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A major redesign of the Apple Pro Keyboard, released in May 2003.

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Does the A1048 USB ports work well with flash drives?

I currently use a G4 era keyboard with my iMac G5 ALS and I’ve had issues with a specific type of flash drive I use a lot of because of how easy they are to get - the current keyboard doesn’t have enough power for my commonly used USB drive (SDCZ60-0XXG). I didn’t get anything other then the system at the time, so I had to find one I can use. I have looked into cheap Bluetooth keyboards with the “correct” keys, but this is a 2.0 EDR machine and anything new is at least 4.0 and I don’t know if 4.X is that backwards compatible. The change to a blue LED from red hasn’t helped the power draw issues.

I don’t like the thin aluminum ones because of how bad they are to type on (they also can’t be repaired, so that’s another major negative), but I’ve always liked the A1048 the G5 series came with, which was included up until the 2007 aluminum iMac when the keyboard was changed to the one I don’t like. You also can’t buy the aluminum USB model new since they moved to the Magic keyboard and you run into the same issue I’m seeing with the generic BT keyboards - the Bluetooth standard is newer then what the Mac shipped with.

I vaguely remember the A1048 from school as we had them on the eMacs and the 2006 white C2D iMac being better then this G4 Pro keyboard, but I don’t remember how much better it was but I think it had a lot more power available. I understand the A1048 may not be a complete fix to the bus power problem even though it is newer, but in practice it should have more available power then my current keyboard and I can use with far more USB drives then this one.


This is the keyboard I was talking about I think will have compatibility issues with the iMac:

Block Image


According to the manual, this is what I see:


  • Bluetooth Specification
    • Bluetooth 3.0

It lacks USB ports (and a wire), but I can quickly replace it if it breaks outside of warranty. I’ll need to get a mouse for the Mac as well, but I can get a cheap Logitech and be done with it unless I can also find a Bluetooth one I like.

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The USB hub within the keyboard is only USB 1.1 or 2.1 so its slow!

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@danj The iMac isn't much better since it's also USB2. I had a feeling they would be slow, but in theory should be better then the keyboard I currently use that has limited bus power, which in turn limits compatibility. It's also quite annoying to have to do a reach around to plug in a USB drive and trust it'll work consistently, which I need to do with most USB drives. I found a drive that works on the 1.1 boards, but it lacks an LED and takes ages to register to the system so I can use it. I can get them at Staples, but it's a private label so if they discontinue it or make changes I need to look for another one :-( - not good long term.

And yeah, I kind of caught on the early revisions with the eMac (2002-2004) are 1.1 based. I need a G5/early Intel keyboard for USB2 support (2005-2007). There's probably an indicator like /A for the 1.1 and /B for the 2.0 revisions (plus likely a 2005 copyright date change), so that shouldn't be hard to avoid in the wild. I'll probably check the place my Pro keyboard came from and snag it if it's cheap and matches up with the hub requirements I'm looking for.

The SanDisk drive needs 500mA with the blue LED version. Red LED is the same.


@danj I may go with a Apple knockoff Bluetooth keyboard and mouse even if it's more expensive to spare USB ports. I posted a photo of the keyboard I like the most I can get locally.

Apparently Apple Bluetooth uses a coprocessor so I think it'll work but I'm not 100% sure knowing that. The low budget IR combo (MK270) comes with a horrible mouse I'd never use and need 2 receivers to replace it anyway.


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