Apple’s new Magic Keyboard isn’t the only iPad keyboard case with a built-in multi-touch trackpad, though. In this regularly updated article, we round up all the current all-in-one case options for iPad owners looking to take advantage of keyboard and trackpad input.
1. Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
Starting with Apple’s own, the $300 Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically to iPad Pro and includes a floating design that works on either a lap or a desk, and an integrated trackpad for controlling an onscreen pointer, which allows users to enhance their workflows in multiple ways.
It features cantilevered hinges for smooth adjustments of the viewing angle up to 130 degrees, including a full-size keyboard with backlit keys and a scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm travel. The only real drawback is that the layout lacks a row of function keys, so users have no dedicated key for adjusting some system settings, including keyboard backlight brightness.
USB-C pass-through charging leaves the USB-C port on the iPad Pro free for other accessories. It’s also backwards compatible with both of Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro models, the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) and the iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation).
The biggest complaint about the new Magic Keyboard has been the weight, which adds quite a lot of bulk to the iPad Pro. In fact, the 12.9-inch model paired with a Magic Keyboard is heavier than a MacBook Air.
2. Brydge Plus Pro Keyboard
Long before Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. The trackpad was originally included to take advantage of the AssistiveTouch features in iPadOS, but now that Apple provides broader trackpad support, Brydge allows users to update their device’s firmware to take advantage of the added functionality, using the Bridge Connect app.
Brydge Connect is now available in the App Store.
Update your Brydge Pro+ with the latest firmware to improve pointer tracking and the two finger scroll experience, plus introduce two finger physical right click. https://t.co/P4ocV94QVp pic.twitter.com/MUPWU80qny
— Brydge (@brydgetech) May 6, 2020
The Brydge Plus Pro keyboard attaches to the iPad Pro using a set of hinges that allow the iPad Pro’s angle to be adjusted to suit. Like the iPad Pro, it’s made entirely from aluminum, so the two match up well.
The full-size QWERTY keyboard features LED-backlit keys with three levels of brightness. It also features dedicated iPad controls, including a Siri button and options for accessing the Home screen, locking the iPad, adjusting brightness, controlling media playback, and more.
There are cases available for the latest-generation 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models for $200 and $300 respectively, but unlike Apple’s Magic Keyboard, the Brydge connects via Bluetooth 4.1 instead of the Smart Connector. As such, it has to be charged separately, and has an advertised three-month battery life per charge.
3. Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard Case with Trackpad for iPad, iPad Air, and 10.5-Inch iPad Pro
Logitech keyboard cases with built-in trackpads for the 10.2-inch iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Air are both priced at $150. Thanks to design input from Apple, the keyboards connect to the Smart Connector on each iPad, meaning no batteries are required. The keyboard case for the 10.5-inch iPad Air is also compatible with the older 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
The full-sized keyboards feature an integrated trackpad with Multi-Touch gesture support, backlit keys, a kickback stand with 50-degree tilt, and four usage modes for typing, viewing, reading, and sketching.
There’s also a row of function keys, with other options available for accessing the Home screen, adjusting screen brightness, accessing search, and accessing media controls. The case adds some protection to the iPad and includes a holder for the original Apple Pencil or Logitech Crayon.
Design wise, the keyboard case has a Microsoft Surface look and feel to it thanks to the fabric build, offering full protection for the iPad except for the section where the keyboard connects. With the keyboard attached, the iPad is protected when the case is closed up and not in use.
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