Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad review: The best keyboard case costs too much

An excellent accessory with a hefty price tag

Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad attached to iPad (2022)
(Image: © Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

iMore Verdict

Pros

  • +

    Two-piece design for versatility

  • +

    Full QWERTY keyboard with a row of function keys

  • +

    Excellent trackpad

  • +

    Satisfying typing experience

Cons

  • -

    Very expensive

  • -

    Slightly less sturdy than other options

  • -

    Not backlit

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Apple's penchant for releasing new iPads with some accessories has produced gems over the years. The new Magic Keyboard Folio for the iPad (2022) is the latest in Magic Keyboard for iPad lineup, and at first glance, it seems like the keyboard iPad enthusiasts have been wanting.

It's got a new design, extra functionality, and the same satisfying typing experience we've expected, but it has a few key drawbacks that make it miss perfection. 

Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad: Price and availability

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

The Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad is a whopping $249 at Amazon, the Apple Store, Best Buy, and most other retailers that sell Apple products.

It only comes in white, which is a bit of a bummer since the iPad (2022) is so colorful. Still, it's available in several different languages, including U.S. English, French (Canada), Ukrainian, Spanish (Latin America), Arabic, Chinese (Pinyin), and Chinese (Zhuyin). 

Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad: What you'll like

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

While I'm not claiming that the iPad (2022) could ever be a laptop replacement, the Magic Keyboard Folio does an impeccable job of making the writing experience as good as it can be on an iPad.

The keys travel well and don't feel mushy at all, but yet are still relatively quiet when you're typing up a document. Obviously, this isn't intended for people who love big chunky mechanical keyboards. Still, if you're used to the Magic Keyboard for Mac or other iPads, the Magic Keyboard Folio will not disappoint.

The big star of the keyboard section of this two-piece design (more on that in a bit) is the entire row of function keys. You no longer have to go into your Control Center on your iPad to change volume or brightness. You can access Siri or Spotlight search with a single keystroke and control playback while watching your favorite content.

I'll never go back to an iPad keyboard without function keys

I wrote my entire iPad (2022) review on this Magic Keyboard Folio, and when it was time for me to work on the iPad Pro (2022) review, I ended up writing most of that on the Magic Keyboard Folio as well. Those 14 function keys single-handedly make the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro feel inadequate in comparison, and for long typing sessions, I couldn't live without them.

iPad (2022) during a Facetime call

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

The two-piece design is also a welcome change (for the most part) that makes the Magic Keyboard Folio an actual 2-for-1 product. The Keyboard section attaches to the Smart Connector along the side of the iPad (2022), while the kickstand cover attaches to the back via magnets. This allows for easy switching between having a keyboard attached or not but still gives you the option to have a kickstand with or without the keyboard. Watching movies, connecting with loved ones via FaceTime, looking up recipes while you're cooking, or just waiting to be able to read the lyrics on Apple Music as they scroll by to your favorite song is so much more enjoyable when you can prop the iPad upright whenever and wherever you want.

The versatility this design offers is much more than the Magic Keyboard we have on the iPad Pro right now, and even though the kickstand has only a few viewing angles, I still prefer the flexibility of the Magic keyboard Folio over the laptop-only look and feel of the iPad Pro's keyboard. 

Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad: What you won't like

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Let's start with the obvious; it's too damn expensive.

I've long accepted that Apple will make quality accessories for its devices and charge premium price tags for them; that's not new. But, at $249, the Magic Keyboard Folio costs 55% of the price of the iPad (2022) itself. It's like buying another iPad on top of the one you just bought. Of course, the price is a big shock, but a couple of little drawbacks on top of it don't help either. 

I'm used to Apple's high prices, but this is ridiculous

The lack of any keyboard backlighting is a tad frustrating. If you don't type in the dark and have good eyesight, perhaps this won't bother you as much, but having a backlit keyboard would significantly increase the value the Magic Keyboard Folio provides.

Lastly, this is not that big of a deal, but it doesn't feel as sturdy as the other Magic Keyboard, which given its two-piece design, makes sense. It's not like I have ever had a problem with the Magic Keyboard Folio falling over or falling apart unwillingly or anything, but when you carry it around or go to fold it up, you can tell it's not quite as sturdy as a one-piece design. Just something to note, in case that bothers you. 

Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad: Competition

Zagg pro Keys with TrackPad

(Image credit: Zagg)

You likely won't find much luck in getting everything the Magic Keyboard Folio offers; however, plenty of cheaper products out there may be worth it. For example, I like the Zagg Pro Keys with Trackpad for only $149 (opens in new tab). It has a row of function keys, albeit not quite as valuable as the ones on Apple's keyboard, but good in a pinch. Plus, the keys are backlit, making them easier to use in the dark.

The biggest drawback is it uses Bluetooth instead of just the Smart connector, but it does mean you can use the keyboard while it's detached from your iPad. 

Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad: Verdict

Magic Keyboard for iPad with keyboard unattached

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

You should buy the Magic Keyboard Folio if...

• You want the two-piece design
• You don't need extra protection for your iPad
• You can afford it

You shouldn't buy the Magic Keyboard Folio if...

• You need backlit keys
• You don't like the two-piece design
• You want to save money

When Apple announced the Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad, it looked like the promised child returning home to us. The two-piece design allows more flexibility in use than the current Magic Keyboard for the iPad Air and Pro, and the entire row of function keys is just as valuable as you would want them to be.

On top of that, the typing experience is pretty great, as the keys don't feel mushy, but they aren't loud or obnoxious. So if you type up an entire document on your iPad, this keyboard will serve you well.

Some drawbacks could make the Magic Keyboard Folio a no-go for some people, like the lack of backlit keys, but I think this keyboard is perfect for many people. Or, it would be if it wasn't for the cost.

At $249, it's hard to imagine you wouldn't be able to find some other keyboard case that might suit your needs but not be as fancy for a lot less. Still, if you want to or can splurge a little bit, I don't think anyone could go wrong with the Magic Keyboard Folio.