iPad Pro Debating with myself: smart keyboard or not?

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Ghost31, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    Right after I bought my iPad pro I ordered a smart keyboard cover to make it feel more like a laptop and hey...it looks cool! But I've been waiting awhile (won't come til January) and I have a regular Smart Cover now and the longer time goes on, the more I'm wondering whether I want the smart keyboard cover or not.

    The software keyboard is so big already. I think it's actually even bigger than my Apple wireless keyboard and that takes care of me for those short bursts of emails or text or quick forum posts like this as well as making it stand up on my lap. And when I want to really sit down and bang out some code or something, well...I have my Apple wireless keyboard!

    So I'm just kinda on the fence. Do I go through with my back order and get the smart keyboard cover...or do I cancel and figure I probably don't need it anyway and that it's more trouble than it's worth? $170 plus added bulk. Has anyone else felt like this?
  2. fanta88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2015
    I have the smart keyboard, but I actually think the cover + wireless keyboard or magic keyboard is superior in some ways. Key action is better, you have two viewing angles (instead of just the one with the smart keyboard). The only trade off is in lapability, which you really can't do with the cover+wireless keyboard combo.

    Also, while the smart keyboard is very light and slim, it it obviously heavier than the smart cover. It is also much flimsier as a cover, especially when folding it back since there are no magnets to secure the smart keyboard to the back. It just sort of flaps around. In fact, I only attach the smart keyboard when I'm going to type. I don't use it as a cover while at rest or anything.
  3. Ghost31 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    This right here was such a powerful statement that I think I'm about to just cancel my order. I'm gonna see if anybody else responds first and then decide, but Jesus...the more I think about it, the more I feel like I don't need it and am just getting it because it's Apple and advertising told me to lol
  4. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    In my opinion, the iPad pro was met to be used with the smart keyboard. If you are going to use the software keyboard, at least change it to split screen keyboard because the software keyboard is huge and takes so much more space. Since I use this device more like a laptop replacement, the keyboard is very normal use for me when using it. I have my smaller tablets for other stuff. If you are getting this device and don't plan to use keyboard, I would not recommend it.
  5. fanta88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2015
    Definitely see what other people do. I'm sure there are folks who love using it as a cover, but I personally find it adds weight (not a lot, but noticeable, holding the IPP with the smart keyboard folded back like a cover is around 2.25 lbs) and is too flimsy.
  6. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    Having read this thread, I'm leaning towards using a wireless keyboard with it instead of the Smart Keyboard for the same reasons.. flimsy, lack of flexibility, etc. I've been wanting a Magic Keyboard for my Mac, so I could get one and then use my existing Apple Wireless keyboard with the IPP.
  7. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I've been going through a similar thought process lately with a new iPad Air 2.

    I had roughly two case options for about $80:
    1. Apple's leather case which is gorgeous, thin, light and compact.
    2. One of many third-party Bluetooth keyboard cases.

    The problem with ALL the Bluetooth keyboard cases is:
    • Like you, I'm not sure I really need a permanent keyboard with me all the time.
    • They're all bulky/heavy.
    So while the thin apple case seems poor value - because it's simply a case and nothing else - it preserves the thinness and lightness of the iPad which is something I'll appreciate every day.
  8. cardfan macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2012
    I wouldn't worry so much. Let it arrive. Try it out. Decide then. I can't use the software kb worth a crap. So if I'm going to do any typing it has to be this or a wireless kb. The apple one though is pretty quick and convenient to attach or take with you. Using as a tablet I just take it off.
    IMO, it's the smartcover I don't really like. It's a bit flimsy and wouldn't want to use as a stand. It barely works in lap but still collapses on me all the time.
  9. Xprmntr macrumors regular


    Nov 18, 2015
    The iPad pro keyboard feels a bit cheap, no backlit or function keys, the Key travel isn't great- good thing is it is light and thin

    I'm still trying it out

    I say try it out for a week and return if ur not satisfied

    The brydge will be the best fully featured keyboard for the pro when it comes out I think
  10. rwp macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2015
    LA, CA, US
    I bought the Smart Cover and used an existing BT Magic Keyboard while I waited for my Smart Keyboard to arrive. When it did, I realized just how much I liked the Smart Keyboard better than the cover/BT keyboard combination. For one, the keyboard is *always* ready to be typed on. The BT keyboard had to frequently be woken up with a keypress before other keys would register -- leaving me with a missing first letter in many things I was typing. The BT keyboard had to be charged periodically. The BT keyboard was occasionally not in the same place as my iPad Pro. Etc... The Smart Keyboard solved all of that.
  11. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    The Smart Cover does tend to collapse when on lap, but it's solid on a flat surface.

    As for the smart keyboard, I played with it in the store, and decided it's too floppy, adds too much bulk and weight, and folding it is very fiddly. I got a Smart Cover, and very happy with Smart Cover plus Bluetooth keyboard, or just using the software keyboard.
  12. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Very good points. On the other hand, the Bluetooth keyboard plus Smart Cover gives you the option of placing the iPad further away or higher up than the keyboard, providing a better viewing angle.

    I think it depends on how often you use the keyboard. I only use the external keyboard when I work -- for casual use, I'm happy typing on the software keyboard. So waking up the keyboard before use and not always having it doesn't bother me.
  13. Beavix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2010
    Smart Cover + Logitech K811. Best of both worlds. It's a tablet not a laptop.
  14. mpetrides macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2007
    For the first two weeks I had my IPP I couldn't get a Smart Keyboard, so I used it with a Belkin Model F5L084 Stand and Apple's BT Wireless Keyboard. That worked quite well whether I had the stand and keyboard both on a table or the stand on a coffee table and the keyboard in my lap on the couch. Now that I have the Smart Keyboard, I use it when I want to set my IPP aside and have the screen protected (i.e. as a cover) and when I want to type something relatively long, like this reply.

    The Smart Keyboard makes the IPP feel about twice as heavy as the IPP alone would be. Thus, when I don't need to type or protect the screen, I take the Smart Cover off. Most of the time I am using my IPP to take handwritten notes or to read books, newspapers, or web pages. Thus, I have come to look at the Smart Keyboard as a convenient way to transport the IPP and a keyboard in my hands. If I were exclusively transporting the IPP in a backpack, I could just as easily get away with the Griffin Stand (which folds flat) and Apple BT keyboard (which is quite small and light).

    Oh, and if you are like me and want to sit on the couch with your feet on the coffee table and type on the IPP using the Smart Keyboard, I've FINALLY found a solution that works, namely putting a throw pillow in my lap and propping the Smart Keyboard on it.
  15. macrat macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2003
    I just tried the smart keyboard at the store and I don't like it. The screen keyboard is actually better and faster for me. If I need to do a lot of typing which I hardly do, I will use my Apple Wireless Keyboard ( I have an extra one that I already use for my iPad Air).
  16. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    Some of the people who are uncomfortable with the iPad pro due to size and weight especially when attached to keyboards should be using a ipad air 2 instead. Also, the ones who returned theirs knew in the beginning how heavy and weighty it will be. The device was met for productivity. If you want media consumption, you can do it with the pro but it's the last device you would want while lying in bed watching a movie, especially if u like to hold your devices.
  17. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    What's with all the handwringing? Just buy it, try it, and keep it or return it. So simple.
  18. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I have been allowing myself time to acclimate to the ergonomics of the Smart Keyboard. I hate any software / built in keyboard of iPads or Android Tablets. Quite likely because half of my work routine requires typing.

    In fact a keyboard is so influential to my experience, it's why I highly prefer to use my Surface Pro 4.

    Although it's keyboard may not look impressive, it's ergonomics are amazing. I find it so close to a laptop that I end up using it far more than I anticipated. And that's why I'm seeing Surface Pro's all over the University Campus where once we were all using MBP's or MBA'S. It's an awesome shift in the college computing experience.
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I disagree. A device doesn't have to be one or the other. iPad Pro is great at productivity, but it's also great for media consumption. Holding it in bed isn't a problem if I raise my knees and rest the iPP against them, or prop it up with a pillow. Yes, the bigger size does make it more awkward to hold than the iPad Air. But the more immersive experience from the bigger screen makes up for that. At least, for me, it does. I can understand people deciding it's too big for them, but just because you find the iPP not suitable for media consumption doesn't mean that everyone else would feel the same way.
  20. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    I have the KB, things I like, it integrates well with the iPad pro.

    Things I don't like. Bad design when folded behind the iPad pro, weight, not backlit, worse Apple KB to type on.

    I'm going to return mine and get a apple wireless KB
  21. malandra macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2003
    I tries it in the Apple Store and was underwhelmed. I mean, it's ok, but at nearly $200 with tax, it would be a hard pill for me to swallow. I'd consider it at $50 as a novelty accessory I'd use very infrequently. And I prefer a keyboard with a lot more tactile feedback.

    If I'm doing serious typing, I'm using a good mechanical external. For minimal input, I can deal with the on screen keyboard, especially when I'm saving so much weight. And hoping the pencil will be great for handwritten notes.

    For lapability, I'm pretty sold on the iSkelter lap desk...which, at $68, is a bargain compared to the Apple offerings.

    I would also bet on great third party alternatives emerging in the next few months. I'm holding out.
  22. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    I prefer the ergonomics of the iPad Pro on a Belkin Flipblade stand at about eye level (use boxes to prop up on my standing desk) and use the Apple Wireless Keyboard - when I am sitting down the Smart Keyboard is quite nice, I got one for free through work and in the right situations it is nice - I prefer the Smart Cover for all of my stand/cover uses, but as a dedicated easy to pack keyboard it does the job nicely
  23. mikecassidy97 macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2015
    Just curious, what do you use to code on your iPad?
  24. Ghost31 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    Well natively there's pythonista and textastic. But lately I've been remoting into my Mac and using that like a little OS X iPad
  25. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    Something to consider...

    How often will you take your iPP out and about and need a physical keyboard? If the answer is "often" then the convenience factor of having the Apple Smart Keyboard (ASK) is an important one. I used to use the Apple wireless keyboard (w/Origami) with my iPad 4. It wasn't very convenient to tote that combo around. I ultimately switched to a keyboard smartcover for it (easy to attach/remove on a whim). And with my Air 2, went with an ultrathin keyboard smartcase.

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