During Apple's press event in San Francisco, the company revealed a new keyboard cover made specifically for the newly revealed iPad Pro. It's been made so owners of the large tablet can have a physical typing experience, while also offering a cover that folds up as well.
The Smart Keyboard is covered in woven fabric and each key has a dome switch similar to the keyboard on the MacBook (which had the dome under the butterfly mechanism). Apple says:
The fabric also provides the spring-like tension for each key, eliminating the need for conventional mechanisms. So the Smart Keyboard is just 4 mm thin while providing the accuracy, stability, and satisfying key feel you expect.
Unlike traditional keyboards, there are no gaps between keys. And it's coated in a water‑ and stain‑resistant finish, so the Smart Keyboard is resistant to stains and spilling.
Apple also provided information on the materials on the Smart Keyboard:
The cover panels of the Smart Keyboard are composed of three materials. Just like the Smart Cover, the top layer is made of durable polyurethane and the bottom layer is a soft microfiber lining, which protects the screen and keeps it clean when the Smart Keyboard is folded. The middle layer is what makes the Smart Keyboard truly advanced. It's composed of a new conductive fabric material that ensures seamless communication between iPad Pro and the Smart Keyboard.
The Smart Keyboard cover has a new 3-pin connector. It not only offers a magnetic connection to the iPad Pro it also allows for power and data connections. The iPad Pro's software automatically adapts to the attached keyboard. Apple says:
You'll find it on the connecting edge of the Smart Keyboard as well as on the side of iPad Pro. The Smart Connector works hand in hand with the conductive fabric inside the Smart Keyboard to allow for a two‑way exchange of power and data. So you can enjoy a simple yet sophisticated way to type.
The price will be $169 for the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard. It will go on sale in November, presumably around the same time as the iPad Pro tablet itself.