Last updated: August 19, 2021

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You are very welcome! The subject of today's article is keyboard for MacBook. But, what do you mean, keyboard for a laptop?

Some people prefer to turn their MacBook into a desktop computer and use it with the screen closed and accessories like a bigger monitor, keyboard and mouse. We'll talk more about how to do that below and teach you how to choose the ideal keyboard!


  • There are many advantages of turning your MacBook into a desktop computer with a monitor, mouse and keyboard.
  • It is very important to check if the keyboard you choose is compatible with Apple devices and with the operating system version of your MacBook.
  • If you are using your MacBook as a desktop computer for work, study or play, you should choose a wireless model.

The best MacBook Keyboard: Our Picks

MacBook keyboards are, in fact, keyboards compatible with Apple products. We have selected different models from various price ranges, all of them of excellent quality:

Buying guide: What you need to know about MacBook keyboard

We've reached the buying guide, the section of the article that answers the most frequently asked questions about MacBook keyboards. In the next few lines, you'll find everything you need to know!

Imagem mostra uma pessoa usando teclado e mouse sem fio com um MacBook.

Using a wireless keyboard and mouse together with your Macbook can have many benefits. (Source: Lex Photography /

How to use a keyboard on a MacBook?

MacBooks are Apple's notebooks and therefore already have their own keyboards. Buying a new one may seem redundant, but some people prefer to turn the device into a kind of desktop computer.

This transformation is called "clamshell mode". To do it, you need a larger monitor and accessories such as wireless or USB keyboard and mouse. The step by step is quite simple:

  1. Connect a mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth or USB to your MacBook and install them.
  2. Connect the monitor cable to the MacBook.
  3. Close the MacBook lid so the entire display is on the screen.

Just unplug each accessory when you want your MacBook to go back to being a laptop.

Another less common possibility is to place your MacBook on a stand and use a wireless keyboard and mouse to use it remotely.

What are the advantages of clamshell mode?

The main advantage of clamshell mode is to improve the working conditions. The user has a much larger screen than the MacBook at his disposal and can also opt for more complete keyboards and mice.

You have the freedom to work with a mouse instead of the original touchpad and to use a desk more comfortably, but you lose the freedom of movement that a notebook provides.

As disadvantages, we highlight the need to acquire extra equipment and the possibility of the MacBook overheating.

See in a table the advantages and disadvantages of using MacBook in clamshell mode:

  • The computer gets a bigger screen
  • Great cost-benefit for those who want the performance of a MacBook on a big screen
  • Freedom to have better peripherals
  • The use of the computer becomes more robust and professional
  • It may overheat
  • You need to buy additional equipment
  • You cannot move the MacBook during use

What does a MacBook keyboard need to offer?

The bottom line when buying a MacBook keyboard is that it needs to be compatible with Apple products.

Make sure that the keyboard you choose is compatible with Apple devices

Many of the generic wireless keyboards available in the market do not have such compatibility and therefore, buying them for use with a MacBook is a waste of time and money.

Also check compatibility with the operating system version of your MacBook. Some models may only be suitable for certain generations.

The other issues are more related to personal preferences.

Imagem mostra um teclado e um mouse da Apple junto a uma caderneta.

Always choose keyboards compatible with Apple devices. (Source: Lum3n /

MacBook keyboard with or without cord?

You will find both wired and wireless Apple device compatible keyboards on the market.

For using a MacBook in clamshell mode, in which independence from the original device is very important, the wireless models stand out. They offer greater freedom on a table and have greater durability.

The only drawback is for those who use clamshell mode for gaming. Wired keyboards are more reliable and have a better response time than wireless ones.

We have prepared a table comparing the two options:

Wired keyboard Wireless keyboard
Advantages Better response time and less chance of glitches Greater freedom of movement and space organisation
When to use Games and work that cannot be interrupted Work, study and leisure

What keyboard styles are available for MacBook?

You can choose from a few specific keyboard styles to use with your MacBook:

  • Magic Keyboard: The original keyboard that Apple uses on its iMacs is compatible with all other Apple devices. It is the safest choice for use with the MacBook, but very expensive.
  • Gamer Keyboard: Special key boards for gamers have features like larger keycaps and LED lights that make it easier to use. They can be very helpful for gaming fanatics.
  • Simple generic keyboard: There are some generic keyboards, like the ones used in Windows PCs, which are compatible with Apple devices. It is the cheap choice for those who do not get along with Magic Keyboards.

There are some keyboards that mimic the Magic Keyboard shape and can be the choice for those who want Apple's original, but can't afford to invest so much in the peripheral.

Buying Criteria: Factors to choose a MacBook keyboard

You already know what kind of keyboard you want to use with your MacBook, but you still need to know some important criteria for choosing the ideal model. We'll talk about them below!

Language and standard

Many keyboards compatible with Apple devices follow the English standard, which isn't compatible in most countries.

Imagem mostra um teclado, um mouse, uma caderneta e um óculos sobre uma mesa.

Most of the keyboards available on the internet use English as a base language. (Source: cottonbro /

Size and keys

The more compact a keyboard is, the fewer keys it has. With the popularization of small devices, it has become very common to eliminate the numeric part of the peripheral, for example.

Those who work with numbers gain a lot in speed if the numeric keypad is available

In addition to not having the numeric keypad, smaller models may not have other important keys that speed up and make work easier.

If you do not work with typing and do not make much use of numbers, there is not so much need for the numeric keypad and its neighboring keys, but there is no way that those who use a lot of peripheral give up a larger model.


Wireless keyboards need a power source. There are several different possibilities and you can choose the one you like the most.

The official Apple models have a USB port with modern technology that allows a very fast charging. Other, mainly more generic versions, work with AA or AAA batteries.

The practicality of fast charging of Apple models is enormous, but such models are also expensive.


The clamshell mode offers possibilities like leaving the monitor fixed on a table and sitting on a sofa or bed to work or have leisure time. Those who plan on getting too far away from their MacBook, however, need to check the range of their chosen keyboard.

For wired models, look at the size of the cord. The most obvious choice, however, is a wireless keyboard and, in this case, you need to see what is the maximum range of Bluetooth connection to know if you can use the peripheral as desired.


Using a MacBook in clamshell mode, with a larger monitor and peripherals, is ideal for those who want to take advantage of the device's performance and set up a workstation. You need to choose a good and compatible keyboard to do so.

You should pay attention to whether you prefer a keyboard that looks like the original Apple one or with a more generic appearance, if you want it to be wired or not and what size you like.

(Source of the highlighted image: customcontentsolutions /