How to choose the best keyboard for iPad Pro

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The latest iPad Pro is a beast of a tablet thanks to its M2 processor show And 5G optional. If you want to make the most of its powerful hardware and use it for more than just scrolling through social media, you’ll need to invest in a decent case with a built-in keyboard. Adding a keyboard helps the iPad Pro feel more like a real laptop, making it a great tool for typing emails, articles, and more on the go. So if you’re looking for the best iPad Pro keyboards on the market, read on.

iPad Pro keyboard cases add a lot to the picture, especially with the trackpad. Keyboards that have both a keyboard and a trackpad really feel like they help the iPad turn into a laptop. Of course, the operating system is different. But Apple’s support for keyboard shortcuts and Multi-touch touchpad gestures It works really well on iPadOS. in 2020, I compared the options. Now I do the same thing

Top-down view of multiple iPad keyboards.

iPad Pro keyboard options: Logitech Combo Touch (left), Magic Keyboard (middle), Brydge Max Plus 12.9 (right).

Scott Stein/CNET

Apple has its own fancy and expensive Magic keyboard item Two other manufacturers are worth mentioning: Logitech makes a detachable keyboard case with a stand that’s great for Zoom/FaceTime calls using the new zoom. Central stage camera, while the Brydge has a new frame with a very large trackpad and a laptop-like design.

They all have their merits and all work well, but I still prefer Apple’s Magic Keyboard over the others because of its size/performance. I tested all of this on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021, which isn’t compatible with many older accessories due to its slightly thicker size. The smaller 11-inch Pro works with 11-inch iPad Pro accessories dating back to the 2018 model, as well as cases for the 2020 iPad Air. The prices below are for the 12.9-inch keyboard version.

Scott Stein/CNET

Advocators: Compact design. It can be easily attached and detached. USB-C charging port via bonus. Somewhat lip friendly.

Disadvantages: Expensive. Limited viewing angles lack dedicated function keys.

Launched last year, the Apple Keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience. The keys, especially on the 12.9-inch, are well-spaced and feel like typing on a MacBook. Not much has changed since last year, but the new 12.9-inch bezels are slightly larger to match the slightly thicker dimensions of the new Pro.

I’m really used to the design of this Magic Keyboard, and it’s a good size to fit on smaller desks or on a lap. But there are some drawbacks. The adjustable angle magnetic top cover doesn’t bend like a regular laptop. The rigid design of the case also makes it almost useless as a tablet case for pencil drawing. The case doesn’t offer much protection, exposing the sides of the tablet and easily detaching in the event of a fall. There are no dedicated function keys like the MacBook Air (and other iPad cases). The lack of volume/play/pause/screen brightness keys is a weakness.

The USB-C side bus is useful because it adds an extra charging port while using the Thunderbolt side port for other dongles. The case disconnects the iPad Pro’s energy. It is made of a soft material that can be scratched, and sometimes it can tear or dent depending on how you use it.

Scott Stein/CNET

Advocators: The super-sized trackpad features enhanced design dedicated function keys with a magnetic backing that easily attaches to iPad Pro. Perfect for laps, it tilts back for wide viewing angles.

Disadvantages: Requires connection via Bluetooth.

Brydge’s latest premium keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, due out in mid-June, is a big leap from previous Brydge keyboards. The redesigned Bluetooth keyboard has more travel in its keys than Logitech’s or Apple’s (more like the 2015 MacBook Pro, which had a way back). There’s also an incredibly larger multi-touch trackpad than the MacBook Air, which works very smoothly with multi-touch gestures in iPadOS. But this iPad keyboard is also more expensive than the existing bridge accessories. However, it costs $100 less than the Magic Keyboard.

A strong magnetic back provides a bit more protection than the older Brydge keyboards, and it’s also much easier to attach/detach the iPad, but it does mean the iPad can’t be bent at a wide open angle like before. . Still, it’s easily the most laptop-friendly iPad Pro keyboard around, and it really gives the whole thing a shockingly MacBook Air-like feel.

Bluetooth connectivity is easier and more immediate than before, but not perfect. Sometimes I noticed that the connection would drop out (as it does with Bluetooth), and sometimes, rarely, the touchpad gestures felt a little wonky.

You will receive Brydge 12.9 Max Plus price alerts

Scott Stein/CNET

Advocators: The iPad case can be detached from the keyboard and used alone with the stand. It has an extra row of function-based keys that the Magic Keyboard lacks. This iPad keyboard is more affordable than the new Apple or Brydge cases. The case offers solid protection.

Disadvantages: It needs a lot of desk space for the back stand and keyboard stand. Requires a stable flat surface to use (not good for rolling). The keyboard must be connected to the case to be used (the power of the smart connector will be cut off).

The latest Logitech iPad Pro keyboard is a professional-sized version of the company’s keyboard Mixed touch The case is available on smaller iPads. It works just as well: the detachable keyboard and trackpad are generous enough, although the trackpad is much smaller than the giant Brydge keyboard. The extra row of function keys for volume, screen brightness, play/pause and other useful shortcuts is really useful, just like the Brydge keyboard. Apple’s Magic Keyboard lacks them.

I found the Logitech keyboard to be really nice, but the design also means you have to sit at a desk. Like the keyboard on Microsoft’s Surface tablets, the bottom-connect design won’t really work in a round. A standalone case offers the best protection of any of the three: the rubber sheath should help protect against impacts. The adjustable rear mount is also useful as a viewfinder for family zooms. The case’s more versatile design means you can slide back (or remove) the keyboard for non-typing needs, like sketching with a pencil or reading, without having to take it out of the case.

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