Is the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth It?

As an iPad Pro user, this type of question comes up a lot. Not to be confused with the Keyboard Folio, the Magic Keyboard sounds interesting. Let’s get down to it. I am also under the assumption that you’re not talking about the stand-alone keyboard — you know, the Bluetooth one. So, is the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth It?

Is the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth It?
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Is the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth It?
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The iPad Pro Background

In early 2020, Apple unveiled the Magic Keyboard for the iPad, the successor to the older Smart Keyboard for the iPad. The new addition was the built-in track pad for better navigation.

The Apple Magic Keyboard has a lot of cool features — the integrated trackpad, the sharp design, the scissor-switch keyboard feel (1mm travel time between unpressed and pressed, compared to butterfly switches which tend to fail a lot), and the backlit, auto-adjusted brightness of the keys based on the ambient lighting in the room. So, is the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth It?

The iPad Pro — Pros

Creative professionals may appreciate their iPad Pro for its ability to help them design on the go while also being an applications power house — Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro, Pixelmator, Pythonista, and much more applications — which can be run flawlessly and easily. It is no joke to say that the iPad Pro is already a great machine. But now, you can extend the capabilities a lot further with the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard. ”Expensive, but worth every penny,” according to Brenda Stolyar at Mashable.com.

I can agree that it’s totally cool to be able to turn your iPad into a laptop with a touch pad, the goal behind acquiring and attaching the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard. This is the product they are selling, after all — the ability to turn your iPad Pro into a laptop. And it solves this problematic need flawlessly and elegantly.

Aside from giving you an elegant way to turn your iPad Pro into a laptop, it also allows you an even more elegant way to charge your device — from the side (left, right, etc.)

The iPad Pro — Cons

The Scissor Keyboard Mechanism

For many, the scissor keyboard mechanism is a harsh reality. It’s just not the same typing experience as it’s thought out to be. When I first used this device, I had a lot of trouble getting used to the buttons. The overall feel isn’t very promising. Makes me wonder when this device will give out.

What is the Difference Between the Butterfly Keyboard and the Scissor Keyboard?

According to the Mac Expert Guide, Apple used to develop two types of keyboards for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models:

  • Butterfly Switches: used to be Apple’s top choice for the MacBook lineup. Over time, it turned out to bring lots of negative reviews. Apple later ditched this keyboard and went back to the traditional scissor-switch mechanism. The issues here: unsatisfactory to type on compared to scissor switches, unreliable design, unintentional extra space between key and frame (dust, debris, and other sorts of particles can get stuck down there, leading to gunned up mechanisms and not working properly. This has led to lots of frustration from consumers. There are also claims of the particulates under the keys causing the keyboard to overheat (bad air circulation). Lastly, these keys could break easily from the debris. Unfortunately, there also wasn’t an easy way for consumers to get these debris out easily (lots of keys would break in the process).
  • Scissor Switches: Interestingly, the Scissor Keyboard got the new name of the “Magic Keyboard” — now being equipped on the latest MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. More versatile and increases longevity of keyboard. Does not have all of the problems that the butterfly switches have.

 

Scrunched up Keys

The keys feel scrunched up towards the center of the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard. Made me feel a bit claustrophobic, causing a torsion on my wrists that are unsurpassed and not found when using the old school magic keyboard (Apple is still selling these).

And then there is the extremely steep price tag. It’s practically the price of a chrome book. Or a low-end laptop. Or a regular iPad (yes, the ones with the home buttons). The worst part is, you’re using an iPad Pro (even if you aren’t, you’re still going to have to empty your wallets but to a lesser degree). It’s implied the increase in price is irrelevant of the iPad model per se, but more so directly related to the size of the screen. Expect a heavier price tag for a larger iPad, regardless of model. Overall, though, the general consensus is the Magic Keyboard is expensive for both the iPad Air and iPad Pro (thanks, Apple).

Does The Magic Keyboard Protect the iPad Pro?

Now, for those that value their iPad Pro — or rather, those that are afraid the screen will crack somehow — having a good case for the iPad Pro is a no-brainer. The obvious problem with the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard is, if you haven’t already guessed it, your case will be replaced at will and will cause much more annoyance. And, in the unlucky situation where you decide to leave your iPad Pro in the Magic Keyboard, it becomes more prone to accidents — a situation best avoided by keeping your bullet proof case on.

Is the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth It? My Honest Recommendation

I’ve already tried the product. Do I recommend it?

  1. You don’t mind the struggle of the cases coming on and off. A lot of my clients report removing their protective case when using the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard and putting it back on when they are on the go. This makes a lot of sense.
  2. You don’t have a case to begin with. It may not be a bad idea for you if you really wan the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard. Nobody is stopping you, and you might as well upgrade the functionality — if that’s what you choose to do.
  3. Space is important to you. There are many alternatives to the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard but it doesn’t matter at all if you prefer to not carry around lots of luggage. In fact, the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard is the best way to go when you are space conscious. The iPad Pro Magic Keyboard hugs your iPad Pro and is space efficient. You can’t go wrong here if space is important to you.

Why I Don’t Personally Recommend the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

 

When I first bought the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard, I was a little annoyed. Within two months, I returned it back at Costco where I first bought it.

Why I returned it:

  • Too heavy
  • Had to remove my iPad Pro casing — my bulletproof, military-grade one.
  • Picking up the iPad Pro attached to the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard put pressure on the iPad Pro screen (even with the screen protector)
  • Too scrunched of a feeling
  • Unnatural typing (I’m a fast typer. This was important for me)
  • Too expensive

Conclusion: Is the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth it in 2022?

At first, I bought the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard because I wanted to solve these problems:

  1. I wish to get more utility out of my iPad Pro.
  2. I wish to become more productive.
  3. Currently overused laptop strains my eyes more than my iPad Pro does (cheap, old laptop screen technology)

However, it ends up sticking to the basics is actually a better option. So, I bought the old Magic Keyboard instead — as well as the Magic Mouse.

The amount of utility I received from being able to use my iPad Pro as a desktop computer instead of a laptop was unsurpassed. With the iPad Pro having such a big screen, I could have the iPad Pro a distance in front of me and it wouldn’t bother me. This is something I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard attached. This, in conclusion, is my recommended approach for you — especially if you’d rather have a desktop setup for your iPad Pro.

I mentioned I had a bulletproof casing for my iPad Pro. It is military grade and has survived hundreds of falls from all heights, trajectories, and orientations. I recommend it if you’d like to keep your precious iPad Pro protected. It’s been protecting mine for years. I would never give up my iPad Pro’s security — not for a sad little iPad Pro Magic Keyboard. Not when I can ensure my iPad Pro’s long life.

If you’re interested in this product, read more about it here — or, you can purchase one here, as well as some refurbished Apple equipment that I use every single day:

Further Readings:

Huang, Jerlin. “Is Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad Worth the Price Tag?” Makeuseof.com. https://www.makeuseof.com/magic-keyboard-for-ipad-worth/

Hopewell, Luke. “Is the iPad Magic Keyboard Worth It?” Redaktor. Feb. 7, 2021.
https://www.redaktor.co/ipad-magic-keyboard-worth-it/

Kroft, Simon. “Butterfly Keyboard Vs. Magic Keyboard: Why Apple Ditched The Old Mac Keyboard?” Mac Expert Guide. Jan. 13, 2021. https://macexpertguide.com/butterfly-keyboard-vs-magic-keyboard/

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