iPad, keyboard, and pencil

The Best iPad Pro Keyboards of 2021

By Austin Meadows AccessoriesNo Comments

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The iPad Pro is a powerful device, and it’s becoming more versatile with every new generation. The 5th generation (2021) now has the same Apple M1 chip that you’ll find inside a Macbook Pro, a stunning display, and even the option of 5G cell service.

To make it even more useful, users can add a keyboard to the mix. A quality iPad Pro keyboard makes the tablet feel more like a laptop, and opens up a world of possibilities in both the workplace and the home. 

There are dozens of quality iPad Pro keyboards on the market, both from Apple itself and from a plethora of third-party manufacturers. Some double as kickstands and protective cases, some include a trackpad as well, and others simply provide an easier, faster way of typing.

Based on features, price, performance, and more, these are our picks for the best iPad Pro keyboards of 2021.

Sale
Best iPad Pro Keyboard: Apple Magic Keyboard
  • Size: 10.2 x 8.0 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Trackpad?: Yes
  • Battery: n/a (draws power from iPad)
  • Connection: Smart Connector

Sale
Best Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Pro: Logitech K380
  • Size: 10.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Trackpad?: No
  • Battery: 2x AAA batteries, up to two years
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

Sale
Best Folio Keyboard Case for Larger iPad Pros: Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
  • Size: ‎11.5 x 8.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Trackpad?: No
  • Battery: n/a (draws power from iPad)
  • Connection: Smart Connector

Best for Smaller iPad Pros: YEKBEE iPad Keyboard Case
  • Size: ‎9.6 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Trackpad?: No
  • Battery: rechargeable, 1-2 weeks
  • Connection: Bluetooth

Sale
Best iPad Pro Keyboard Case with Trackpad: Logitech Combo Touch
  • Size: ‎9.9 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Trackpad?: Yes
  • Battery: n/a (draws Power from iPad)
  • Connection: Smart Connector

Best iPad Pro Keyboard (11″ and 12.9″): Apple Magic Keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard (for iPad Pro 11-inch - 3rd Generation and iPad Air - 4th Generation) - US English - Black

The Magic Keyboard is Apple’s most recent attempt at an iPad keyboard, and it’s a stunner. It’s available for both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models of the iPad Pro, and also works with newer iPad Airs.

The latest iteration of the Magic Keyboard supports the 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of the 12.9″ iPad Pro, as well as all versions of the 11″ model. It folds up to provide some protection for the front and back of the tablet when you’re on the move.

The Magic Keyboard is specifically engineered for the iPad, and it shows. The responsive touchpad is compatible with all iPadOS multi-finger gestures and other controls, with a “click-anywhere” design. The trackpad feels a lot like the one on a Macbook Pro, its quality really helping set the Magic Keyboard apart from the competition. 

The trackpad is exceptional, but the keyboard is equally impressive. The scissor-switch keys and plastic caps will feel very familiar for users of recent Macbooks, and provide a satisfying typing experience. The keys are backlit with adjustable brightness levels, and the only real difference is the omission of the “escape” and “function” keys on the top row to save space. 

The Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically to the iPad, and provides a surprisingly sturdy connection. It keeps the iPad “floating” above the keyboard surface, at an angle that can be adjusted between approximately 90-125 degrees. This design works well on most surfaces, including your lap (which can’t be said for many iPad keyboards.) 

Of course, there’s a downside to this model, and it’s one that will be familiar for Apple fans: price. The larger version of this keyboard costs about as much as an entry-level iPad, which seems excessive. Nonetheless, this is without a doubt the best iPad Pro keyboard on the market — if you don’t mind paying for it.

Pros
  • Glass trackpad with excellent tracking
  • Premium construction and feel
  • Supports the latest iPad OS features
  • Magnetic mount with full adjustability
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Passthrough USB C charging
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No escape or function keys
Buy on Amazon

Best Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad Pro (All Sizes): Logitech K380

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard – Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV Compatible – with Flow Cross-Computer Control and Easy-Switch up to 3 Devices – Dark Grey

Most keyboards on this list plug directly into the iPad itself, and essentially double as an iPad case. The Logitech K380, on the other hand, is a simple standalone keyboard that connects via Bluetooth. 

The benefits to using a keyboard like this are substantial. For one, it’s much cheaper, at about 10% of the price of the Magic Keyboard above. It’s also more versatile, as the K380 is compatible with almost any Bluetooth-enabled device, including your computer, smartphone, Apple TV, etc. 

The K380 is an extremely popular Bluetooth keyboard (we reviewed it in detail here,) and for good reason. Compact and lightweight, it sports a battery life of up to two years, although this will obviously depend on how much you use it.

Able to remember up to three Bluetooth device pairings at once, it can quickly switch between them at the push of a button. It also intelligently detects and adapts to the device it’s currently paired with, enabling OS-specific features to work surprisingly well whether you’re connected to an Android smartphone, Windows laptop, or an iPad Pro. 

The downsides to this keyboard are twofold: for ultra-fast typers, some dropped keystrokes are possible, and since it doesn’t physically connect to your iPad, you’ll also need an iPad stand or a case with a kickstand to prop the tablet up in a comfortable position. That also means that this setup only works on a desk or table: it’s not great for actual lap-top use.

Pros
  • Works with a ride range of devices
  • Budget-friendly
  • Remembers and easily switches between up to three devices at once
  • Battery life of up to two years
Cons
  • Very fast typists may experience dropped keystrokes
  • Requires a separate stand or kickstand case to prop iPad up
Buy on Amazon

Best Folio Keyboard Case for Larger iPad Pros: Apple Smart Keyboard Folio

Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd Generation and 2nd Generation) and iPad Air (4th Generation) - US English

If you want a keyboard/case combo but don’t want to pay the high price for a Magic Keyboard, the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio is a great alternative for larger iPad Pros. It’s available for the first and second generation of the 11-inch version, and third-generation versions onward of the 12.9-inch model.

Like the Magic Keyboard, this model is specifically designed for iPad and built by Apple. Unlike the Magic Keyboard, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It also mounts the iPad via a secure magnet, and draws power from the iPad to keep itself running. 

The most substantial difference between this and the Magic Keyboard is that the Smart Keyboard Folio does not include a trackpad: it’s a keyboard, and a keyboard only. This means that you’ll need an external mouse to have a more laptop-like experience, or you can tap the iPad screen if you prefer. 

This model is also slightly thicker than the Magic Keyboard, so it provides a bit more protection for the iPad itself. It’s not exactly rugged, but it is at least more substantial than the ultra-thin Magic Keyboard. The lack of trackpad is the biggest downside here, along with the missing media and function keys.

Pros
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Doubles as a protective case
  • No charging required
  • Magnet provides secure mount
Cons
  • No trackpad
  • No media/function keys
Buy on Amazon

Best Keyboard Case for Smaller iPad Pros (9.7-10.5″): YEKBEE iPad Keyboard Case

iPad Keyboard Case for iPad 2018 (6th Gen) - iPad 2017 (5th Gen) - iPad Pro 9.7 - iPad Air 2 & 1 - Thin & Light - 360 Rotatable - Wireless/BT - Backlit 10 Color - iPad Case with Keyboard (Black)

If you have one of the smaller iPad Pro models, the YEKBEE iPad keyboard case is a great option. It’s available in 9.7-inch and 10.2 or 10.5-inch versions, each of which comes in a range of colors. It’s thin and lightweight, but still provides decent protection and is compatible with most other iPads as well.

This is a relatively simple Bluetooth keyboard case, but is priced accordingly. It’s the best option if you’re on a tighter budget and don’t want a standalone keyboard like the K380 mentioned above.

Notable features include a 10-color backlighting system, 360-degree screen rotation, and more case colors than most of the competition. It also has a full top row of media keys, unlike the Apple-designed keyboards on this list. 

Unusually for keyboard cases like this, the Yekbee has its own rechargeable battery rather than pulling power from the iPad itself. This could be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on how you look at it.

On one hand, it means that it won’t affect your iPad’s battery life, but on the other, it’s yet another device to keep charged. Since the battery doesn’t last all that long, we’d lean more towards considering this a downside.

If you can handle needing to charge it every week or two, though, this is a solid keyboard case for smaller iPad Pros at a very competitive price.

Pros
  • Thin and lightweight
  • RGB backlighting
  • Budget-friendly
  • 360 degree screen rotation
  • Full row of media/function keys
Cons
  • Mediocre battery life
  • No trackpad
Buy on Amazon

Best iPad Pro Keyboard Case with Trackpad (11″ and 12.9″): Logitech Combo Touch

Logitech Combo Touch iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd gen - 2018, 2020, 2021) Keyboard Case - Detachable Backlit Keyboard, Click-Anywhere Trackpad, Smart Connector - Oxford Gray; USA Layout

The Logitech Combo Touch is a good option for those looking for a case-style keyboard, and who still want trackpad functionality. It’s available in both 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd gen) and 12.9-inch models (5th gen only).

The Combo Touch is essentially Logitech’s answer to the high-end Apple Magic Keyboard mentioned above. It also has an excellent trackpad that supports multi-finger gestures and has click-anywhere tech. Similarly, it’s also priced towards the higher end, although is usually still cheaper than the Apple version.

One factor that sets this model apart, albeit not necessarily in a good way, is its kickstand design. The iPad attaches securely to the case, and is propped up with a manual kickstand. This provides excellent stability on hard surfaces, but also means that the Combo Touch isn’t great for laptop-style use. 

On the positive side, the Combo Touch has an excellent keyboard with backlit keys and a laptop-like feel. The case itself is also reasonably protective, with good front, back, and corner support. Finally, the Combo Touch also has a full row of iPadOS shortcut keys along the top row, providing quick access to frequently-used features and settings. 

Pros
  • Excellent trackpad
  • Support for multi-touch gestures and click-anywhere
  • Draws power from the iPad Pro
  • Foldout kickstand improves stability on hard surfaces
  • Durable, protective case
Cons
  • Needs a flat surface: doesn’t work well on your lap
  • Pricey
Buy on Amazon

Main image via Shutterstock, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows

Austin is a digital nomad with a passion for exploring alternative lifestyles and testing the latest technological innovations. Rarely under the same roof for long, when he's not sampling wine and cheese in Bulgaria or downloading the latest travel app, you can find him running, gaming, or cooking up something delicious.

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