iPad Pro Brydge 12.9 Keyboard Case vs Logitech, Zagg & ASK

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Eric5273, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Eric5273, Oct 7, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016

    Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    New Jersey
    Over the past 6 months, I've been having issues with the Apple Smart Keyboard as described in this thread:


    I exchanged my first one 3 months ago, and now the replacement keyboard is already starting to have this issue again. While I love this keyboard, I think it was not made for the wear and tear I subject it to. I use my iPad Pro 12.9 as my main computer, and that includes many hours of typing each day. The painted key labels on the fabric keyboard just do not hold up to that kind of use. I suppose it also depends on your typing style. I am a touch typist and type very fast, and so I tend to hit the keys harder than most people probably do.

    So today I heard about the 25% off sale at Best Buy, and I went over to the local Best Buy to see what they had.

    I was pretty set on getting either the Logitech Create, Zagg Slim Book, or the Brydge 12.9 keyboard case. They had display units for all 3 of these, and they all seem very well built.

    Logitech Create
    Because of the smart connector, I would have leaned towards the Logitech, but I read some terrible reviews that this case causes scratches to develop on the iPad screen. I suppose I could try to put some padding on the keyboard part, but then the magnet will not hold the case closed or work as a smart cover. So the Logitech was eliminated from consideration.

    Zagg Slim Book
    The Zagg seems very well made. It is plastic, but it is so well crafted that you may be fooled into thinking the surface around the keyboard is aluminum. The Zagg case also offers protection for the back of the iPad and can be removed from the keyboard and used like a regular tablet case. The price is also $50 cheaper than the Brydge ($37.50 with the 25% sale considered). The only negative of this case is the size. It is huge and makes the iPad Pro larger than a 13" MacBook Pro.

    Brydge 12.9
    As soon as I saw this case, I wanted it. It looks like something that Apple should have made. It is crafted from aluminum and is much lighter and more compact than both the Logitech and Zagg.

    The iPad is easily inserted or removed, and you don't feel like you are going to break the iPad or the hinge when doing so. The rubber pads on the inside of the hinges that hold the iPad are a nice smooth material that both grips the iPad, but won't damage or scratch it. And those rubber pads can be replaced -- Brydge sells replacement packs very inexpensively. So there is no worry about them wearing out over time.

    Unlike the ASK, all 3 of these keyboards have iOS specific buttons along the top row. IMO, the Brydge has the best row of function keys as it even has a specific Siri button. The keyboard buttons are also laid out the exact same as any recent Apple keyboard, including the labels on the keys themselves (other than the top row which are the iOS specific keys)

    There are only 2 negatives I have found about the Brydge 12.9, and neither of them was enough to discourage me from buying it:

    1) Most laptops have a small groove cut into the aluminum, below where the trackpad normally is, so when the laptop is closed, you can open it by putting your finger in that groove and lifting up the screen. For some strange reason, that groove is missing from the Brydge. So if your iPad is installed in the keyboard and it is sitting flat on a table or desk, it can take some fiddling to get the screen open. If you just pick the whole keyboard up with both hands, then it opens easily, but most of us are used to just lifting up the screen with one finger when our laptops are closed on a table.

    2) Not a major issue, but just like the Zagg and all other third party iPad keyboards, it charges using a micro USB cable. Since this is an iOS specific keyboard, it would have been nice if it charged using a standard Apple lightning cable. How much does Apple charge for them to license the use of the connector here? And if they did pay the license fee, they would not have to include a micro USB cable in the package. I would have gladly paid $20 more for this case if it charged using a lightning cable. Just one less cable I would have to carry around.

    Overall I really love this case/keyboard so far. I have noticed the occasional dropped keystroke due to the connection being bluetooth instead of the smart connector, but it only seems to happen once in a while when I start typing way too fast. I think I will adjust over time.
  2. Eric5273 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    New Jersey
    One more thing I wanted to add to this review. I noticed in a couple of other reviews that there have been comments that the Space Grey Brydge 12.9 does not match the Space Grey of the iPad Pro. Then I noticed on the Brydge site that it says there is some slight color variation in these and they cannot guarantee an exact match.

    My keyboard is a perfect match to my Space Grey iPad Pro. My suggestion is to buy one from Best Buy and check out the color before buying it. The Brydge Keyboards come in a box where you can open in the store -- there is no seal. And they always have iPads on display at Best Buy, so comparing colors is pretty easy.

    4 days later and I am still loving this keyboard. :)
  3. ericwn macrumors 68000

    Apr 24, 2016
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with these keyboards! The Brydge does look very nice!
  4. TheralSadurns macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2010
  5. volcs0 macrumors newbie


    Apr 9, 2016
    Ok...I know this a year later... but am curious if you have problems with the ipad falling open.
    One review showed that beyond 90 degrees, the iPad falls open as you type, and he had to keep adjusting it.

  6. Eric5273 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    New Jersey
    Nope, I never had any issues with that. The hinge on mine was very tight and always stayed in place. I suppose if you were to put it at a really low angle, then that could become an issue.

    I actually no longer have the iPad Pro 12.9. I sold it (along with the Brydge) a few months ago and got the new 10.5 size. Unfortunately, there is an issue with he 10.5 Brydge. Because the side bezels are so small, the iPad actually sits too low and the keyboard blocks the bottom bezel of the screen, which makes it impossible to swipe up from the bottom. With the 12.9, this was just barely an issue and sometimes you had to try a couple of times to swipe up from the bottom. With the smaller bezel and with iOS11's new dock and the need to constantly swipe up from the bottom, I'd imagine it would be a real problem.

    So for now I'm just using the Apple Magic Keyboard with my 10.5 as I haven't seen any other options that are very interesting yet.
  7. ioai macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2018

    I know forsure that the shortcut (Option+Cmd+D) works to bring up (or swip up) the dock. I also know the first top function key, on the Brydge keyboard, is for the Home button and does bring up the control panel when double tapped and home screen when tapped once, which shows the background apps and the dock just like double tapping the actual home button. Hope that helps.

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