The iPad Pro is supposed to be a device that let’s people get some serious work done. There are people who love the iPad Pro as a laptop alternative and people who don’t. Until recently, I wanted to love the iPad Pro as a work machine but felt like it was lacking something. For me, that something was a keyboard other than Apple’s Smart Keyboard.
My work mostly involves writing and video editing on top of the constant flow of email almost all professionals navigate on a daily basis. And when I bought the iPad Pro I meant to use it in place of the MacBook I sold off. The heavy lifting (video editing) would happen on my 27″ 5K iMac and the lighter stuff (writing) would be done on the iPad. Except that’s not what happened. For the better part of a year the 9.7″ iPad Pro sat around being underutilized.
Without a doubt Apple’s Smart Keyboard has some cool features. It’s light and has an interesting style. The fabric keyboard prevents crumbs from getting trapped underneath keys. And I LOVE the smart connector: it’s super-convenient not having to pair the keyboard via Bluetooth or needing to remember to charge yet another accessory.
But the Smart Keyboard has some unfortunate productivity killers — at least for me and how I actually want to use the iPad Pro. There’s only one viewing angle which basically limits where I can use the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard to a desk or table. It’s missing important shortcut keys that could go a long way toward helping me get work done faster and with more efficiency (considering there’s no mouse). And finally there isn’t any backlighting on the keyboard which means typing in dark situations is less than optimal.
And then there’s the typing experience itself. I definitely don’t hate the way keys press and feel on the Smart Keyboard, but I don’t love it either. It’s just alright — I could take it or leave it (and right now I’m leaning slightly more toward leave it).
For these reasons I began experimenting with other keyboard cases looking for the best Smart Keyboard alternatives. Unfortunately I found out that a perfect iPad Pro keyboard just doesn’t exist. Every keyboard I tested had at least one glaring flaw. Still, there are some interesting options to consider. And in this article I’ve narrowed ...