Matias Tactile Pro
|This article requires photographic illustration|
|Tactile Pro family|
|Manufacturer||Costar, Strong Man|
|Layouts||108-key Macintosh, PC|
|Keyswitches||Simplified Alps CM, Fuhua Alps, Matias|
|Weight||1142 g (first generation), 1249 g (third generation), 934 g (mini), 974 g (laptop pro)|
|Years of production||- now|
The Matias Tactile Pro is a family of modern USB keyboards for the Apple Macintosh. Tactile Pro keyboards have full-travel mechanical key switches reminiscent of the Alps CM found in vintage keyboards for the Apple Macintosh such as the Apple Extended Keyboard II. They also feature integrated USB hubs, currently three USB 2.0 ports.
The exterior design is inspired by mid-2000s Apple design, with transparent plastic around a white interior and with USB ports on the left and right sides as well as the rear. There have also been grey-metallic/black versions (see variations below).
The keycaps are opaque in white and black (dependent on model), with lasered legends. The lock keys have integrated LEDs; on the Macintosh version, only the caps lock keycap has an LED window. Symbols and accented characters available through the use of the option key are printed on the keycaps, a feature presently unique to this range of keyboards (it appears to have been introduced with the now discontinued rubber dome Matias OS X Keyboard).
The keyboard is full-size with inverted-T cursor keys. There are eject and volume keys above the numeric keypad. The space bar is 7 units long, command and control are 1.5 units long, and option is 1 unit long.
Tactile Pro 4.0
The Tactile Pro 4.0 is the latest (fourth-generation) Tactile Pro. Introduced in November 2012, it succeeded the Tactile Pro 3.0.
The biggest difference from previous revisions is that it has Matias own Matias Click switch.
Along with the Quiet Pro, the Tactile Pro 4 introduces 10-key rollover using modified HID reports, sufficient according to Matias for every one of your fingers. It also has added slip-resistant pads on the bottom of the case and improved stabilizers for wide keys.
Mini Tactile Pro
Apart from the switch, the Quiet Pro's features are similar to other keyboards in the Tactile Pro 4.0 family.
The Cream Alps is not clicky or clacky, but tactile and dampened on both the down-stroke and on the up-stroke, making this a very quiet switch even in comparison to most rubber dome keyboards.
The Matias Quiet Pro was introduced on September 20, 2012, in two variants:
- Quiet Pro for Mac
- Grey metal-coloured plastic case. black key caps with Macintosh legends
- Quiet Pro for PC
- Gloss black case, black key caps. The physical layout is the same as on the Mac version. The Num Lock key has moved one row up and there are media keys to its right. The key over numpad-7 is instead an extra Tab key.
The Official site is up, selling keyboards with US layout. ISO layouts (UK, German, Nordic) will be released in January and are available for pre-order from The Keyboard Company. The Macintosh version is be sold by Diatec in Japan.
The Quiet Pro is 10KRO using modified HID reports.
Mini Quiet Pro
A tenkeyless version of the Quiet Pro. There is only one column of keys (Page Up/Page down) in the nav cluster.
It is available in both PC and Mac versions.
A variation of the Mini Quiet Pro but with Bluetooth. The battery is built in. A USB charging cable is included.
The design is "silver" and black, and is available only in US-ANSI/Macintosh layout.
The keys above the arrow keys have been removed, giving room for placing the iPhone. Some key symbols have been moved to other keys, some available only through the use of a modifier.
The exterior design is otherwise like the Tactile Pro 3.0 Silver and Black edition with opaque grey metal-coloured plastic case and black keycaps. It is available in two variations, for Mac and Windows PC layout.
Tactile Pro 1.0
The earliest keyboards used simplified Alps CM switches, followed by grey "ALPS"-branded Fuhua switches. The linear LED switches appear to be clones, given the narrower front and rear protrusions at plate level; presumably they will be Xiang Min KSB-LE switches the same as in the Tactile Pro 3. Two downstream USB 1 ports.
The official site for this discontinued model is still available.
Tactile Pro 2.0
The Tactile Pro 2.0 is the only model manufactured by Strong Man. Strong Man alleged that the switches were their own, which Matias Corporation branded more respectably as "Matias switches". However, they were instead grey unbranded Fuhua Alps switches.
The USB ports were updated to USB 2.0.
The official site for this discontinued model is still available.
Tactile Pro 2.0 Silver and Black version
Design-wise, the white interior inside the transparent plastic has been replaced with alumina-coloured plastic and the keycaps are black instead of white.
It acts as a Windows PC keyboard by default, with the "OS-Key" (Windows/Command) and Alt (Option) keys swapped, but can be changed to Mac layout with the help of a driver utility.
On these models, the Caps Lock key has been replaced with an Optimize key which activates a hardware-defined key layer that maps keys such as arrow keys and functions such as Cut, Copy and Paste onto the alphanumeric keys. This is intended to obviate the need for the right hand to leave the alphanumeric keys while typing.
Tactile Pro 3.0
At its introduction, the keyboard was fitted with white clicky Fuhua Alps ("Fukka") switches. These switches were discontinued in 2012, and Matias silently switched over to the new Matias Click switch. The keyboard has three lock LEDs; the caps lock key is windowed, and the scroll lock and num lock LEDs shine through the keycaps when the keyboard is connected to a PC. The LED keys use linear XM switches due to clicky and tactile Alps and Alps clone switches not having room for LEDs.
The keyboard has an integrated three-port USB 2.0 hub.
The keyboard was marketed as having n-key rollover, but strictly speaking the implementation is standard USB 6KRO.
The Tactile Pro 3 was available in US ANSI, UK ISO, German ISO and Japanese JS layouts.
The Official site is up.
Tactile Pro 3.0 Silver and Black edition
This was a limited edition release with opaque grey metal-coloured plastic case and black keycaps.
Tactile Pro 3 with one of the Xiang Min KSB-LE LED switches uncovered
White unbranded Fuhua Alps switches along side a KSB-LE in a Tactile Pro 3
- ↑ Deskthority forum thread New ALPs switch coming from Edgar Matias
- ↑ Geekhack, forum thread Another quiet mechanical keyboard thread
- ↑ Geekhack, Matias vendor forum, forum thread New switches from Matias -- 2 years in the making
- ↑ Matias press release. 2012-09-20, posted by a Matias representative in Deskthority thread [Product news Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard with sound-dampened ALPS switches]
- ↑ Diatec · Product Information for the Matias Quiet Pro for Mac
- ↑ Flickr — Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard
- ↑ Tweaktown review shows new switches: Matias Tactile Pro 3.0 Mechanical Keyboard Review, page 5