That the iPad is increasingly a computer is a fact that we can corroborate by seeing the latest versions of iPadOS and its features that help productivity in everyday life. Accessories such as the Magic Keyboard or the Magic Keyboard with trackpad for the iPad Pro are also a good example of this, so in this post we will help you decide for one of them.
Design and specifications
There are two keyboards compatible with the iPad Pro 2018 and 2020 , either 11 or 12.9 inches. In the case of the Smart Keyboard, there are also other versions for older iPads or from different ranges, although we will only consider the equivalent for the ‘Pro’ range. In operation they are identical, as they are connected via the iPad’s Smart Connector without the need to configure them and are usable from the moment they are connected.
In design we see a major difference in the keyboard itself, as in the Smart Keyboard we have a short-stroke keyboard with keys in a material that mixes silicone and plastic, also making it more resistant to dust and splashes. It’s the perfect choice for the Magic Keyboard, which has a wider key travel similar to that of iMac and the latest MacBook Pro and Air.
Another very obvious difference is that the Magic Keyboard has a small trackpad for navigating the iPadOS interface, which is an advantage because it can do without other trackpads or external mice. It also has a USB C-type connector on the left side of it to be able to charge the tablet without occupying the only connector it has, being able to take advantage of that to connect external storage devices or any other accessory. Unfortunately, it is not possible to connect anything other than a power cable to the keyboard connector.
Smart Keyboard Comfort
The Smart Keyboard was already controversial from its birth because of the lack of some features already mentioned such as backlighting. Other keyboards in the market already incorporated this feature at a better price, but the truth is that this keyboard won in its entirety among iPad Pro users for a key factor: comfort. This keyboard is very comfortable, being able to put it on and take it off the iPad very easily and also having two positions with more or less inclination depending on the way we want to use it.
This keyboard, despite its light weight , does not tremble when used because it stays fixed and is extremely comfortable to use even on public transport, on your knees, lying on a bed or any other use. It also highlights the fact that you can turn around and use the iPad as a traditional tablet without removing the keyboard. Perhaps in that last sense it is not entirely comfortable for many people because they will be playing the keys from behind, although it must be said that these are disabled at that time and therefore there will be no false touches.
Productivity with the Magic Keyboard
The negative and positive parts of the Smart Keyboard are reversed, as we can enjoy a much more professional keyboard in the sense that the mechanical keys provide a better feeling when typing for hours . The fact that they are backlit will also allow you to work better in low light conditions. But if there’s one thing that takes the biscuit, it’s the trackpad , which is a definite plus for productivity by bringing the pointer to the iPad anywhere without having to take the mouse apart.
In positions there is a very clear point in favour of it and that is that it can recline at different angles and with its structure above the iPad it gives the feeling that it is floating in the air and is very pleasant to handle with your finger in a comfortable position. However, it must be said that the angles do not reach certain points that would make it even more practical, as it loses ergonomics and prevents us from seeing and handling it correctly when the iPad is on our knees or in any other situation away from a flat surface.
Therefore, this keyboard does not allow the iPad to be used in tablet mode , as it will not lean back like the Smart Keyboard does. Anyway, it’s not difficult to take the device out of the stand and start using it comfortably, more so if we take into account that this keyboard is quite heavy. In fact, the sum of all this is close to the weight of a MacBook Air, so in portability is lost a lot despite still being somewhat lighter than most computers.
Price is always a very important factor when buying a device or accessory of these characteristics. Beyond the purchasing power of each person or the value that is taken into account to determine if something is expensive or cheap, the truth is that both have high prices for which we could find ourselves in third brands. The official Apple prices are:
- Smart Keyboard for 11-inch iPad (2018 and 2020): 199 euros
- Smart Keyboard for 12.9-inch iPad (2018 and 2020): ?219
- Magic Keyboard for 11-inch iPad (2018 and 2020): 339 euros
- Magic Keyboard for 11-inch iPad (2018 and 2020): 399 euros.
You must now draw a conclusion based on your use . Our recommendation is that the Smart Keyboard is best suited for those who have a simple use of the iPad or do not need to carry a whole set and can work well with an external mouse or even without it. If you also get used to working with the device from places like a train, bus or in bed and sofa, it will be much more comfortable.
If, on the other hand, you think you can get the most out of your trackpad and its gestures, plus it’s good to wear the whole outfit because you can work on comfortable surfaces at all times, then the Magic Keyboard could be just the thing for you. The price may seem high, but if you think you’ll get the most out of it, you’ll be able to amortize it quickly.