I moved in to a new office recently and will be using my MacBook Pro as my primary computer. I have it hooked up to a second monitor and thought it would be a good idea to get a keyboard and mouse to complete the setup. I was pretty curious about using the Apple TrackPad in addition to or as a replacement for a traditional mouse. So I went out to buy the Apple wireless keyboard, a magic mouse and the magic trackpad. They were out of stock on the magic mouse, so I just got the trackpad. After playing round with it over the weekend I knew it had potential, but after a couple weeks of using it at work I am completely sold. There are still times when a traditional would be nice to have, but for my day-to-day programming the trackpad works great.
The Apple wireless keyboard is nice too, but I struggle with the compact form factor a little. Really I struggle on most non-ergonomic keyboards. I went searching for alternatives and found out that Microsoft actually makes their ergonomic “Natural” keyboard in a Mac version. This seems like the perfect combo as I have been using different versions of the Natural keyboards since 1994. They are a little hard to find, but there was one seller in the Amazon Marketplace who had “new” ones. I ordered one as a test unit, thinking I would order a couple more if it worked out good. We setup the first one on my wife’s Mac mini. She has been using it for a couple days and found the native Apple keyboard layout to be easier to work with, so I ordered up a couple more for the office and my home work station. It comes with a mouse too, so we can use that for those times when you need a real mouse instead of the trackpad.
At my new office we also have a lounge/group work area with a big TV, couch, etc. We have a Mac mini hooked up to the TV and bought the same wireless keyboard and trackpad I have for my desk. Quickly realized that the trackpad needs a hard surface to be able to click. We are planning to get a nice work table back there anyway and figured that would be fine. Then started thinking there has to be some kind of tray that is specially built for the wireless keyboard and trackpad. Sure enough there are a few products to fit that need. This Black Walnut Keyboard Tray seems like it would work great and is quite stylish as well. Little spendy though at $125 with shipping. Later on I found another alternative on kickstarter.com. Was too funny that I would come across that by accident on the same day I went looking for a product just like it.