First of all, let me tell you that the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is a completely different product from the conventional Smart Keyboard Folio keyboard cover and the Type Cover of the Surface series. Because it is not possible to use it in tablet style with it attached. Frankly, I don’t think the Magic Keyboard is for everyone.
Well, this time I will review using a Magic Keyboard for a 12.9-inch iPad Pro that I purchased personally. It’s been about 10 days since I got it, but it’s a review that incorporates what I noticed after using it on a daily basis.
There are two types of Magic Keyboard: 11-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation) Magic Keyboard-Japanese and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4th generation) Magic Keyboard-Japanese. Although it is described as 2nd generation or 4th generation in the product name, it can also be used with 1st generation 11-inch and 3rd generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. In addition to Japanese, you can also purchase English (UK), Chinese (Note), Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, English (US), Spanish, etc. at the Apple Store in Japan.
Magic Keyboard does not have detailed specifications on the official product website, product sales page, or news release. Only the following items are posted.
We adopt key of scissor structure
Built-in keyboard backlight
Trackpad supports multi-touch gestures
The screen can be adjusted to an angle that is easy to see
We get USB Type-C port which can charge iPad Pro
Can cover front and back
The size and weight of Microsoft’s type covers are listed in the technical specifications. I think it’s a little unfriendly that the size and weight are not stated on the Magic Keyboard that I carry around.
From here, let’s check various specifications that have not been released. However, please note that there are some errors as we use measuring instruments for the general public.
The body size of the 3rd generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard attached is actually about 280 x 228 x 15 mm (width x depth x height), and the weight is about 1,348 g. By the way, the measured weight of the Magic Keyboard alone is about 705 g, and the Smart Keyboard Folio alone is about 406 grams, so the difference is about 299 g.
There are laptop PCs that cut 700g at 13.3 inches, but personally, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro & Magic Keyboard included in the 2in1 PC category has an acceptable range of about 1,348g. If you put it in a knapsack, you don’t feel any stress even if you carry it around every day.
The key pitch of the keyboard is about 19 mm actually measured, and the key stroke is nominally 1 mm. In other words, the 12.9-inch Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro has a full-size keyboard. The 11-inch iPad Pro Magic Keyboard, which I have not obtained this time, has a narrow left and right key width. Those who are not good at irregular key layouts should purchase the 12.9-inch version.
The key pitch of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro Smart Keyboard Folio was about 19 mm, and the keystroke was about 0.8 mm. Magic Keyboard is said to improve the keystroke feeling, but it is thought that the structure and material of the keycap, scissor mechanism, rubber dome used for scissor-type keys are more effective than keystrokes.
This is a little too small difference, but when I checked the number of magnets built in the upper side of the hinge of the back cover of Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio with a magnetic sheet, 108 Magic Keyboard, 99 Smart Keyboard Folio It was arranged. Some positions have also changed. Perhaps it has increased the number of magnets to hold the iPad Pro firmly even when it is floating.
Now, as for the usability as a keyboard, there is no doubt that the Magic Keyboard has greatly improved over the Smart Keyboard Folio. The biggest difference is the feeling of tapping when bottoming out. The Smart Keyboard Folio gives the shock of hitting the table directly to your fingertips, while the Magic Keyboard softens the shock. The longer you type, the more you will benefit.
However, the same level as the 16-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, which also use a scissor structure keyboard, has not reached that level. The specific structure is unknown, but the design may be different to fit in a thin keyboard cover. Comparing the strokes, the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air have a better feeling of keystrokes, and the keystrokes are also suppressed. Don’t expect too much from the feel of the Magic Keyboard.
The track pad that adopted the diving board structure is 99 × 50 mm actually measured. The stroke is short and a solid click feeling is provided, making it easy to operate. Since the area is small, pinch-out operation is a little cramped, but there is no problem with 3-finger gestures. The track pad is more comfortable than it looks.
What I personally found inconvenient is that the usability as a tablet terminal is impaired. For example, when attached to the Magic Keyboard, the screen sways because the bottom of the iPad Pro is not fixed even if you try to write with the Apple Pencil. It’s fine if it’s just an annotation, but it’s not realistic to draw an illustration while wearing it on the Magic Keyboard.
Also, the keyboard cannot be turned to the back like a typical 2in1 PC, so you cannot switch to tablet mode with the Magic Keyboard attached. So if you want to use it as a tablet device, you have to remove the Magic Keyboard. If you remove the Magic Keyboard outdoors, you will have a problem with the storage space. The iPad Pro equipped with the Magic Keyboard must be divisible as a “laptop”. I don’t think the Magic Keyboard that turns the iPad Pro into a laptop is for everyone.
The iPad is officially compatible with mice and trackpads with iPadOS 13.4. With the Magic Keyboard equipped with a trackpad, almost all operations can be done with the trackpad, and it is possible to work with the keyboard and trackpad without touching the screen. The Magic keyboard is arguably the best device to turn an iPad Pro into a laptop.
But personally, I’d like to have a choice of keyboards with trackpads besides the Magic Keyboard. We hope that a third party will release a keyboard with a trackpad that supports the iPad Pro multi-touch gestures.