iPad Pro 9.7" keyboard impressions

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by mrklaw, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. mrklaw macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #1
    Trying one out in the Apple Store to try and figure out whether to buy or not. Basic pros and cons:

    Pros
    Handy to always have a keyboard available
    Can touch type blind while watching the screen

    Cons
    Only available in grey
    Expensive
    Cramped keyboard is a little uncomfortable to type on
    Super flat keys don't feel nice to type on
    Adds a little extra weight/thickness
    Bit lumpy when folded closed - not a nice design
    Less easy to hold when folded behind iPad - flaps about a bit and feels thick
    Fixed angle for the screen is limited.
    Where did the pound symbol go? In notes it is shift 3, but in safari that makes a # symbol. Weird



    Overall I don't think I'm going to buy. The ability to touch type is really convenient, but it does feel cramped like an old netbook so it isn't completely comfortable to type on. I'm sure you'll get used to it eventually though. I just don't know if that convenience is worth the nearly 100 pounds more, plus the lack of color options is a real downer. Also I'm pretty damn fast at typing on the screen so that'll probably be enough for at home.
     
  2. Wackery macrumors 6502a

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  3. kjr39 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2004
    #3
    Does the keyboard have the same overlap around the edges that the cover does?
     
  4. WickedPorter macrumors regular

    WickedPorter

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    #4
    I don't have the smart cover, so can't really compare directly, but based on photos I would say no. It's flush with the edges when closed.

    I just received mine today. As for first impressions ... They are very good so far. I was a little worried about the size and ability to use it in my lap on the couch; no troubles at all with this use case. I had no problem getting used to it and am typing this at full speed, in my lap on the couch, with no issues. The size is perfect; some keyboard cases have a lot of blank space between the keys and the actual iPad screen. With this design, the screen is still close to you so reaching up and touching the screen isn't nearly a "stretch" as the other cases are. The number keys are ~1/4" away from the bottom edge of the iPad.

    It appears to protect the front of the iPad very well when not in use... will probably get some sort of film protection for scratch prevention on the back. Or not, it's in a soft padded slip case when not in use.

    The feel of the keys is very satisfying to me. It's an interesting soft tactile feel.

    No complaints so far...
     
  5. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #5
    It does not
     
  6. happyslayer, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016

    happyslayer macrumors 6502a

    happyslayer

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
    #6
    I just got mine today, about 40 minutes ago, dropped off by UPS. (I had to order it from Bestbuy.com since Apple was out until late April.) And so far it is pretty decent. I have a 12" MacBook also and based on that little laptop's keyboard, I think this one--while a little cramped--feels a lot like the new MacBook "butterfly" keyboard. Also, I love the tactile feel of the material over the keys. I am making the occasional typo (especially with my left hand for whatever reason) but it works fairly well.

    My only sort-of complaints so far are the lack of backlit keys (I've gotten very used to this on my MacBooks over the years and that the Smart Keyboard is pretty heavy when compared to the iPad by itself. Definitely adds some bulk. But it looks like it will protect it pretty well. With my last iPad, I just used a Smart Cover and left the back bare and it seems to have survived for the last three years with very little "damage" other than a few scratches. My wife isn't complaining since she took possession of it. So for now, I'll just leave this one bare for the time-being as well.

    And, as I type this, I realize just how good this this little keyboard really is, especially when compared to typing on the glass. Having the cursor keys is really nice! Now off to see how well it works in other, more intense writing apps. (Word and Storyist.)
     
  7. h00ligan, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016

    h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #7
    I have one here and I am totally unimpressed. I can't type quickly, it's not back lit, its' extremely expensive.. I could have typed this way faster on the zag Bluetooth I have already - it's a very very poor keyboard and there is little to no doubt they will make it backlit.

    I have only used it a few times and it does get easier to touch type but the fact it's not backlit, and the way it folds out, the way the iPad wobbles, the single angle . It's all very very poor.

    There are certainly way better keyboards available for the iPad, and given the weight I can't see leaving this attached as tall time.

    There's a smallest of small possibility my views could change but having used numerous other better cheaper keyboards I doubt it highly, by far the largest disappointment of the pro is this massively overpriced and cumbersome accessory

    End it absolutely does have the same overlie as the regular smart cover it's meant to cover the smart case as well

    Let's not mix phrases here this is absolutely the worst keyboard I've ever typed on for the iPad. Not just the lack of backlight it's the way that the viewing angle six it's the cumbersome hinge attachment it's the weight of it added to the iPad if you don't want to detach it on top of that it's wobbly the key spacing is bad the key depression as bad if you've ever used a surface three keyboard it's better than the iPad keyboard and the surface pro 4 keyboard is miles ahead of both of them. As are every zag or Logitech keyboard I've ever tried. (About six)
    --- Post Merged, Apr 4, 2016 ---
    just to be clear, yes
     
  8. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #8
    Everyone used to say that about the desktop keyboard, but alas, here we are in 2016..

    To your second point - Mine does not have that over lay. It's exactly flush. Maybe there're quality issues?
     
  9. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    A hot desert
    #9
    I have a smart (case? Rear? Back?) on there and it definitely has an abundance of overlap to account for the smart (case?rear?backside?).

    I'll
    Double check and take a photo in a few.

    As for the keyboard sorry to be harsh. I'm shocked how poor this is. I'm not a big fan of my surface pro 3 with 4 accessories now - but the keyboards on the 2/3/4 are just miles better. The flex is one of the worst things. The body flex. Get tapping away and the entire kit just sways away.

    Harsh response but honesty as good as the pencil is that's how bad the keyboard is imo
     
  10. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030

    spiderman0616

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #10
    I just got my keyboard today and I'm loving it. I'm having no trouble typing on it at full speed. It does have less travel than my other keyboards, but I've gotten used to it very quickly. In fact, this is the first keyboard I've ever used with an iPad that I've liked.
     
  11. happyslayer macrumors 6502a

    happyslayer

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    Glendale, AZ
    #11
    Just to be clearer: No, it does not.
     
  12. h00ligan, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016

    h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    A hot desert
    #12
    I'm not sure why people are saying no unless there's production variation. It may not be as much overhang as the regular Smart Cover but it is definitely more than the typical pre pro Smart Cover

    Here are a few angles. Please remember I'm trying to help. Which really shouldn't garner negative responses.. Clearly I like apple stuff by and large but this keyboard is very poorly executed imo the one nice thing which will be a must when I find a keyboard for this is the arrow keys, they're note present on most Bluetooth keyboards I don't think - but given you can use a full apple Bluetooth keyboard I guess they could be made to work over Bluetooth, not sure. It's the one good feature.

    image.jpeg

    image.jpeg

    To me that is overhang.

    Also - the dust/smudge line the smart covers tend to leave is really pronounced at the spot where the keyboard folds in.

    My opinion hasn't changed,, ,spacing of the keys is bad, lack of function keys is bad, shallow keystrokes... It's just not a good keyboard and it's too heavy to use attached all the time imo

    ]maybe you can post pics of yours sitting flush without the back case on?

    From where i sit it doersn't fit well at all without the rear add on,.
     
  13. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #13
    Here's mine. It's significantly more flush than yours:
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    You can see in the last image that the silicone back extends beyond the keyboard case
     
  14. alau0115 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Markham, ON, Canada
    #14
    With some hands-on with this iPad Pro 9.7 keyboard in the Apple store, I find the following shortcomings:

    1. Lack of backlighting as mentioned 100 times by others
    2. The Cap Lock doesn't light up. I have no idea whether the Cap lock is on or not. Really a big oversight.

    Other than those, once getting used to keys, this keyboard is not a bad one. Yes, the keyboard for the larger Pro is easier to type especially with bigger hands.

    Probably hold on to the purchase as this is way overpriced given the shortcomings, especially the Cap Lock has no light nor there is any indication of the status on the screen. Hope they fix the above 2 design flaws soon.
     
  15. WickedPorter macrumors regular

    WickedPorter

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    #15
    I'm wondering if the overhang will get better with use, can you push it back towards the edge of the iPad? Reason I ask: I'm thinking as one some of the pivot points break in, it may losen up a little bit in the position it should be in. I can pull mine out so it does have overhang, but when I push it back towards the edge of the iPad it tends to stay there.

    As for your general impressions/feelings on the keyboard itself, keep using it for awhile and see if it grows on you. It did for me. I've come to really enjoy the short travel and soft feel of the keys. I had the 12.9" + ASK before and had some extra time to get used to the feel with that one. This one feels the same albeit a bit more cramped, but I got used to that pretty quickly.

    If not, you could probably sell it for a premium right now due to the current shortage, they're nowhere to be found... you may be able to profit a bit on Apple's supply snafu. I would imagine more options will be popping up in the next few months that might be more to your liking, hopefully sooner rather than later. I don't know about you, but I can't go very long without some sort of keyboard for my iPad :D
     
  16. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    Apr 10, 2003
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    A hot desert
    #16
    Yah, I am going to continue using it for a short while (within the return period probably) I wouldn't try to flip it - I'd just sell it at cost to someone who wants and can't get it - thought that means PayPal gift - as I'd have to be protected.

    I dunno , maybe it will grow on me. The improved keyboard for the surface that arrived with this years pro is just so. So. So good for a tablet keyboard, And, to be honest, the kickstand also works very well. Please don't consider that I love my surface pro 3 i7 model, I'm not sure I even like it. But the keyboard is fantastic for a snap on smart connector type. Also, I'm shocked that for $69 rear Case and $159 for the keyboard cover they did not learn from all the negative feedback on the surface pro regarding. Lack of place to put the pencil...honestly if I keep this combo I'll probably stick the spare surface loop I have to the keyboard. OVerall though I find this a very very expensive combination considering the numerous shortcomings.


    I definitely have to get a keyboard, which is funny because It's only lately I've been using them.

    Typing this response on the keyboard and it's taken me about three times longer than on the zagg would have.I Think one of my biggest complaints is actually too much spacing between Keys, the actual island keys should be closer together - which seems like a backwards idea - but genuinely for such a small keyboard I have to move my fingers a ton to get where I want to go - 25% larger keys would have worked better I think. Maybe the small body accents that.

    I'll continue to give it a shot and hopefully I'll eat my words - but a zagg slim case that comes with the soft rear case and snaps into a keyboard for under half the price probably would suit me better. I type a ton in my lap and the single angle is limiting, I also type in dim or dark conditions regularly, so the backlight is a bigger deal. That may change - if I sat at a desk in an office using the pro I would probably feel much differently.

    I'll work on getting the case "pushed back" if I can and post pictures before I return or sell.

    FWIW I ordered the keyboard maybe two days before the iPad Pro arrived and it was citing 5 weeks out - it ended up arriving a day or two after the pro and it actually beat the rear protector - which came via on track

    Everything said it was going to be weeks but arrived pretty quickly - so I think their estimates are extremely conservative.. I'd be surprised if by the time my two week eval was up if this keyboard isn't available everywhere.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 7, 2016 ---
    Yah that's very very different than mine - curious... Explains why we were both so positive in our answers I suppose... I'll work on seeing if I can sit it back - I wonder if mine had more weight on top during production and that caused it to flatten out
     
  17. imofean macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #17
    Is it possible to adjust the angle for "watch mode" ? It's close to 90 degrees and parallel to me. I'm almost unable to it use when I'm sitting in front of a desk
    I feel more comfortable when it's in "keyboard mode" which is 45 - 60 degrees. But sometimes I don't use the keyboard and want to switch to "watch mode".
     
  18. seatton macrumors 6502a

    seatton

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    I cannot wait to receive mine. B&H finally shipped it. It will get there next Monday :) I tried it at the Apple Store near my office and within a few minutes, I could start typing fast. Let's see if that impression still holds when I have to pay $149.
     
  19. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030

    spiderman0616

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    #19
    I like mine more and more every day. Been doing my "day job" all morning on it today!
     
  20. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    A hot desert
    #20
    Lol I was just trying to figure out what watch mode was. I'm still not sure I know. I don't like watching at the keyboard mode. So I Jess I need to check or what other angles there are for this thing

    Guess I should look at the box pictures lol

    Anyway yah in watch mode it's unusable on a bed. Just falls flat the minute one moves.

    Another strike against it. I'm guessing that will break in a bit. But.

    I ordered this amazing piece of technology from Amazon bit viewing stuff. It's a technological breakthrough.

    They raised the price $1.50 since I bought it. Due to no doubt tens of thousands sold.

    iPad Stand, BEBONCOOL Tablet Stand, Adjustable Tablet Holder for 7-10 inch pad, E-Readers, Smartphones, iPhone, iPad Air Mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Nexus, LG, Kindle Fire (Foldable Stand) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UJ890K4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_jnVbxbFZ3DQMS
     
  21. seatton macrumors 6502a

    seatton

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #21
    Thanks for the info. I am reading review and I wonder if I should get the one that you have mentioned or this Amazon one. It is funny we all care about pennies, but we are all willing to pay high price for anything Apple invents :)

    http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...006ZT4VA0/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
     
  22. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    A hot desert
    #22
    Hello mate. They're the exact same stand from the pictures I see. Just one branded Amazon generic the other branded with the be cool whatever stuff. The price I paid was $4.50 shipped with prime. It's actually very nice and works super well. I use it with the iPad Pro. And the surface pro 3 now. I'm going to buy one or two for the kitchen so they can be run through the dishwasher to sanitize which I expect will eventually kill them but if they go back to $4.50 per - who cares. Give the one I linked a try, to slightly cheaper and literally they look like the same product.
     
  23. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

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    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Mid-West USA
    #23
    Same for me. It isn't very usable/watchable with the keyboard stowed behind the iPad. I'm flying tomorrow and would like to watch movies without the keyboard extended on the seat tray. But the sharp viewing angle sucks. I may have to but a third party foldable stand.
     
  24. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    A hot desert
    #24
    I've been trying the keyboard more and more. I took some typing speed tests with it.

    A very weak 51 wpm. The biggest issue though is that's when I'm set...in real life I struggle to orient due to no backlight or palpable home key markings.

    On a zagg keyboard with the iPad flopping as it doesn't magnetically attach. My speed was 71 wpm.

    On the surface pro 4 it was 78 wpm.

    I made about 6 errors on the iPad Pro keyboard vs 2-3 on the others.

    So while 51wpm may not seem bad m it's a pretty drastic reduction. I feel like I'm in matrix bullet time.
     
  25. Wackery macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 1, 2015
    #25
    I can't believe there are so many people who say they can touch type, and at the same time complain about the lack of back light on the smart keyboard. do you live in a place without modern lighting? can you actually touch type?

    It's a great, durable and fast typing platform, that's super expensive and overpriced.

    But i find i type better on it because there are few distractions, it's compact and efficient. helped ironically by the ipad pro's lack of true multitasking so i don't get distracted and can actually concentrate on writing.
     

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