In a recent survey we asked ‘How are you getting around Pro Tools’ only around 20% of those surveyed said they used either Pro Tools keyboards or stickers. The gang at Editors Keys sent us some of their new products to review, so as one person who has had Pro Tools keyboards and not used them, then the gauntlet was down.
I’ve decided to review both the dedicated keyboard and the skin, to tell you what I think of both.
Editors Keys Pro Tools - Premium Apple Dedicated Keyboard
Editors Keys have latched on to a sad fact about us Apple users - we like things to look right. This premium model is a real Apple (although I’m not sure if official) pro keyboard. So apart from the obvious changes in the keys it looks, feels and even smells like an Apple keyboard.
It has the numeric keypad which is an essential feature for those using keyboard shortcuts as the transport section is mapped on the numeric keys. It has 2 USB ports built in, so very useful for plugging in your iLok, in fact when you plug in you iLok it can hardly be seen as the USB port is recessed - nice!
One of the reasons I have not used dedicated keyboards or stickers before, is that for the sake of Pro Tools the real keyboard names get lost. This is not the case with this keyboard and they have managed to marry both a conventional keyboard with Pro Tools keys well. Essential for the home studio where neither swapping keyboards between tasks or typing gobbledygook is good news.
Pro Tools Ultra Thin Short & Wireless Cover
The second keyboard I tried was the silicon skin for my wireless Bluetooth keyboard, which you simply lay over your keyboard or laptop.
It took me longer to get it out of the packet than install it, which is simply a case of laying it on your keyboard. The printing is good quality with no sign of fading or cracking, although I’m yet to see what a few months use would do, but it looks like it would cope.
It does what it says on the tin. so a great option for those with a laptop or needing to hot-swap their keyboards. My only gripe about it was that I don’t like the black finish on it - I’m not suggesting it could be brushed aluminium, but the black is just a little jarring. This has more to do with me and my Mac obsessive attitude to aesthetics than the skin.
The Editors Keys products were sent to me to convince me that dedicated keyboard and skins were a good option, even if I had been put off by earlier incarnations.
These products are high quality and have been well thought-out, I’m typing on the dedicated one as you read (although I’m typing slowly for those of you who are slow readers). That means the old issue of not being able to see the real keys has been solved by these products and in particular the dedicated keyboard.
Both products are high quality, although some may find the cost a little pricey for the dedicated Mac one that weighs in at £109.99, currently £89.99, however if I was to factor in the cost of a keyboard entry pad (about £25.00) and a 2 port USB hub (about £5) that would make a fairer comparison. Having my iLok plugged in is nice and has freed up the ports on my Mac.
The skins however are a third of that price for those on a budget, so well worth looking at.
So the question is has it changed my mind? The answer is a resounding yes, which goes to prove that it wasn’t dedicated keyboards or skins I had a problem with, just poorly designed ones. These products do not suffer from the same fate and so are well worth considering for both those considering buying one for the first time or for those with bad versions. A thumbs up!