iPad Pro Apple Smart Keyboard - Best Keyboard?

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by mrcb, May 14, 2016.

  1. mrcb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    #1
    Hey Guys,

    I am about to buy an iPad Pro 9.7.

    Primary use is going to be for work, and I will be buying a pencil for notes.

    I like the idea of getting a keyboard also, but I guess I am hung up on the price of the ASK.
    I tried it out today, and I did like it - I like how it also doubles up as a stand.

    If I were to buy this, would I be wanting to buy a case also for the rear protection of the iPad?
    Would it be safe to double the ASK back on itself whilst I write on it with the pencil?Would it be safe to double the ASK back on itself whilst I write on it with the pencil?

    Are there any other alternatives that are better but at a fraction of the price, or is the ASK really unrivaled?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    I have no experience with the Smart Keyboard, but I generally shy away from any keyboard case which locks me into one model of iPad (and in this case, one single product).

    The keyboard also cannot used to prop your iPad in a 30 degree angle or less, which limits its utility for drawing.

    I recently purchased a Logitech keys to go keyboard. It's cheap and thin and light and the typing experience isn't all that bad. I like it a lot.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00VBNSCM8/ref=oh_aui_i_d_old_o0_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    How do you see yourself typing? If it's an enclosed or cramped space like a lecture room seat rest, a keyboard case might be the best way to go. If it's a more spacious environment like on a table, an external Bluetooth keyboard should suffice. Then get a cheap case which protects the back and with a Smart Cover that can be folded back as a stand.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. thadoggfather Suspended

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #3
    That looks like a pretty cool $30 keyboard

    I agree with limitations on viewing angles, but I like my SKB so far overall.

    Don't really like the aesthetic of Logitech smart connector keyboard, or something like Zagg that looks useful but like weak laptop keyboard implementation

    Got an open box from Best Buy for 145 less 20 in reward zone cash I had, so 125 net.

    For me it was worth it to take advantage of Smart connector. It has its merits, powering the device without needing to charge or worry about pairing aside from automatically by virtue of physically connecting, having a Smart Cover embedded, I love the butterfly mechanism with fabric over, it's like a rMB keyboard with more travel and a layer over it.
     
  4. Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    I have the SKB and although the price is absurd, I really like it. I use it with the IPP and just a skin on the back of the iPad for scratch protection. When I'm traveling the iPad, SKB and Pencil are in a zippered pouch. If using the keyboard flat against the back, It stays magnetized against it.

    You can fold the keyboard to get basically the same prop modes as a regular cover. image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  5. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #5
    The big advantage of the smart keyboard is that it is as slim and light as possible, and it doubles as a cover. This means you'll probably have the keyboard with you all of the time. If you just want a good keyboard to type on, and don't care about portability, you can use literally any keyboard you want - either through bluetooth or over usb with the camera connection kit.

    Me, I've tried several different keyboard covers over the years and they've all had the same fundamental problems - with bluetooth they need a battery, which means they are as big and heavy as the iPad themselves, which means I end up leaving them at home most of the time. Many of them also have a built in case which adds further weight, and makes it very difficult to remove. With the smart keyboard I remove it multiple times every day while I'm not using it, then just snap it back on if I do. There are several additional positions, some pictured above, that give you a usable lower viewing angle.
     
  6. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #6
    @mrcb would be wise to heed the opinion of this post.

    The worst part of the ASK, IMO, is the price. Once one gets over that, it is the best option (again IMO) for the reasons that @zhenya cite. I too have had many types of keyboards for iPads... including the keyboard dock that Apple made for the iPad 1. They were all adequate for the task but not preferable.

    With the ASK, it really does feel like an extension of the iPad, not yet another device that needs to be "cared" for. The 12.9 version is a joy to type on and has replaced the Surface TypeCover as my favorite keyboard for a portable device. The greatest challenge was adjusting my typing position and approach because I no longer had to incorporated a cramped touch-typist position due to a keyboard that is confined to the 9.7 screen size of the iPad.

    The value of the ease of removing the ASK cannot be overstated. To go from notebook-y type usage to an unencumbered tablet mode so quickly and easily goes a long way towards a converged/hybrid device.
     
  7. mrcb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    #7
    Thank you for all of your replies.

    I have gone ahead with the ASK - Looking forward to picking up my IPP, Pencil and ASK on Saturday!
     
  8. mlovergaard macrumors 6502

    mlovergaard

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    New York City
    #8
    You won't regret it, the ASK really is the best keyboard out there.
     
  9. Nhwhazup, May 15, 2016
    Last edited: May 19, 2016

    Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #9
    I totally agree with you. The ease of just taking the iPad off the keyboard is great. Also the AKB works just as well typing on my lap in my recliner as it does on a desk. I don't know how I could use a totally separate keyboard in my lap with the iPad.
     
  10. thadoggfather, May 15, 2016
    Last edited: May 15, 2016

    thadoggfather Suspended

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #10
    The 9.7 SKB felt cramped to me, but anyone who's gone 12.9 to 9.7 have you adjusted? The way lighter cover was appreciated however when I toyed with it at the store,

    Just curious :)
    Also curious though it won't make for the nicest slimmest case, would a 9.7 work with 12.9 SKB from a usability perspective of the KB,

    Loving my 12.9 with Pencil+SKB, fun kit
     
  11. mrcb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    #11
    Hey - Can you let me know which skin you purchased for the back? How has it performed?
     
  12. medulla macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #12
    I use the Super stump:

    http://www.stumpstore.com/super-stump/

    With the Logitech keys keys to go..

    I hate something covering the front of the iPad so this is the best combination for me..
     
  13. Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #13
    I used the matte BestSkinsEver. I absolutely love it. I consider myself to be really good at installing screen protectors both glass and PET. I have also installed back skins that are solid in color with no issues.

    For me the clear or matte back skins are really tough to install and you need to be very patient and keep working at it. I've tried a skin on my phone in the past and couldn't get an install that I was happy with. I could get it perfectly aligned but would have discoloration under the skin that wouldn't go away. I think I found out how to avoid the discoloration/cloudiness. This time around with the iPad Pro, I did the wet install and kept working the edges and corners for a total time of about 40 minutes. However, this time I actually followed the instructions and kept my iPad turned off and let the skin cure for overnight. Every other time I couldn't wait and would use it earlier than the recommended wait time. I was pleasantly surprised to find my iPad skin looking great. No cloudiness and no bubbles. It looks like nothing on the iPad. I've had it on for about 2 months and it still looks like the day I put it on. It does give a bit of extra grip which of course is good. I don't put the iPad in a case so I can't speak for how it would hold up catching on a case. For me, I prefer the SKB and the skin on the back. Best overall way to keep the iPad thin and light - carrying around only what I need.
     
  14. mrcb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 14, 2016
  15. Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

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    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #15
    You're going to love having the three. It's my favorite combination and favorite iPad ever.
     
  16. DJTaurus macrumors 65816

    DJTaurus

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #16
    Is the ASK more stable that smart cover on viewing positions?
     
  17. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #17
    I have no doubt about this. I have watched a few YouTube unboxing videos and found myself salivating over the keyboard. Just can't bring myself to pay so much money for it though, so eventually settled on a cheaper alternative.
     
  18. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #18
    In the upright position with the keyboard out, very much so. Other positions are a wash.
     
  19. ibookg409 Suspended

    ibookg409

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Location:
    Portsmouth, NH
    #19
    I'm kind of wishing I went with the Zagg keyboard instead of the ASK. It just seems a bit too flimsy.
     
  20. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #20
    Doesn't seem flimsy to me.
     
  21. mlovergaard macrumors 6502

    mlovergaard

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    New York City
    #21
    I am actually surprised how sturdy it seems to be, also I heard that the Zagg Slim book makes the iPad VERY heavy, like Macbook Pro kind of heavy.
     
  22. ibookg409 Suspended

    ibookg409

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Location:
    Portsmouth, NH
    #22
    The weight was the only reason I didn't get the Slim Book.
    --- Post Merged, May 17, 2016 ---
    I also took advantage of the att 20% off deal so I got the pencil and the ASK for 20% off.
     
  23. Andy847 macrumors regular

    Andy847

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2016
    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    #23
    I tried an Open box, plus $20 BB gift Card, on the ASK. I actually didn't like it. I got it for a great price, but returned it, because there's no feel to the keypunch, since it's so slim. I like to feel the keys as they get pressed down while typing. I had the logitech, didn't even open the box, because I would have to change the cover after taking it out of the keyboard case. Zagg Slim Book looks great, but too heavy and people complaining in reviews that the back piece on the IPP was breaking/cheaply made.

    So right now I'm just using the Apple Wireless Keyboard from my Mac. I have the logitech solar wireless keyboard for my Mac and the wireless was just sitting on a shelf. Works fine and forgot how much I like typing on it. I am waiting on the Brydge and the Clam Case Keyboards that are suppose to come out soon. I'm think I might be tempted to go with the Clam Case, since the Brydge is really expensive. I have to see when they come out.
     
  24. striders macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #24
    Any recommendation for 3rd party back cover that will work with the Apple Smart Keyboard? Apple branded back cover is $69, which is ridiculous.

    As for the ASK itself, one thing that I like is that there is zero lag or delay. I have tried many bluetooth keyboard and there, occasionally, lag in what I typed and what is shown on the screen.
     
  25. lyngo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #25
    There is a clear one from ESR that's on sale over at Amazon for right around $10. I wish I had the link for you and might post it later on, but don't have it right now. I have it on mine and love it.
     

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