What are the absolute best keyboards for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro?
Updated March 2017: Updated picks and images to our latest recommendations.
Just like the larger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple's smaller model is targeted at getting stuff done without the need for a full, relatively bulky MacBook or MacBook Pro: and that includes using it with a keyboard!
Folks have been using keyboards with iPads for many years now, but the iPad Pro clearly kicks the experience up a notch or two.
If you want to get the most from your iPad Pro and get yourself a keyboard, here are a number of reliable choices to keep in mind!
- Apple Smart Keyboard
- Apple Magic Keyboard
- Belkin Wired Keyboard for iPad with stand
- Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard
- Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard
- Zagg Folio with Keyboard
Apple Smart Keyboard
No surprise here, but Apple has its own Smart Keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and it works like an absolute charm.
Apple's Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro 9.7, in fact, isn't Bluetooth at all. It uses the new Smart Connector that magnetically fastens the new keyboard to the bottom (in landscape) of the tablet. It combines the tri-fold Smart Cover design with an extra fourth flap for the ultra-slim keyboard. It loudly snaps into place, but that just means it's secure enough to carry this iPad-keyboard combo by the tablet screen (the opposite of how you grab a laptop, unless you're under the age of 5). (Matt Swider, TechRadar)
Simply hook it up via the Smart Connector, prop it up using the integrated stand, and type away for hours on what is, actually, a very comfortable keyboard to use. It's not just a keyboard, either, as it's also a well made cover to keep your new, expensive tablet safe while you're out and about.
It's a little pricey, but it's one of the best case and keyboard combinations you'll find for the iPad Pro.
Apple Magic Keyboard
The Magic Keyboard isn't strictly speaking marketed at the iPad market, but it's a perfectly good option to use for every day work.
My Magic Keyboard arrived fully charged, and it comes with a Lightning cable, which you'll use to charge it from a USB port on your Mac. A switch on the back turns the keyboard on or off—any good Bluetooth keyboard should have this, so you can easily power it down before you shove it in your laptop bag. At 11 by 4.5 by 0.4 inches and 0.5 pounds, the Magic Keyboard is highly portable. (Susie Ochs, MacWorld)
The Apple Magic Keyboard is the Bluetooth keyboard you may well find yourself using with an iMac or a Mac Pro, packed with classic Apple style and a comfortable typing experience.
If you're already using one of these, or you need a new keyboard for your Mac, doubling up and using it with your iPad Pro will save you the $149 outlay for something like the Smart Keyboard.
Belkin Wired Keyboard for iPad with stand
This Belkin keyboard connects to the iPad Pro using a Lightning cable: the result is a reassurance that your connection won't suddenly disappear at a crucial moment, as well as a keyboard which doesn't require any battery power (pretty handy, huh?!)
This wireless keyboard takes all the power it needs from the iPad, with the only real drawback being that you can't use the Lightning connector for anything else while you're using the keyboard.
The build quality is nice and the typing experience is great, meaning Belkin got the two most important qualities of its keyboard right... it's a more attractive option. (Nick Guy, iLounge)
The integrated stand will keep the tablet propped up at the just the right angle and it's hard to argue with the price.
Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard
If all you want is a basic, sturdy keyboard that's great to type on and doesn't cost the earth, then take a look at this Bluetooth offering from Logitech.
The unusual, circular keys may be off-putting at first, but once you get going you'll barely even notice. It's a basic, Bluetooth keyboard, meaning you can also use it with a Mac if you need, as well. The slight wedge shape even angles the keys just right so as to give you a comfortable typing position.
It's a little quirky, even fun looking, but it does what it does very well and it's extremely affordable.
Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard
Microsoft has been making keyboards for a long time and its mobile focused efforts are some of the best around!
The Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard is one of the best on the market. It can be easily shared among several devices, it's generally well designed, and certainly well built. It's appropriate for businesspeople, students, or anyone who needs to enter a lot of text into a mobile computer. It can hold devices at just two angles, though, and is less useful for those who have a tablet and phone that both run the same operating system. (Ed Hardy, Tablet PC Review)
It can hold devices at just two angles, though, and is less useful for those who have a tablet and phone that both run the same operating system.
This universal effort is good for iOS, Android and Windows, and while it's not the latest model, it's the better option for the iPad Pro. That's mostly because of the built in stand that can prop up your iPad while you get your type on.
This mobile keyboard works using Bluetooth and has a handy operating system switch if you're also planning to use it with more than just your iPad Pro. And as it's a previous generation model it's also very affordable.
Zagg Folio with Keyboard
Zagg is a nearly perfect choice for those looking for serious protection for their iPad Pro while still providing a built in keyboard!
With Zagg's protective design, this keyboard is made to cover the whole back and sides of the tablet, and the Bluetooth keyboard is a attached with a hinge, so you'll never leave home without it.
The chiclet-style keyboard itself is really nice. The keys have deep travel, satisfying action, and are well spaced with a familiar layout that keyboard case manufacturers too often mess with. The keys are a little small, but it's still a very comfortable keyboard. Similar to the ClamCase Pro for iPad Air, the Zagg offers ample iPad-dedicated function keys in a row above the numbers. (Antonio Villas-Boas, PCMag)
The case has a leather texture for an air of the luxurious, the keyboard is incredibly thin and with the necessary magnets to activate the sleep and wake functions, you'll never be far away from getting stuff done (and all at a good price, offering a decent discount compared to Apple's own Smart Keyboard!)
So, what's your pick?!
Is there a keyboard that you simply cannot get enough of? One that's particularly comfortably and easy to use? Let us know what your top picks are in the comments below and we'll be sure to check them out!