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Apr 12, 2001
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Razer today launched a new top-tier mechanical keyboard peripheral for Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which packs in PC-like mechanical switches for typing on the tablet (via The Verge). The $169.99 accessory -- which uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPad Pro -- also doubles as a protective case for the tablet when closed, and has a kickstand to perch the device open when the keyboard is in use.

razer-ipad-pro-case-2-800x355.jpg

The "ultra-low-profile mechanical switches" used in the keyboard case replicate the feel and responsiveness of a full-fledged mechanical keyboard, according to Razer, but with the slimmer profile needed for a mobile tablet accessory. The keys are even individually backlit for typing in the dark, and come with 20 levels of illumination power to cycle through depending on the light needed.
This revolutionary technology with slim chiclet keycaps raises the bar for ultra-mobile keyboards. Featuring optimized actuation and reset points and an actuation force of 70g, the world's first low-profile mechanical switch delivers the exact same performance and feel as a full-fledged mechanical keyboard.
Optimized for multiple viewing angles, Razer noted that the Mechanical Keyboard Case's metal kickstand is "detachable and not limited to a fixed angle," letting users find the perfect position for every typing environment. Concerning battery life, the company claimed that the case gets 10 hours on one charge at the highest-intensity level of keyboard brightness, with the possibility to extend that all the way up to 600 hours by turning the backlight off completely.

razer-ipad-pro-case-800x420.jpg

Razer has posted more information about the Mechanical Keyboard Case on its website, and anyone interested can purchase it from the company for $169.99.

Article Link: Razer Debuts $170 'Mechanical Keyboard Case' for 12.9-inch iPad Pro
 

triple-tap

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2013
265
46
Bluetooth is sooooo cheap right now, that manufacturers are simply not willing to spend the money putting smart connector tech into the keyboard.... yet, they want to charge the insane premium for their product.

If we really want people to use the smart connector as the new standard for iPad keyboards (and other accessories, I hope), we need to COMMUNICATE THAT WITH OUT WALLETS. After a financial quarter or two of poor sales, they will get their crap together and produce what the consumer wants.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,957
3,968
Nobody knows if the smart connector will change over time, so why build to something that may disappear if Apple decides it doesn't want that extra port anymore? Don't blame Razer for only taking so much of a risk with this new product.

As someone who would connect an IBM Selectric to my desktop if I could use it for my keyboard, I look forward to trying out a demo model of this keyboard. :) Not to buy, just to see how much of a mechanical feel they incorporated into this tiny a case. Weight isn't mentioned in Razer's specs though so I'd imagine this won't be a light keyboard case.
 

enkadrummer88

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2007
54
73
North Carolina
...yet, they want to charge the insane premium for their product.

It's the exact same price as the Apple version for iPad pro and the Razer version is an ACTUAL mechanical keyboard, AND you get backlit keys... I don't see how that makes it an "insane premium." You're really getting more bang for your buck if you ask me... even if it doesn't utilize the smart connector.
 
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Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,564
Kassel, Germany
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Apple's own keyboard is a pure cash cow and they have zero interest someone eating into their profit, so they set incredibly high MFi licensing costs for the Smart Connector and the manufacturer is left with pennies in margins.

I assume this will stay that way until Apple no longer gets away with it or the market is saturated enough and they pull out before looking too much like a bully to the conscious observer. (and the pro market is just that)

I want to develop an accessory that communicates with an Apple device using only Bluetooth Low Energy. Do I need to join the MFi Program?
No. Accessories which connect to an Apple device using only Bluetooth Low Energy/BTLE/Bluetooth 4.0 or standard Bluetooth profiles supported by iOS are not part of the MFi Program.
Source: https://mfi.apple.com/MFiWeb/getFAQ.action#1-1

Nobody knows if the smart connector will change over time, so why build to something that may disappear if Apple decides it doesn't want that extra port anymore? Don't blame Razer for only taking so much of a risk with this new product.

As someone who would connect an IBM Selectric to my desktop if I could use it for my keyboard, I look forward to trying out a demo model of this keyboard. :) Not to buy, just to see how much of a mechanical feel they incorporated into this tiny a case. Weight isn't mentioned in Razer's specs though so I'd imagine this won't be a light keyboard case.
Keyboard cases wrap around or at least attach to the specific device's dimensions which are much more likely to change.
When something changes, it also means you get to sell more typically, especially a third-party can't be blamed for whatever Apple changes, so they can sell you another case, keyboard case / attachable keyboard, etc all without looking like the one "FORCING" you.

Glassed Silver:mac
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68030
Aug 29, 2009
2,713
3,337
If it's Bluetooth, it could have benefitted from supporting portrait orientation...
 

JuBe

macrumors regular
May 28, 2009
111
41
I still don't understand the need for backlit keys. Are people still that unaccustomed with their keyboard that they have to look to type? A backlit keyboard just warms my hands (more than I would like) and wastes battery.
 

enkadrummer88

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2007
54
73
North Carolina
I still don't understand the need for backlit keys. Are people still that unaccustomed with their keyboard that they have to look to type? A backlit keyboard just warms my hands (more than I would like) and wastes battery.

It's not like you have to have the backlight on... it's technically an option. And do those tiny little white LEDs really generate enough heat to make a difference? I'd say it's just your laptop that's hot, not he keyboard. I use a backlit mechanical keyboard at work for 8 hours a day (using it right now) and I've never noticed any heat difference. In fact, my hands are freezing right now...
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,165
1,173
Montreal, Canada
I still don't understand the need for backlit keys. Are people still that unaccustomed with their keyboard that they have to look to type? A backlit keyboard just warms my hands (more than I would like) and wastes battery.

Usually not while they type, but since people's hand are usually not on the keyboard 100% of the time, it's useful to look right before you place you hands on it to know which keys are under your fingers initially. I know that's what the nibs on the F and J keys are for, but it's often quicker to quickly glance at the keyboard than the look for the nibs by feel alone. There are also those times where you use less frequent keys and don't know where they are just by memory. Do you think most people would hit the right key on their first attempt if they were asked to press, say, F7 without looking?
 

croooow

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2004
1,044
206
Nobody knows if the smart connector will change over time...

But the iPad Pro itself may change enough so that a future version will not fit in the "protective case" portion of this thing, even if the smart connector remains the same. An accessory maker should not count on a product fitting an Apple device for more than a couple generations.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,886
15,032
In between a rock and a hard place
I still don't understand the need for backlit keys. Are people still that unaccustomed with their keyboard that they have to look to type? A backlit keyboard just warms my hands (more than I would like) and wastes battery.
Everyone isn't a touch typist and with companies seemingly focusing on touchscreens, going forward, I'd say it's going to be less likely to find touch typist. A lot of people find backlit keyboards aesthetically pleasing. I know I do. Plus gaming benefits greatly from back lighting.
 

vmistery

Contributor
Apr 6, 2010
899
646
UK
I have the 9.7" pro and I'd prefer it used Bluetooth over smart connector unlike some here as if Apple even slightly move the connector the accessories won't be compatible with newer versions. Why take the risk when there is little benefit?
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,297
Hmmm damn BT.

Mechanical KBs are awesome. Might be worth a try
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,654
3,250
I still don't understand the need for backlit keys. Are people still that unaccustomed with their keyboard that they have to look to type? A backlit keyboard just warms my hands (more than I would like) and wastes battery.

LEDs don't generate noticeable heat and use less battery than you would think.
 
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xsdeus

macrumors regular
May 24, 2012
151
68
San Diego, CA
At least if they're going to use Bluetooth over the Smart Connector, make an option for vertical orientation as well as for horizontal orientation.

I think the iPad Pro's biggest advantage over laptops is its versatility in switching orientations, and yet, I have not seen one accessory that supports vertical viewing orientation.
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,200
2,888
Silicon Valley
Nice, but 70g is a lot of activation force! I hope that's a misprint. That's hard on the fingers if you're using that for a long time.

Anyway, there's still nothing wrong with carrying an Apple Bluetooth keyboard if you just want a decent chiclet keyboard that won't cost $170. You can get one of those used for less than $50 on eBay. I got one virtually brand new for $30 last year.
 

bobmepp

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2014
145
84
And that's where they lost me.
The price lost me. I use the same Apple bluetooth keyboard with my iPad Air and my iPhone 6s+ (yes it is very handy with the iPhone when writing for a longer time) as I use with my Mac. It works very well, stays connected reliably to all three and I can't see how it can be improved upon for my purposes.
 

mike1123

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2007
275
35
Okay guys, the BT factor sucks, but this isn't about that. A mechanical keyboard CASE?! I adore my mechanical keyboard for my desktop. The price is what it is because of the key switches. If you have never used a mechanical keyboard, I strongly encourage you to try one out.
 
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