iPad Keyboard case or Separate BT Keyboard

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Mainsail, Aug 4, 2018.


what type (if any) of physical keyboard do you use with your iPad

  1. Keyboard case

    19 vote(s)
  2. Separate BT keyboard

    18 vote(s)
  3. None - never use a physical keyboard

    7 vote(s)
  1. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    I have the 2017 iPad, and it is my primary computing device. For productivity, I find a physical keyboard useful from time to time......spreadsheets, documents, presentations, notes, PDF annotations etc..

    However, I have gotten pretty good with the virtual keyboard, and find the virtual trackpad functionality very useful. Also, I like to hold my iPad and use it as a true touch-first tablet. So, I often prefer to keep the iPad light and go with a minimalist case rather than a heavier physical keyboard case. Nevertheless, there are times when a physical keyboard definitely has its advantages.

    Anyway, I have both a keyboard case and a separate physical keyboard and keep flopping back and forth not sure which is the best way to go. I understand everyone has a different use case, but just curious what most folks are doing and why......this is definitely a first world problem.....but we are on a tech forum so what the heck.

    See poll.
  2. rikmac macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I have been doing the same thing with my iPad Pro 12.9. I would love to stick to just one way of doing business but both have pros and cons. Currently I have used Bluetooth keyboard, iPad keyboard cover, and virtual keyboard. I think if I could find a nice, light case with an adjustable kickstand like the surface pro has built in, I would more than likely end up using Apple Bluetooth keyboard. But I have yet to fine a case that is PERFECT!
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have the Zagg Rugged Book case for my 2018 iPad and like it. Provides good protection for the iPad when it's closed and the magnetic hinge makes it easy to reverse the screen for video viewing. I'm a touch typist and don't notice any significant latency (lag) when typing.

    It does have sort of a strange feel though, since you're typing on a hollow plastic box, but it's not really a problem. The backlight works well and has several different color choices and brightness levels.

    I have been thinking of also getting a Brydge keyboard, but there are so many negative reviews regarding lag when typing and customer service/warranty issues...
  4. sparksd macrumors 68020

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    I have the ASK for my 10.5" iPP but don't really care for it as a keyboard or a case so it sits in a box while I use a Bluetooth keyboard and different case (Smart Cover with matte clear plastic back cover).
  5. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    I have the Zagg Rugged Messenger for my 10.5”, and I LOVE IT. And that’s coming from someone who used the Apple Smart Keyboard for 2+ years. If I upgrade to the new Pro this year, I will be heartbroken if there’s not a similar product at launch. (I’m fairly certain there won’t be, unfortunately.)
  6. AlexJoda macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2015
    Use the Magic Keyboard with my 12.9 and it fits perfectly! Wanted the (smart) cover as flat and light as possible when i use the 12.9 as a tablet. For me the Smart Keyboard destroys the concept of the tablet. 90% of the time I am using the 12.9 without physical keyboard and for this time I wanted to have the best „pure“ tablet experience. If I really need to type something more the Magic Keyboard beats any other keyboard hands down! I have to take a bag with me anyway with the 12.9 so the keyboard fits easily in the front department of the bag. It’s exactly the same size as the 12.9...
  7. chscag macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I'm happy with my Apple Smart Keyboard and case for my 10.5" iPad Pro. I looked at other models and the only other one that I considered was the Logitech and that was because it was also backlighted.
  8. muzzy996 macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2018
    I like having my Apple Smart Keyboard on my iPad Pro 12.9 at all times. I never know when I’ll need to quickly type something out and I’m much faster typing on the ASK than I am on screen (not by a whole lot but still enough for it to be my preferred method).

    I also have an appreciation for keeping things slim and light as possible so I don’t use a case. Instead I have my tablet skinned with a dBrand skin and have a tempered glass protector on the front. Whatever works best for you!
  9. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    Having owned a wide variety of iPads (both Pro and non) and more keyboard options for them than I care to think about, I've settled on...
    A smart cover, a clear skin on the back, and a separate Bluetooth keyboard. This is especially useful, IMO, for those iPads that support the Apple Pencil. I agree with others who suggested the magic keyboard. That's a great option. For something super portable, I recommend the Logitech Keys-to-Go. It is similar to the ASK but not as good of a feel. The nice thing about a separate keyboard is that you can get a keyboard that is wider than the iPad.... Helpful if you're going with the 2018 iPad.
  10. wib macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2013
    I voted for a separate BT keyboard as I have one and dislike the idea of being restricted in the angle and distance from the screen that the Apple smart keyboard for example imposes. I have the Keys-to-go because it's thin, light and waterproof and can be used at any angle or distance.

    Actually I rarely use it, only when on holiday. My iPad use case is different, writing on pdfs, drawing etc. For email typing, the onscreen keyboard is fine, and when I want to type something longer I use my laptop at home, so I'm probably between the two, BT keyboard and nothing.

    (If my laptop died and I couldn't replace it, I probably would be able to get by with the iPad and the Keys-to-go).
  11. Mainsail, Aug 4, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018

    Mainsail thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    I am in a similar boat. After trying numerous cases and keyboard combinations, I am currently using an inexpensive tri-fold smart case bought on Amazon and a separate Logitech BT Keyboard (K380). My trifold smart case is like an Apple Smart Cover with back protection....but you can’t pull the cover off, and I don’t think the quality is as good as the Smart Cover.

    What I like about this set-up is that the iPad is light and easy to hold. It is also nice to use in conjunctions with a stylus. I have the Adonit Dash 3, since my 2017 iPad doesn’t work with the Apple Pencil. Anyway, it is easier to markup and annotate documents without the cumbersome weight and bulk of a Keyboard case. Especially, if you want to hold the iPad in different orientations.

    Of course, tomorrow, I might decide to go back to using my Keyboard case. Like I said, first world problems.
  12. Shanghaichica macrumors G4


    Apr 8, 2013
    I use the Smart Keyboard with my 10.5 inch iPad Pro. It doesn’t add much weight and for keyboard is a good size and easy to type on.
  13. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    I use an Apple Wireless Keyboard with Incase iPad Apple Wireless Keybord case and a Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard.
  14. wib macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2013
    Ooh, how is the Wedge Keyboard? When I was buying mine it was a toss-up between that and the Keys-to-go and the man advised me against it because of the weight. It wouldn't have been practical to carry around but it did feel very good though...
  15. Ulenspiegel, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018

    Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    I must say that it is perfect to use, no problems with portability either. Lately I type more on the Microsoft Wedge Keyboard than on the Apple Wireless keyboard.
  16. rikmac macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I just went and purchased the Logitech Slim Combo case/keyboard. First impressions out of the box are very good... I will keep you update after my upcoming trip to Japan, the keyboard should get it first major workout this trip...
  17. wib macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2013
    That's good to hear. I really liked the feel of the keys and almost everything about the design. I really fell in love with it, which is unusual for a piece of tech that's not Apple, but it really had the ergonomic thing going for it, and a satisfying weightiness which felt 'premium'. I still remember it after nearly 2 years so it must have been good.

    Enjoy using it!
  18. oakrrl macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2006
    A less known option, but one I've found helpful: I use an old Apple wireless keyboard with the Fintie carrying case for the keyboard - which also functions as a stand for the iPad. Best of both worlds: iPad remains light in my hands, but when it's time to type I have use of a full (very nice) BT keyboard.

    The downside: carrying separate keyboard and iPad is a bit awkward, and putting them both into a carrying case is bulky.
  19. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    I used to have the older version of that Fintie case. The Origami case for the keyboard was fantastic, but had poor quality in that the glue that held the velcro strips would not hold the velcro... they kept falling off. Even after using other glues, they'd still fall off after a time.

    Reading the description on Amazon, it appears that the Fintie version of this case uses magnets. That is fantastic. Fintie has always been my "go-to" maker of cases and covers so I'm not surprised. I'm eager to pick one up and begin using my old Apple wireless keyboard with that.
  20. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    I used a keyboard case with my iPad Air 2 but opted to just use the virtual keyboard on the iPad Pro because I hated how the Smart Keyboard felt plus it adds a lot of weight.
  21. Mainsail thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    I just switched back to using the Logitech Slim Folio keyboard case. So, changed my vote.....Ha!
  22. tonyc46 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    I just bought a new iPad and brought my Wedge out of retirement. However, is there a way to remap the keys to a standard Apple scheme?


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21 August 4, 2018