Slim X1 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard – I’ve been using the Satechi Slim X1 Bluetooth keyboard full-time for the past three weeks, and it’s proven to be a reliable companion for my Macs and iPads. Should you consider buying it? Check out our hands-on review of the Satechi Slim X1 for details, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video reviews.
As someone who used to use a Keychron K2 mechanical keyboard for daily typing tasks, the Satechi Slim X1, with its scissor profile keyboard, is a big departure from what I’ve been using. However, because the Slim X1 feels so similar to Apple’s Magic Keyboard, it didn’t take long for typing to feel natural.
Slim X1 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard
That being said, the Satechi Slim X1 is not a 1:1 Magic Keyboard clone. For example, the function keys on the top of the unit are smaller to accommodate a few more primary keys than you’d find on a Magic key. The Slim X1 is also slightly wider than the Magic Key, with slightly larger bezels.
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Although I love the look of the space gray anodized aluminum paired with the black keys, I was quickly reminded that many black keys show fingerprints, oil and dust. Using the Slim X1 I appreciated the low-maintenance white button found on Apple’s Magic Key.
The biggest difference between the Magic Key and the Slim X1, and what might be the difference maker for some users, is how the keys feel when pressed. Unlike the rough feedback you feel on your finger while typing on the magic keys, the Slim X1 feels soft and forgiving in nature. That’s not to say that the responsive keys on the Slim X1 are bad, but I personally prefer the feedback of the keys over the Magic Keys.
Like Magic Keyboard and other Apple-centric third-party offerings, the X1 includes keyboard shortcuts for use with macOS and iPadOS. There are shortcuts to adjust display brightness, call up brightness search, CMD+Tab view, and transport controls to interact with music playback. Unfortunately, the unit doesn’t feature a T-style arrow key layout, opting instead to go with the layout used on Apple’s Magic Key.
One of the main advantages of the Satechi Slim X1 is its rear button, a feature not yet available on Apple’s wireless Bluetooth button. Unfortunately, the unit lacks an ambient light sensor for automatic backlight adjustment, a feature seen on the M1 MacBooks, and third-party offerings like the Logitech MX Keys, but 10 backlight levels can be controlled via the keyboard’s two Button to stop. Short cut line.
Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard For Mac
When set to high brightness levels, the backlight tends to bleed around the edges of the keys, making the keyboard look less secure than the back keys found on Apple’s new MacBooks. It’s a shame that Apple doesn’t offer its first-party keys with the latest features, because I feel like they sweat the little design details that third-party companies like Setichi often miss.
Of course, the integrated backup battery is one of the main attractions. Here’s how Satechi reports the Slim X1’s battery life based on different backlight levels:
If no button is pressed after one minute, the backlight will dim to level 1. After three minutes of inactivity, the backlight will turn off to save battery life. If there is no activity on the keyboard for 30 minutes, then the unit will go into sleep mode. Once the keyboard reaches a battery level of less than 15%, the backlight will turn off.
The power light (above the output button) will flash green when the keyboard is low on battery. Charging the Slim X1 via USB-C connection takes 2-3 hours. Once fully charged, the red charge light will turn green. Satechi said that the total standby time is 13 days, and the total working time of use is 45h. I used the Slim X1 extensively for three weeks, between three different devices, with the backlight on Level 3 most of the time, and I only charged it once.
Satechi Slim X1 Bluetooth Keyboard Review
Compared to Apple’s Magic Keyboard, what I like most about the Satechi Slim X1 is the ability to quickly switch between the three devices. For people who use iPads as a secondary device, this is very convenient. Because the Slim X1 lives up to its name and is quite portable, I see it making a great iPad Pro and iPad Air companion for those who haven’t already settled on the Magic Key for iPad.
A simple long press of one of the three Bluetooth buttons along with the action button will bring the device into pairing mode. Once paired with your devices, it’s just a matter of pressing the Bluetooth + Connect button to quickly switch between Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc. Beyond the power of the back, this is the main reason to choose the device over the Slim X1. magic keyboard
Included with the unit is a USB-C charging cable to charge the Slim X1’s internal battery. A USB-C cable, or any USB-C cable for that matter, can be used to put the Slim X1 into phone mode so you can connect directly without Bluetooth. Phone mode is automatically activated when the USB-C cable is connected, but you can switch between Bluetooth and phone mode by pressing one of the Bluetooth buttons or the output button (including the action button) to return to phone mode.
Like the Magic Key, the Satechi Slim X1 Bluetooth keyboard doesn’t include bottom feet to give users a greater typing angle, but Satechi includes optional rubber feet attached with 3M adhesive, for those who want a wider angle. It’s not the best solution, and it’s not as easy as attaching the legs, but I’ve found it works pretty well.
Buy Satechi Slim X1 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard
While the Slim X1 adjusts brightness levels on a MacBook or iPad, I was disappointed to find that the brightness control shortcuts on the Satechi Slim X1 don’t interact with Apple’s Pro Display XDR. All Magic Keyboards and even third-party offerings such as the Keychron K2 (v2) work similarly with brightness controls for Apple-compatible displays. I’m not sure if this is something that can be addressed, but I’ve reached out to Stitchie for comment.
It’s a shame that Apple isn’t updating its Magic Key with more advanced features. Products like the Slim X1 show just how good Apple’s first-party keyboards can be when updated with the latest features.
Overall, the Slim X1 is the perfect magic key for consumers who want a product that looks similar to Apple’s offerings, but comes with conveniences like a back button, USB-C charging, and device connectivity. With good battery life and a solid aluminum design, it’s hard to go wrong with the Slim X1, especially considering it’s $29 cheaper than the Magic Key. Stitchy also sells a full-size version of its keyboard, the Slim X3, complete with a 10-key pad.
With that said, the Slim X1 feels different to type on than the Magic Keypad. The keys have a slightly mushy feel which may take some getting used to if they come from an Apple keyboard. It’s not great, but it’s different, and some might prefer the feel of the keys over the magic keys.
Satechi Slim X1 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard (space Grey)
What do you think? Do you have a favorite third-party keyboard that you use? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.
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Jeff produces videos, tutorials, how-tos, tutorials and reviews. He prides himself on being able to explain things simply, clearly and concisely.
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