People are (still) complaining about the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro's battery drain

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

What you need to know

  • People are complaining about the impact the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is having.
  • It's causing the iPad Pro's battery to drain more than expected.
  • But this isn't a new problem.

The arrival of the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is something that has gone down very well but there's still one problem that remains, weeks after its introduction.

According to multiple reports across Twitter some people have noted that they are seeing dramatically worse iPad Pro battery life when connected to the Magic Keyboard. And it's becoming a bit of a thing.

Contrary to popular belief, the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro doesn't have its own battery and instead leeches power from the tablet that it's connected to. Some battery draw is to be expected, but the same goes for the Smart Keyboard Folio and that's been just fine. Two years into that product's lifecycle and not a bad word said about it.

So what's going on here? While some people have reported the backlight on their keyboard staying on, even though it isn't being used, it's important to note that this isn't a new problem. People have been talking about it for weeks with Matt Birchler even going so far as to produce a graph about it. His sense was that things weren't as bad as some people thought, though.

Magic Keyboard For Ipad Pro Battery Test

Magic Keyboard For Ipad Pro Battery Test (Image credit: Matt Birchler)

Two hours later, the results were remarkably boring. The battery drained about 10% faster with the Magic Keyboard, which if we extrapolate out from my 2 hour test (I ain't doing this all day…twice) we'd hit zero after 9.67 hours with the Magic Keyboard, and 10.7 hours with the Smart Folio. That's certainly a difference, although it's kind of within the margin of error since I was not able to totally isolate background network access and that sort of thing.

The folks at iPad Inisght have also been following this and have had some success in getting the keyboard swapped out. Maybe that's an approach impacted users can take once local Apple Stores are open again.

Until then I'd very much like to hear from any owners in the comments. Is your Magic Keyboard impacting your iPad Pro's battery life?

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.