PSA: New 12.9-inch iPad Pro isn’t compatible with the older Magic Keyboard

Apple unveiled on Tuesday in its Spring Loaded event the fifth-generation iPad Pro alongside a new white Magic Keyboard. While the accessory for the 11-inch model is already available, Apple postponed the sale for the 12.9-inch model.

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According to the French site iGeneration, the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro needs a new Magic Keyboard, so anyone who has bought an older version hoping to use it with the new model will have to buy a new accessory.

While the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro is broadly similar to the 2018 and 2020 models, the new tablet stands out on one point: it’s thicker, at precisely 0.5mm. It might not sound like much, but it’s enough for Apple to adjust its Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro’s dedicated trackpad keyboard. And according to the documentation provided to the Apple Stores that we have been able to consult, the old Magic Keyboard is not compatible with the large iPad Pros of 2021.

On the other hand, as Apple’s website points, this new Magic Keyboard is compatible with the third- and fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

This new model is 0.5mm thicker because it has a new Liquid Retina XDR display that uses mini-LED technology. This panel uses 10,000 mini-LEDs, which provides much greater control of localized backlighting, allowing higher brightness and deeper blacks. The combination boosts the contrast ratio, as well as using less power.

As pointed by iGeneration:

The problem is, once closed, the Magic Keyboard grips the tablet pretty tight. Apple has not left a millimeter of leeway, because the accessory must hold the iPad in place and prevent it from falling to the bottom of a bag or worse, on the asphalt if you move the set without other protection. But with that extra half a millimeter on the 2021 generation, maybe this very precise fit is a problem and the device had to be redesigned.

The same doesn’t apply to the 11-inch model, as it has the same size and weight as the previous model. The new Magic Keyboard starts at $299 for the 11-inch model and $349 for the 12.9-inch version.

The fifth-generation iPad Pro introduced the M1 chip on Apple’s tablet, with up to 50% faster performance, a new Thunderbolt port, and 5G support. Pre-orders start next week and the iPad will be available in the second half of May.

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Avatar for José Adorno José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at Rede Globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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