Apr 24, 2020

Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Arriving to Customers This Week, Differences Between Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard

Image via Apple 
Remarkably, Apple released the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro 2020 and 2018 models today, with the projected release date in the next week or two in May. Many iPad Pro users have placed their preorders for the keyboard folio since last Friday at the same time the iPhone SE (2nd generation) started preorders, and they found out that their Magic Keyboards are arriving this week. Now iPad Pro users, from the newest 2020 models and the previous 2018 models have their first look at the accessory that costs a bit more than the Smart Keyboard, albeit providing more functionality and flexibility for every iPad user.

To begin with, many reviewers have got their hands on the Magic Keyboard on their shiny, new iPad Pros. The Magic Keyboard is available in the 11 and 12.9-inch models of the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pros. In differences between the latest keyboard and the previous, less functional Smart Keyboard folio, the Magic Keyboard costs at a hefty price from $299 for 11” models and $350 for the larger 12.9” models. The Smart Keyboard is $179 for the 11-inch iPad Pro models and $199 for the larger model. These keyboards are not as affordable for the budget iPad Pro user, unless if they want a keyboard folio that lets them angle their iPad in different viewing angles, a full keyboard layout and only a piece of magnets on the back to connect it to the iPad Pro.

The antagonisms between the two are that several significant changes propel the Magic Keyboard a powerful accessory for the latest iPad Pro users, that are not available in Apple’s previous-generation keyboard. Instead of two slots to change viewing angles on the iPad, there is a hinge on the spine of the folio that lets users shift the angles freely in 180 degrees, from working from home, watching a Netflix movie, playing games or working out with the Jillian Michaels app on their iPad Pro. iPad users get the equivalent front and back scratch protection on these accessories, with pairing done with the Smart Connector on the back of the iPad. The Magic Keyboard uses a scissor keyboard with 1-2mm key transfer and T-style keyboard layout, the keyboard design used in the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 2020 MacBook Air.


Some iPad users thought the new Magic Keyboard is slightly thicker and heavier than the previous Smart Keyboard and the MacBook Air. This claim is true, as the product photos on the Apple website and reviewers show the thickness when looking at the iPad from the side. MacRumors had their findings on the weight of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard attached to it, turning out to be 3 pounds, which is the same weight as its similarly-sized 13-inch MacBook Pro. When it is compared to the MacBook Air 2020, it is a bit above the 2.8 pounds of the MacBook. iPad Pro 11-inch models with the Magic Keyboard is a little lighter than MacBook Pro and its 12.9-inch model. This implies that if the iPad Pro regardless of its size, has the Magic Keyboard attached to the device, it doubles the weight of the iPad itself. The magnet is strong and does not unfasten or loosen from the iPad Pro when the device is moved, adjusted, or tapped.

Other than the size comparisons of the iPad Pro keyboard folios, there are a few downsides both keyboards have and the features that make the Magic Keyboard more functional. Inside the hinge used to angle the iPad and fold it to a cover also has a USB-C port on the left side of the round hinge. Except the port does not support dongles, hubs, and other accessories but supports PD charging, fast charging, and syncing from iTunes. iPad users have to end up using the port on the iPad Pro to use USB-C hubs, dongles, and other peripheral devices, but it is reasonable to let an iPad charge from the hinge of the case, which can also provide power to the iPad without using the bottom port or even when the cover is closed. Keep the dongles on and charge the iPad without the clutter.

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