iPad pro magic keyboard AppleCare

My 2018 iPad Pro was hardly in need of a revival last week, but that’s exactly what Apple delivered for it.

I have the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage and built-in cellular for internet access almost anywhere. The full-screen design and build quality are unbeatable even now. Speed-wise, its performance still outpaces my needs for a tablet.

But sometimes a new accessory comes along that dramatically improves the product for which it’s made. For me, that’s the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro.

Apple unveiled the new Magic Keyboard accessory last week alongside the 2020 iPad Pro models. The new iPad Pro looks incredible. It will be a great upgrade from older iPads and an awesome first tablet for new buyers and switchers, but it’s not an economically sound upgrade for me.

The Magic Keyboard, on the other hand, is a more affordable way to greatly improve my iPad Pro experience. It’s certainly pricey at $300 to $350, but it will enhance my much more expensive iPad Pro in ways that matter to me.

I already use the Smart Keyboard Folio with my iPad Pro. The keyboard experience is perfectly fine for my needs, but Apple’s iPad keyboard cases have never been totally perfect.

Magic Keyboard isn’t out yet, but you can see how Smart Keyboard Folio looks with the 2018 iPad Pro

The verdict is out on the new Magic Keyboard since it doesn’t ship until sometime in May, but it checks all the boxes for me on paper:

  • A visual design that infinitely rivals the best MacBooks and iMacs
  • A consistent typing experience with Apple’s Magic Keyboard for desktops and notebooks save for top row keys like ESC
  • Adjustable viewing angles — MacBooks have always had a one-up on iPads for this reason alone until now
  • A super ergonomic design that’s more like docking a tablet than dressing it up

Seriously, I can’t get over how futuristic that side profile looks, and the iPad Pro display is already stunning.

The Magic Keyboard is a tried-and-tested typing experience too; there’s no reason to consider this design a gamble like Apple keyboards of past years. Bonus points for backlighting!

The adjustable viewing angle is also huge. This is fundamental for notebook. I mean, imagine a MacBook with just one or two screen positions!

The new keyboard case is also quite versatile beyond viewing angles. The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is a front-and-back when you close it, and at home it can be a stationary charging dock and stand. Just magnetically attach it in place to charge the iPad.

This actually solves one of the biggest drawbacks of the 2018 iPad Pro design for me.

Most tech reviewers that I trust absolutely do not recommend the Logitech Base charging stand for older iPads because it delivers power at excruciatingly slow speeds through the side-located Smart Connector. Personally, it was one of my favorite iPad accessories before the Smart Connector moved to the backside in 2018.

I always had a dedicated overnight charging station for my iPad without plugging in a cable. As a result, my iPad was almost always charged when I picked it up. Not so much the case for my 2018 iPad Pro.

Magic Keyboard perfectly solves this problem for me. The new solution is even better. I love to use the iPad without a case at home, and the “charging stand” folds up and protects the iPad away from home.

There’s probably even more to love about the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro so stay tuned for our hands-on coverage in May.

Until then, consider this: Magic Keyboard essentially provides more USB-C ports than the discontinued 12-inch MacBook. The notebook had a single port for charging and data transfer just like the iPad Pro. Magic Keyboard has its own USB-C port for powering the iPad Pro through the Smart Connector when charging. This opens up the iPad’s USB-C port for data transfer, display out, and many more use cases.

Oh, it also has a built-in trackpad. Come on! Can you tell I’m excited for the new Magic Keyboard?

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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.