On the evening of March 18th, Apple quietly released the brand-new iPad Pro on the official website. As a new iterative model of the iPad Pro series, it has not changed much in appearance. The processor has been upgraded on a routine basis. The camera module on the back has a 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens and a lidar scanner, and a microphone has been added.
In fact, the reason that makes this generation of iPad Pro more like a computer, in addition to the iPad Pro itself, is more importantly the “Magic Keyboard” built for the iPad Pro that was updated along with it on the official website.
On the evening of April 15th, at the same time that the new iPhone SE was officially released, Apple finally opened the pre-order for the Magic Keyboard, which was earlier than the previous announcement on the official website that it will be released in mid-May.
If you click into this article, first of all, you must be interested in iPad Pro or you already have iPad Pro.
Then if you think about it, you buy an iPad Pro, and you certainly can’t just play games or watch dramas. Meanwhile, you also have to have a keyboard that feels good, and a touchpad that is easy to touch.
Therefore, this second control keyboard is actually a good choice.
After a whole day of use, we already have a certain understanding of this keyboard. Next, I will answer some of the more meaningful questions raised by netizens. After reading this Q&A, I hope to help everyone know more about this new product.
Q: What does it look like? What is the opening and closing angle? Does it look the same as the official promotional video?
A: When the first official video of the new iPad Pro was released, everyone’s attention to the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard has surpassed the iPad Pro itself. The innovative opening and closing design and the suspension support method will make people feel a little bit “Unreal”. But in fact, it really is like that.
Compared with the keyboard-style smart double-sided folder, the overall size of the Magic Keyboard has an extra pivot position, and the thickness of the upper and lower sides has increased a little.
This time, the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard uses a two-segment hinge design. The first segment uses a metal material and carries the spindle of the USB-C interface, providing a maximum opening and closing range of less than 90°. It is like the screen of my MacBook Air Like the hinge, it provides a very smooth damping when opening and closing, but when we open and close to the maximum opening and closing angle, the hinge will provide a suction inertia, providing a firm support for the iPad.
Then, there is also a hinge position at the third of the back of the iPad, which provides a larger opening and closing angle for the iPad, and the iPad Pro is also “floating”. The second section of the shaft provides stepless adjustment within the range of opening and closing angles supported by it, which means that you can freely adjust the angle you want within the range of opening and closing angles.
Compared with the keyboard-style smart double-sided folder, the iPad Pro used with the Magic Keyboard has a larger opening and closing angle. When the iPad Pro is placed on the thigh, it can have a better viewing angle, which is close to mine MacBook Air.
Q: Is the old iPad Pro compatible?
A: Yes, compatible.
The Magic Keyboard and the keyboard-style smart double-sided clip currently on sale on Apple’s official website all use a new version of the design. The openings for the rear camera are all rounded rectangular designs, whether it is the matrix multi-camera model of the new iPad Pro The group, or the single-camera module of the previous generation iPad Pro, can be installed perfectly. After all, the main camera positions of the new and old models are roughly the same.
I am currently using the 2018 11-inch iPad Pro 4G cellular network version.
Q: How about the weight and portability?
A: In terms of weight, we borrowed the electronic scale and directly weighed the weight of the two keyboards on the iPad Pro.
- iPad Pro 11 inches + Magic Keyboard: 1100g (non-standard weighing, for reference only)
- iPad Pro 11 inches + double-sided keyboard holder: 880g (non-standard weighing, for reference only)
- MacBook Air (2020 model) official weight: 1290g
As far as hands-on feel is concerned, the iPad Pro equipped with the Magic Keyboard is much heavier than when using the keyboard clip before. This feeling is very obvious. After all, the weight of the keyboard cover has exceeded the weight of the iPad Pro itself. It is close to the MacBook Air I have.
Since the size has not changed much from before, the factors affecting the portability of the Magic Keyboard mainly come from the change in weight. If you can do without the MacBook Air, I would still consider it as a portable option when you go out with the iPad Pro.
But if I want to carry a MacBook Air, I should replace the iPad Pro with a keyboard-style double-sided clip or a Smart cover case.
Q: How is the “floating” on the Magic Keyboard implemented? Is it stable?
A: As mentioned earlier, the Magic Keyboard also uses a large number of magnets to absorb the design. The iPad Pro is supported by two hinges with different opening and closing angles, and a “floating” design is realized.
Thanks to the large number of magnets on the back and the stable hinge design, the stability of the Magic Keyboard is really good. It is also very stable when typing on the thigh, without the “top-heavy” feeling of the keyboard-style double-sided folder.
It should be noted that the keyboard opening and closing cannot be done with one hand, it needs both hands to open it, after all, the strength of magnetic attraction is relatively large.
Q: How do the keyboard and touchpad feel?
A: Since it is called Magic Keyboard, the Magic Keyboard designed for iPad Pro this time also inherits the Mac’s Magic Keyboard layout. It uses independent hard keycaps and a 1mm keystroke scissor structure. The arrow keys are also ” Inverted T-shaped” design, and the row of function keys on the number keys has been canceled.
The striking feel of the Magic Keyboard is much more comfortable than the butterfly keyboard of the Mac. It is similar to the scissor keyboard used in the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, but the rebound force of the Magic Keyboard will be slightly larger, and it will rebound. The speed is also faster and crisper. This content is completed by the iPad Pro + new magic keyboard, I think it can already meet the long-term text input work.
The fn button on the Mac keyboard has also been replaced with the “🌐earth icon” for switching input methods, but when using a physical keyboard, this button can only switch the system default input method.
In addition to the full-size key design, the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard also provides an integrated trackpad position for the iPad for the first time. The position of this trackpad is relatively limited. Using the iPhone 11’s built-in rangefinder can roughly See the gap between it and the MacBook Air trackpad area (in fact, this obvious gap can also be seen by the naked eye).
In the actual experience, I am used to the MacBook trackpad and Magic Trackpad 2 for a long time. I do feel that the trackpad of the Magic Keyboard is relatively small, and I feel stretched when I need to drag a large area. Moreover, the iPad OS has not yet introduced auxiliary gesture operations such as “three-finger drag/drag lock”, and it takes some time to adapt.
Fortunately, most of the commonly used iPadOS touch gestures are supported, and the multi-finger touch operation is also very smooth.
Tapping the touchpad harder will also give you a very clear pressing feedback, but this time the touchpad on the Magic Control keyboard does not use Force Touch, but the physical structure of the whole touchpad area. It can be pressed at any position.
Q: After installing the Magic Keyboard, will the battery life of the iPad Pro be affected?
A: This time the Magic Keyboard is the same as the previous keyboard-style smart double-sided folder. It is connected through the back contacts. There is no Bluetooth and battery module in the keyboard, so the power required by the keyboard will also be supplied through the iPad Pro.
As far as the current experience is concerned, I don’t think there is any change in the battery life of the iPad Pro after using the Magic Keyboard, so it should be considered that the Magic Keyboard will not cause too much burden on the iPad Pro. Moreover, the Magic Keyboard will also provide an additional power supply interface for the iPad Pro. From this perspective, the daily battery life of the iPad Pro may be improved.
Q: Can the USB-C interface of the keyboard be used to transfer data?
A: No, this interface only provides the function of charging iPad Pro and cannot transfer any data.
But because we can hand over the charging function to the interface on the keyboard, the USB-C interface on the iPad Pro body can be used for other purposes, including connecting storage media, external docking stations, charging devices such as iPhone, and so on.
It is worth mentioning that after using the PD charger to connect to the USB-C port on the keyboard, it can still provide nearly full-speed charging power to the iPad Pro, and the box is also marked with a maximum output of 9V/2.5A (18W) power. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the energy efficiency of the power supply when using the keyboard interface for charging. It is also a good thing to add an additional interface.
Q: What “productivity” improvements can the Magic Keyboard bring to iPad?
A: Well, it’s back to the inevitable topic of “productivity”. Of course, this time Apple is also linking iPad Pro to the productivity of notebook computers in a large number of promotional copywriting, but as we said in the previous evaluation article, “The definition of productivity varies with people and work attributes. The powerful productivity in the eyes of the excavator may be useless in your hands.”
In terms of text input, the Magic Keyboard brings iPad Pro an input experience comparable to the new MacBook Pro (16 inches). In terms of touchpad, it can perfectly implement all iPadOS touch gestures.
It is an excellent tool for “productivity overflow” for people who have text input needs but suffer from the need to reach out to touch when using a keyboard-style double-sided folder.
Let iPad support the touchpad, not only the way you operate the iPad, but also the rebuilding of the entire hardware and software package, and the change is the entire iPadOS application ecosystem.
Q: Is the typing experience on the lap OK?
A: Quite good, because with the touchpad, there are hand rests on both sides, the center of gravity on the legs is more stable, and the previous iPad Pro keyboard cover has at most two angles, and now you have a more flexible screen angle.
Q: Are there any usage problems?
A: Yes, this is not a perfect product. First of all, this is a desktop device, because of the limitation of the hinge, you can’t use the keyboard as a tablet, you can only take the tablet off. But normal keyboard covers are fine.
Of course, in fact, to a certain extent, this is also a direction for distinguishing the use of iPad and reducing weight. Before using a normal keyboard cover, you must wear the case in any mode. Now, on the desktop, you use the desktop second control keyboard. The tablet mode is required. Just cancel it, and the magnetic attraction and removal are not trouble.
Then this involves another problem. If it’s only on the desktop, why not choose an external keyboard with a better feel and a touchpad? It depends on whether you often need to carry your iPad Pro with you.
Seeing this, you must have an answer in your mind about whether to buy a second-control keyboard or not. If you have any questions or hesitation, you are welcome to ask in the comment area.
Q: End the question: Is it worth buying?
A: For now, the only accessories that can directly use the physical contacts on the back of the iPad Pro are the keyboard-style double-sided clip and the Magic Keyboard, which means that this Magic Keyboard is the best iPad Pro currently. I believe that users who meet the following conditions are worth buying the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro:
- Own an iPad Pro (prerequisite);
- Have a large amount of text input requirements, or are not satisfied with the click feel of a keyboard-style double-sided folder;
- In addition to text input, touch operations are frequently used;
- Sufficient budget (the fourth point is the most important).
After using the Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro should be the closest to the computer attitude of the iPad so far. I can’t help but think of the days when I used the 11-inch MacBook Air.