Best Keyboards For Your New iPad
Apple has for a long time pushed us to see the iPad as a device for getting stuff done, boasting that it has greater processing power than most personal computers. They’ve even gone as far as to say that it can replace your desktop or laptop computer.
In 2018, Apple sparked controversy with a video advertisement in which a child with an iPad Pro is asked by a neighbor, “what are you doing on your computer?”
“What’s a computer?” the child responds.
This understandably made a lot of people frustrated. After all, computers are hardly a foreign concept to young children — they’re everywhere! Plus, at the time this advertisement aired, the iPad simply wasn’t a viable laptop replacement for most people.
Now, however, it very well could be, especially if you have the new iPad Pro or iPad Air with the right keyboard. Even with a base level iPad or the iPad mini, the right accessories can totally transform the way you use your iPad. Keep reading to discover some of our favorite finds.
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Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard
Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9″ (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation), iPad Pro 11″ (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation), iPad Air (4th generation)
$350 is a ludicrous amount to spend on a keyboard. For perspective, the entry-level 8th generation iPad retails at $329.99. And yet, the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro and now iPad Air has been flying off the shelves. Why? Put simply, it’s worth it.
With iPadOS 13.4, Apple introduced mouse and trackpad support with a brand new cursor. This coincided perfectly with the launch of the trackpad-enabled Magic Keyboard. When you connect iPad to a magic keyboard, it basically becomes a laptop. The only limitation is the software, as pro apps like Logic Pro or Final Cut Pro have not migrated to iPadOS yet. However, apps like Photoshop are getting more full-featured with every update.
The Magic Keyboard is designed in such a way that your iPad floats above the keys. This is achieved using very strong magnets, and gives you many benefits apart from the aesthetic. For one thing, you can seamlessly detach your iPad from your Magic Keyboard by merely pulling it off the stand. To start using the keyboard again, just align your iPad with the stand and it will magnetically snap into place.
With your iPad hovering just above your first row of keys, it remains at its core a touch-based device. As you’re typing, autocomplete suggestions are in comfortable reach of your fingers, creating a desktop-like workflow where autocomplete actually saves you time. This is in contrast to the autocomplete suggestions displayed on the touch bars of Apple’s MacBook Pros, which are out of natural reach for most people. By situating the display closer to where your hands are while you’re typing, using the touchscreen is much less cumbersome than it is on Windows-based laptop/tablet hybrids.
Built into the hinge located at the base of the keyboard is an extra USB-C port, which can be used to charge your iPad or connect accessories. The Magic Keyboard connects to your iPad via the Smart Connector on the back of the tablet: no bluetooth, no lag, no connection problems.
The Smart Connector also allows Magic Keyboard to draw power from iPad to power its backlit keys, another feature that makes this accessory a must-have.
If you’re looking for a true laptop replacement, the 12.9″ iPad Pro paired with the Magic Keyboard is the best way to go.
Shop Magic Keyboard By Device
Before you buy a Magic Keyboard, make sure it’s compatible with your iPad.
Best Keyboard For Entry-Level iPad: Logitech Combo Touch
Compatible with: iPad (7th and 8th generation)
Logitech Combo Touch for iPad (7th and 8th generation) is a premium accessory at an affordable price. AND, just like with the Magic Keyboard, you get a trackpad! Other features the Logitech Combo Touch shares with the Magic Keyboard are backlit keys, Smart Connector support, and multiple viewing angles.
The key difference is that the Logitech Combo Touch is not designed such that your iPad floats above the keys. With the ability to detach the keyboard from the case when typing isn’t needed, this case in some ways recreates the experience you’d get with a Microsoft Surface.
As a bonus, you even get a pouch to store your Apple Pencil.
Best Keyboard For iPad Mini: Eoso iPad Cover
Compatible with: iPad Mini
As of writing, this is the only iPad Mini trackpad keyboard available on Amazon.
If you have an iPad Mini 4 or iPad Mini 5, there’s finally an option for a keyboard case with a trackpad built in. The QWERTY keyboard is well made with satisfying key travel.
With infinite viewing angles and a handy slot for a first generation Apple Pencil, this is the keyboard to get if you happen to want one for your iPad Mini. The only issue that might make you think again is that the iPad Mini does not feature a Smart Connector. This means that the keyboard will need to connect via Bluetooth.