iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

"The best pointing device in the world, we gonna use a pointing device that we born with, our fingers ..." - from the iPhone announcement in 2007.

Everything since then is building around using the fingers as the interface but finally, it comes to the time that trackpad is introduced. Originally, the iPad was designed to be a device for browsing - reading email, surfing the web on a large screen with a browser, etc. Some work can be done with the iPad version of Keynote, as well as other business application but it is not intent to be a full fledged productivity device.

Time has changed, because of the advancement in hardware (A12 chips, retina screen with size growed from 9.7 to now 12.9 inches) and software (the iPadOS with split screen, multi-tasking support), the iPad has the computing power to do much more than it was originally designed with. The "always-on" capability pushes it further that, people would like to just bring a single device for both leisure and work.

A joy to use

Keyboard and trackpad for the iPad Pro 12.9"

I type a lot with my iPad - for notes taking, writing article, SSH to my device and so on. I tried to learn all the shortcuts available since jumping between the keyboard and the screen is tiring. The introduction of the touchpad reduced the distance to travel. Another benefits it brings is precision on cursor movement. It is essential in text editing and moving across spreadsheet. The size of the trackpad is small, especially when it compare with the trackpad on Mac notebook.

The keyboard itself get some needed love as well - bye bye to the fabric and membrane like keyboard and a big welcome to the clicky touch with a nice key travel. This keyboard is so much better than the one on MBP with Touchbar.

Backlit makes typing easy even when you are in the dark, it goes off after a while to save battery. There isn't any fancy setting to change the color of the LED though.

Things I don't like

There are several things I hope it can improve.

First, where's my ESC button?! Like before, the ESC button is .. escaped! I have to remap the key for using VI in my SSH session. Not ideal but at least I could get around.

And then, it's the weight of the keyboard. It is HEAVY. The weight and bulkyness is something you have to be aware of. On the brighter side, it brings the sturdiness especially when you use it on your lap.

I was happy when I see the viewing angle on the iPad is now flexible, instead of the two predefined options. But then the range of alternation is quite small. It's alright for all sitting position but not when you are in a standing position trying to look down.

What I missed most is the ability to flip the keyboard backwards and using the iPad in "tablet mode" for reading magazine. Now, I have to take the ipad out but looking it positiviely, it's lighter than before (when it is with the smart keyboard) and putting less strain on my arms.

Final thought

Now I can charge and use other USB-C device

A question for myself.

Would I take this along when I travel?

I am afraid not. Weight would takes priority and that's why I am still keeping my smart keyboard.