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DougFNJ

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2008
1,387
1,024
NJ
I bought the 2018 iPad Pro 11” with the Smart Keyboard when it first came out and loved it. It was much better than the previous versions of the keyboard that folded over.

The other day, I purchased the 2020 version of the 11” along with the Smart Keyboard, and the Magic Keyboard to compare.

The Smart Keyboard folio is incredibly functional. People complain most about the keyboard being exposed when flipped over. It did take a little getting I used to initially as I was not used to feeling the keys on the back of the iPad. I got used to it quick, and it does what its supposed to do, allows me to use the iPad in Tablet mode, while having a great keyboard for quick typing in keyboard mode. It protects the rear and the screen when not in use. The keyboard keys are protected by the material. It is a little tight to type on, but I also get used to that quickly as well being a touch typer. You have the 2 viewing angles, I typically keep it in the first slot. I find it good to type on the lap, it is a lot more stabile to work with then previous versions of this keyboard. I find the Smart Keyboard incredibly function, and to me it is the perfect folio for the iPad Pro.

Then I tried out the iPad Magic Keyboard. The quality is high. I really enjoy typing on it. The backlit keys are a great feature, the mouse really makes my iPad feel more like a MacBook. The floating design reminds me of an iMac. It’s innovative, it allows more flexibility on the viewing angle. It’s got the pass through charging to allow for using the iPad USB-C. It is a solid accessory.

Here’s the problem though. It seems to me the Magic Keyboard is there to sit on a desk. Using my iPad Pro in tablet mode is not possible on the Magic Keyboard which defeats the purpose for me. I cannot fold it back, I cannot fully open it. I use my iPad standing a lot drawing out layouts for projects I work on for work. Removing the iPad from the Magic Keyboard, especially while standing is not a good experience. It is heavy, because it doesn’t fully open, it makes it a clumsy experience. The extra bar for the USB-C increases the footprint, so the iPad wont fit in any of the cases I have for the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard.

I really wish they could figure out how to mix and match features. Allow the Magic Keyboard more function for using my iPad as the tablet it is. I understand why it is firm to keep the positions held, but perhaps if they added a button to allow the ability to fold out more, and even possibly flip it back.or if they added the backlit keys to the Smart Keyboard.

Both are great accessories for what they are. If the Magic Keyboard weren’t so expensive, I may had kept it for my desk. But unfortunately it’s limitations are having me strongly consider returning it. I am going to use it some more to see if I could adjust, but I see the Smart Keyboard winning out.
 

iDron

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2010
219
252
Agree. The magic keyboard really only makes sense if you want to use the iPad as a laptop most of the time. For me, this is not what I wanted. I have a laptop. I actually use the iPad very often flat on the table with the pencil. The Smart Keyboard can just be flipped around for exactly this situation.

I bought a Magic Mouse to complement the keyboard. I feel that’s a superior set up to the magic keyboard. More versatile and the mouse honestly is better than that little flimsy trackpad on the MK
 
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Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
1,853
1,912
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
I purchased the magic keyboard and a regular smart folio for my new iPad Pro 11". So far I mostly have the regular folio installed, so that I can prop it up without having the keyboard in the way. It is a nuisance to have to swap between the two, but most of the time I don't need the keyboard so it works well for me.
 

clumsythief83

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
259
53
I bought both and sold the magic keyboard.

I like the folio better because it’s much cheaper, much lighter and much more convenient for my usage.
 

tops2

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2014
368
185
I tried out the Magic Keyboard for my iPad Pro 11" for a few days and then returned it. Typing was mostly fine (getting used to the size and missing keys like Esc and forward Delete, specially when remote logged into other computer where the key combination for Esc and forward Delete doesn't work). Track pad worked perfectly, especially scrolling and the other gestures. I noticed that I barely used the iPad like a tablet and more as a laptop. But I realized I didn't want to use an iPad as a laptop, since the "laptop experience" is much better on my real laptop. I ended up returning the Magic Keyboard. If the price was much lower, I'd keep it..but for $300..hard for me to justify.

I do think about the Smart Keyboard Folio (Amazon had it for $99 last week). I don't type a lot when in tablet mode and I haven't adjusted yet to the on screen keyboard for the 11" Pro. Funny enough, I can type fine on my iPad Mini 4 keyboard that I've had for years.


I've been using the Logitech K380 keyboard and Logitech Triathlon the past few months. The keyboard is pretty awesome for the size. But the scrolling on the mouse still feels off (compared to when I use it on the laptop) and can't use the extra buttons such as "back" for Safari. I've started thinking about the Magic Trackpad 2 to get all the gestures again.
 

satchmo

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2008
4,348
4,671
Canada
I bought the 2018 iPad Pro 11” with the Smart Keyboard when it first came out and loved it. It was much better than the previous versions of the keyboard that folded over.

The other day, I purchased the 2020 version of the 11” along with the Smart Keyboard, and the Magic Keyboard to compare.

The Smart Keyboard folio is incredibly functional. People complain most about the keyboard being exposed when flipped over. It did take a little getting I used to initially as I was not used to feeling the keys on the back of the iPad. I got used to it quick, and it does what its supposed to do, allows me to use the iPad in Tablet mode, while having a great keyboard for quick typing in keyboard mode. It protects the rear and the screen when not in use. The keyboard keys are protected by the material. It is a little tight to type on, but I also get used to that quickly as well being a touch typer. You have the 2 viewing angles, I typically keep it in the first slot. I find it good to type on the lap, it is a lot more stabile to work with then previous versions of this keyboard. I find the Smart Keyboard incredibly function, and to me it is the perfect folio for the iPad Pro.

Then I tried out the iPad Magic Keyboard. The quality is high. I really enjoy typing on it. The backlit keys are a great feature, the mouse really makes my iPad feel more like a MacBook. The floating design reminds me of an iMac. It’s innovative, it allows more flexibility on the viewing angle. It’s got the pass through charging to allow for using the iPad USB-C. It is a solid accessory.

Here’s the problem though. It seems to me the Magic Keyboard is there to sit on a desk. Using my iPad Pro in tablet mode is not possible on the Magic Keyboard which defeats the purpose for me. I cannot fold it back, I cannot fully open it. I use my iPad standing a lot drawing out layouts for projects I work on for work. Removing the iPad from the Magic Keyboard, especially while standing is not a good experience. It is heavy, because it doesn’t fully open, it makes it a clumsy experience. The extra bar for the USB-C increases the footprint, so the iPad wont fit in any of the cases I have for the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard.

I really wish they could figure out how to mix and match features. Allow the Magic Keyboard more function for using my iPad as the tablet it is. I understand why it is firm to keep the positions held, but perhaps if they added a button to allow the ability to fold out more, and even possibly flip it back.or if they added the backlit keys to the Smart Keyboard.

Both are great accessories for what they are. If the Magic Keyboard weren’t so expensive, I may had kept it for my desk. But unfortunately it’s limitations are having me strongly consider returning it. I am going to use it some more to see if I could adjust, but I see the Smart Keyboard winning out.

I've suggested this in the past as well. But I truly think Apple wants to distinguish the two for completely different use cases (and force you to buy both). I'm sure they could have if they wanted to engineer the Magic Keyboard to fold further back and collapse onto itself.

Some of the Logitech cases will allow you to accomplish both tasks, albeit in a thicker form factor. And they are much less expensive. Just wish they'd look at ways to make it less bulky.

I'm still on the fence, but will likely end up with the Smart Keyboard Folio for many of the reasons you mentioned. Primarily the ability to use it in tablet mode by simply folding back the cover. Not a fan of the key feel with the covered membrane, and lack of backlit. I wish they just used the same keyboard they use on the Magic Keyboard.

Hopefully we'll see updated offerings from both Apple and Logitech. Maybe in the new year when the new iPad Pro's get updated in the spring?
 
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