Apple finally releases Magic Keyboard with Touch ID as a standalone purchase

But Touch ID still only works if you've got an M1 Mac

Apple iMac 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has finally started selling its Magic Keyboard with Touch ID as a separate purchase. Originally, the keyboard came bundled in with the new Apple iMac 24-inch, but it can now be bought as a standalone item.

Users can select from two options from the new keyboards or instead opt for a refreshed design option minus Touch ID, which costs less and is more suited to older Intel Macs and other computers.

First spotted by Canadian blogger, Rene Ritchie, the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID costs $149, and the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Keypad is priced at $179. The built-in fingerprint scanner helps users authenticate logins, making it easier (and more secure) to use services like, say, Apple Pay when making purchases from your computer. All of this is thanks to the Secure Enclave security function of the M1 chip.

The new keyboards with built-in biometrics offer exclusive outside Touch ID compatibility with the M1-powered Apple MacBook Air, Apple MacBook Pro and Mac mini. Intel MacBook and other computer users will likely want to spend less and go for the Magic Keyboard without Touch ID for $99 instead, as Touch ID is not compatible with these pre-M1 devices.

Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID

(Image credit: Apple)

One caveat here relates to the color options available to users. Unlike the iMac bundled version, the standalone keyboards can only be bought in a white and silver colorway. Thinking you’d prefer a dash of color, perhaps? In that case, you’ll have to opt for a brand new iMac instead. 

And, finally, the standalone Touch ID-equipped Magic Keyboards will not work with the M1-powered Apple iPad Pro. That's in the event that you wanted to use them together, perhaps searching for a clever workaround to the iPad's Face ID function. Unfortunately, no such setup exists.  

Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson

Luke covers all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets)