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Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models.


The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to past Brydge keyboards, attaching to the iPad Pro using a set of hinges that allow the iPad Pro's angle to be adjusted to best suit each person's needs. It's made entirely from aluminum and matches the iPad Pro well, and at the bottom, there's a new trackpad.

Brydge keyboards always offer a great typing experience, and this year's Pro+ is no exception. In fact, we thought it was even better than last year's version because there's no need to press as hard for a key to register.

brydgeprotopdownkeyboard.jpg

There are dedicated iPad controls on the keyboard, including a Siri button and options for accessing the Home screen, locking the iPad, adjusting brightness, controlling media playback, and more. As with other Brydge keyboards, this one connects via Bluetooth and lasts for quite awhile before needing to be recharged.

brydgeprotrackpad.jpg

When it comes to the trackpad, it's clear that it was designed before the release of iOS 13.4 because compared to official trackpad support with the Magic Trackpad 2, it's a bit lacking. Scrolling is smooth and works well through a standard two finger gesture, but we did run into a bug with continuous scrolling at the top or bottom of a page.

brydgeprotopdownkeyboard2.jpg

While you can use any two finger gesture with the trackpad on the Brydge Pro+, it doesn't really work with three finger gestures. You can add some three finger button presses with Accessibility functionality, but it's not as convenient as the three finger gesture support on the Magic Trackpad 2.

brydgepro3fingertap.jpg

We did a full overview of how the Magic Trackpad 2 works with the iPad Pro in a prior video, and this is what we can expect to see when Apple's own Magic Keyboard comes out in May.


In the future, Brydge may be able to work with Apple to add more functionality to its keyboard, as Apple has worked with Logitech on some custom keyboards with trackpad support. Even without the full functionality of the Apple-designed trackpad, the Brydge Pro+ has a lot to offer.

Apple's Magic Keyboard is priced starting at $300 for the 11-inch model, while the Brydge Pro+ is priced starting at $199, so it's certainly a more affordable option. For those interested, more on the Brydge Pro+ can be found on Brydge's website.

Article Link: Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro
 

ascender

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Dec 8, 2005
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You have to feel for Brydge and their timing... given the Magic Keyboard announcement I’m not sure how many of these they’re going to sell. If someone is willing to spend £200 on a keyboard, they’re probably willing to spend £300 on one.

The Apple one used the smart connector, has the neat pass-through charging port and looks like you can remove the iPad with much less effort than on this one.

i wonder how the Apple one will compare in terms of weight though - when I tried a Brydge I was surprised by just how heavy and bulky it was.
 
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GuruZac

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Sep 9, 2015
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I was going to buy the Brydge keyboard, but Apple announced the Magic Keyboard with trackpad. I’m ordering that next month. I don’t care for Bluetooth connection, plus I like that you get an extra USB-C port with the Magic Keyboard.
 
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tgwaste

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
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Good video but I cant wait for Apples version. Even though its really expensive it looks really useful.
The only thing I dont like is no F Keys even though there is space. But Bridge blundered this as well. They could have very easily standardized the top row to include these keys. I emailed them and asked them if there was a setting to add them software wise and they said no. Huge fail imho.
 
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calzon65

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Jul 16, 2008
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Nice looking form factor and nice review.

I wish I were looking at some kind of touch version of MacOS (the best of MacOS and IOS). A hard-sided laptop with a removable screen would be fantastic. Or maybe when a laptop screen is disconnected from its keyboard, it runs IOS. Anyway, it would be great to have a solution where I don't need to tote around a laptop and an iPad in my travel bag.
 
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tubomac

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Aug 26, 2013
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Two big no, no:

  1. No smart connector
  2. This is written on their web site: ”Please Note: We recommend removal of any non-Brydge screen protector from iPad prior to attaching keyboard, to prevent pressure and damage to the screen when inserted.”
 
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bjet767

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Oct 2, 2010
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Okay, the newest iOS and quite possibly the iPad Pro 12.9" is really becoming a workhorse computer. However, what caught my eye about this article is what advantage would I have to buying this combo over my 13" MB Pro?

Just one, the touch screen! Love the Apple pen ability to take notes and write on documents.

When Apple does away with the two separate OSs and has just one, things will finally be where they should be.

Touch screen OS, detachable keyboard, OS X access to the file system and lightweight. It's all I ask for and the latest iPad Pro is almost there!

Maybe in two years the two, iOS and OS X, will be one.
 
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ani4ani

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May 4, 2012
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Two big no, no:

  1. No smart connector
  2. This is written on their web site: ”Please Note: We recommend removal of any non-Brydge screen protector from iPad prior to attaching keyboard, to prevent pressure and damage to the screen when inserted.”

I obviously haven’t see either in the flesh, but don’t all of these Keyboard covers mean that to use the iPad as a tablet you cannot have a cover and you must use it “naked.” I think with some keyboards cover you can fold them behind, but I don’t think that’s a great way. With the magic keyboard you can’t even do that so you are faced with using your iPad as a tablet uncovered. Seems a bit of a compromise to me.
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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I will wait for the new Apple Magic keyboard for iPad. The new design appears to provide everything I find lacking with the current iPad Keyboard.
[automerge]1585606205[/automerge]
I obviously haven’t see either in the flesh, but don’t all of these Keyboard covers mean that to use the iPad as a tablet you cannot have a cover and you must use it “naked.” I think with some keyboards cover you can fold them behind, but I don’t think that’s a great way. With the magic keyboard you can’t even do that so you are faced with using your iPad as a tablet uncovered. Seems a bit of a compromise to me.

Nope. The keyboard is a folio case that covers the top and bottom of the iPad. This is just like the current folio cover keyboard.
 
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rp2011

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Oct 12, 2010
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You have to feel for Brydge and their timing... given the Magic Keyboard announcement I’m not sure how many of these they’re going to sell. If someone is willing to spend £200 on a keyboard, they’re probably willing to spend £300 on one.

The Apple one used the smart connector, has the neat pass-through charging port and looks like you can remove the iPad with much less effort than on this one.

i wonder how the Apple one will compare in terms of weight though - when I tried a Brydge I was surprised by just how heavy and bulky it was.
I agree. They Are a small company that have tried hard to deliver really nice keyboards, but if I was about to pay $200 dollars on a keyboard, one has already crossed that line where you might as well get the Magic Keyboard.
 
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ani4ani

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I will wait for the new Apple Magic keyboard for iPad. The new design appears to provide everything I find lacking with the current iPad Keyboard.
[automerge]1585606205[/automerge]


Nope. The keyboard is a folio case that covers the top and bottom of the iPad. This is just like the current folio cover keyboard.

Does it fold back on its self to allow you to use your iPad as a tablet?
 
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Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
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Um... why not just get a laptop if you're going to go that route?

Because it turns into an iPad when you remove the Brydge keyboard. And iPads are pretty cool!

But you cannot rip off the keyboard of a traditional laptop and make it into a tablet. :p

The closest I've seen are those supposed "2-in-1" laptops... except they are usually 13"+ and are thick and heavy.

t0Zb8zX.jpg
 
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nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
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Does it fold back on its self to allow you to use your iPad as a tablet?
If you mean origami-style folding design of the iPad Smart Keyboard...

smart_keyboard_side__bwwfkp5v52k2_large_2x.jpg


No, iPad Magic Keyboard can't be folded the same way:
magic_keyboard_side__c1q3mygustoy_large_2x.jpg


IMO, folding design is more troublesome than it's worth. Although iPad Smart Keyboard is much lighter, it is still pretty bulky and heavy when iPad is used as a tablet. Moreover, it isn't intuitive to fold and unfold quickly in practice.

Simpler Magic Keyboard design is better, not only for attaching and detaching iPad quickly, but for protection and stability.
 
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V86

macrumors member
May 31, 2019
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If it only had:
- Built in powerbank with passtrough charging and PW + built in UCB-C dongle to HDMI, ekstra USB-C, USB-A, Ethernet and memorystick. (Cause its so big that this actually would be possible)
- Better attachment method. (More like the SufaceBook.
- Better protection of the ipad. Both for fall , but more important for rigidity.
- Possible to put the Ipad into drawing mode angles when you take it off the Keyboard. A simple hack for this would be to add a MOTH stand to the back of the Ipad.

F4728E2A-B3D2-4710-A583-AF2475B1EAA3.jpeg
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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Does it fold back on its self to allow you to use your iPad as a tablet?

Looks like it should. If you look at the picture on Apple's site the folding is very similar to the current ipad Pro folio keyboard.It just has the USB-C battery at the bottom when using the keyboard.

And the iPad Pro attaches to the upper part, again like the current folio keyboard. So should flip over like the folio keyboard. And when you do that on the folio keyboard the iPad detect the change and disables the keyboard keys, and the screen touch interface is the interface. The on-screen keyboard appears when you position into a field, and all other interface items operate like an iPad without the folio keyboard.
[automerge]1585613806[/automerge]
If you mean origami-style folding design of the iPad Smart Keyboard...

smart_keyboard_side__bwwfkp5v52k2_large_2x.jpg


No, iPad Magic Keyboard can't be folded the same way:
magic_keyboard_side__c1q3mygustoy_large_2x.jpg


IMO, folding design is more trouble than it's worth. Although iPad Smart Keyboard is much lighter, it is still pretty bulky and heavy when iPad is used as a tablet. Moreover, it isn't intuitive to fold and unfold quickly in practice.

Simpler Magic Keyboard design is better, not only for attaching and detaching iPad quickly, but for protection and stability.

You are comparing the old iPad keyboard, not the current Smart Folio shown below.

View attachment 902418 View attachment 902418
[automerge]1585613863[/automerge]
If you mean origami-style folding design of the iPad Smart Keyboard...

smart_keyboard_side__bwwfkp5v52k2_large_2x.jpg


No, iPad Magic Keyboard can't be folded the same way:
magic_keyboard_side__c1q3mygustoy_large_2x.jpg


IMO, folding design is more trouble than it's worth. Although iPad Smart Keyboard is much lighter, it is still pretty bulky and heavy when iPad is used as a tablet. Moreover, it isn't intuitive to fold and unfold quickly in practice.

Simpler Magic Keyboard design is better, not only for attaching and detaching iPad quickly, but for protection and stability.

You are comparing the old iPad keyboard, not the current Smart Folio shown below.
SmartFolioiPad.jpg
 
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OldCorpse

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2005
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To each his own. Personally - speaking just for my own preferences - I never could understand the whole Brydge keyboard concept. Lord, those hinges :( the very definition of "ultra-klunky". What in the world - the whole reason I like the iPad is the extreme portability, I can super quickly attach an Apple Smart Keyboard, or go without for the clean look - no fussing with anything, no syncing no nothing. This thing turns it into a not very attractive and heavy laptop. Holy Moses, this thing is just barking up the wrong tree... in my book of course. I accept that others may love it. YMMV.
 
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