Modern iPads, even entry-level models, have more than enough power to keep up with most mainstream laptops. iPadOS and the apps it supports have come a long way to match their desktop equivalents.
You’ll find pretty powerful versions of apps like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop on your iPad. The real problem is that tablets are limited to touch screens. By adding a keyboard to the mix, the iPad becomes a productivity beast.
However, not every iPad keyboard is created equal, so we’re going to highlight some of the best iPad keyboards on the market to get you on the right track.
Mouse and keyboard support in iPadOS
First, we need to mention how mouse and keyboard support has changed in iOS.
The iPad line now has an iOS version called iPadOS. Apple has now integrated full mouse and keyboard support into the operating system. This means you can have a proper mouse and keyboard experience on your tablet.
That changes the equation when looking for an iPad keyboard, because you probably want something that combines both a keyboard and a mouse.
What to Look for in an iPad Keyboard
What makes the keyboard a good choice for your iPad? That depends somewhat on what you need to use it for.
If you need something comparable to a laptop experience, then you’ll need some kind of built-in keyboard case. However, these keyboard cases represent some measure of compromise when it comes to comfort and typing experience.
You also have the option of using a desktop keyboard with your iPad for added comfort. This is perfect if you’re just sitting at your desk writing.
With the aforementioned mouse support, there are also a few great keyboard and trackpad combos on the market. It can be said with certainty that such a combination is the best of all present worlds.
1. Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9” & 11”
Apple’s official iPad Pro case with keyboard and trackpad is a formidable accessory. Apple has managed to create a relatively slim keyboard case, but the typing experience is comparable to the MacBook. Similarly, Apple’s touchpad technology is also included in this product.
The best part of this cover is the magnetically mounted adjustable hinge. This is a big advantage over most keyboard folders, which usually only provide one or two screen corners. There’s also a USB-C power line, making it easy to connect your iPad to mains power.
Overall, this is the best way to convert an iPad Pro to something that closely resembles a MacBook in terms of looks. However, the biggest bottom line is still the price. Both versions of this keyboard set are quite expensive, but it depends on how you look at it. It’s still much cheaper than buying an extra MacBook! From that perspective, it’s a very good deal if you already have an iPad Pro.
If you don’t need a fully portable keyboard experience and just want the option to use it with your iPad while near your desk, there are few better options than this.
The Apple Magic Keyboard for Mac is the standard keyboard you get on your desktop Mac. It’s a well-designed device that offers one of the best typing experiences we’ve ever experienced.
Key travel may be low, but it feels great for a non-mechanical keyboard. If you need to carry your keyboard around, the Magic Keyboard is small enough to slip easily into your iPad bag.
Apple’s got a nice twist with their Magic Keyboard cases for the 11″ and 12.9″ iPad Pro tablets. However, if you don’t have one of those expensive high-end iPads, Apple won’t have an equivalent iPad for you.
Fortunately, Logitech has stepped up and brought a similar product to owners of the mainstream third-generation iPad Air and previous-generation iPad Pro 10.5.”
Logitech is of course one of the best keyboard manufacturers in the world, which is why they removed both laptop-like backlighting and key spacing on the Combo Touch.
The case provides multiple tilt angles for the display. However, it relies on the kickstand to give you those angles. Which means you can’t use it on the lap. That’s a big advantage that Apple products bring. If you’re looking for a keyboard and trackpad combo to use on your desk or coffee shop table, the Logitech Combo Touch looks perfect for the job.
The K380, like the Apple Magic Keyboard for Mac, is not designed specifically for iPad use. Instead, it is designed to be as flexible as possible. You’ll find both Windows and Mac key labels on the keys. It also has a memory function where you can pair it with three different devices and then switch between them on the fly.
That could include your iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and anything else that will work with a Bluetooth keyboard. It’s also small and compact enough to slip in a pocket or just leave around the house.
We also like the rounded keys, which not only look different from the more popular style, but also have a more natural feel. As soon as you get used to them, that is. This keyboard doesn’t have a built-in rechargeable battery, but Logitech claims a 2-year battery life.
This lofty claim is based on the assumption of 2 million keystrokes. If you’re looking for a keyboard that needs to cover more devices than just your iPad, this is the best choice in our opinion.
If you’re not too fussed about the built-in trackpad in the latest and greatest Apple Magic Keyboard box and are rocking the iPad (7th or 8th generation) or the 3rd generation iPad Air, the Smart keyboard Folio is a strong choice.
Since it also uses the smart connector found on these iPads, there’s no battery and no wireless pairing process required.
It’s a compact, ultra-flat keyboard. However, the typing experience is reported to be quite good. So it’s a way to add full keyboard functionality to your tablet without compromising on the portability or thinness that makes the iPad such a beautiful device.
Suggestions for writing letters
Despite providing a list of “best” devices, a keyboard is one of the most personal computer purchases you can make. Each person has different things they need from their iPad keyboard, and indeed, a different physiology must adhere to the device.
If possible, you should try a certain iPad keyboard before using it. Especially when it’s as expensive as Apple’s high-end devices. If not, make sure you can return it to the retailer if it hurts your wrist.