Without a doubt, Apple’s iPad Pro is an incredible piece of hardware that’s gated by its software. It features a 120Hz display, excellent speakers, and support for the unparalleled Apple Pencil stylus. It’s a pleasant tablet suitable for reading, writing, and creating art, and its processor also measures up to the ones in most laptops.
The Magic Keyboard that costs $299 for the 11-inch model transforms the iPad Pro into the enjoyable convertible laptop it’s been trying to become for a while. Fastened into the keyboard like a cockpit, the iPad’s hardware is second to none. Although it still doesn’t possess the entire productivity apps, it requires to replace similarly priced Mac laptops.
Magic Keyboard Design
In case, you’re using the Magic Keyboard with anything older than the 2020 model; then you need to be informed of the camera cutout that is in the shape of a square to suit the dual camera on the recent iPad model, so the extra space may seem a little bizarre if you’re attaching older versions to the case. However, it’s not a dealbreaker.
Externally, the case looks similar to Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio. The silicone exterior is sleek and durable enough to secure both the front and back of the device.
The iPad magnetically attaches to the case, which gives an illusion that it’s “floating”. The top half of the device stays connected while the bottom half is free to be adjusted between 90 to 130 degrees. The case also has a USB-C pass-through charging on the left side which lets you connect to an external display.
Also, there’s the real keyboard which possesses a scissor-switch mechanism under each key with 1mm of key travel. So, the Magic keyboard features one of the most comfortable sets of keys. Unlike Apple’s terrible butterfly keyboard, the Magic Keyboard provides a fulfilling amount of travel that one can never grow tired of even after trying it out on several devices.
Magic Keyboard Trackpad
Without a doubt, the trackpad is excellent. That’s the TL;DR of it. It is somewhat small, and if you’re accustomed to the spacious trackpads on MacBooks, it will likely look undoubtedly tiny.
The Magic Keyboard’s trackpad is much better than the Surface Pro trackpad because it allows you to click anywhere on the trackpad, not only in the middle or at the bottom. It’s also precise, smooth and there’s zero lag on iPadOS.
Usually, the cursor is a little dot, but it rapidly changes to a traditional text cursor at the appropriate time. It also expands to become the size of UI elements, such as buttons or icons. Another great thing is that you can turn off the sound if you don’t like it.
Aside from clicking, scrolling, and highlighting text, the trackpad can also be used for navigating the system. You can use three fingers to swipe up to home and multitasking or left and right to switch between recent apps.
The place where it feels a little off is when you drag the cursor to the edge of the screen. You somewhat drag “beyond” that edge to slide into several things such as the Dock, Notification Center, Control Center, or your Slide Over apps. You will probably grow accustomed to it, but it’s the one time when the things on-screen moves in the direction opposite to your fingers.
However, the Trackpad support on iPadOS and within Apple’s apps is impressive. But trackpad support on a set of third-party apps is certainly not. Any app that doesn’t use Apple’s standard APIs for generating buttons or text views looks off-kilter with the trackpad.
Stuff that you can swipe with your finger can’t be swiped with the trackpad. Moreover, text selection can be a debacle, and the cursor doesn’t usually do its elegant shape-shifting tricks. Specifically, Google’s apps are guilty here, but they’re also far from the only ones.
Most people are quite happy about the keyboard. Aside, that is, from the deficiency of any kind of “function” keys above the number keys. Those keys are all but standard on most third-party iPad keyboards as they’re useful for dimming the backlit keys which can be changed in the Settings app, and it’s usual to see this extra row absent on a device from the same company that offered us the Touch Bar. One would have imagined that if any company would understand the amenity of that extra row, it’d be Apple.
Truthfully, the actual keys go a long way in making up for it. They’re large, backlit, and they feel much like the keys on a MacBook, which is a welcome switch from the unusual, almost flat canvas-covered keys on the iPad Pro.
Without making an overstatement, it gives you the best typing experience you’ve ever experienced on an iPad keyboard from either Apple or any other company.
The major attraction of the Magic Keyboard is the small, two by four-inch clickable trackpad perched beneath the keyboard, which significantly enhances the experience of using an iPad in its “laptop” orientation. If you want to return to the home screen at any time, you have to swipe up with three of your fingers, and that’s all. In order to scroll through all of your apps from the home screen, swipe left or right with two of your fingertips, and there you go.
Magic Keyboard Backlight
The backlight is located underneath the keys. Due to the Smart Connector, the backlight is powered and controlled by the iPad itself.
It implies that you don’t have any batteries to charge, and it also means that there’s no need for you to adjust the under-key lighting manually. Immediately after you connect your iPad Pro to the Magic Keyboard, the backlighting will automatically come on based on the ambient light in your location.
The same way it controls the display brightness, the ambient light sensor built in the iPad Pro will automatically maintain the brightness level of the backlit keys. In certain conditions no backlighting is required, for instance, in bright sunlight, the backlighting will disengage altogether.
However, users have the option of manually adjusting the keyboard backlight using a slider control through Settings → General → Keyboard → Hardware Keyboard.
Magic Keyboard Lap Usage
Keyboard cases that use kickstands usually are a mixed bag for lap usage as you try to arrange the kickstand position with the position of your legs. But, with the Magic Keyboard, you can’t experience such, since the bottom portion of the case is flat with an adequate amount of surface area.
The hinge mechanisms let you adjust viewing angles without stress. The weight of the iPad Pro is suitable and well-balanced in such a way that if your lap creates a flat surface, the Magic Keyboard will certainly stay put. Because of how top-heavy the setup is, though, it’s not as stable as a MacBook. So you’ll have to guarantee that your legs stay flat whenever you’re not supporting the keyboard area with your hands.
Magic Keyboard Magnet
Another awesome thing about the Magic Keyboard is that it implements the use of a series of magnets to comfortably enable you to attach and detach the iPad Pro at any time. Whenever you want to work, hold your iPad Pro up against the back cover, and it snaps and auto-aligns into place. Then, when you’re done, pull your iPad Pro away, and that’s all.
The magnets are the key ingredient that makes the Magic Keyboard a fantastic and compelling product that it is. You can’t feel locked in to using it or not using it, because there’s no fretful process involved for connecting or disconnecting your iPad Pro with it.
Apple’s engineers should be applauded for designing a top-notch magic keyboard. It has a smooth trackpad and a sleek design and provides the best solution to transform your iPad Pro into a laptop. Although the Magic Keyboard is an expensive accessory, it is definitely an excellent choice.