Apple Smart Keyboard vs Cover + Keys to Go

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Traverse, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #1
    I'm curious to hear from people who've tried both, which they prefer.

    I know the Logetic keyboard has a row of function keys, but new iOS 9 keyboard shortcuts make up for some of those and Control Center helps with the others. The Smart Keyboard requires no pairing, no charging, and not turning on and off.

    I'm curious how the typing feel compares and how the noise compares. Thanks.
     
  2. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a

    Cyroceon

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    Feb 9, 2008
    #2
    Posted my opinion after a short period of ownership here:

    Smart Cover + Logitech Keys to Go
     
  3. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #3
    Having the cover and keyboard integrated does seem handy, but I think a separate combo is beneficial as well because you can set the iPad on a chair or another service and just have the keyboard in your lap. I can fit that keyboard anywhere and use it more discretely than the Pro + iPad.

    Even more interesting is your key feel assessment.
     
  4. nightlong macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #4
    I haven't been able to try an Apple Smart Keyboard but along with the cost, lack of backlighting, lack of function keys, a major drawback for me is the ergonomics ... Only one angle and one level, and the keyboard being so close to the screen.

    With keyboard cases on smaller iPads, that wasn't so bad, but with this big screen I don't want to be that close (for long periods of time) and I want to raise the iPad so I'm not looking down. I sometimes do quite long hours writing, so these things are important for me, might not be so for people who type for half an hour or so.

    I use the keys to go, really great, super light. And, red, major attraction!
     
  5. BravoTangoPapa macrumors member

    BravoTangoPapa

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    Aug 10, 2015
    #5
    I don't have any experience with the 9.7" Apple Smart Keyboard, but I did own the 12.9" Pro and keyboard for a brief time (way too big - happy they released a 9.7" version). The keyboard was nice, but it added quite a bit of extra weight.

    As a person who rarely uses a keyboard with my iPad, it doesn't make sense to carry all that extra weight with me every day. This is why I decided to go with the Smart Cover + Keys-To-Go combo on my 9.7" IPP, providing the option to leave the keyboard behind.

    As CyRo stated in another thread, the Logitech keyboard holds a charge for around 3 months. Also worth mentioning is that it goes to sleep after 2 hours, so you really don't have to be concerned with turning it on and off throughout the day. The pairing with the IPP pro is so fast that I don't even think about it - Power on, or resume from sleep, and it's connected. And, the row of shortcut keys on the Logitech keyboards are great!

    Some advantages of the Logitech over the Apple Smart Keyboard:
    Lower cost ($30-45 vs. $150)
    Lower weight (6.0oz vs. 8.1oz)
    Better viewing angle than the ASK when paired with the Smart Cover
    They keyboard can be moved around to suite your needs (non-slip backing that stays put on table surface)
    And, you don't have to bring it with you if you don't need it.

    If you already own the Smart Cover, then I think the Logitech keyboard is the way to go.

    I hope this information is helpful.
     
  6. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #6
    I've settled on 2 main covers for my 12.9 Pro (but applicable to the 9.7)... Apple Smart Keyboard and Apple Smart Cover.
    (with a thin, clear skin on the back of the Pro)
    There is nothing lighter and more easily portable than the Pro + ASK. When I take my Pro to the office, I bring it with the ASK. When at the office and want to use it as a "tablet", I detach the ASK, flip it around and reattach it.

    When I return home, I detach the ASK and attach the SmartCover.

    Given Apple's crazy prices this combo isn't cheap, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn't "cheaping out" on the accessories that can improve or impede the overall user experience. I'm glad that I paid the extra.

    If you can have a 9.7 iPad on a surface that is further away than your lap (with a keyboard in your lap) then you have great eyesight. :)
     
  7. Foggydog macrumors 6502

    Foggydog

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    #7
    Hmmmm. Intersting, because, I want a good cover but may not use the keyboard much (still waiting to get home to set up my 12.9) There are so many options coming along that it either gets easier to choose or more difficult. and being a trucker, returning something can be a bit of a chore if I'm not really happy with the product.
     
  8. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a

    Cyroceon

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    Feb 9, 2008
    #8
    I completely see your point of view, and have considered that very option prior to pairing the Smart Cover with the Logitech Keys to Go. The ultimate decider for me, although I considered cost in the decision, was having to swap Smart Cover with Smart Keyboard regularly. I have said previously that having the choice to leave the keyboard behind is a great consideration, and unfortunately I won't be able to do so nearly as well if I would have two "covers", one being the Smart Keyboard, and the other being the Smart Cover. In the cases that I may want the keyboard, I'd have to take both with me, doubling or tripling the weight of the Smart Cover/Keys to Go. I believe if you have the Smart Keyboard, it's probably your best bet as all-around Cover/Keyboard setup.

    I have found, as I've said above, and in another thread, that I believe the Smart Cover (iPad cover that's obviously well known and loved) and Logitech Keys to Go (thinnest, lightest,-feeling mobile keyboard I've ever seen). It gives you the option of having a keyboard for basically the same weight/size as Apple Smart Keyboard, but detached so if you leave the keyboard behind, you'll have a considerably smaller/lighter option. Even for your use case, I.e., trucker, road warrior, options-desiring, I'd go with the setup I have in Apple's Smart Cover and Logitech's Keys to Go. I hope you've found this useful. Good luck!
     
  9. Foggydog macrumors 6502

    Foggydog

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    #9
    Thank you Cyroceon. I will definitely look into that option.
     
  10. eg2007 macrumors 6502

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    #10
  11. Foggydog macrumors 6502

    Foggydog

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    #11
  12. myrtledog macrumors member

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    #12
    What brand did you use for the back?
     
  13. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #13
    I'm still shopping around for a decent permanent skin but for now I'm using my old reliable standby: clear Con-Tact paper. It works great, looks fine, improves the grip, cheap ($3 for a 60ft roll), and leaves no residue.
     
  14. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a

    Cyroceon

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    #14
    Honestly, I've went on and on almost about the Logitech Keys to Go option with an Apple Smart Cover, just for the sake of detachment capability and shortcut keys. However, and after careful thought, I must say, I've now returned those two and replaced them with the Apple Smart Keyboard. While this is what I originally had, I certainly believe that the fact that most shortcuts can be accessed via other efficient means, e.g., volume buttons on iPad instead of on keyboard; CMD+H for Home, rather than a button; switching apps by swiping up on screen with four fingers, etc...

    My point is, I believe that the tactile feel of a keyboard is the absolute most important aspect of a keyboard, bar none. In my estimation and experience, the Apple Smart Keyboard provides a world's difference in key response and throw than the Logitech Keys to Go, with the flat keys it uses. Hope this has been useful for anyone on the fence.
     
  15. artfossil macrumors 6502

    artfossil

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    #15
    The Keys to Go, which I own, is an amazing product, but I agree that the typing experience doesn't compare to the Smart Keyboard.

    The Smart Keyboard is my favorite Apple keyboard since my Pismo PowerBook (loved its stealthy black good looks).
     
  16. Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

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    #16
    I love Logitech and had their keyboard prior to this new IPP. But really love the tactile feel of the Smart Keyboard. For my regular use daily - I use mechanical 10 keyless with cherry red keys.
     
  17. batristain macrumors 6502

    batristain

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    #17
    I have both the LLogitech Create Keyboard and the Apple Smart Keyboard. I stayed away from the Logitech because so many reviews said it was bulky. I loved the ASK but I didn't like the color of gray back and gray cover. I finally decided to try the LOgitech (in Red) and I Love it - mostly for the shortcut keys. I still have the ASK (I got it as an open box deal from Best Buy for 145.00) but I can't think of why I would switch back. I don't find it to be anymore bulky than using the ASK with a back cover to be honest. I really love the lighted keyboard and shortcut keys - would make it hard to switch back.

    Cheers,
    Bobbie
     
  18. urkel macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #18
    I had the keyboard for both big and small iPads. Loved it on 12.9, hated it on 9.7.

    The big iPad I could mentally justify ias a "laptop" so I accepted the weight and awkwardness. But on a 9.7" then it felt like a tablet with an awkward accessory taped on top of it. It felt homemade.

    I'm returning the 9.7" Smart Keyboard today and am glad to get my $150 back.
     
  19. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #19
    I find that interesting, because the ASK is essentially a Smart Cover + Keys-to-Go in an integrated package... Actually the ASK is less cumbersome because there is no need for a battery in the ASK.
     
  20. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #20
    I was gifted an ASK for my birthday and I must say, it's nice. Not a world of difference greater than my Keys-to-Go, but nice. Honestly, I would have perferred Apple to make the keys larger and have less space between the keys than for them to have made the keys smaller, but that's just me.

    It took about an hour of typing on it for me to get comfortable and I'm still not up to full speed, but I doubt that it will ever match my Apple Bluetooth keyboard (the old one), which is my favorite keyboard to date. The selling point for me is that it's all one package. There are benefits to having a separate keyboard and I'll still have my KTG if that ever comes up, but I actually prefer having everything combined into one sleek package for both use and travel. I used a Logetic slim cover for my iPad 3 and loved having the connected package like a laptop.

    Like @sracer , I have the SC also. I use that to prop my iPad up at the lower angle to watch content when I'm not using the keyboard. I also use it to protect the back of the device when it's on the treadmill stand. Though expensive, I like having both. At home, they easily come apart which always me to use my iPad as a pure tablet which is most important to me. When I'm just going out for a day I just use the cover and can make due with the software keyboard for on-the-go use. If I'm going to school or somewhere where I know I'll type, I take the keyboard.

    I love that the ASK has no battery so I don't have to worry about charging it or using it regularly. It's there if I need it and not there when I don't want it. Also the keys do have a nice click to them. ]

    My only complaint, is that it's kind of loud. I don't know if other's have noticed this or not.
     
  21. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    #21
    ASK all the way. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The ASK just works in a way that is unmatched by any other keyboard solution for the iPad.

    Admittedly though, back lighting isn't an issue for me since I know where all my keys are without looking. I just need to find the first key, and the light from the iPad Pro itself is often sufficient for that purpose.
     
  22. lemonviking macrumors newbie

    lemonviking

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    Sep 18, 2013
    #22
    Initially when I purchased my 9.7 Pro, I did not get the ASK becasue I did not think I would use it, so only got the pencil and the ipad. Two weeks later I purchased the silicone case and the ASK, what a combo! I love the ability to be able to remove the ASK when not needed and easily connecty when needed. I have a macbook pro and a macbook air, so while the typing experience at first its small and difficult, after a day of typing emails I found that the feedback was great, even better than the macbook air. It has a satisfying feedback. I also found that the key commands for search, home and switiching apps were enjoyable when doing productive work. The only negative is the watch mode of the keyboard, I found it to be to straight and easily fall off.

    I would recommend the keyboard if you have the cash, type a lot . Otherwise a bluetooth keyboard will suffice.
     
  23. lyngo macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2007
    #23
    I'm bringing this thread back to life because I was conflicted with my purchase of the 10.5" iPad Pro which Keyboard to go with. I wanted to like the Apple Smart Keyboard, but - in my subjective case only - the folding and unfolding process became a convoluted mess. I didn't like it and wanted things a little easier and more simplified.

    I preordered my Pro via Best Buy and it included a $25 gift card. I also had a $20 rewards certificate that Best Buy gave to me Ishtar after purchasing my iPad Pro. Today, I noticed that the Keys To Go was in sale at Best Buy for $45. Doing the quick math, you see that I basically got the Logitech keyboard for free!

    I like it, I'm happy with it. I've used other keyboards and the lightweight nature of this seems pretty incredible! I'm glad I was able to pick it up today with it being on sale and all. One other note that I found with this keyboard is it has quick access function keys that the ASK is lacking at this point in time.
     
  24. nightlong macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    Australia
    #24
    I still love the Keys To Go. While I can see the benefit of the Apple Smart Keyboard, I wouldn't buy it for several reasons: fixed angle, no function keys or backlighting, and useless (if I'd bought the 9.7 pro ) when they change the size of iPads as they've just done with 10.5. The keys to go and a lightweight stand are always in my bag for mobility, I use a heavier stand and Apple Bluetooth keyboard at home.
     

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