Review: Kanex MultiSync Keyboard – One Keyboard to Rule Them All

Rating: 4/5

Posted in Accessories, Reviews on 24/05/2016 by Ian Fuchs

I do a lot of typing. Whether I’m working on projects at work, responding to emails, coding, or writing reviews like this, I spend a solid majority of my day with my hands on a keyboard. Since I commit so much time to mashing keys, comfort, easy of use, and flexibility are extremely important to me, as they are to many people. Recently, the fine folks at Kanex sent me their MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard to check out, and I have to say – it’s pretty good.

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Overview:

Clocking in at a cool $99.95, the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard isn’t just another cheap Bluetooth keyboard. Designed to easily swap from 1 device to another, the MultiSync can connect up to four Bluetooth devices, and can be hot swapped at the touch of a button.

Taking cues from Apple’s MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard offers the same great brushed aluminum face with black keys. Unlike the built-in keyboard on your MacBook (or even the Apple Magic Keyboard), the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard offers a full number pad on the right for serious number crunching, and shares a layout similar to the Apple Keyboard with Numberic Keypad, meaning your fingers aren’t cramped onto a mini keyboard that have become so popular in recent years.

On the same note of comfort, the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard offers very similar key travel to Apple’s “older” (pre-MacBook with USB-C) models. This means keys have a notable, but not uncomfortable travel distance. This results in consistent, accurate keystrokes, and reduced finger fatigue, when compared to some of the more trendy (dare I say old-fashioned) mechanical keyboards.

The MultiSync technology is the big advantage for me, though. In a matter of minutes, I was able to pair the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard with my MacBook Pro, my iPad, and my iPhone, and then simply press the preset button to switch devices. When I want to type on my Mac, just press “1” and my Mac confirms the keyboard is connected. When I need to switch to my iPad (where I’m writing currently), I tap the “2” button, and my iPad takes control (and the Mac confirms the keyboard has gone elsewhere). This makes multi-device use incredibly easy, without cluttering your desk (or the table at the coffee shop) with a mess of keyboards.

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One drawback of the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard is the source of it’s power. Instead of offering a built-in battery and an easy charging method, the Kanex team opted for a pair (2) of AAA batteries. While this isn’t a huge deal breaker, it does mean that if the keyboard dies in the middle of your typing spree, you are stuck swapping batteries, or tossing the keyboard aside (and really – who carries batteries with them anymore?).

The size of the keyboard is also a little bit of a challenge if this is a “to-go” device, as the added number pad make it a tight fit in most backpacks (I carry a 30L bag and it fits with about 1/2″ to spare). Kanex does offer a smaller version – the MultiSync Mini ($49.95 from Kanex), which may be more idea for on-the-go keyboardists. While I didn’t personally try the smaller version, if it performs as well as it’s big brother, it’s likely a great keyboard also.

Verdict

Rating: 4.0/5.0

While most people are content with the keyboard in their laptop, the one built into their iPad case, or the one bundled with their computer, I find that having one keyboard to cover all my devices is a more enjoyable experience. The Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard servers that purpose, and does it with elegance and ease. The quick toggles for up to four paired devices, and full-sized key layout make it great for typing quick emails, long reviews, or even coding for an entire day.

Pros:

  • Easy switching with MultiSync
  • Comfortable key spacing and travel
  • Built-in number pad
  • Mac key layout (no goofy key remapping required)
  • Batteries included

Cons:

  • AAA Batteries instead of USB Charging

If you’re in the market for a Bluetooth keyboard, or are looking to simplify your desktop with an all-in-one solution, look no further than the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard, $99.95 from Kanex.com


Author

Ian Fuchs

Ian, Senior Review Editor at MacTrast, has been an Apple enthusiast for years, starting in 2000 with an iMac and iMovie. In college, Ian developed skills and further interest in all things Apple. Ian's expanding skill set increased his love for Apple's products. Now the owner of an iPad Air 2, iPad mini, iPhone 6S Plus, Apple TV, MacBook, MacBook Pro, numerous iPods, and a classic G5 Mac Pro, he is "pretty familiar" with Apple's products. Ian resides in Chicago, works as a Programmer & Systems Analyst at a college, loves his dog more than probably normal, spends most of his free time with his wife and plays various instruments (drums, guitar, piano, trumpet).