Can you use the Magic Keyboard with the iPad Air 4?

Ipad Pro 11 Magic Keyboard Hero
Ipad Pro 11 Magic Keyboard Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Can you use the Magic Keyboard with the iPad Air 4?

Best answer: You can use Apple's Magic Keyboard for iPad with the iPad Air 4. It's the same model that you can use with the 11-inch iPad Pro.Great iPad keyboard: Magic Keyboard for iPad ($299 at Apple)

You can absolutely use the Magic Keyboard with the iPad Air 4

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, a cover that features a built-in keyboard and trackpad, is entirely compatible with the new iPad Air 4. Specifically, the model that fits the 11-inch iPad Pro is the same one that will fit the iPad Air.

The iPad Air 4 and 11-inch iPad Pro are the same height and width (the iPad Air 4 is a scant 0.2mm thicker). This means that accessories, such as the Magic Keyboard, where the thickness of the tablet doesn't really matter, should be cross-compatible between the two tablets.

You will, of course, be able to use both the trackpad and keyboard to their full functionality on either device.

The Magic Keyboard is excellent, but a little pricey

The Magic Keyboard is an excellent accessory if you want your iPad to behave a little more like a laptop, but still, be free to be used as a tablet at a moment's notice. The trackpad functionality, first introduced in its current form in iPadOS 13.4, feels more like a laptop trackpad than you'd expect, with a uniquely-iPad spin.

Your iPad attaches to the Magic Keyboard magnetically and provides the keyboard power and data through the Smart Connector. I've long been a proponent of Smart Connector accessories, as they are plug-and-play, requiring no additional pairing or setup. Because it attaches magnetically, you can also just pull the iPad from the Magic Keyboard when you want to use it as a tablet, such as for drawing or handwriting.

The keyboard is fully backlit and features full-sized scissor-switch keys (as opposed to the shallower butterfly switches on the Smart Keyboard folio). The iPad hangs is suspended over the base of the keyboard as you use it, and resembles something like a small, futuristic iMac.

There are two downsides, one functional and one financial. The functional downside is the lack of a function row, which would have been useful. The financial downside is, of course, the price. The Magic Keyboard for iPad starts at $299 without any discounts, and if you plan to get it with an iPad Air, that's 60% of the price of the base model of iPad Air.

A cheaper option is incoming

If the Magic Keyboard costs too much for you, Logitech has a solution (well, will have). In October, presumably, when the iPad Air launches or sometime soon after, Logitech will release a version of the Folio Keyboard for the iPad Air 4. It provides the same keyboard/trackpad functionality as the Magic Keyboard, except it has a function row, works as a protective case, and, most importantly, is a lot less expensive.

Unlike the Magic Keyboard, the current Folio Keyboard for iPad Pro won't work for the iPad Air 4. Because of the integrated protective casing, which is a bit rigid, Logitech needs to produce a version built for the slightly thicker iPad Air. But the company says that it will launch in October, just like the new iPad, so you shouldn't have to wait long to get your hands on one.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.