This was supposed to be written exactly 30-days after the fact, but life happens and I’ve been stuck in a fog as of late. Nonetheless, I’ve had 30-days to spend with the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, and not too much has changed from my initial impressions. For those reasons, this is going to be a bit more succinct than my first post.
Back to the weight
When the Magic Keyboard arrived, I was switching between using my iPad Pro in a Satechi stand on my desk and the Smart Keyboard Folio. Needless to say, I was living the “lightweight” iPad lifestyle, but it all changed with the Magic Keyboard. Yes, it’s heavier than the Smart Keyboard Folio, and it’s almost like carrying a laptop around, but that’s perfectly.
The combination of the iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Magic Keyboard are still lighter than my 15-inch 2019 MacBook Pro. This makes me want to grab the iPad **first** if I need to go anywhere, instead of unplugging my laptop. In my mind, that’s exactly what Apple wants. The iPad is to be the first product (outside of your iPhone) for you to grab when it’s time to get some work done, or even if you want to kick back and watch some videos.
Trackpad and keys
As for the actual interaction and typing experience? This keyboard is amazing to type on. I have the Logitech MX Keys and (briefly) had the Extended Magic Keyboard to use with my MBP, and this keyboard is better than both of them. I’m not sure what it is, but Apple struck a balance for me between being tactile and still soft enough that it doesn’t feel like “work” to press each key.
Comfort ability is king when it comes to long typing sessions, and the Magic Keyboard certainly excels. If I could have this exact keyboard for all of my current and future computers, I would buy as many keyboard as I needed so that I would never have to be without one. That may seem a bit over dramatic, but that’s how excited I am to use this keyboard.
Moving to the trackpad, I have to admit that it is a bit small for my tastes. But that’s not exactly a bad thing, as it’s easy for me to move my pointer finger down, move the cursor, and keep typing. Gestures requiring more than two fingers definitely feel a bit cramped, especially for someone who has big hands like me, but the job still gets done.
Maybe if the palm rest was a bit bigger, then I would have more to gripe about here, but it’s still a good trackpad. Hell, it’s better than just about any Windows-based trackpad I’ve ever used, except maybe the Surface Pro 7.
What’s driving me insane
There are two points of contention with the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, both of which have been covered elsewhere. The first of these is the fact that this keyboard is an absolute fingerprint, dust, dirt, everything-magnet. It’s extremely frustrating to see my $350 keyboard folio case get so dirty so quickly.
I may just have to go down the Chris Lawley route and throw a bunch of stickers on this bad boy. But then it’s a matter of feeling bad for “personalizing” the case or just dealing with the smudges all of the time. I do have a few sticker packs lying around and a few more in my Amazon Wish List. Maybe it’s time to just pull the trigger.
The second issue that I have has to do with the Apple Pencil and I don’t know why it bothered me until now. For whatever reason, I feel like the Pencil moves quite a bit more when I’m carrying around the iPad with the Magic Keyboard attached. I’ve been holding everything in one hand and then going to put the iPad Pro down makes me accidentally release the Pencil from its magnets.
This also happens when putting the whole ensemble in either my Waterfield Designs backpack, or Incase Icon bag. Maybe I’m just using it wrong, but that doesn’t change my frustration and wish for there to be a dedicated slot in the hinge of the Magic Keyboard. See this Reddit post for what I mean.
The final verdict?
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Amazon’s return window was extended and I decided that it was time to stick to my guns and stick with the Magic Keyboard. That meant that the trusty Smart Keyboard Folio was going back, and I don’t have any regrets.
Surprisingly, the best part of using the Magic Keyboard is that I have actually been using it as a tablet more instead of leaving it “docked”. Whether it’s to sit back and do my weekly review, or catch up on some RSS feeds, the iPad Pro is more useful than ever. But I still want an 11-inch Pro as a couch device.