How useful is your Smart Keyboard?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by kat.hayes, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
    Just curious to hear from anyone who has been using one for a few weeks, how useful do you find it? I have read some reviews, though I am curious to hear from users...

  2. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    I am curious as well. My current setup is a UAG case that has a great adjustable easel style back, and an Anker Bluetooth keyboard. This whole setup cost me 70 bucks, much less than the smart keyboard. I've thought about getting the smart keyboard but I don't know if it's really worth it's price.
  3. sportykid2332 macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2008
    Took some getting used to, but I'm a big fan. Wish there were function keys, but it hasn't turned out to be a huge deal. Plus the keyboard shortcuts work pretty well. Moreover, the case has a very strong magnetic connection to the iPad (more so than a normal Smart Cover in my opinion). With the the keyboard set up, I can carry around the ipad by just holding on to the keyboard base (like I would a laptop). Also, I like not having to worry about pairing with a Bluetooth keyboard.
  4. Daws001 macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2011
    The States
    I love it. It's sturdy, the keys feel nice, I don't have to worry about charging it, and I've had zero connection issues (can't say that for the bluetooth keyboards I've used before). Plus it's a cover and a stand. It's definitely pricey but I'm glad I bought it.

    I considered getting the Logitech smart keyboard, I like that it's backlit and has function keys, but after watching video reviews of people struggling to get the iPad in and out of the case, that drove me to get the simpler Smart Keyboard. I like being able to easily transition from tablet to "laptop" mode.

    I also prefer my Apple devices nekkid so I just use the Smart Keyboard and a sleeve case.
  5. MartyCan macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2012
    Near Toronto, ON
    How about someone who's been using one for a few months? I love it! Same effect as typing on any keyboard. I can look at the screen to see what I am typing versus looking at the on screen keyboard to see that I think I hit the key I wanted but did not proof read the results. Much faster. Feels fine to me to. Not the same keystroke as a conventional keyboatd but still a definitive "click" to let you know you hit a key.

    I could write a book with this thing if I was a writer. But for all the uses I have I think it is great.
  6. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    There are cheaper options if you don't mind the additional weight or setup.

    However, in terms of portability, the Apple Smart Keyboard serves several purposes - a protective cover, a stand and a keyboard of course - all while weighing a mere .74lb / 335gm. In contrast, I believe the UAG case weighs 1.06lb? Adding the Anker Keyboard @ .42lb and you end up with 1.48lb... exactly double the weight, in two separate parts, and the Anker Keyboard is a separate battery-charged device (albeit it rarely requires recharging).

    You do get more protection with a UAG case though. But if you just want a grab and go combination with maximum portability and functionality, ASK + iPad Pro is hard to beat. See what you need.

    You should always get AppleCare+ for an iPad Pro however. The out-of-warranty replacement is a ridiculous $599, 4 times what you'd pay if you'd bought AppleCare+ ($99+$49).
  7. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I had the Logitech Create. I think it's a better keyboard (Fn keys, backlit, better feel) but it was too heavy and it made the iPad Pro experience go from a huge iPad into a crippled "notebook".

    The Smart Cover is actually a very very poor effort by Apple (awkward origami setup, no backlight, no Fn keys, terrible type feel) but I prefer it because of the convenience of a lightweight, easily removable keyboard cover.

    In the end, the I learned a few things:

    1) A keyboard without a mouse just feels wrong

    2) Magnets are awesome.

    3) Microsoft got it right. Not only would a kickstand design solve a dozen problems, The entire Surface hybrid design is the inevitable future of both the iPad and Macbook so Apple is wasting our time by resisting a properly designed iPad Pro notebook/tablet.
  8. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    yeah I don't know why Apple didn't just copy the Surface wholesale. Simple single flap keyboard, proper rectangular keys (I'm sure you get used to the smart keyboard but they felt horrible in store), and a stand built into the ipad. If they don't like the big flap that the surface uses, the HP x2 has a nice way of just using the edge of the tablet as a frame that comes out to form a stand.

    I'd also want mouse support. Keyboard without a mouse or trackpad is only a half solution (personal opinion obviously)

    so near, yet so far.
  9. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2013
    I'm not sure about the bolded part above. I've never used a kickstand on my lap like I can with this apple keyboard, does the kickstand work the same?
  10. tagumcity macrumors member

    May 11, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I returned the Apple Smart Keyboard because I don't need a physical keyboard on a regular basis and when appropriate I have a Logitech K810, also the ASK is added bulk and weight. My choice of the IPP over a laptop was to minimize size and weight for mobile computing.
  11. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    i purchased mine before Christmas with my ipp, specifically for desk top usage.

    i love it to bits and hammer crap out of it on a daily bases! it's wonderful :)
  12. batristain macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2014
    I had also thought about the Logitech keyboard but decided against it because it's hard to get iPad out and the weight/bulk. I hated the price of the Smart Keyboard and silicon case so I found an Open box keyboard for 145.00 at Best Buy and got a back cover for 10 bucks from Amazon (ESR). I now use my iPad Pro more than my MBA or MBP. It gives the iPad a lot more functionality. When I want to read or play a game I just take the Smart Keyboard off.

  13. infiniteentropy macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2009
    The Smart Keyboard is (supposedly) the same switches and travel as the new 12" Macbook keyboard, which I also love. For me, it's terrific as a portable keyboard. I use it regularly when I am not writing code on my favorite keyboard by a mile, the aptly-named CODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX Clear. The Smart Keyboard is quick to type on, very portable, and the quick travel on the keys and the new switch mechanism make typing on it also very good. I wish it had function keys (play / pause, volume up, volume down, etc.) but I have learned to just use headphones with my iPad Pro and do those functions through the heaphones.
  14. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Definitely, and for several reasons.

    1) Smart covers are magnetically attached to screen so sometimes they can detach when jostled. Kickstand is integrated to screen.

    2) Smart Keyboard requires some origami work to get it set up which means more points of unraveling or detachment. With a kickstand out then the keyboard connects at a single point at the Smart Connector.

    3) Kickstand has a wide range of angles so you can lock it in high for typing or lower it for games/viewing. Unfortunately, the Smart Keyboard has a single angle that is fine for desks but on my lap it really isn't that comfortable.

    I'm not trying to sound like some sort of Surface Pro advocate because I sold mine pretty quick. But I was really impressed with how much versatility the kickstand created for the Surface experience so I do hope that Apple uses stuff like an integrated stand to differentiate the "Pro" models from the regular iPads.
  15. Peter K. macrumors 6502a

    Peter K.

    Nov 6, 2012
    SoCal / Philly
    I totally agree. I originally planned to get the Create, but the convenience of the magnet won me over.
  16. temna macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2008
    God I hope not. That's what cases are for, because having one built in will add to the weight and the bulk of the device. When I need a kick stand there are cases for it. When I don't..
    --- Post Merged, Mar 16, 2016 ---
    I have the Create, it goes back tonight.. The bulk and the sunken in keyboard annoys me to no end.
  17. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I disagree - I've had a surface and it was really awkward to balance in on your knee with the kickstand and the keyboard moving all over the place. I much prefer the iPP and smart keyboard: it feels more sturdy and balances easily on my knee.
    Before I got it, was concerned by the design, but in use I love it - It's not difficult to set up as a stand or a keyboard, it's light and the feel of the keyboard is fantastic :)
  18. Kjung7 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Is it just me or does the fact that the bottom of the keyboard is always on the surface you're setting the iPad on bother anyone else? I may be OCD but a lot of tables at cafes and libraries are pretty gross. I think that's the biggest thing that bothers me about the design
  19. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    Is it completely flat - no angle to it at all?
  20. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2013
    I think he/she means that when using the keyboard on a public table, you are in contact with public dirt.

    I agree with him/her. It is kinda gross, which is why I typically put in on my lap. Another option is to bring a disinfectant wipe to wipe the counter off first.
  21. Kjung7 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Yup it's flat. The whole side that'll rest on the screen gets covered with public grime when you fold up the keyboard. The only solution I found was to place a notebook/folder underneath the keyboard.
  22. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    If you buy the ipp buy with the smartkeyboard otherwise its just a big ipad
    The combinations keys took from osx make your life and use easier
    They just need to bring the backlight keys and resolve the app switch issue that is not working flawless with cmd tab
  23. Trogladite macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2016
    Third month with the Smart Keyboard. Works great for what I do. Having said that I am writing this on the iPad screen keyboard on my lap. That works good too.

    Would I use it for serious document writing. I have still to test that out, but for everything else the portability and lack of weight means it is a dream so for. And those serious docs tend to be done in my office where reference stuff is available. However I have used ipp to correct and edit stuff while sitting in my car.

    I do have nagging doubts about the longevity of the Smart Keyboard but they are doubts without foundation, more to do with something this thin and flexible being up to several years serving as a a cover and a keyboard. Time will answer that one I guess.

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