iPad Pro Magic keyboard vs Smart Keyboard folio

dljor

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Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
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For the 12.9" iPad Pro, is it wise to use the smart folio and bring along the magic keyboard, instead of carrying the Smart Keyboard folio all the time? My typing on the iPad is limited.

For my 9.7", I did not really use the keyboard cover much.

Thinking about returning the keyboard folio or the smart folio. Don't want to keep both.
 

hemon

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2014
253
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I would like to know the same: what is the difference between both keyboards?
 

Lobwedgephil

macrumors 601
Apr 7, 2012
4,577
3,056
Really up to you, but the keyboard folio gives you limited ways to view the iPad, so if I didn't use it much, I wouldn't keep it.
 
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gatorknight904

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
520
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Dallas/Ft. Worth
I ultimately returned the folio and kept the smart keyboard folio.

I did not want to carry around a keyboard in my bag or hand along with the iPad when on the move. Many people complain about the keys being exposed when folded back but I actually accept this design because it keeps the total package pretty thin. This is much more important to me over feeling the keys. I like the option of flipping the keyboard out when I need to type a long response while out and about...which is what I am doing right now lol.

I still want to have a smart folio so I will most likely reorder the Ztotop Smart Folio when the new batch is in stock. I had to return my 1st one because the auto wake/sleep function did not work. The manufacturer got in contact with me to let me know they were indeed fixing the issues.

It’s only $26 and was a heck of a 3rd party knockoff.

https://www.amazon.com/Ztotop-12-9-Magnetic-Minimalist-Trifold/dp/B07J4K6ZK6

The combo of the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio and the Ztotop Smart Folio gives me the best of both worlds without having to give Apple all my coins.

I believe the Magic Keyboard will give you a better experience than the Smart Keyboard Folio. The biggest difference I see is the Smart Keyboard Folio has the dedicated emoji button where on the Magic Keyboard you will need to use the “ctrl + space bar” short cut to activate the emojis when typing. Also, the Magic Keyboard has the row of shortcuts at the top which is nice (i.e volume, etc.)
 
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dljor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
288
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Really up to you, but the keyboard folio gives you limited ways to view the iPad, so if I didn't use it much, I wouldn't keep it.
my thought as well. might just return it ... I still bring my MacBook Pro for extended travel.
 

Treebark

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
296
157
My experience with myself, and others, is if you need to swap cases or dig out an external keyboard it won’t be as convenient having a keyboard attached all of the time. It just won’t be worth it to go across the room and get the keyboard. ;)

Something else to consider is it is easy to remove the iPad from the keyboard case, so if you want to hold it w/o the weight of th keyboard, just pop it out of the case.

Basically, in my opinion, the nuisance of th extra weight is greatly offset by having a hard keyboard all the time, even for quick notes like this one.
 

Knowimagination

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Apr 6, 2010
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After my limited use with the keyboard folio I would honestly rather type on the on screen keyboard than I would type on that one. As it stands I intend to bring a small mechanical keyboard with me for when I need to type anything of any kind of length but that is probably partly just because I enjoy the hobby of mechanical keyboards.
 
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dljor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
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My experience with myself, and others, is if you need to swap cases or dig out an external keyboard it won’t be as convenient having a keyboard attached all of the time. It just won’t be worth it to go across the room and get the keyboard. ;)

Something else to consider is it is easy to remove the iPad from the keyboard case, so if you want to hold it w/o the weight of th keyboard, just pop it out of the case.

Basically, in my opinion, the nuisance of th extra weight is greatly offset by having a hard keyboard all the time, even for quick notes like this one.
the keyboard folio is not very good for propping up the iPad to watch video. the keyboard is always in the front, not like the old design.
 
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Treebark

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
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the keyboard folio is not very good for propping up the iPad to watch video. the keyboard is always in the front, not like the old design.
I compare it to the Smart Cover I had before, which was unstable when folded behind to watch moves or most anything else. So I see the new keyboard folio as quite a bit of an upgrade in watching movies as the rigidity of the folio provides a nice lap stand most of the time. I do understand about the keyboard poking in towards you in this case, but it hasn’t been a big deal
 

dljor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
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I compare it to the Smart Cover I had before, which was unstable when folded behind to watch moves or most anything else. So I see the new keyboard folio as quite a bit of an upgrade in watching movies as the rigidity of the folio provides a nice lap stand most of the time. I do understand about the keyboard poking in towards you in this case, but it hasn’t been a big deal

That's a good point.

Do you also use the Pencil? How would you draw with the keyboard folio attached? I have not received mine. It's hard to imagine how would I be able to draw or write, other than having the iPad laying flat on the table.
 

Treebark

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
296
157
That's a good point.

Do you also use the Pencil? How would you draw with the keyboard folio attached? I have not received mine. It's hard to imagine how would I be able to draw or write, other than having the iPad laying flat on the table.
I do, and not sure I’ve found the best way to draw. Marking up PDFs I’ve done with the normal keyboard protruding towards you, but for drawing it is a bit of a reach with no support. So I’ve done flat on the table, also removed iPad from the case and propped it up. Sort of keeping my eyes out for a drawing stand. Flat or out of the case is OK w/o one, but not ideal.

Edit to add: I do draw with the ipad in keyboard mode too, didn’t mean to imply you can’t. But do wonder if a better solution may crop up I guess.
 

dljor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
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I do, and not sure I’ve found the best way to draw. Marking up PDFs I’ve done with the normal keyboard protruding towards you, but for drawing it is a bit of a reach with no support. So I’ve done flat on the table, also removed iPad from the case and propped it up. Sort of keeping my eyes out for a drawing stand. Flat or out of the case is OK w/o one, but not ideal.
Thanks.

I've decided to return the keyboard folio. I just don't type enough on the iPad to warrant it.

it's hard to find a perfect solution to everything.
 

JuicelessMango

macrumors newbie
Nov 11, 2018
26
16
I love the keyboard folio. Honestly my only gripe with it is the keys being exposed on the back when it’s folded back but other then that it’s been great.
 

Karnicopia

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
429
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I also just pop the iPad out of the keyboard folio if I want to use it as a tablet. I really like how easy it is to do this with this version because I liked the 1st generation 12.9’s weight much more when I freed it from the case but that wasn’t something I would want to do regularly. Now this is so easy to do I value the protection and how stable the keyboard folio is in the lap and when moving and pop it off if I want to use it as a tablet and the 12.9 is much lighter and feels good in hand. I think I’ll stick with the keyboard folio because sometimes I do want a keyboard and it’s easy to take off when I don’t.
 
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JayMysterio

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2010
663
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Rock Ridge, California
Because of how portable the iPad Pro already is, for myself having an external keyboard isn't much of an imposition. I normally use the iPP by itself & find touching the keys on the back with the smart keyboard a bit annoying.When I do need to do a bit a fair bit of typing, I like have the choices of positions & distance the keyboard & iPP take. I especially like it when I am writing scripts and I have the option to put the iPP in portrait mode & type freely.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,360
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Depends on your use case. If your iPad is your main device and you do a significant amount of typing at a desk, an external keyboard is a great option. If you want to be light and mobile, the Smart Keyboard is hard to beat. It’s nice to have both protection and a keyboard at any time. Personally, even if I was in the first position I’d still consider the Smart Keyboard because at home you can use any inexpensive full sized keyboard via Bluetooth or usb.
 

Mabus51

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2007
1,332
817
If typing is minimal a good portable full size keyboard might be more beneficial to you. I have both the Smart Cover and keyboard and debating returning the keyboard to get a foldable one for the rare occasion I want to type. The problem with the external keyboard is you need to make sure it’s always charged, which you don’t need to worry about with the smart folio keyboard.

I’m still on the fence, but one keyboard I’m looking at is this one over the smart folio.
iClever Wireless Folding Designed https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JA6HG88/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_S5b7Bb2C1R5KG
 

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,191
914
I have the original version of this keyboard and I love it. I’d really like that stand but I don’t see it at the Logitech website. Where can I find it?
[doublepost=1542204096][/doublepost]
Better than magic keyboard?
It’s more lightweight, but probably not a better typing experience. (I can only compare the keys-to-go to the previous Apple keyboard)
[doublepost=1542204338][/doublepost]
I use the Studio Neat Canopy with Magic Keyboard with my 2017 12.9 IPP. Returned the previous Smart Keyboard as I found the typing experience atrocious.

https://www.studioneat.com/products/canopy
This is awesome. I have something similar for my Apple keyboard (the one that came before the magic keyboard) but this looks a lot nicer. It might be time to upgrade.
 

dljor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
288
32
which one is better?
  • magic keyboard
  • keys-to-go
  • microsoft foldable keyboard
I like the idea of the foldable one. it takes less space while not being used.
 

Mosschops

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2015
27
5
Have had both the Keys-to-go and Microsoft Foldable, and the Foldable is a much better typing experience and build quality
 

BaddAdvice

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2016
259
303
I just picked up a Magic Keyboard (what’s ‘magic’ about, btw?) to use at my desk. I also have the keyboard folio and have been using that since picking up the 12.9 last week. During the day, the iPad generally sits at my desk and I’ve been seeing how it is as a work laptop replacement (so far so good, the work laptop is just a back up at this point when I need to retrieve files from its hard drive or need to use specialized programs that I don’t have on the iPad).

Using just the folio case and the external keyboard works out pretty well. If I need to take a break, I can head out to the living room with just the iPad/folio case and web surf or watch Netflix (I work out of my home office). Then, when it’s time to go back to work, I just flip the folio around, turn on the keyboard, and continue work.

When I travel, I’ll use the keyboard folio (which I really like) - it’s just nice having a full keyboard and number pad (and a row of multimedia function keys!) when I’m locked to my desk.

So, best of both worlds, perhaps?