12.9 apple Smart Keyboard first impressions

Treebark

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2010
296
157
This is the first Smart Keyboard cover/folio I’ve had for an iPad even though I’ve been using iPads since they came out. The other’s didn’t seem lap proof (usable while resting on your lap vs on a table or other hard surface). In case anyone is interested my thoughts after 20 minutes of use:

  • Weight is more of a concern than thickness for me. I was worried about the latter, not the former. But I don’t mind the added thickness at all.
  • The keyboard is much noisier than I’d anticipated. I touch type about 80 words a minute, but also learned on a typewriter, so maybe I hit the keys too hard. This is while sitting in a recliner with my ankle on my knew, so there is a hollow space. Maybe the keyboard is echoing?
  • The magnets are a lot stronger than I’d anticipated. Swapping the angle the screen is at is going to take a bit of practice, it feels like I am going to break the thing having to decouple it from the magnets! Not a bad thing, just something to overcome with practice.
  • I love how the magnets also adhere the keyboard flat to the back of the iPad. I assume the smart folio is the same, I haven’t tried that yet on my wife’s iPad. But it is very welcome not having to worry about the keyboard flapping around back there.
  • Having said that, the times I’ve had to go into portrait mode for a portrait mode app I haven’t bothered to decouple the screen from the grove. I hold the iPad in portrait mode with the keyboard sticking back at me, almost like a screen guard. This has worked surprisingly well, not feeling off balance or weird. I’m sure it probably looks strange, but who cares. If I were going to stay in a portrait app for a long time I’d take the time to flip the keyboard back or remove the case, but for quick use it is fine this way.
  • I need to see if there is a way to go to the home screen from the keyboard. Saving a swipe up isn’t huge, but would be very convenient.
  • Speaking of convenient, unlocking the iPad by tapping the spacebar is very, very nice.
  • I’m glad the F/J keys have big bumps to help position your fingers correctly every time.
  • The gritty texture of the keys is a bit odd, but after awhile I’ve grown to like them. Hopefully over the year(s) this doesn’t wear down to smoothie keys.
  • I posted in another thread, but the keyboard weighs 403 grams according to one of my scales.

Just thought I’d offer my thoughts in case anyone was reading the forums looking for impressions, trying to decide on whether or not to get the keyboard. And no, I would probably not have typed out this long message had I not had the keyboard. :)
 

JD2015

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2014
555
255
Have used the 12.9 inch 2nd gen all day and really like it. Was using a 9.7 inch ASK recently and this was very cramped to type on, compared to the 12.9 inch ASK.

  • Is good to type on but yes can be noisy.
  • It is slim but does add surprisingly a significant amount of weight with the IPP.
  • Looks great with the space grey IPP. Is a very clean look.
  • The two angles are nice
  • It is much more stable on the lap and is enjoyable to use.
  • Quick tip...when the screen is locked just double click on spacebar and it will use FACE ID to unlock your IPP. You therefore, do not need to swipe the screen upwards. A really nice feature.
All in all love it,though wish it had backlit keys.
 

SidBoggle

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2007
145
49
Bucks, UK
Thanks for your observations. I have used the ASK for both previous ipad pros so may get one if these to see if I like the changes. By the way, you can return to the home screen using CMD-H

If you hold down the CMD key in any app it will show you all available shortcuts.
 

macdaddy1991

macrumors regular
May 13, 2010
229
142
I think I might return mine for the folio instead. Although the its much nicer to type on I’m not sure it’s worth the extra 140$. I’ve been using it folded underneath most of today as well
 
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mizzourah

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2013
235
190
St. Louis, MO
The tip about the double
Have used the 12.9 inch 2nd gen all day and really like it. Was using a 9.7 inch ASK recently and this was very cramped to type on, compared to the 12.9 inch ASK.

  • Is good to type on but yes can be noisy.
  • It is slim but does add surprisingly a significant amount of weight with the IPP.
  • Looks great with the space grey IPP. Is a very clean look.
  • The two angles are nice
  • It is much more stable on the lap and is enjoyable to use.
  • Quick tip...when the screen is locked just double click on spacebar and it will use FACE ID to unlock your IPP. You therefore, do not need to swipe the screen upwards. A really nice feature.
All in all love it,though wish it had backlit keys.
Agree on the backlit keys..but thank you for the tip on the spacebar doubleclick.....perfect! Exactly what I wanted to know.
 

Brittmyers00

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2018
1
0
I tried out the new iPad Pro and keyboard in the store. I’ve used the 1st gen iPad Pro 12.9” since launch.

From the units in the store, I was a bit disappointed with how much the units flex when tapping the screen. Particularly compared to the 1st gen, which has very little flex with normal taps on the screen. You can even see the new unit’s keyboard lift slightly off the table when doing a normal tap on the iPad screen.

Has anyone else noticed this, and does it bother anyone? Perhaps it’s just something you get used to.
 

Treebark

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2010
296
157
[QUOTE="Brittmyers00, post: 26779650, member: 1153542"

Has anyone else noticed this, and does it bother anyone? Perhaps it’s just something you get used to.[/QUOTE]

I didn’t notice it until I read your comment. Now like the arrow in the FedEx logo I probably won’t be able to unsee it. ;)

Just kidding. I do see what you mean, but it obviously hasn’t been an issue for me since I didn’t even notice it.

One additional negative I would add about the ASK is how top heavy it is. If you are sitting with it in your lap, but your legs slope down, the top-heaviness tends to make it want to tip backwards. I’m guessing version 1 was like this, and I can compensate. Just an extra observation.
 

Ipadlover29

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2011
754
175
Very happy with the keyboard so far when compared to the previous version. Just wish it had function keys. I wonder if Logitech is going to make one.
 

Treebark

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2010
296
157
I've decided to keep the keyboard. Having a keyboard and having the keyboard case act as a lapstand pretty much trumps all the inconveniences of the case. In one chair it is too top heavy as my legs angle down, but I can alter the position to correct enough for this. All other chairs, table, car, etc have been great.

So it is a keeper.
 
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ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,564
581
The new Smart Keyboard folio is much more stable to use on the lap than the previous version in my opinion. The more reclined angle is perfect and I discovered oddly that the more upright angle is good for viewing content when sitting at a table.

It’s a nice all in one solution for when you’re on the move - the downside is the bulk it adds, but it’s probably still the best solution unless you really want to be carrying around a magic keyboard and an iPad with a folio/stand of some sort.
 
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anthonymoody

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2002
2,529
601
No complaints about the keys being exposed on the back when you fold it back all the way? I held it that way in store and found it...weird. Not sure if I would like that.
 
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Bigads

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2012
113
43
Here
Very impressed with mine.
The only thing is 1 or 2 keys have part of the printing missing. Don’t know whether I am being too picky (but it is expensive) or whether I should get it exchanged.
 

metalsiren

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2017
408
327
No complaints about the keys being exposed on the back when you fold it back all the way? I held it that way in store and found it...weird. Not sure if I would like that.
Yea it feels weird for sure, I have the 11 and I try to hold it where the keys are not. I also have a cheap folio on order to use when I don’t want the keyboard. They have them on amazon for 20 and they are very similar to the apple one but better than the insane money apple wants
 

triangletechie

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2017
411
451
NC
I got mine yesterday after finally finding it in stock on Bestbuy.com. I am happy with it so far. I also like the double tap of the space bar enables face id. I wish there was a similar function to enable going back to the home screen vs swiping up. Most of my use with the 12.9 pro will be with the keyboard so the keys facing out in tablet mode isn't a concern. If I did use it as a pure tablet I'd just remove the keyboard. I'm not sure how they would design the current folio keyboard by adding in a cover to the keys without adding even more bulk. It's already bulky as is.
 

mizzourah

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2013
235
190
St. Louis, MO
I got mine yesterday after finally finding it in stock on Bestbuy.com. I am happy with it so far. I also like the double tap of the space bar enables face id. I wish there was a similar function to enable going back to the home screen vs swiping up. Most of my use with the 12.9 pro will be with the keyboard so the keys facing out in tablet mode isn't a concern. If I did use it as a pure tablet I'd just remove the keyboard. I'm not sure how they would design the current folio keyboard by adding in a cover to the keys without adding even more bulk. It's already bulky as is.
I too like to use functions on the keyboard - hitting command + h will take you back to your home screen instead of swiping up.

and yes, the double tap of the keyboard is very nice.
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2011
2,394
225
Eau Claire, WI
I think its a nice keyboard, just $100 overpriced.

on a side note, for the life of me I can't figure out how to raise the "on screen keyboard" while the ASK is connected.
 

triangletechie

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2017
411
451
NC
I too like to use functions on the keyboard - hitting command + h will take you back to your home screen instead of swiping up.

and yes, the double tap of the keyboard is very nice.
thanks for the home screen tip. I'm just glad I was able to finally get one. Once Best Buy has it in stock, it sells out within 30 minutes. My nearest Apple store had them for pickup that lasted about 5 minutes.
 

mizzourah

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2013
235
190
St. Louis, MO
thanks for the home screen tip. I'm just glad I was able to finally get one. Once Best Buy has it in stock, it sells out within 30 minutes. My nearest Apple store had them for pickup that lasted about 5 minutes.
wow - that's pretty quick - it seems to not be well liked here on these forums, but that's just a small percentage of people buying things - I don't think it's the best overall keyboard as far as keyboards go, but it's seamless work with the ipad is worth the no back lighting.

Glad you got one as well - another small tip, but one that will help - in any app, if you hold down the command key it will tell you what custom functions the keyboard has available for that particular app.
 
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triangletechie

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2017
411
451
NC
I think its a nice keyboard, just $100 overpriced.

on a side note, for the life of me I can't figure out how to raise the "on screen keyboard" while the ASK is connected.
Yeah, $199 is steep. Most of their stuff is but it's the only option so far. I'm sure Logitech will release something but I'll stick with the Apple keyboard.
 
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eclipse01

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2011
2,394
225
Eau Claire, WI
Yeah, $199 is steep. Most of their stuff is but it's the only option so far. I'm sure Logitech will release something but I'll stick with the Apple keyboard.
agreed, but I can find the value in most of their products. I honestly don't have an issue with the new IPP prices as I think they are fully worth it for all they can do. But the keyboard for instance is missing SOOOO many things that could make it worth something even close to $200 (back-lighted keys for instance)
 
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Beemers916

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2018
35
22
Reading the threads here, I expected to fully hate this keyboard. I was at the mall today, so stopped in the Apple store to mess around with the cases, and I was actually pleasantly surprised by it. felt sturdy, and the magnets seemed very strong. I like how thin it is too. The only thing I wasn't too thrilled about was feeling the keys when you are holding it like a tablet. Not sure if that would be a dealbreaker or not.

I think I would rather have the old style keyboard just because of that though. Never really needed back protection with my iPads anyway. Also, the price is a little much. Should be $100, maybe even $129 with the usual Apple tax, but $200 is kind of ridiculous. That being said, I messed around with the regular folio, and it feels like a $15 Chinese knockoff, not an actual Apple product, so I think that one might be the biggest Apple ripoff of all-time at $99. I bet it literally costs a dollar or 2 to make. It's pretty absurd, even for apple.
 
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A.R.E.A.M.

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2015
322
160
Los Angeles, California
thanks for the reviews on the keyboard thus far guys and gals.... :cool:

ill miss the logitech keyboard on the 2nd gen. the backlight alone was worth it because I cant type for ish and when i use the blasted thing im usually in a darkened environment, but thats all thats out at the moment so whats a cat to do?

that said, its no where near worth 200 bones! the logitech was much better (never had any damage to my old ipp like some had) and less cost. this will be my first time using this apple keyboard so wish a brotha luck... :oops:

i literally ordered one on bestbuy dot com today and its already shipping for monday delivery, meanwhile apple has it OOS here in LA... :rolleyes:

yeah i knew this keyboard was better than what the handful of cats who post on this forum think, that's why i only hit this site up once the new ipad pro comes out--to find out the haps on the delivery and initial real world reviews--then i ghost....

/android fanboy