Best Keyboard Cases for the 2020 11-inch iPad Pro iMore 2020
While an iPad Pro doesn't do everything a computer does, iPadOS it gets closer and closer to macOS with each iteration. It depends on what you use a computer for, but for many people, an iPad Pro makes a perfect computer replacement, at least on the go. One thing you need to take full advantage of is a great keyboard. A keyboard case the most convenient, and the Apple Magic Keyboard is the best overall choice for getting the laptop experience with your iPad Pro.
- Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
- Best With No Trackpad: Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro
- Best Third-Party Trackpad: Brydge Pro+ Wireless Keyboard w/Trackpad for iPad Pro
- Best Protective Case: Logitech Slim Folio Pro
- Best Value: Arteck iPad Pro 11-inch iPad Pro 2020 Keyboard Folio Case
- Best Value Touchpad: TYPECASE Touch - iPad Pro 11 Case 2020 with Keyboard & Touchpad
Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
We here at iMore are all major Apple fans, of course. Apple devices tend to feel a bit magical, and this keyboard case is no exception. The Magic Keyboard is pricey, but it's the ultimate keyboard case for the iPad Pro. The scissor mechanism keyboard provides a pleasant and comfortable typing experience, with full-size backlit keys and just the right amount of travel (one millimeter.) The floating cantilever design is elegant in every sense of the word. Attach your iPad to it magnetically and adjust it to your perfect angle. When you're done, fold up the keyboard case for front and back iPad protection on the go. You can charge your iPad Pro through the keyboard itself via its USB-C port. This frees up the iPad's USB-C port for peripherals.
The trackpad sets this keyboard case apart from most. It allows you to take full advantage of the iPad Pro's capabilities, designed for multi-touch gestures and cursor control. This is what gives you the most computer-like experience on an iPad yet.
- Backlit keyboard with scissor mechanism and one-millimeter travel
- Multi-angle anti-lever design, magnetic attachment to iPad
- USB-C port for pass-through charging
- Front and back protection when folded up
- Trackpad for multi-touch gestures and cursor control
The beautiful cantilever design, scissor mechanism backlit keyboard, and trackpad for multi-touch gestures and cursor control make it the best overall pick.
Best With No Trackpad: Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro
If you don't need bells and whistles, why pay for them? Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio has been around for a while, but it's been updated to fit the 2020 iPad Pro perfectly. It costs substantially less than the Magic Keyboard, lacking such extras as the trackpad and cantilevered design. But you still get the Apple experience.
This is a full-sized keyboard in a case that offers front and back protection for your iPad Pro when not in use. You never need to charge this keyboard, nor do you have to pair it to your iPad Pro via Bluetooth. Simply plop it into place and start typing. This is what I call a smart keyboard.
- Smart Connector means no pairing
- Does not ever need charging
- Front and back protection
- No trackpad
- Limited viewing angles
Best With No Trackpad
While it's not magic, it's pretty smart with its easy connectivity. Just attach your iPad Pro to the keyboard and start typing.
Best Third-Party Trackpad: Brydge Pro+ Wireless Keyboard w/Trackpad for iPad Pro
If you want that trackpad for cursor and multi-touch control, but you want something a bit less expensive, check out the Brydge Pro+. The sturdy design resembles a laptop when attached to your 11-inch iPad Pro. You can adjust your viewing angle from zero to 180 degrees. The keys are backlit, and you can adjust the brightness to three different levels.
The keyboard has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and you can get up to three months of battery life on a single charge. Note that your iPad isn't in a case here; the keyboard has brackets that hold your iPad Pro in place. When you're not using the iPad, you'll get front protection from the keyboard but no back protection at all.
The trackpad is what really sets this keyboard apart from the other third-party keyboards. With a trackpad, you can use the iPad Pro and iPad OS to full advantage. You can easily switch between apps, access the app switcher, and activate the Dock, Control Center, and apps in Slide Over.
- Trackpad for cursor and multi-touch support
- Mini laptop-like experience
- Unlimited viewing angles
- Backlit keyboard
- Less expensive than Apple's Magic Keyboard
- No back protection
- Still fairly pricey
Best Third-Party Trackpad
This keyboard has a trackpad, which allows you to take full advantage of iPadOS on the iPad Pro with cursor and multi-touch controls.
Best Protective Case: Logitech Slim Folio Pro
This is another fantastic, high-quality option. Logitech has over two decades' experience making keyboards. You get a top-of-the-line typing experience with large, well-spaced keys and a scissor mechanism. Plus, the Slim Folio Pro is a full case, unlike some of the others highlighted here.
You get front to back, side to side protection; it's a full case plus a Bluetooth keyboard. You don't get a lot of viewing angles to choose from, but you can fold the keyboard around to the back if you want to read on your iPad Pro. You can also just collapse the Slim Folio Pro if you want to use your Apple Pencil rather than the keyboard. The keys are backlit with adjustable brightness levels.
While you don't get a trackpad, you do get a row of shortcut keys, with helpful controls such as Home, Key Brightness, Search, Virtual Keyboard, Media Controls, Volume Controls, Screen On/Off, Bluetooth Connect, and Battery Check. You also get a handy spot to stash and charge your Apple Pencil. If these are features you'd use more than a trackpad, this might be an ideal option for you.
- Scissor mechanism, excellent typing experience
- Case offers all-over protection
- Row of shortcut keys
- Store and charge your Apple Pencil
- No trackpad
Best Protective Case
Real case, real keyboard
Get full iPad protection as well as a top-notch Bluetooth scissor-mechanism keyboard with this slim folio-style keyboard case. You can stow your Apple pencil and charge it at the same time.
Best Value: Arteck iPad Pro 11-inch iPad Pro 2020 Keyboard Folio Case
This is a fully protective folio-style case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard. A pencil slot on the top holds your Apple Pencil securely while it charges. The keyboard has the standard Mac layout, so it will feel natural to use. The keys are designed to be quiet rather than "clacky."
When you close the folio, your iPad Pro automatically goes to sleep, when you open it, the iPad Pro wakes up. There's just one viewing angle, and it's just right for typing. It takes about two hours to charge up the keyboard fully, and you'll get up to 100 hours of use from a single charge.
- All-over protection
- Charge and secure your Apple Pencil
- Quiet keys
- No trackpad
- One viewing angle
Protect your iPad fully in this folio case that houses a Bluetooth keyboard. It also has a slot to charge and store your Apple Pencil.
Best Value Touchpad: TYPECASE Touch - iPad Pro 11 Case 2020 with Keyboard & Touchpad
The TYPECASE Touch - iPad Pro 11 Case 2020 with Keyboard & Touchpad is a hard clamshell case and a keyboard with a touchpad. The hinge rotates 360 degrees, so you can use your iPad Pro laptop-style or tablet-style without removing the iPad from the case.
The keyboard features a row of iOS function keys and 10 backlit colors. The 2.4-inch touchpad makes your iPad Pro feel more like a laptop, and it allows you to tap, scroll, and swipe without removing your hands from the keyboard at all. An opening along the side of the iPad Pro allows you to charge your Apple Pencil while using the case.
- Great value
- Backlit 10-color Bluetooth keyboard
- Apple Pencil compatible
- Fully protective case
- Function keys
- Keys are smallish
Best Value Touchpad
Bells and whistles
This well-priced option includes a fully protective case, 360-degree hinge, 10-color backlit keyboard, iOS function keys, and a touchpad.
There isn't a right or wrong answer to "Can the iPad Pro replace your computer?" It ultimately depends on your needs and what you expect your computer to do. Plus, we're talking about an 11-inch screen here, which is a substantially smaller screen than most laptops and all of the current MacBooks. That said, if you're going for it, you need a good keyboard. Do you need a keyboard case? No, you can just use a regular case or stand to prop up your iPad Pro and use a standalone keyboard.
A keyboard case is a convenient option that feels more laptop-like. If you get a keyboard with a trackpad, you can get even closer to the laptop experience. Now on the iPad Pro, you can use a trackpad for cursor and multi-gesture control, so a keyboard case with a built-in trackpad is ideal. Of course, if you're just surfing the web, watching movies, and maybe knocking out some emails, a less expensive keyboard without all the bells and whistles is all you'll need.
The ultimate choice is Apple's own Magic Keyboard for the person who plans to use the iPad Pro for work and other serious projects. The trackpad takes advantage of the iPad Pro's cursor and multi-touch support, which feels so much like a laptop. With a trackpad, you can switch between apps and access the app switcher. Plus, you can activate the Dock, Control Center, and apps in Slide Over with the trackpad. The cantilevered design is elegant, and it gives you your choice of viewing angles. Though the Apple Magic Keyboard is certainly pricey, it's got Apple's magical touch.
Credits — The person that wrote this guide
Karen S. Freeman is a teacher, writer, and family woman. She loves to travel, play with tech stuff, drink coffee, discover amazing new restaurants, and experience new things.
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