Best Keyboard Cases for the 2020 12.9-inch iPad Pro iMore 2021
There's a lot of debate over whether the iPad Pro can truly be a computer replacement, but the bottom line is that it depends on what you need to use your computer to do. For many of us, the iPad can do everything we need and more, especially when you have the screen real estate of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. If you're going to be doing computer "stuff," one of the best iPad Pro accessories you'll need is a good keyboard, such as Apple's own Magic Keyboard. A keyboard case is particularly convenient, so here are some of your best options.
- Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
- Best Without Trackpad: Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for 12.9-inch iPad Pro
- Best Trackpad Alternative: Brydge Pro+ Wireless Keyboard w/Trackpad for iPad Pro
- Best Protection: Logitech Slim Folio Pro
- Best Value: CHESONA Keyboard Case for iPad Pro
- Best Colorful Bargain: Luibor Keyboard Case for iPad Pro
Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
Apple sprinkles a bit of magic into everything they do, which is why we love them. Although the Magic Keyboard is pricey, it's still the best 12.9-inch iPad Pro keyboard case for various reasons. The scissor mechanism keyboard provides an outstanding typing experience, with full-size backlit keys and just the right amount of travel (one millimeter). The floating cantilever design is, well, magical. Attach your iPad to it magnetically for an amazing look. It's also adjustable to your perfect angle. Plus, fold up the keyboard case for front and back iPad protection on the go. Charge your iPad Pro through the keyboard itself via its USB-C port, which frees up the iPad's port for peripherals.
The trackpad allows you to take full advantage of the iPad Pro's capabilities. It's designed for multi-touch gestures and cursor control, giving 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
Best Without Trackpad: Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro
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 if you want that Apple experience, it's a great option. 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. Smart!
- Smart Connector means no pairing
- Does not ever need charging
- Front and back protection
- No trackpad
- Limited viewing angles
Best Trackpad Alternative: Brydge Pro+ Wireless Keyboard w/Trackpad for iPad Pro
If you want that trackpad for cursor and multi-touch control, but you don't want to pay Apple's prices, check out the Brydge Pro+. The sturdy design certainly resembles a laptop. 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.
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
- Laptop-like experience
- Unlimited viewing angles
- Backlit keyboard
- Less expensive than Apple's Magic Keyboard
- No back protection
- Still fairly pricey
Best Protection: Logitech Slim Folio Pro
Logitech has over two decades' experience making keyboards. You get a smooth and responsive 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 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.
- Scissor mechanism, excellent typing experience
- Case offers all-over protection
- Row of shortcut keys
- Store and charge your Apple Pencil
- No trackpad
Best Value: CHESONA Keyboard Case for iPad Pro
You get a solid keyboard folio case for not a lot of money here. This is a full folio case with all-over protection. There's an opening to charge your Apple Pencil and a separate slot to store it safely when it's done charging.
The backlit Bluetooth keyboard attaches magnetically to the folio case, so you can remove it when you don't need it. There are three different viewing angles for typing: 120, 125, and 130 degrees. The rechargeable battery charges up in two or three hours and works up to 80 hours on a single charge.
- All-over protection
- Charge and stow your Apple Pencil
- Backlit keyboard
- Removable keyboard
- No trackpad
Best Colorful Bargain: Luibor Keyboard Case for iPad Pro
Who says your keyboard case has to be basic black or gray? Luibor's Keyboard Case for iPad Pro comes in black, and this pretty pinky rose gold shade. This is a fully protective case for your iPad Pro and even has two options for your Apple Pencil: charge it on top or place it in the slot when it doesn't need charging.
The backlit Bluetooth keyboard is attached magnetically in the folio case and can be removed when not in use. You can choose from a few limited typing angles, depending on your preference. Charge up the case for 2.5 to 4.5 hours to get a full charge, which gives you 60 to 90 hours of working time. There is no trackpad, but there are some special function keys for Sleep, Lock, Home, Slideshow, Volume, and more.
- Two-color options, black and rose gold
- Backlit Bluetooth keyboard is removable
- Apple Pencil slot
- Fully protective case
- Function keys
- No trackpad
Which of the best 12.9-inch iPad Pro keyboard cases is for you?
I don't participate in the "Can the iPad replace your computer?" debate because there not a simple yes or no answer. It totally depends on what you do with a computer, exactly. Some people can certainly use an iPad instead of a computer, but you need to have the right setup to do so. That includes a good keyboard, and a keyboard case is a convenient solution. That said, it's not the only solution. You can also use a standalone keyboard and place your iPad Pro in a regular case or on a stand. But the keyboard case does make your iPad Pro look and feel more like a computer, especially one with a trackpad built-in.
An excellent keyboard such as Apple's Magic Keyboard is a crucial part of your setup if you're going to use your iPad Pro for work or other serious endeavors. The trackpad takes advantage of the iPad Pro's cursor and multi-touch support, giving you a more computer-like experience than ever. 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 whispers elegance, and it gives you your choice of viewing angles. Though the Apple Magic Keyboard is certainly pricey, it's got the Apple magic and cache.
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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