The Keyboard MacTigr Review: Exactly my type

Mechanics fans Keyboards who are also Windows users have it pretty easy. There are enough ready-made PC keyboards to span the English Channel, and the Windows user who craves the responsiveness, resilience, and sensory satisfaction of good mechanics need only close your eyes and point.

Mac users have a harder time. Yes, you can connect any mechanical keyboard to any Apple hardware and start typing letters and numbers correctly right away. But the modifier keys – Control, Command, Option – are not properly mapped for macOS. The symbols on the keycaps don’t match either. (Which was Command again?) All the added value that makes a mechanical keyboard seem platform-native — things like media controls, volume controls, spacebars, and sleep-wake buttons — probably won’t work at all.

There are already some solid Mac-friendly options on the market (Keychron in particular has some good options), but the latest and most intriguing is Das Keyboard’s MacTigr.

Much better

Photo: The keyboard

The Texas-based company makes some of our most popular mechanical keyboards, including models in the beefy Professional series and the sleek Prime 13. The MacTigr takes all that hard-earned das-mojo and cooks it up into a full-size mechanical keyboard with minimal design and pure plug-ins -and-play Mac compatibility. (A few years ago, Das Keyboard released a variant of its 4 Professional keyboard for Macs. It was fine, but the MacTigr is smaller, more powerful, and more modern.)

The thin body is all metal, with an aluminum chassis topped by a steel plate. It feels sturdy (it weighs 2.5 pounds) and has a matte black finish that makes it look a bit unremarkable. There is no backlight. A row of media keys located above the 10-button pad control Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube in the browser or whatever media player you last touched.

The volume control, something Das has included in its high-end keyboards since the dawn of time, is particularly luxurious. It is covered in a soft and grippy silicone. Hidden within are detents that click softly as you turn the volume up and down. Next to the media keys is a dedicated Sleep button that puts your Mac to sleep with the press of a button. The MacTigr is a USB-C keyboard, so it only supports modern Macs with USB-C ports, although it also has a dual USB-C hub just above the F12 key that you can connect charging cables or other accessories to.

point and click

The true mechanical keyboard obsessives all have a preferred switch type. The switch, the springy mechanism under each keycap that registers every press, gives a keyboard both its character and its characteristic audible click. Sitting next to someone with green or blue switches can be that click noisy. (Keyswitch types are differentiated by color.) The MacTigr is loaded with Cherry MX Reds, which are on the quieter end of the color spectrum. Yes, it’s still a mechanical keyboard and it still clicks like a Ducati, but it’s quieter than most.

The Cherry MX Reds are linear switches, so they register every keypress with almost no physical resistance (or “bump” in keyboard jargon). This makes the MacTigr surprisingly sensitive; It took me a full week of practice before I could type at my normal speed without repetitive keystrokes. It has become a trusted favorite since that phase of discovery.

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