Magic Keyboard Case for iPad Pro Review

by birtanpublished on April 2, 2021

Been using the magic keyboard case with my iPad pro for a little over a week now and I've got some thoughts I really enjoy it I'm so glad I bought it I love using my iPad with it and I want to tell you all the things I don't like let's begin so the Apple sheep showed his true colors on those day one impressions I know there were a lot of people that disagreed but kind of brought me back to the good old days you know there was a time when I just loved Apple products defended them and everyone on the internet hated them things have changed a lot since then now it feels like I diss on them a lot in people defended

But now we're going back to the roots of Talos of tech which I'm happy about so because my day one impressions video was so positive I thought it would make sense to lean a little bit more into the negative lean more into things I don't like about the magic keyboard case in today's video which I'll start out with the material I don't know if it shows up on camera but the texture and material of this case well it may feel nice on day one it does not age very well it shows oils it shows little fingerprints and it collects little dust particles that collect over time especially with

The keys and it's not like affecting the performance it's just an aesthetic thing that I don't know I feel like there's better materials you could have made this case out of that maybe don't show as much wear or stain as easily all this stuff I'm sure I could wipe down and clean off and there's probably cleaning products you guys will recommend I like to wipe mine down with these little Clorox wipe and it makes it all fresh yeah it's just I don't know if there's a better way but all I'm saying is it's kind of annoying it doesn't you know age super well but again doesn't affect

Performance another thing that bothers me that I forgot to bring up in my 2-1 impressions video is the lack of function keys I know why they don't have it because the way the iPad pro is floating above you would be kind of having to tuck underneath the iPad to reach things like volume or display brightness but that's something that I've just come to expect with MacBooks or on my magic keyboard that I use with my iMac and not having on the iPad feels weird it's bizarre that to change the volume you either have to take the cursor up to control center and click in

Drag to change the display brightness or volume or B jump in and touch the volume rockers or power button which are way high up on the device there's also no button to lock the display so I guess when you're done you're just supposed to close it I don't know if there's a way they could have figured it out like I suggested they should probably build in some type of keyboard shortcuts that let you very quickly change the volume or display brightness maybe make it a setting if you want but yeah that's definitely something I feel is noticeably lacking when buying a

Keyboard case like this the other issue I have with it is the viewing angles you know on day one I was okay with it because I was just kind of using it at my desk and occasionally on my lap and I was like yeah you know what this thing pivots back just about enough for me to look at it normally but as time went on and I used this keyboard case more and more and more I found myself always pushing it to the very very limit of what it's capable of angling towards and it's just a tad too limiting if you were looking for reasons to not get the magic keyboard case besides the insanely high

Price tag that's a good one because the viewing angles on pretty much any laptop are gonna be better than the iPad pro and magic keyboard cover and for something that's trying to emulate a laptop experience that definitely feels like a downgrade if you're used to putting your laptop in your lap with your legs kind of scoot it up a little bit on a couch or somewhere I don't know where you guys are but it just feels like the viewing angles are slightly too limited and maybe it's because of this whole balancing act between the keyboard case and the iPad you know to get to a

Point where the iPad doesn't just tip the whole thing over they have to orient it in such a way but if Apple's watching this and they want to know what things they can improve on in the future I'm not saying it has to flip around all the way backwards I'm kind of okay with it being a separation of if you want tablet mode you take it out of the case and if you want it in laptop mode you keep it in the case I'm okay with that differentiation because this is so heavy I don't think it would be fun to have a mode that would flip it into you know a drawing mode where you just interact

With the touchscreen because this thing is heavy so having that much weight you carry around with you and drawing on it or having the keys on the back that you press when you're holding it an iPad mode I don't think that would be better I saw a lot of people wishing that it could fold into a complete iPad experience but maybe it's just me but even when I had my regular smart folio cover for my iPad pro if I knew that I was going to be using it on the couch and I was just gonna be holding the iPad normally I would take the cover off because I just like feeling the iPad

With nothing on it and it's very thin and it's very light without any accessories attached so I don't mind taking off cases or covers for my workflow maybe some of you guys think that's weird and you just want to be able to put pace on your iPad and never take it off if you're that kind of person there's probably cheaper keyboards or accessories out there that will do similar things to this but as someone who loves taking cases off of my devices and occasionally using them you know naked but also wanting to be able to

Dock them into an accessory that adds a bunch of functionality when I'm ready to do more Pro work stuff especially at my desk or when I want to type very regularly which is usually when I'm responding to email browsing Twitter or checking discord that's when having the keyboard and trackpad experience is helpful but also there's a lot of times where I'm making video thumbnails with my iPad in the Apple pencil and during those times it's a lot easier to just be able to yank the iPad off the case and they make that so dang easy with the smart connector that I am very happy I

Got this accessory no I'm not returning it by the way I'm using this for as long as I have an iPad pro that is capable with it I really hope that in future iterations of the magic keyboard or future iterations of the iPad pro they don't change this back design because it would suck if every time you wanted to get a new iPad you also had to get a new magic keyboard case that was gonna cost you another four hundred bucks so I'm really hoping that similar to the Apple watch bands which have stayed the same over the years they can kind of keep this smart connector in magnet design

For the magic keyboard and iPad combo keep those the same and we also should applaud Apple for making sure that this keyboard case works with the 20-18 iPad pro because I feel like it would have been totally easy and simple for them to just tinker the smart connector in a little way I don't know how just maybe move it to a different part of the iPad or say that well to support the pass-through charging on the USBC ports we had to redesign the smart connector and now it's not compatible with the 20:18 iPad pro and they could have forced everyone to buy a 20/20 model if

They wanted to use the keyboard case but they didn't even though the camera cut out is a little bit weird on the back I'm very happy that I don't have to spend another $1000 on an iPad just to use this accessory but yeah outside of those negatives I have not used the standard USB C port on my iPad because using this pass-through charge port is way more convenient I just plugged that in and oftentimes I just leave it on my desk and when I need the iPad to charge it's kind of like it has its own dedicated wireless charger I can just drop it and boom it starts charging and

When I'm ready to go or take it to the couch and just use it an iPad mode I can pull it off really but this is also a new experience for me because I don't know if you guys knew this but I did not buy that standard smart keyboard folio case because I thought 200 bucks for just a keyboard was way too much by the reason I'm okay with spending hundreds of dollars on an accessory like this is for one it gives you this really solid trackpad which is very consistent with clicking across every part of it unlike a lot of Windows laptops I've used where it's kind of the

Diving board mechanism and a click changes depending on where you want to touch it it's the best trackpad I've ever used that's not a force touch trackpad which is what we have on MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs that we've had for so long but having that trackpad allows for more precise uses and allows it to really convert into a laptop and the way they've redesigned the cursor for iPad OS has been really fluid I thought the smaller trackpad size was gonna be a problem but because it moved so quickly throughout the screen I'm able to do multitasking and still you

Know go to control center and change things really quickly even though that trackpad does appear to be kind of tiny I've mentioned this before but it honestly feels like I got a brand new laptop when I bought this accessory because now I have this completely new interaction with a device where I don't have to touch the display if I don't want to and I still have great speakers I have an amazing front-facing camera so when we record the Telos of tech podcast I'm facetiming Nick and Randy and now we actually have decent cameras instead of those crappy macbook cameras and also we

Still have good cameras on the back which MacBooks haven't had ever so having way more viewing angles now with this keyboard case compared to my folio cover which was a hundred bucks with my old iPad pro but it had very very limited viewing angles it was basically just one and that was it you had one propped up angle and if you didn't want that one you basically had to hold the iPad or prop it up against something so definitely kind of crazy for a product that cost this much so this feels like the experience has been completed through and through it is a two in one

Device but it's a solid two-in-one end to end you've got a great and thought-out tablet experience and you've got a great and thought-out laptop experience now as well though I agree hopefully at World Wide Developers Conference we get some more keyboard and trackpad optimization for pro apps and things like Final Cut logic and Xcode that would make the keyboard and mouse even more helpful but the hardware is now there and the third parties are slowly going to start adopt to it and make the iPad more of a laptop type experience but I know a lot of you

Guys are bringing up that for this amount of money you should just buy a macbook air because then you have a fully-fledged laptop well the only reason I would recommend someone go with a macbook air or a low-end macbook pro over this is if there's absolutely something you need that software base that the ipad cannot do in my opinion the ipad wins in almost every hardware compartment it's only the software limitations that make the macbook still worthy because let's compare the two I mean I've had Pro you've got 120 Hertz display you've got equal bezels all the

Way around compared to the MacBook it's still kind of same old dated design whereas when you're using this thing is a laptop it looks super futuristic you've also got way better front-facing camera you got a better biometric with face ID which by the way when using this thing I realized how far away face ID can actually work on an iPad pro it can still be like two and a half feet away from my face and it will unlock just fine that's way easier in my opinion than having to rest your finger on a touch ID sensor or hope that Mac OS Catalina registers that you're wearing

An Apple watch which has been spotty for me lately so face ID it's better than touch ID and it's also better than the Apple watch unlock mechanism because it also works in so many different things like my banking apps or when I'm logging into different accounts and I need to access iCloud keychain passwords I'm already looking at the device so I don't have to rest my finger on a certain part of the keyboard it just looks at me and unlocks very very quickly so I've never had a laptop work that well and also I've never owned a laptop that I can take it into tablet mode really quickly

And also have you know a completely operational and thought through OS that isn't super compromising and expecting me to have a keyboard connected to it at all times so cellular option is also a thing on the iPad pro that the Mac books don't have so if you want to have LTE on a laptop iPad can do that too MacBook Air has two USB seaports but they're on one side this has two USB seaports they're on opposite ends so you can charge it from either side of the iPad you want only limitation being this one doesn't support data but only reason it helps to have USB sees on both sides is

That you can charge it from either end I think if you're plugging in external drives or third-party accessories and stuff you don't really mind putting it on one side over the other but a 12x chip is also insanely fast compared to the base CPUs they put in the you know $1400 in under MacBook Airs so OS fluidity CPU speed GPU speed you know gaming performance can you play fortnight at 120 FPS on your MacBook Air I don't think so because it doesn't even support 120 Hertz display you've got better cameras here you've got great speakers you've got the LTE option and

Now with the keyboard and trackpad support there's less and less of a reason to go with a macbook but I completely admit it's still there this thing's definitely a little bit heavier than a MacBook but I think people complaining about the weight of the iPad with the keyboard case it's getting a little hypocritical you know Apple made this super thin super light iPad pro and then people got mad because it was really easy to bend the thing so now you can buy you know a beefy keyboard case that puts it in this very protective design that now means okay it's way

Harder to bend this thing because there's way more metal and now everyone goes oh this is too thick and it's too heavy it's like you just pick one you know if you want it to be thin and light I guess don't try to bend it but if you want it to be durable and thicker and don't complain about the weight so I don't think the weight is that bad honestly and this is like the heaviest configuration there is maybe y'all need to lift more you know this is how I bench in the morning but in my opinion it absolutely reinvents your iPad pro if you've been using one for a long time

And you don't want to get a new iPad this one will make you feel like you have a new device and you're spending about as much as a new iPad but not a good one and I completely admit at the same time this is not for everyone there's a lot of people that should not buy this keyboard case that don't have that much disposable income or don't really need a keyboard and trackpad experience to be this flexible if you're looking for a case that you want to leave your iPad in at all times and never take it out of I'm sure you guys know of all the

Third-party options that are cheaper and it won't have smart connector support and they won't be floating designs in the keys probably won't feel as good because the keyboard on this thing feels almost identical to the magic keyboard I use with my iMac so I really enjoy having that transition going from Mac to iPad and not really noticing a difference really heavy-duty really well-built and just complete overkill so take that as you will I would say if you have a 20-18 iPad pro and you're looking to freshen it up a bit absolutely try out the magic keyboard case if you're

Tight for cash you shouldn't be watching these videos anyway it's dangerous but if you have thoughts on the magic keyboard case feel free to join my discord or hit me up on Twitter I'm known for causing way less drama than Elon Musk this is your app sleep here I'll see you in the next one

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