Apple May Release Backlit Smart Keyboard With Scissor Switches Alongside 2020 iPads [Updated]


macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2017
The smart keyboard is okay to type on. I wish they would change materials. I don't like the feel of it that much.


macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2009
Not that anyone is asking, but I have found the 2018 iPad Pro setup to be very effective for my work, which is largely comprised of:
  • Email
  • Browsing
  • PDF review and markups (via Notability)
  • Microsoft Word editing
  • Occasional Microsoft Excel editing
The killer feature for me is the Pencil and my ability to review and markup documents wherever and whenever. This is way more efficient for me than printouts, hand markups and scans. While not perfect, Apple Pencil 2 does a very nice job with this.

Regarding the Keyboard, having been a user of this type of design since iPad Pro Gen 1, I've become a fan. Note: I've always been using the 12.9". I find the key travel fine, the durability good and I'm about as accurate a typist on it as I am on my das mechanical (not saying I enjoy the feel as much, of course).

I have frequently considered alternatives -- namely the Brydge. But the slimness and ease of use of the Smart Keyboard has proven compelling enough. But if I could snap my fingers and get exactly the accessory developments I want, they would be:
  • Keyboard
    • Function keys -- particularly on the 12.9", just seems silly not to have a row of slim keys
    • Backlighting
    • Lower price
    • I'm intrigued by the trackpad concept, but having messed with a mouse on iPad OS, it's not a must have -- yet
  • Pencil
    • A softer in hand feel
    • Buttons to trigger functions (e.g., hold down for eraser / undo)
    • More function cycling (not just toggling between two modes, but more if I so desire)
Overall though, I never travel with a laptop and for me, the current set up is awfully good. Your mileage may vary...


macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
The Smart Keyboard is the only apple product ive disliked. It feels far too cramped to type on. This was a 10.5 so maybe its better on the 12.9 I don't know.


macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2012
San Jose, Ca
Admittedly I’m weird, I prefer the scissor keys on my 2015 MBP. However, I really enjoy the feel of typing Apple Smart Keyboard. the only thing I don’t like about the ASK is the material on the outside hasn’t held up great for me. But that‘s probably on the me not being the most careful with it.

i would enjoy a ASK that has a backlit key option.
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro is the best Keyboard for mobile devices ever.
Concur. The third party competition just doesn’t match Apples keyboard (Logitech is one of the better third party keyboards), Apples keyboard is excellent with the fabric- like-softness, tactile feedback and reliability for every day use. If there was one accessory I would recommend for the iPad, it would definitely be the smart keyboard simply for how well executed it is.
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macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
Oh...I enjoyed the one I had, it simply didn‘t last and the two other people I know that had them had similar experiences. The connnection to the iPad would fail, resulting in having to remove the keyboard and reconnect, often several times. Finally it just fails.

I actually do enjoy the iPad Pro keyboard. Something about it is super easy to type on since I switched to the iPad Pro in place of my MacBook.
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macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2011
I spend the majority of my home computing time on my iPad Pro. The keyboard works great for me, but it’s painfully obvious at night that there’s no backlight. That would be the only reason I’d upgrade.


macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2016
Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro is the best Keyboard for mobile devices ever.
Subjectively speaking of course. To me, the best keyboard for ANY mobile device is the Surface Signature Type Cover for Surface Pro devices. Typing on them is the way typing on a keyboard should be. And they are backlit as well.
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macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
I have mechanical keyboards on all of my desktops and several in my closet. Most with custom keysets. That said, I use the Smart Keyboard daily and really enjoy using it I will take a function row though, that would be helpful.
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Apple...just add a Home key please.
Command-H. Not a single key but easy enough.
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macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2002
South Carolina
All I want is backlight. The current design is good enough to be usable during the day, but fails miserably once it gets dark. Is that too much to ask for?
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Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro is the best Keyboard for mobile devices ever.
You forgot the <sarcasm>!


macrumors member
Jun 3, 2013
I’m fine with the current switches. What i want is backlit and more positions for the kickstand portion.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2010
Always felt I was one of the few to actually love the Smart Keyboard. I welcome better scissor switches, but for me the main issue is LED backlights.
Never understood that issue. I never look at my keys in the first place.


macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
Will be interesting to see what they make and if it also includes a trackpad....

I'm also a fan of the Smart Keyboard and presumably they would still make that because some people will want an ultra-light, portable solution which is where the current rubbery keyboards excel.


macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro is the best Keyboard for mobile devices ever.
If you are talking about the one for the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro then I agree with you. But the one for the newer 11-inch 2018 iPad Pro kinda sucks when you fold it behind the iPad to hold the iPad as a tablet because the keys stick out.

The older one (the one that works with the current iPad Air and 10.2 iPad) with its origami folding style is so much better. It can be a stand or fold the keys behind and you don't feel them or be a keyboard -- so versatile. Its one of the reasons I do not want to upgrade to a newer iPad Pro. If I do upgrade to the 2020 iPad Pro and they don't give it an origami folding keyboard then I probably just won't buy the keyboard.


macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2016
well like two other iPad models came out since the Pro and they went back to the Apple Pen 1


macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2010
Please make it last longer than the current one for iPad Pro 11. It was a step back in durability and after a few months, the letters/numbers on the keys wear out and the back cover looks horrible. Had mine replaced and within two months same thing happened again. Inexcusable for $150 keyboard. Otherwise like it.