Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro hands-on: It’s about time Review

Matthew N. Henry

Apple’s Magic Keyboard
for the iPad Pro wasn’t supposed to get there until May perhaps, but Apple shocked all people and begun taking preorders in mid-April, with orders predicted to get there starting up this 7 days. 

The Magic Keyboard is the initially iPad keyboard accessory from Apple that can take advantage of iPadOS thirteen.4’s new trackpad support. It has a new hinge, finish with a USB-C port for move-via charging (leaving the iPad’s USB-C port open up for connecting add-ons), Apple’s new scissor keys, and a backlit keyboard. 

At $350 for the 12.nine-inch product or $299 for the 11-inch product, it really is not low-priced. But it really is particularly what I claimed Apple required to borrow from Microsoft’s Surface area Pro X to make the iPad Pro more persuasive, especially as end users search to Apple’s pill as a potential laptop replacement.

Below are some of my initially impressions just after applying the new Magic Keyboard for a couple several hours. 

Very little to stress about with the hinge

A single of the initially questions I received just after submitting a picture of the Magic Keyboard’s box asked about the sturdiness of the hinge. My response: It can take a good amount of hard work to move the iPad the moment the hinge is opened all the way. The hinge locks into spot when it really is completely open up, and changes to the viewing angle are accomplished by tilting the display screen — all with out shifting the hinge alone. 

Tapping on the display screen does not induce the iPad to move or adjust the viewing angle, until you get carried away, of program. 

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Just after applying the Good Keyboard situation of cover for the past couple decades, I am employed to the bottom of the iPad’s display screen resting just above the keyboard. With the Magic Keyboard, the iPad’s display screen is lifted an inch or two, above the keyboard, and in transform, the desk. This visual appeal — that the iPad Pro is floating — brings the display screen just a contact nearer to the consumer and has an pretty much iMac-like sensation to viewing the display screen and interacting with the trackpad and keyboard. 


The Magic Keyboard’s hinge has a USB-C port for charging the iPad Pro. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The keys truly feel great to type on

As a substitute of flat keys that will not definitely move or present feedback (like the Good Keyboard Protect employs), the Magic Keyboard has keys very similar to what you’d come across on a MacBook. The new scissor mechanism gives 1mm of journey, with a considerably very audible click on for each individual press.

I did not mind typing on the Good Keyboard Protect, but just after typing for a bit on the Magic Keyboard, there is certainly a massive big difference in the over-all truly feel of the working experience. 

I am applying the Magic Keyboard for the 12.nine-inch product. It has a good deal of house involving keys and does not truly feel cramped at all. 

The trackpad just feels right

It is remarkable how a thing seemingly so tiny, like putting a trackpad underneath the keyboard, as a substitute of applying a Bluetooth trackpad upcoming to the pill, can adjust the full working experience. The muscle memory of heading from keyboard to trackpad and again is a thing we can all relate to when it comes to applying a laptop, and it transitions very nicely more than to the iPad Pro working experience. 

The initially couple minutes of applying the Magic Keyboard I uncovered myself achieving up and tapping on the display screen, but the moment I commenced applying the trackpad, I will not imagine I’ve touched the display screen considering the fact that. The mouse cursor hides just after a couple seconds of not remaining employed but reappears the second the trackpad detects your finger. 

It is amazingly properly accomplished, intuitive, and exhibits the potential for the over-all working experience of turning the iPad Pro into a laptop. 


The Magic Keyboard’s keys are backlit and have a nice click on to them. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Where are the functionality keys?

A single factor I am sorely lacking right now is a row of functionality keys to speedily modify the iPad’s volume, skip tracks, or even choose a screenshot. 

With no the extra row of keys, my arms have to go away the keyboard and possibly press the physical buttons on the iPad or use the trackpad to accessibility Regulate Center. It is considerably more quickly and a lot easier to get to up and faucet the volume important a couple occasions and continue on working than having to crack my line of thought just to do a regimen activity. 

What about battery lifetime?

Just after around a few several hours of use, my iPad Pro has absent from a whole demand to 66%. That’s in line with Apple’s estimate of 10 several hours overall battery lifetime for the iPad Pro, with the more workload of powering the trackpad, keyboard, and the keyboard’s backlight. The Magic Keyboard does not have a battery of its individual — it employs the Good Connector on the again of the iPad Pro for connectivity and electricity. 

You can modify the backlight’s brightness, but it really is buried in the Settings app. I strategy on testing by making it possible for car-brightness to modify the keyboard’s lighting, and then, if it will permit me, completely transform off the backlight for a day. It’ll be fascinating to see what variety of effects, if any, it has on the iPad’s battery lifetime. 

I am going to have a whole overview of the Magic Keyboard in the coming months just after I’ve had time to completely test it to get a far better being familiar with of what it brings to the iPad Pro.

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