normal keyboard and the Mac keyboard, both from technical and user experience points of view. Although the overall layout of the keys is the same on both keyboards, there are a few differences.

Technical Differences

  • The function of windows keys on a windows keyboard is served by the command key on a Mac keyboard
  • The function of the Alt key on a windows keyboard is served by the option key on a Mac keyboard
  • On a Mac keyboard, the keys can be re-positioned
    For example, you can change the functionality of the shift key to act as the enter key, and hence you can then press the shift key if you need a newline
  •  The new Apple Magic keyboard comes with a touch id, which the other keyboards don’t
  • Apple magic keyboard is waterproof while most of the other keyboards are not waterproof

User Experience differences

The Apple keyboard comes under the category of chicklet keyboards, so it differs from the mechanical, ergonomic, and gaming keyboards.

  • The Mac keyboard is not the most ergonomic keyboard there is. There are many other keyboards that are much better than it when it comes to ergonomics
  • The Mac keyboard is not fundamentally a mechanical keyboard, so it does not offer that clickity-clack sound the mechanical ones are famous for.
  •  Some of the expensive high-end keyboards can be physically customized: keys, switches, and even the base of the keyboard can be changed. For the Mac keyboard, you get just one Apple-built product that stays the same forever.
  • It is not inherently a gaming keyboard so it does not give that much key-registering speed and does not go along with the professional gamers who need lightning-speed reaction times.

Read: Are there speakers on the Mac mini m1?

 Does Mac mini work with a wired keyboard?

As mentioned above, a Mac can work with any USB keyboard. If the wired keyboard has a USB cable, then it can surely work with Mac.

It is, however, recommended to use a wireless Bluetooth keyboard with Mac as it goes with the minimalist feel of the Apple ecosystem, and the new Apple magic keyboard comes with a lot of spectacular features.

But well, this is hugely a subjective decision to make. Everyone has a different keyboard that works best for them.

How to set them up

It is fairly easy to set up any compatible keyboard with the Mac mini.

Apple Wireless Keyboards

  • For Apple keyboards, you first have to make sure that the batteries are charged.
  • Go to the Apple menu
  • Select System Preferences
  • Click Keyboard, mouse, or Trackpad option
  • Choose Set up the Bluetooth keyboard and then follow the instructions

Other Keyboards

For other USB keyboards, you can just plug the USB into the USB-A port and the device should automatically be detected by the Mac mini.

According to Apple, the Mac mini recognizes three types of keyboards: ISO, JIS, and ANSI standard keyboards.

If you are facing some sort of technical issue while setting up your keyboard, you might need to specify its type by your own self. To do that:

  • Go to Apple’s menu
  • Select System’s Preferences
  • Choose Keyboard
  • Click on Change Keyboard Type, and then follow the proceeding instructions

Read: What much of RAM can a Mac Mini Handle?

Final thoughts

Mac mini has always been an all-rounded solution for every type of user. Be it a medium-level gamer, an office worker, a student, or just about anyone.

Such a PC, which attracts people from every side of things needs to be compatible with their peripheral preferences.

As mentioned above, the Mac mini goes along with almost every modern-day keyboard; be it a mechanical one, a wireless one, or even a high-profile gaming one.

Moreover, you still have an option to use the Apple magic keyboard that goes along with Apple’s productive and minimalistic vibe.

So, yes, the Mac mini can work with any keyboard, and they are easy to set up too, keeping everything simple, smooth, and sleek.

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