All you need to know about the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

April 21, 2020

From the beginning, and long before its release, the makers of the iPad had rejected the idea of a keyboard and trackpad support for it. They never wanted an iPad to replace a Mac. However, people insisted on having a keyboard for typing, a trackpad for easy navigation, and a stylus for taking notes or drawing. This demand only grew stronger with time and prompted a major rethink in Apple over its disregard for designing iPad keyboard with trackpad. The result, the arrival of a new accessory – the iPad Magic Keyboard!

Magic Keyboard for iPad

New Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

Apple advertises Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro as a necessary keyboard cover accessory. It complements latest generation iPad Pro models. The keyboard has a built-in trackpad that honestly feels like the new MacBook but with a detachable keyboard, adjustable stands, trackpad, and stylus.

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Magic Keyboard Hinge
Magic Keyboard Hinge

On first look, it sports a floating cantilever design which allows you to attach iPad Pro magnetically and adjust it to get the desired viewing angle. The high friction hinge renders the whole thing quite sturdy, even with more moving parts.

Magic Keyboard USB Charging
Magic Keyboard USB Charging

The cover opens new ways to work with iPadOS. For example, A USB‑C port for passthrough charging makes sure the USB-C port on iPad Pro is kept free for accessories, including external drives and displays. On the other hand, its sturdy design guarantees both, front and back protection, making Magic keyboard a preferred companion for iPad Pro.

When it comes to typing, the portable cover promises a very responsive typing ever experienced on iPad. The full-size keyboard with backlit keys enables comfortable typing whether on lap or on a desk. The key caps sitting on the keyboard are more rounded at the corners that give a slightly different feel and sound to it. Backlighting is good. If required, you can adjust the brightness by navigating to ‘Settings > General > Keyboard > Hardware Keyboard.

If you don’t have any compelling reason to change it, you should find the default setting perfect to your taste. Close observation reveals, there’s a faint bit of light leakage around the outside of the keys, but it’s harmless. In fact, it adorns the shape of the keys covering the keyboard.

As on Apple’s Smart Keyboards, the iPad Magic Keyboard lacks ‘Escape’ key. If you still miss it, there’s a workaround to get it, albeit, in some varying form - ⌘-period. This standard Mac shortcut does the job, similar to ‘Escape’ key. Also, you’ll find no F-keys (nor, obviously, a Touch Bar). Maybe, Apple intends to use iPad keyboards for typing purposes only and not for controlling stuff in the system.

Magic Keyboard Trackpad
Magic Keyboard Trackpad

The Magic Keyboard trackpad support in iPadOS is designed to work great with apps customers use for daily work. It complements the touch-first design of iPad for easy cursor control, and precise adjustments. It also makes the navigation feels smooth, accurate with zero lag.

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As users move their finger across the trackpad, the pointer elegantly transforms to highlight user interface elements. Besides this, support for Multi-Touch gestures on the trackpad make it fast and easy to navigate the entire system without users ever having to lift their hand. Although, trackpad appears relatively small, it’s still one of the main attraction features, owing to its capability of reducing the need to reach out and touch the screen.

For added security, when Magic Keyboard is attached and closed, the iPad Pro microphones get disconnected, preventing any audio data from being compromised.

Magic Keyboard Mouse Pointer
Magic Keyboard Mouse Pointer

All these (iPad Magic Keyboard) and other factors possibly make iPads more attractive choice for users who want to replace their laptops with the lightness and convenience of a tablet form factor. Also, support for an external mouse, which has been crucially amiss from the iPadOS can make iPad replace full-fledged laptops.

Final words, the iPad Magic Keyboard is to iPad- as what AirPods were to earbuds - a game changer! Having said that, The Magic Keyboard might not be ideal solution for many iPad users since, it’s pricey compared to some of the third-party options like Logitech. Overlooking this shortfall, the technical elegance of Magic Keyboard cover and the fact it borrows design elements from Apple’s much-improved MacBook keyboards, it can inspire confidence in buyers to make it the best all-around option for staying productive on iPad Pro.

The 12.9-inch model costs $ 350 while the 11-inch is priced around $300. It’s quite unlikely to find another peripheral with this premium quality and a price lower than this!

Image credits - Apple.com

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Hemant Saxena
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