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rkuo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 25, 2010
1,286
896
I bought the Magic Keyboard when it first came out and used it for a good long while on my 11" iPad Pro. But on a lark I switched back to the Smart Keyboard Folio recently, and I have to say I'm kind of enjoying it more.

1. With the folio attached, the iPad still feels roughly like an tablet when I carry it around. With the Magic Keyboard, it's easily into laptop territory.
2. The overall profile of the iPad is much slimmer when I use the Smart Keyboard. It's easier to lay out on the dining table or at my desk.
3. The Smart Keyboard is completely sealed so I can get all the crumbs and dirt I want on the thing and clean it off easily.

As much as having a high quality keyboard and trackpad is useful with the iPad Pro, I just don't feel like they've nailed it with the Magic Keyboard due to the massive added weight and size.
 

0128672

Cancelled
Apr 16, 2020
5,962
4,783
Yes, I prefer the SKF now over the MK. Last year I used the MK on my 2018 12.9 iPP for maybe 8 months as my only device (with an iPhone) trying to go laptop-free. But I got tired of needing to compensate for the tippiness and top heaviness of the MK when used on my lap. I found I didn’t need a trackpad either and it was more of a hindrance than simply touching the screen. I also didn’t like the depth of trackpad + keyboard when reaching up to touch the screen, and actually experienced recurring shoulder pain from that motion. I traded in the 12.9 toward an M1 MBA in January, and recently sold the MK.

So back to an SKF, this time on an iPad Air 4, and it’s just right. I bought an open box excellent condition SKF from Best Buy for $35 off. Much more stable in my lap or on a pillow, shorter depth for reaching to the screen, and I don’t miss a trackpad at all. Like you I love the sealed keyboard, and the keyboard fabric. And I like the feel of typing on it. The weight of the SKF is so much easier. I’ve ordered a Decal Girl skin, and plan to use this setup for at least a year.

Edit: in late June I decided to get the newly-released Logitech Combo Pro for the iPad Air 4 and it arrived on July 1, and returned the SKF after carefully removing the decals. Having a detachable keyboard (versus the earlier version that did not detach) made all the difference. The SKF is nice, light and pretty stable, the covered keyboard is a big plus on it too, and is covered by your iPad's AC+, but after a while the small size of the keys started bothering me, and I wanted all the other nice features of the Combo Touch.
 
Last edited:

jazz1

Contributor
Aug 19, 2002
4,558
18,523
Mid-West USA
Yes, I prefer the SKF now over the MK. Last year I used the MK on my 2018 12.9 iPP for maybe 8 months as my only device trying to go laptop-free. But I got tired of needing to compensate for the tippiness and top heaviness of the MK when used on my lap. I found I didn’t need a trackpad either and it was more of a hindrance than simply touching the screen. I also didn’t like the depth of trackpad + keyboard when reaching up to touch the screen, and actually experienced recurring shoulder pain from that movement. I traded in the 12.9 toward an M1 MBA in January, and recently sold the MK.

So back to an SKF, this time on an iPad Air 4, and it’s just right. I bought an open box excellent condition SKF from Best Buy for $35 off. Much more stable in my lap or on a pillow, shorter depth for reaching to the screen, and I don’t miss a trackpad at all. Like you I love the sealed keyboard, and the keyboard fabric. And I like the feel of typing on it. The weight of the SKF is so much easier. I’ve ordered a Decal Girl skin, and plan to use this setup for at least a year.
I have a 2020 MK and a 2021 iPP 12.9". I've been eyeing up the Logitech Combo as a travel alternative. However, you all have reminded me that the SKF might just be the "sweet spot" for travel if I could do without the trackpad. Many thanks!
 
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0128672

Cancelled
Apr 16, 2020
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I have a 2020 MK and a 2021 iPP 12.9". I've been eyeing up the Logitech Combo as a travel alternative. However, you all have reminded me that the SKF might just be the "sweet spot" for travel if I could do without the trackpad. Many thanks!
Consider too that the SKF would be covered under Applecare+. I tried the Logitech Combo for the iPA, and it’s a good rig but again the trackpad + keyboard depth bothered me and I didn’t care for the kickstand. The fabric is great though and easy to maintain.
 

jukeboxaddict

macrumors member
Mar 2, 2014
85
80
I do, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work as well on the new 12.9. Fit is okay, but I think Apple’s slight changes with the magnets make the keyboard come loose easier when folded closed or to the back — unless I forgot how weak that connection always was on my older 2018 iPP. (Unlike the Magic Keyboard, they haven't made a new version of the Smart Keyboard Folio for the M1 12.9. I guess because it doesn't close as tight? It's the same SKU.)
 

jazz1

Contributor
Aug 19, 2002
4,558
18,523
Mid-West USA
I do, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work as well on the new 12.9. Fit is okay, but I think Apple’s slight changes with the magnets make the keyboard come loose easier when folded closed or to the back — unless I forgot how weak that connection always was on my older 2018 iPP. (Unlike the Magic Keyboard, they haven't made a new version of the Smart Keyboard Folio for the M1 12.9. I guess because it doesn't close as tight? It's the same SKU.)
Many thanks, good to know. Geez, Apple certainly stepped up to make a new MK version for the 2021 iPP vs. the original 2020 MK. Weird. I suppose Apple just favors the MK solution $$$$ :p.
 
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papbot

macrumors 68020
May 19, 2015
2,195
1,029
I go 50/50 with mine but I think I prefer the Smart Keyboard folio, especially if I’m taking it out of the house. And I’ve shaken mine, SKF, every which way and the iPad ain’t coming off. Extremely secure. I’m using the 2020 Magic keyboard and it’s been just as secure. If there were any magnet changes I see no obvious evidence of it. All the folios, keyboards and cases are very secure. That should have no bearing on which you decide to make your full time device.
 

joscejrod

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2015
509
352
I was hoping that I would like SKF better but after trying both, the only use I consider better with SKF is in tablet model flipped back. In fact this is when you’re not using it, and I still prefer regular smart folio in this case so…
If apple had designed any kind of protection for ipad when you detached it from MK to use as tablet, MK would the perfect accessory.
 

johntw

macrumors regular
May 29, 2016
210
239
I love the Smart Keyboard Folio with my 2021 iPad Pro 12.9"...

For the most part, it is very stable. I do think it works almost as well as with my 2020, with the extra weight of the newer model causing it to be slightly less stable than the 2020 iPad Pro in the same case. If you lean the keyboard forward, the iPad Pro more easily falls away from the magnets. This isn't a typical use case, but I have seen it happen when moving it around, or propping it up on something (like in bed). However, it works 90-95% as well with the 2021 model as it did previous models. I have no need for a trackpad and prefer having the screen closer to my hands. I only wish it would get updated with backlit or light reflective keys.

The Magic Keyboard is great, and the magnets are super strong. But I find myself too tempted to use the trackpad, and get in a laptop mindset and then just want to grab my work-issued MacBook Air. I really prefer using the touch screen directly most of the time. It is handy to at times have the trackpad there though. I might pick up the MK again one day, but really prefer the convenience of the SKF. It's so much lighter!
 

alexcue

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2015
809
1,114
Los Angeles, CA
I do like the SKF except that the finish started getting rough and couldn't stand it. After coming here and reading up on the Skins, I put them on and what a difference. Two things that I like over the MKB, one is that it is much lighter in weight, and two I can fold it back when I want to.

I still use the MKB more, but only because i use the trackpad quite a bit. But sometimes when I travel, the SKF is the one I take for overall weight savings. the MKB lack of adjustability on the plane just doesn't work for me.
 
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fishernomad

macrumors newbie
Aug 6, 2018
27
13
I bought the Magic Keyboard when it first came out and used it for a good long while on my 11" iPad Pro. But on a lark I switched back to the Smart Keyboard Folio recently, and I have to say I'm kind of enjoying it more.

1. With the folio attached, the iPad still feels roughly like an tablet when I carry it around. With the Magic Keyboard, it's easily into laptop territory.
2. The overall profile of the iPad is much slimmer when I use the Smart Keyboard. It's easier to lay out on the dining table or at my desk.
3. The Smart Keyboard is completely sealed so I can get all the crumbs and dirt I want on the thing and clean it off easily.

As much as having a high quality keyboard and trackpad is useful with the iPad Pro, I just don't feel like they've nailed it with the Magic Keyboard due to the massive added weight and size.
when i bought my 2020 11 inch, i was struggling between smart keyboard and magic keyboard. Eventually I bought the smart keyboard folio. one factor is price, but anther huge factor is that i need to use the iPad flat on the table ALL THE TIME, so buying the magic keyboard is kinda giving me more obstacles. With the Folio, i can use the keyboard when i want, flip flat to draw when i need to, and the key stroke, many people hated it but i found it very interesting. Just like the infamous butterfly keyboards on the last gen macbooks. And like you said, it’s complete sealed.

Although I’m still kinda concern about the life span of this folio, last smart keyboard cover for 1 gen ipad failed badly, the fabric had a corrosion rendered the keyboard useless. But so far, the newer folio looks good, the joint looks firm and thick, but only time can tell. So far i’m just using it as normal.
 

0128672

Cancelled
Apr 16, 2020
5,962
4,783
I’ve had my SKF on my Air 4 for about a month now, and it’s been solid product for my usage. I love the sealed keyboard, its weight, stability, and the two viewing angles. Although I can fold the keyboard under, I tend not to use it that way because the depth (without a trackpad) is short enough for comfort.
 
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Jessemtz25

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2011
184
42
Colorado
I bought the Magic Keyboard when it first came out and used it for a good long while on my 11" iPad Pro. But on a lark I switched back to the Smart Keyboard Folio recently, and I have to say I'm kind of enjoying it more.

1. With the folio attached, the iPad still feels roughly like an tablet when I carry it around. With the Magic Keyboard, it's easily into laptop territory.
2. The overall profile of the iPad is much slimmer when I use the Smart Keyboard. It's easier to lay out on the dining table or at my desk.
3. The Smart Keyboard is completely sealed so I can get all the crumbs and dirt I want on the thing and clean it off easily.

As much as having a high quality keyboard and trackpad is useful with the iPad Pro, I just don't feel like they've nailed it with the Magic Keyboard due to the massive added weight and size.
I do but that's probably because I mostly use my 11" for typing on forums on my iPad and not actual work.
 
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danniexi

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2012
389
324
they both have the advantages/disadvantages.

SKF: it’s so much more portable. It’s lighter and can be folded away when I need to use the iPad as a tablet. I’m able to flip the keyboard around when working and flip it back when needing to use the pencil. It‘s more versatile in that sense. Also, the keyboard is dust/crumb resistant, so I have no issues giving it to my daughter when she wants to use it and have snack on cheerios at the same time. Weirdly enough, I prefer typing on it for short periods of time. I type faster on it than I do with any other keyboard.

MK: i just got it a few days ago. it has yet to leave my desk, and though i’m flip-flopping whether i should return it or not, I’d prefer to leave it here and NOT take it with me. It’s heavy, but for it’s uses at a desk, it’s pretty damn awesome. my previous setup would involve a stand, separate magic keyboard (from an old mac) and a magic mouse. now its JUST the magic keyboard, and using it is much better. they keyboard is fantastic (better than old magic keyboard), and the trackpad is so much more intuitive as oppose to the mouse. and i have it in white so it’s that much more pleasing to the eye (i have my iPad Pro wrapped in a white skin, so the entire setup gives me 2008 MacBook vibes which I love). it’s a bit of a waste of money i guess but the MK experience on the desk is second to none.
 

lah

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2010
384
290
still using an 11in iPad Pro from 2018. unfortunately I’ve gone through 2 SKF - they both have stopped working and I keep getting the getting the “accessory not supported” pop up all the time. I was considering getting the MK but don’t want to spend so much money on it for it to eventually fail, once bitten twice shy…

might go down the logitech route.
 

Nhwhazup

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2010
3,455
1,700
New Hampshire
I agree that the new magic keyboard adds a lot of weight. But for me, I love the feel of the keys and having the trackpad. Works and feels exactly as a keyboard should. I have my IPP skinned up for scratch protection and just take it off the magic keyboard when using as a tablet. That combo gives me the best of both worlds.
 

MisterMillz

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2011
669
571
FL, USA
Have been going back and forth with this lately. I was blessed with a situation that allows me to have a free MK or SKF. I think I’m going to go with the folio. I prefer the iPad to still feel like a tablet at the end of the day. Finishing up my degree this summer—lots of handwritten notes. Folding the folio back is preferred to taking it off and the whole package (12.9) feels lighter and more nimble. The MK is definitely a smooth experience and the trackpad adds a ton of convenience when at a desk, but I prefer the 2-in-1 aspect the folio provides. Now the dilemma is stick with 12.9 or 11. Lol
 
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0128672

Cancelled
Apr 16, 2020
5,962
4,783
Eh, I changed my mind today and returned the SKF. I did prefer it to the MK, which is the topic of this thread, but decided to go with the new Logitech combo touch for the Air 4. Being able to detach the keyboard was the deciding factor.
 

JLOAKS

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2016
131
155
Swapped back to the SKF after using the MK for a year. The aesthetics, keyboard, trackpad, and backlight were all top notch on the MK - but the glaring problem for me was having to be more careful with crumbs and liquids around the keyboard whenever it was being used.

When I previously used the SKF it would come with me everywhere, whether it was cooking in the kitchen, on a dirty table at Starbucks, or on a countertop. Since everything was sealed in, I didn’t mind if anything got on the keyboard as I could simply wipe it off - it was the ultimate portable keyboard in that regard. With the MK I’m subconsciously paranoid about taking it places as often due to concerns about durability and cleanliness when being used.

My iPad is a supplement to my iMac, the SKF allows it to become the ultimate portable tablet. If the iPad was my main computer, the MK would check all the boxes.
 
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Johnny907

macrumors 68020
Sep 20, 2014
2,042
3,753
Picked one up today at Walmart for 149 and still trying to decide how I feel about it. The mount needs to tilt back farther, frankly. I find my fingers keep colliding with the underside of the iPad when I type thanks to the way I hold my hands over the keyboard.
The Apple faithful made it out to seem like this thing was the greatest thing since sliced bread but so far I‘m squarely on the fence, and that’s at half off the original full retail price. I couldn’t imagine paying 300 bucks for this thing.
 

johntw

macrumors regular
May 29, 2016
210
239
Picked one up today at Walmart for 149 and still trying to decide how I feel about it. The mount needs to tilt back farther, frankly. I find my fingers keep colliding with the underside of the iPad when I type thanks to the way I hold my hands over the keyboard.
The Apple faithful made it out to seem like this thing was the greatest thing since sliced bread but so far I‘m squarely on the fence, and that’s at half off the original full retail price. I couldn’t imagine paying 300 bucks for this thing.
If you work full time off an iPad, I see the appeal. But I do agree that the hype is overrated. Especially at the 11” size.
 
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Johnny907

macrumors 68020
Sep 20, 2014
2,042
3,753
If you work full time off an iPad, I see the appeal. But I do agree that the hype is overrated. Especially at the 11” size.
I do most of my work on my MBA but I would love to leave it at home in favor of the Pro, but so far I’m just not loving the experience as much as others. The limited tilt angle and close proximity of the bottom of the iPad to the two top rows of keys has been seriously annoying me. I’m heading off for a short trip this week so it’s going to get a full workout but if I’m not in love with it by Friday it’s going back.
 
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UBS28

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2012
2,893
2,340
I have used the smart keyboard for years on my previous 12.9 iPad Pro. But for the M1 12.9 iPad Pro I got the Magic Keyboard and I greatly prefer the Magic Keyboard.

I agree, that the Magic Keyboard is thick. My older iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard is much lighter. But the quality offsets the added weight in my opinion.
 

mizzoucat

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2005
213
136
I bought the new Magic Keyboard for my M1 12.9" and hardly ever used my iPad because of how limiting the MK is. I know I could just remove the iPad from the MK at any time but I don't like using my devices "naked". I replaced the MK with the following ESR case and use my iPad every single day now. This is the absolute BEST case to get for your iPad hands down! The material ESR uses is light years better than the garbage Apple uses for all of its cases. I absolutely love it! And it's only $30! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B..._b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1&pldnSite=1
 
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