Smart folio is a design nightmare

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by ninethirty, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. ninethirty macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    Got my 12.9 today. The iPad itself is absolutely beautiful, but the design of the smart folio keyboard is awful. It doesn't fold around as easily as the previous keyboard, it makes everything a lot thicker, and quite frankly, the materials of the folio itself feel cheap, which is a shame. But worst of all, when you fold the folio to the back of the ipad, to hold and watch a video or something, the keys are exposed on the back.

    I'm honestly shocked that Apple designed it this way. Anyone else feel the same, or have thoughts?
  2. profets, Nov 7, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

    profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    I agree. I've mentioned it in a few threads when the topic came up, and I'm generally disappointed (even after seeing it in person).

    What I loved about the Smart Cover and Apple Smart Keyboard cover on previous iPad Pros was the ability to treat it like a cover, fold it around, or pull it off very easily (doing the same with the folio is very cumbersome).

    Also, with the keyboard folio you lose the ability to have the tri-pane portion of the cover to stand the iPad up or have it on a slight angle on a tabletop. I use it like this quite frequently.

    And what I did a lot with the older one - I frequently would have the iPad sitting on the keyboard cover, propped up with the keyboard for typing, and it was so nice to just grab the iPad from it and leave the keyboard sitting upright to throw the iPad back on when needed.
  3. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007
  4. largefarrva macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2012
    I actually like it quite a bit. I was a bit worried that the keyboard would feel like the butterfly keyboards of the MacBooks nowadays but it doesn’t at all. Hell, if the MacBooks had keys that felt like this they wouldn’t be nearly as bad. Granted it is very little travel in a keystroke, but the feedback is a ton times better than the MacBook keyboards.

    I don’t think the materials feel cheap at all, but that is my personal opinion. I tend to not be too picky about these sort of things.

    As far as folding back goes...I don’t really anticipate having mine folded back. I prefer for it to be propped up with the keyboard accessible so I don’t have to always be holding the iPad up in my lap. The couple of times I did fold the keyboard back I actually didn’t do it all the way and just let it lay flat...that way it gave a degree of stability as I just propped it up using my hands. Kinda hard to explain what I mean there.

    It’s going to take some getting used to for sure, but as of yet I like it.
  5. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    One thing I hated about the other cover though which seems to have been solved with the new cover is the connection wasn’t always solid as it tended to bend and not make good contact with the smart connector. I would always have to slightly bend it back into shape so that it created a good connection.
  6. anthony13 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2012
    Yeah i love it when i’m Typing and hate it for every other position. I wish they had just offered the Smart Keyboard again.
  7. eulslix macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2016
    Can't agree more. The keyboard feels like a cheap third party accessory, putting both the iPad and Pen into shame. The price for this thing is just ridiculous. Typing experience is ok though.
  8. KrispyKrink macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2014
    It’s good for typing and that’s about it. I don’t like that the keys are exposed if you want to fold open to hold in one hand and over time these keys will collect dirt and grime that could put scratches on the screen.
  9. cardfan macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2012
    I moved to the reg folio. Keyboard was awkward and let’s face it I’ll seldom use it
  10. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2007
    The microfiber on the other Smart Keyboard collected dirt an grime when the keyboard was out. There is no one solution that solves this issue. But like the Surface tablet, both are easily and quickly removeable, but then you have the camera bump issue.
  11. ascender macrumors 68020

    Dec 8, 2005
    I love it for typing but it sucks for everything else. I’ve come from a 10.5 iPad Pro to this and the full sized keyboard makes a big difference.

    Unfortunately its going to be the best on-the-go solution for me for a while until 3rd parties catch up.

    So I don’t know if its a design nightmare so much as a cash grab because i’ve ended up buying a normal folio too.
  12. bevsb2 macrumors 68000

    Nov 23, 2012
    Only brief use, but I like it. It stays on well, comfortable to hold when open and supports the iPad when propped.
  13. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I never much cared for the previous version and didn't get the new version this time.

    I'm a bit miffed that I paid $100 for the non-keyboard version and it's not even leather for crying out loud. Just a few years ago with the iPad Air 2 you could buy a Smart Case made of leather that fully enclosed the entire iPad for $79. This one doesn't feel as nice and I worry it's going to peel at the seams like the Keyboard Cover on my 10.5" iPad Pro (which Apple replaced since it happened in the first year). But why did I buy it then? Third party cases are always difficult to find when they change the iPad size and beyond that, I don't think I ever found a third party case that I truly liked for my 10.5". They just don't exist like they do for the iPhone, or they have some stupid design or cheap materials. I just want the Smart Case to return in it's former glory but for these larger iPads. I'd even pay more for it, as ridiculous as that sounds, because I'm fed up with wasting time looking for something good. At least this one has back protection and a tiny bit of side protection with the small amount of overlap around the outside which is probably better than nothing if I drop it onto a hard surface.
  14. tomdwan macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2015
  15. chfilm macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    I agree 100% with everything in this post.
    I am so annoyed by this folio, it really kinda ruins the otherwise great experience with the new iPad.
    I L O V E D the old Smart Keyboard on the 10.5, I always always kept it on as the only means of protection and it made the ipad so much pro productive being able to type at the same time.
    I really badly miss the positions that you described. Agree, for typing, the new case is just fine, but everything else, good lord.
    I want the 12.9“, but with the folio already being so awfully clumsy and heavy on the smaller one, I doubt I could handle it. And never do I want an ipad without a keyboard again.
    Third party options always added too much weight sadly.
  16. kart macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2011
    Yep, I would have to agree. Does not feel like an Apple made product at all.
    I cannot get use to the keyboard on the back of the ipad when you dont want to use the keyboard.
    Even the outter of the entire folio keyboard case feels a little cheap.
    Disappointing Apple..
  17. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    I just got home with it. Works fine for me but in the landscape mode in which you have to use it the pencil is attached on the bottom. Can that be correct? The pencil will only attach on that one side of the iPad?
  18. techno-Zen macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2015
    Gilbert, AZ
    I actually like the new material vs the rubbery old stuff
  19. ascender macrumors 68020

    Dec 8, 2005
    It’s much more stable for typing on my lap though and that’s going from a 10.5 to a 12.9. The material doesn’t offend me, I don’t think it feels cheap, but what’s annoying is the lack of options for the new iPad.
  20. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    What a sad day when an iPad has a better keyboard than a Mac laptop.
  21. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    Its an iPad folks. The new Keyboard is not that bad, as a matter of fact, where you would normally hold the iPad with one hand actually is the upper portion folded back where you don't really have any keys. and yes the magnets are strong, so its a little tougher to take off, but its not impossible ... most times with the old keyboard i took it off anyway to read or browse ... its a little different but Terrible, i wouldn't call it.
  22. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
    I really think people are overreacting about folding the keys back. 50% of the back of the iPad doesn't have any keys exposed. SO just rest your hand on that part? Or detach the whole thing, which you can do thanks to magnets?

    These changes were required to make it WAY more stable than the old version, where the iPad was on a loose hinge and could flop forward and crush your hands.
  23. JayMysterio macrumors 6502


    Apr 24, 2010
    Rock Ridge, California
    I was really hoping for the 1st gen iPad Pro cases. The ones that came with a back, and the front could be removed magnetically. It was nice so I did worry about folding the cover around. I would hold the Pro with case, do what I wanted, and when I want the cover on just click the magnets catch & I have a cover.
  24. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
    But... what about a keyboard?
  25. JayMysterio macrumors 6502


    Apr 24, 2010
    Rock Ridge, California
    Myself, I have always been a fan of externals. I hoped that Apple would figure out a way to make a clip on that would charge somehow in a way similar to the pencil.

    Being able to just pull away the cover was just more pleasant than always having to grasp the cover while working.

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