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Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Review

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Quick verdict: Apple's take on a premium keyboard to turn an iPad Pro into a more serious productivity machine is very well built, but its asking price is well above what you should pay.

  • Lifted hinge works well on laps or desks
  • Good key travel
  • Backlit keys are nice
  • Trackpad can change how you use your iPad Pro
  • It's too expensive
  • USB port doesn't carry data
  • Adds a LOT of weight to an iPad Pro
  • It's also too expensive
Apple Magic Keyboard
Finder score: 3.0
How we score our reviews

Apple really, seriously wants you to think of the iPad Pro – and especially 2020's new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro as serious laptop competitors.

If you just want a tablet for watching Netflix and reading web pages, Apple would prefer to sell you an iPad Air or regular iPad for that matter.

The lack of a keyboard is a big problem for many, and Apple's solution to that up until now has been its $299/$329 Smart Keyboard Folio, one of the better keyboard cases for iPads generally, but predictably priced at Apple's premium.

With the new iPad line, Apple also announced an even more expensive keyboard option, the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. It does provide features you won't find on the regular Smart Keyboard Folio, including a trackpad, different key mechanisms and an expanding hinge, but it's absolutely a luxury buy that Apple does rather overprice.

If somebody else is paying, then sure, it's a great device, but it's very hard to justify if the dollars are flowing out of your own wallet.


Design

Design

  • You can have it in black, black or black
  • Very solid
  • Hinge mechanism only really has a few angles
  • Adds a lot of weight
Apple Magic Keyboard

Performance

Performance

  • Typing is very comfortable
  • Trackpad does change how you use the iPad Pro
  • Some screen angles don't work well
Apple Magic Keyboard

Verdict

Verdict

  • A really nice peripheral at a really high price point
Apple Magic Keyboard
Should you buy it?

At $499 for the 11-inch model or $589 for the 12.9-inch model, the Magic Keyboard has a lot to live up for. The 12.9-inch model is actually more expensive than the entry-level iPad, which just sounds crazy on the surface of it.

The price is the single biggest problem that the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro has. There are smaller issues, like the lack of data throughput on the USB-C port or the way Apple's counting 130 "viewable" degrees of the iPad Pro when it's in place, but overall this is a very well-built keyboard case. It does just that little bit more to make the iPad Pro feel like a "real" competitor to a full productivity laptop, which is Apple's promise that it largely fulfils.

Is the Magic Keyboard a luxury buy? Without a shadow of a doubt. If you simply want a keyboard to work with an iPad Pro, there are plenty of much more affordable alternatives, including Apple's own Smart Keyboard case.

But at $499/$589, it's a very hard ask even if you do want to work with an iPad Pro as your primary work tool.


Pricing and availability

Price

RRP $499 for the 11-inch model | RRP $589 for the 12.9-inch model

Where to buy


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