You’ll find multiple components when you first unpack an iPad, including the device itself, power adapter, user manual, and charging cable, but a keyboard isn’t one of them. The iPad’s functionality has grown since its initial inception in 2010, yet many users still find Apple’s tablet incomplete without a good, physical QWERTY iPad keyboard. Thankfully, there are tons of great keyboards designed to connect to your iPad via Bluetooth for increased mobile productivity.
We admit that finding the perfect keyboard can be exhausting, given the fact that most third-party keyboards are poorly designed or overly expensive, but there are some quality options if you know where to look. We’ve picked our top three options for each model, so here are our nominations for the iPad Keyboard Hall of Fame (if there is such a thing).
Best keyboards for the 2018 iPad Pro (12.9-inch or 11-inch)
Apple Smart Keyboard ($200 or $180)
It’s slim pickings for the 2018 iPad Pro models so far, so we’re including Apple’s Smart Keyboard even though we don’t love it. In classic Apple fashion, the Smart Keyboard features a slim and sleek design with keys that are well-spaced and easy to type on. You won’t get much travel or feedback, though. It doubles as a stand for your device and doesn’t add too much extra bulk, which makes it perfect for when you’re on the go. This keyboard does not connect via Bluetooth, it uses Apple’s proprietary Smart connector, which is now located on the back of the iPad. This means that you’ll never have to manually charge the keyboard because it draws power straight from your iPad. On the downside, this is very expensive for what it is and lacks features like backlit keys.
IVSO Keyboard Case ($51)
The IVSO Keyboard Case is very affordable and will give you around 60 hours of continuous use from a single charge. One of the main attractions here is the ability to remove the keyboard, which is held in place by magnets. This case also allows you to prop your iPad up like a laptop to work, and there’s a special slot for your Apple Pencil, though it won’t charge up while it’s in there. The cover is polyurethane with a microfiber lining and it works with the automatic sleep/wake function. This case comes in black, blue, and a few other colors.
You can also get this case for the 11-inch iPad Pro from the link below.
Fintie Keyboard Case ($30 to $37)
This is one of the most affordable options for the 11-inch iPad Pro, but it’s not available for the 12.9-inch model yet. There’s a polyurethane cover, finished in a variety of different colors or designs, with a minimal polycarbonate shell inside that holds your iPad Pro securely in place. The Bluetooth keyboard attaches magnetically, so you can remove it and still use the case if you want to. The keyboard is hard plastic with scissor switches which make it reasonably comfortable to type on. You can prop your iPad in a couple of different positions. There’s also an elastic pocket on the cover for your Apple Pencil. The keyboard inevitably adds some weight and will need to be charged up from time to time, but overall this is good value for the money.
Best keyboards for the 2018 iPad (9.7-inch)
Brydge Keyboard ($100)
Brydge wants to bring the MacBook experience to your iPad. The Brydge keyboard is made from high-grade aluminum that is designed to blend perfectly with the iPad’s body. It’s rigid and strong, but it’s also extremely light, weighing just 18 ounces. The iPad is secured via two clips, one on each side, making it easy to connect and remove from the keyboard. The hinge is strong and you can adjust your iPad to find the best angle for you. One of the main attractions of this keyboard is the backlit keys, which come with three levels of brightness and are handy when working in low-light situations. You’ll also be happy to know that the Brydge keyboard has 1.2 millimeters of key travel. It feels a lot like a MacBook keyboard, so you can type easier, faster, and more confidently than with many other iPad keyboard cases. It comes in silver, space gray, and gold and this model will also fit 2017’s iPad and the iPad Pro (9.7-inch).
Logitech Slim Folio Bluetooth Keyboard ($95-$100)
This case keeps your iPad safe from bumps, scratches, and as a bonus, it’s also spill-resistant. You can lock your iPad at a couple of different angles, including the ideal position for typing. The keys are pretty responsive with a decent 1.5mm travel. The batteries are replaceable and have a lifespan of up to four years, based on a couple of hours use per day. The keyboard also has a handy row of dedicated iOS shortcut keys, so that you can change the volume, language, and more with ease.
Favormates 7 Colors Backlit Keyboard ($56)
This clamshell cover has 130 degrees of rotation so that you can find the perfect angle. As the name suggests, it offers seven colors, so you can select your ideal shade of keyboard backlighting, and you can adjust the brightness for working through the night. Your iPad’s auto wake/sleep function also works with this case, which helps to extend your battery life. This iPad keyboard case has an aluminum build that is very sturdy and protective.
Best keyboards for the iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
Apple Smart Keyboard ($160)
Apple’s own Smart Keyboard should be your first choice when it comes to the iPad Pro. It also doubles as a light iPad cover, though it won’t provide drop protection. If you’ve ever used the iPad cover from Apple, you know that it acts as a stand when you fold it and the Smart Keyboard works exactly the same way. It’s powered by the iPad’s Smart Connector and you can simply snap it into place and start typing.
Onhi Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard Case ($59)
Your iPad Pro 10.5 will be snug and secure in this keyboard case. There’s a plastic cover with cutouts in all the right places and an aluminum keyboard with backlit keys. You have plenty of customization options with seven colors to choose from and three brightness levels. It’s comfortable to type on, but it is quite heavy and the keyboard can’t be removed from the case. The hinge allows you to adjust the angle your iPad sits at through 135 degrees, it supports the automatic sleep/wake function, and you can expect between 5 and 180 of hours of use from a full charge. It comes in rose gold, black, gold, and silver.
Brydge 10.5 Keyboard ($140)
The Brydge 10.5 is a very high-end keyboard made of high-grade aluminum. The keyboard’s design blends in with the iPad perfectly. The keyboard is a single piece of very thin aluminum, and even with the iPad attached it is only 0.5-inches thick. You can bend the hinge through 180 degrees to find the best viewing angle. The keys are backlit with three levels of brightness for easy typing in low light. The keys have 1.2mm of travel giving you a nice tactile typing experience. The keyboard also has a row of dedicated keys for iOS, so that you can do more without having to take your hands off the keyboard.