Smart keyboard review
Recently I picked up the Apple Smart Keyboard for my iPad pro, not out of necessity, but for convenience. You see, I had been using the Microsoft wireless keyboard, a great keyboard but with 2 disadvantages; it was an extra device I needed to carry and used a unreliable bluetooth connection. I needed something lighter and more convenient for traveling which lead me to Apples smart keyboard.
The smart keyboard is Apples attempt to integrate a keyboard into a smart cover. This allows the keyboard to always be with the iPad while still providing protection. Since I have been using my iPad as my main device for school and work, having a keyboard always with me became a must.
This smart keyboard takes up little room. It is as thinner than cardboard and like a sheet of paper compared to the Microsoft bluetooth keyboard I was previously using. The keyboard folds out of the cover case to transform the iPad into what then looks like a laptop. When not in use the keyboard folds away as to not be an inconvenience.
The smart keyboard does not offer a trackpad nor does iOS support one, but I soon realized this keyboard didn't really need one. The keyboard buts up close to the iPad so ones hands can easily transition from keyboard to screen. I found this the most useful in pages because even though the keyboard is not shown you can still use two finger to move the cursor around the document like a mouse. I simply need to lift two finger up to the lower right corner of the iPad and then I can command the cursor to any area of the iPad.
The cover does not offer the ability to angle the iPad, but that isn't as big of an issue as it seems. The iPad seems to be in a perfect perfect angle when the keyboard is out. The angle is suitable for any form of typing thanks to the iPads wide viewing angles.
When in keyboard mode the iPad feels sold, not like some sort of flimsy smart cover add on. I was surprised where i could rest the iPad. I wrote this article on a desk, couch, and in bed.
Perfect angle and a keyboard that sits close to the iPad must mean that you lose smart cover functionality or something, right? Nope. Everything that the smart cover can do so can the smart keyboard. You have all the different angles the smart cover can support plus the microfiber back.
Where the smart keyboard fell behind my previous keyboard is in typing experience. The keys do not travel far on the smart keyboard nor do they feel that great. They are more “mushy” than other keyboards. I have gotten used to the typing experience and can type just as fast on this keyboard as any other, but ill have to admit that took me a while.
Where this excelled over the Microsoft bluetooth keyboard is reliability and portability. The keyboard uses Apples smart connecter port to connect and power the keyboard. No more charging or missed key presses because of unreliable bluetooth connection. Most importantly no more waiting to pair. Just unfold and start typing.
Since the keyboard is always with me I always have the ability to write long documents like this one. The best part is that if I dont want to use the keyboard then I dont need to worry since this is the same old smart cover that I always known and loved.
The keyboard is more then a keyboard to an iPad as it not only adds screen real estate in apps but provides extra functionality. The removal of the virtual keyboard in landscape mode provides double the amount of screen real estate in apps. The keyboard also allows me to use command short cuts, which is not as good as having function keys but thats a trade off Apple had to make a keyboard this small. Oddly enough the keyboard does have arrow keys which help navigate through word documents or scrolling through webpages.
Make no mistake from the letter A to “ this is a full size keyboard. Its just that Apple had to shrink the other keys around the letters and number keys to allow it to fit on this 10.5 inch iPad pro. The keyboard is still comfortable to type on and does not feel small.
Buyer beware, the keyboard is expensive. Compared to any other keyboard this is way more expensive. To justify it I will have to say that this is not only a keyboard, but a smart cover of Apples quality. With the additional functionality and the smart keyboard being a descent keyboard (after you get used to it) I would still recommend the keyboard even with its steep price point. Really, there is not anything else out there when it comes to small and light keyboard cases for the iPad pro.
This may not be the best keyboard you can buy, but it adds usful functionality to the iPad pro without adding much volume or weight. If you have the cash then this is a great iPad pro companion for travel or otherwise.
Not a satisfying typing experience
No function keys
No caps lock light
Thin and light with great design
Adds extra functionality to iPad
Still maintains that great smart cover functionality
More reliable connection than bluetooth