Apple Smart Keyboard Folio 12.9 Inch

Apple Smart Keyboard Folio 12.9 Inch

$189.98
9.4

Value/Pricing

8.0/10

Functionality

10.0/10

Usefulness

10.0/10

Durability/Quality

9.5/10

Pros

  • Incredibly light yet still feels substantial (not flimsy)
  • The keys have a satisfying click to them and have no gaps in case of spills
  • Magnetic attachments work pretty well (although it's a pretty strong connection)
  • No charging, pairing, or bluetooth connection required. The simplicity of use was the biggest selling point for me over less expensive options
  • Works well when holding in portrait mode, which I do often

Cons

  • Bluetooth keyboard covers are significantly less expensive, despite being less convenient than Apple's version. You have to pay a premium to avoid pairing/bluetooth
  • Only two angles of viewing, as opposed to the newer Magic Keyboard
  • The keys are not backlight. Not a huge deal for me, but some people really need that (the Magic Keyboard is backlit)

When I decided to purchase a new iPad Pro, I had some pretty extensive internal debate as to which keyboard case to use. I watched quite a few YouTube videos on the subject, and ultimately it came down to a decision between the original Apple Smart Keyboard Folio and the newer Apple Magic Keyboard. I pretty quickly discarded the idea of a less expensive 3rd party keyboard due to less convenient bluetooth connection and possible battery/charging concerns.

My prior experience with Samsung’s keyboard case was overwhelmingly positive, with a seamless instant connection and no need to charge, so I figured that was the best path here too. Although I was interested in the impressive viewing angles and more Macbook-like keys on the Magic Keyboard, ultimately the Smart Keyboard Folio won me over. I use tablets fairly often in the vertical position and I didn’t want to remove the tablet every time I did that. Also, apparently the Magic Keyboard is actually heavier than the iPad itself, which didn’t sound great to me.

After using this Smart Keyboard Folio for a few weeks, I’m extremely impressed. It’s surprisingly light, yet still somehow is quite stable. And it’s lightness is fantastic when I’m holding the iPad vertically. The keys have a satisfying feel when typing and the physical size is very comfortable – on the 12.9 inch iPad, it’s a full-width keyboard. The magnetic attachments work well, although it did take some getting used to in terms of how strong they hold. It’s worth mentioning again how great it is not to have to charge the keyboard or worry about manually connecting it.

I have to mention the price though. As with all Apple products, you have to pay a premium for this case. The price isn’t great, but the value sneaks higher for me for the convenience reasons I mentioned. Still though, it can be hard to justify almost $150 for a keyboard case. I did a walkthrough on YouTube comparing the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab, and there’s a section in the video comparing the keyboards starting around 6:36:

I used the 12.9 inch 4th generation compatible keyboard case for this review, but it does come in the smaller 11 inch size and variants for other iPad generations.

Manufacturer Description:

  • The Smart Keyboard Folio is designed to deliver a great typing experience on a full-size keyboard whenever you need it.
  • No charging or pairing required. Its durable lightweight cover protects both the front and back of your 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
  • Simply attach to your iPad Pro and type away.
  • Compatibility: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation)

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2 Thoughts to “Apple Smart Keyboard Folio 12.9 Inch”

  1. I’ll do separate reviews for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. They’re also great items and deserve their own reviews I think.

  2. I just wanted to comment on the benefits of the closed/sealed keys on this folio keyboard. One morning, I was having breakfast with the kids and my clumsy self spilled an entire large cup of coffee directly on this folio (and my iPad). I immediately cleaned everything up, but if this thing had even tiny gaps, it probably would have been ruined.

    There has been zero impact from that coffee spill, which is obviously something I’m excited about. I love this keyboard!

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