Apple Extended Keyboard II
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|Apple Extended Keyboard II|
|Part number||M0312, M3501|
|FCC ID||BCGM0312, BCGM3501|
|Layouts||108-key (ANSI), 109-key (ISO) Macintosh|
|Keyswitches||Tactile Alps CM or tactile Mitsumi Alps clone|
|Years of production||1990–1994|
The Apple Extended Keyboard II (AEKII) is a keyboard that was shipped with Apple Macintosh computers in the early 1990s. The AEKII is the successor to the Apple Extended Keyboard (AEK) and is smaller, quieter, and more refined.
The following variations have been found when compiling this article:
|Model number||FCC ID||Made in||Switch|
|"White Cream Alps"|
|Mexico||"White Cream Alps"|
|Japan||Mitsumi Alps clone|
There are two model numbers: M0312 and M3501. The FCC IDs are BCGM0312 and BCGM3501 respectively.
The serial numbers of all M0312s contain "M0312" at the end. The serial numbers of some M3501s contain "M0312" at the end while others contain "M3501".
The most common switch in the Apple Extended Keyboard. The slider has a cream off-white colour. The switches are tactile and comparatively quiet. The sound is dampened by small rubber inserts on either side of the slider which cushions the impact at the end of both the downstroke and the upstroke. Because of the dampening and high tactile point of the cream Alps switches, the keyboards are sometimes mistaken for having rubber dome switches.
This switch has been "resurrected" in the form of the Matias Quiet switch.
A tactile switch with pink/salmon-coloured slider. The feel is similar to the Cream alps, except that the slider does not have rubber bumpers and they therefore bottom out hard. All AEKII with Salmon Alps have been made in USA.
"White Cream" Alps
A rare variation of the Cream Alps switch, with the biggest difference that the sliders are pure white. The tactile leaf inside the switch is somewhat different from the Cream Alps, but the switch is reported to feel practically the same. Not to be mistaken for other White Alps switches that are clicky.
Mitsumi Alps clone
Mitsumi Alps clone switch has the same dimensions and mount as Alps CM, but the switch is pure white, both in slider and housing. The switches are tactile and relatively silent. All AEKII with these switches have been made in Japan.
Non-US layouts have symbols on the non-alphanumeric keys instead of words. On ISO keyboards, the keys in the leftmost column on the main keyboard are slightly wider, and the keys in the rightmost column are slightly narrower. The vertical return key is therefore very thin, similar to contemporary Apple keyboards in ISO layout.
All keyboards made in Japan have had ANSI layouts. ISO layout keyboards have been built in Ireland.
The construction of the keyboard is quite unconventional by today's standards.
The keyboard is an evolution of the Apple Extended Keyboard, designed in the "Snow White Design Language" formulated by Frog Design and used in Apple products from 1984 onwards.
The case has smaller borders than the AEK and the Apple logo has moved from the left side to above the Escape key. It is held together with only one screw. It also has a new retractable foot near the back to tilt the keyboard. The single large foot is unusual in its construction in that it is manipulated by moving a slider on the rear which moves the foot by action of an inclined plane.
The caps lock key has a latching key switch.
The switches are mounted in a steel plate and printed circuit board. The plate has tabs on the front which interlocks into the single rubber foot on the underside; the plate and foot are holding each other in place without glue.
There is a ADB port on the left and right side. Either one can be connected to the host computer, while the other is usually used for a mouse. Each port is mounted on a separate PCB connected to the main PCB with a ribbon cable.
The profile of the keycaps is special to Apple. It is as if the rows were shifted one step down compared to the "standard" profile used by most other keyboards with Alps mount on key switches. The top of the case has a slight curve, and each keycap's skirt reaches down only to match that curve.
The keys on the function key row are special in that the mount is vertical and not horizontal as on other rows. The reason for this is probably to avoid vertical wobble, as these keys are the highest on the keyboard (two rows above number row).
- Apple Extended Keyboard, the predecessor model.
- Matias Tactile Pro and Quiet Pro: these both use the new Matias switches after the discontinuation of the Fukka switch; the Tactile Pro range was designed as the spiritual successor to the Extended Keyboard and the new Quiet Pro has damped switches similar to those in the Extended Keyboard II.
- Tommy Thomas. Apple's Extended Keyboard II: Sequel to a Legend, lowendmac.com 2006-10-19.
- パンミア. Apple Extended Keyboard II M3501 各種比較 まとめ, kbd.rzw.jp, 2012-12-31
- Sandy: APPLE EXTENDED KEYBOARD II, A little bit of keyboards, 2013-02-04.
- Mousefan: AppleExtendedKeyboardⅡ M3501 MITSUMI JAPAN 91, 2004-10-10
- Mousefan: Apple Extended KeyboardⅡ ADB Made in USA, 2004-03-01