iPad Pro Magic Keyboard: In-Depth Review

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This is the Apple Magic Keyboard for the 11in iPad Pro. An item that supposedly turns your iPad into, basically a laptop. I’ve had this in my hands since launch, but, is it worth $300 of your hard earned quarantine check? Let’s find out with a little review.

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11in Magic Keyboard:
13in Magic Keyboard:

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First let me start off with a quick disclaimer. This magic keyboard review is for both the 11in one and the 13in one. Except for when I talk about size. These Magic Keyboards only work with the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pros.

The apple magic keyboard has this soft textured fabric area that attaches to your iPad and locks it into place. The case adds thickness to iPad Pro and when you open it up, you can change the angle from 0-75 degrees. Then you can pivot it back towards you. The backlit keyboard feel like Apple’s old scissor mechanism, meaning you get nicer travel on them. They feel good to type on. Similar to the keys on MacBook scissor keyboards. And the keyboard is actually quite rigid, with no flex when you put pressure on bending it. Now the trackpad is small. The magic keyboard has a physical touchpad and unlike most other trackpads, this one can be pressed all over, from every corner. This is possible due to the two-spring design underneath it. The magic keyboard also provides you with a usb-type c port on the left side that can only be used for charging. But charging is slower than plugging it into iPad Pro itself.

You’ll notice that the 11in magic keyboard isn't a full keyboard. It’s smaller, width, and height wise and lacks a function row of keys and some keys across the edge of the keyboard are shrunken further. The smaller keyboard becomes noticeable when you compare it to other apple laptops and keyboards such as their old 11in MacBook Air, wireless keyboard, and 13in MacBook Pro. But you do get used to it pretty quickly. If you want a full size keyboard you should go for the 13in iPad Pro and magic keyboard. When using the number row on the magic keyboard with the iPad Pro fully tilted back, I sometimes hit the bottom of the iPad when I try to move to other keys. The trackpad however, feels just as nice as the ones you’ll find on their MacBooks, your fingers easily glide across the smooth surface and all of the many MacBook gestures can also be done on the magic keyboard.

So, now onto usage. Beyond what I touched on while discussing their look and feel, the magic keyboard is a pleasure to use. I sometimes press the wrong key or the very edge of the key I was aiming for at first, but I’ve adapted fine to the smaller keys. But those edge keys. Those are harder to hit.

Using the iPad Pro on your lap, is now better since you can tilt the display towards you. There are other great “positions” you can try with the iPad Pro. There are also positions that aren’t fun with the magic keyboard now. Like, using it as a tablet and getting it super close to your face. With the magic keyboard on. It’s difficult to find a proper way to hand hold, and use it as a tablet and get it close to your face without removing it from the magic keyboard case. Now your iPad Pro is nude. Living on the dangerous side all exposed with no protection. Which, if you’re like me, you’ll get overly paranoid that you’ll drop it. With the case fully open, most of the weight is distributed towards the back, and any position you take with most of the weight in the back, will cause the entire thing to fall backwards. Not fun. Lastly, since you can charge the iPad Pro through the magic keyboard, you are now free to do other things with the port like plug the iPad into an external monitor. This secondary charge port will open the doors for you to be more productive and efficient with the iPad Pro. And if you own an Apple Pencil, you’ll be happy to know, it doesn’t push the iPad back when using it. Even towards the bottom of it.

Is the Magic Keyboard worth it? Is it worth paying the price? How often do you do type on your iPad Pro? If the iPad Pro is just an entertainment device, or you already own a laptop, I don’t think this case is necessary. If your iPad Pro is your sole machine to get things done, you don’t care for laptops, and need to type, then this case might be for you. It’s not perfect. Without the Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro is an amazing tablet. With the magic keyboard, the iPad Pro is an ok laptop some of the time. For people who need that? Then it might be worth it to pay $300. But for the average person. I don’t think so.
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