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Apple just made its best Mac keyboard available to buy separately

Apple just made its best Mac keyboard available to buy separately
(Image credit: Future)

Apple's latest Magic Keyboard with built-in Touch ID sensor is now available for purchase at a price of $149, meaning you can now get hold of one without having to buy a whole iMac 2021 first.

This is significant for anyone who enjoys using Apple's Magic Keyboards and has been waiting for the chance to try one with Touch ID. The pad in the top-right hand corner is essentially a small fingerprint reader that lets you quickly lock and unlock your Mac with the tap of a finger. The keyboard can be found on Apple's website

In the course of conducting our 24-inch iMac 2021 review I had a chance to test-drive this Magic Keyboard, and the Touch ID sensor proved easy, reliable, and quick to use. 

However, there's an important caveat: Touch ID requires Apple's new M1 chip to function, so if you hook it up this new Magic Keyboard to an Intel-based Mac (or any other PC without an M1 chip) it will just be a regular old keyboard. If you want to make full use of the Touch ID sensor, you'll need to hook it up to an M1-powered PC like the MacBook Pro with M1, the MacBook Air with M1, the Mac Mini with M1 or the 24-inch iMac 2021. 

However, it might be cumbersome to use with a MacBook unless you've got the laptop raised up off your desk; the M1-equipped Mac Mini seems like an ideal fit for pairing with the Magic Keyboard, as it supports Touch ID functionality but doesn't ship with a keyboard.

Sadly, you won't be able to order a standalone Magic Keyboard with Touch ID in any color besides white, a big letdown given that the keyboards Apple ships out with its 2021 iMacs — which come in an array of colors — are decked out in matching hues.

The same goes for the Magic Trackpad, which Apple has now also begun selling separately for $129. The Magic Trackpad doesn't have a Touch ID sensor, but it does feel great to use, and during our M1 iMac review I enjoyed how accurate and responsive it felt as I tapped and swiped my way through macOS. 

Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.