Apple elevates its tablet game each year by releasing a variety of iPad Pro models — the latest of which are the 2021 iPad Pro 12.9 and 11-inch models. Alongside them comes an array of keyboards with compatible options for the range of Apple’s tablets. While some iPad Pro keyboards double as protective cases, others focus more on excellence for the typing experience. This double advantage has inspired more people to use their iPads as a laptop substitute as opposed to merely a recreational or viewing device.
Who needs a keyboard case?
Anyone who actively dislikes tap-typing onscreen will appreciate the convenience and comfort of a keyboard case. It helps you type quickly and accurately on your lap, as you do with a laptop, and it’s especially useful if you type often. When your keyboard doubles as a cover, you always have it with you. If you prefer a keyboard for your iPad, consider the trade-off between a keyboard case’s extra bulk and weight against the typing experience and the extra expense. A keyboard case should not be too big or small, with keys that comfortably travel and without weird, unconventional layouts. Please note that keyboard cases are specific to iPad models and that the expense of a keyboard case may not be transferrable to a new iPad you buy in the future.
Choosing which keyboard case to buy should prompt you to also consider features like iPad function keys like Spotlight search, brightness, home, multiple angle options, an easy on-off design, flexibility to disengage it from the cover when it’s not needed, and long battery life. An Apple Pencil holder would be a welcome feature, too.
If you purchased a new 2021 iPad Pro 12.9-inch model, Apple recommends you buy its newest keyboard case specific to the fifth generation. Apple says the extra 0.5mm thickness can prevent the previous-model Magic Keyboard from properly closing.
Third- and fourth-generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch models and the first- and second-generation 11-inch Pro models have the same overall dimensions, but some vendors are advertising that the 2020 keyboard case covers will fit the identically-sized 2018 and 2020 models. Be aware that the dual-camera array on the the 2020 iPad Pros differ from the 2018 models, which means the same size and older cases do not precisely accommodate the new cameras on the 2020 models.
Best keyboard cases for the iPad Pro at a glance
- Best keyboard cases for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021)
- Best keyboard cases for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2020)
- Best keyboard cases for the 11-inch iPad Pro (2020/2021)
- Best keyboard cases for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018)
- Best keyboard cases for the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018)
- Best keyboard cases for the iPad Pro 10.5
- Best keyboard cases for the iPad Pro 9.7
- Best keyboard cases for older iPad Pro 12.9 models (2017/2015)
Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
Apple’s Magic Keyboard — now in either black or white — is the ideal choice for the best keyboard case for this brand new model, but you’re going to pay for the privilege. However, if you plan to use your pro tablet as a computer while on the go, it’s your best bet. You get a trackpad and scissor-switch keys that are as comfortable as typing on your laptop. The iPad Pro’s Smart Connector gives it the juice, so you never have to worry about recharging via its USB-C charging port, and you can charge the iPad Pro at the same time you use the Thunderbolt port for other items.
Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro
If you can live without the trackpad and prefer the extra protection of a front and back cover, Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio has your iPad covered, and you’ll certainly save some cash. It features a comfortable keyboard within a traditional-type case with multiple viewing angles. As with Apple’s Magic Keyboard, it’s powered by the Smart Connector, so no worries about recharging. It also comes in black or white.
Levet Keyboard Case for iPad Pro 12.9-inch
The Levet Keyboard Case features a detachable Bluetooth keyboard with an Apple Pencil holder and a 650mAh rechargeable battery that will last some 220 hours. This keyboard case provides multiple horizontal stand angles for watching movies or typing. The light, durable case comes with an anti-slide design and offers 360 degrees of protection against scratches, bumps, or dents. The iPad keyboard case comes with a magnetic latch that keeps your case securely closed. Open the case to instantly wake the iPad, then close it to go back to sleep and extend its battery life.
Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9‑inch
Get ready for a different iPad typing experience with the new iPad Magic Keyboard, which folds into a case to provide complete protection for your iPad Pro 2020. It features full-size, backlit keys with a comfortable scissor mechanism for responsive typing that reduces the impact on your hands, and the all-new and important trackpad. It lets you use all your favorite multitouch gestures as well as the cursor and lets you adjust the screen for a perfect viewing angle. It has a USB-C port for charging your iPad Pro, freeing up the tablet port for other accessories.
Logitech Slim Folio Pro
The Logitech Slim Folio Pro is an integrated keyboard whose backlit keys give you a productive typing experience regardless of the surrounding illumination. Large, well-spaced keys span the width of the tablet so you can enjoy comfortable typing without impact to your hands and wrists. A scissor mechanism beneath each key delivers just the right bounce and travel for fast, accurate typing.
Apple’s Magic Keyboard isn’t the only one with a trackpad — the Brydge Pro+ takes it a swipe further by featuring an oversized trackpad, giving you a touch-first experience as you work with the new iPadOS. Using gestures, you can easily switch between apps or activate the dock, control center, and apps in Slide Over mode. The LED-backlit keys help out in low light environments with three levels of backlighting. A snap-on magnetic cover is included with all Brydge Pro+ keyboards to protect the back of your iPad Pro from impact and damage. All orders placed after March 18 receive a back cover to fit both the 2020 and 2018 iPad Pro.
Unlike the larger iPadPro 12.9-inch (5th Generation), the smaller 11-inch iPad Pro works with any 11-inch iPad Pro keyboard and other accessories from the 2018 model and later.
Typecase Touch iPad Pro 11 Case 2020
With its 360-degree rotation design and hard clamshell protection, you can take the Typecase keyboard anywhere. The expansive layout gives you quiet functionality and backlit keys in 10 colors. The keyboard is equally comfortable for working and using your Apple Pencil, reading, or watching videos. The integrated multitouch touchpad is specifically designed to work with iPadOS. At a generous 2.4 inches, the touchpad delivers a comfortable user experience of tapping, scrolling, and swiping. If you’re working in low-light conditions, the backlit keyboard further reduces eyestrain by rendering the colors.
Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 11‑inch
Like its 12.9-inch counterpart, the Magic Keyboard for the 11-inch iPad Pro is the first Apple-branded iPad keyboard with a built-in trackpad so you can use all your favorite touch gestures, just like on your laptop. It offers new ways to work with iPadOS, a USB-C port for passthrough charging, and front and back protection from scratches and dents. The Magic Keyboard lets you attach your tablet magnetically while adjusting it to the ideal viewing angle.
Logitech Slim Folio Pro for iPad Pro 11-inch
The Slim Folio Pro keeps the front and back of your iPad Pro safe from scuffs, scratches, and spills with a lightweight casing that shields the corners. The keyboard case offers three modes — reading, typing, and sketching — to help you precisely execute all needed tasks. A secure magnetic latch, complete with a stylus loop holder, keeps the case closed when not in use. With a built-in auto on/off feature, you can place your tablet in type mode to turn the keyboard on or remove iPad Pro from the dock to put the keys to sleep.
Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
Apple’s Smart Keyboard got some upgrades to match the style of the 2018 iPad Pro range. It now comes with full coverage, providing full back and front protection when it’s folded around your iPad Pro. It doesn’t need to pair with your iPad — just slip your iPad into the dock, and it’ll connect automatically. There’s no need to charge it up separately either. As is usual for Apple, you get a full-size keyboard, but the new folio stand means it’s easier to position your iPad Pro at different angles. It has automatic sleep/wake functionality too. It’s expensive, but that’s par for the course with Apple and, regardless of price, it’s still one of the best options out there.
Brydge Pro Keyboard Case
Want to blur the lines between the MacBook and the iPad Pro? Then you’ve come to the right place. Brydge’s keyboard case is styled to emulate the look of Apple’s MacBook range, giving you the professional look of a laptop, with all the flexibility of a laptop. Best of all, it can be folded behind the tablet to create a fast 2-in-1 tablet or folded back to form a stand. The keys are backlit, giving you the flexibility to work with low lights, and it has dual connectivity either by USB-C or Bluetooth. Brydge even boasts of year-long battery life between charges. It’s certainly on the expensive side, but the protection it offers with that magnetic backplate is solid, and the flexibility to use your iPad Pro in multiple styles is invaluable.
Infiland Case with Bluetooth Keyboard
Transform your iPad into a laptop substitute whenever the urge strikes you with the Infiland iPad Pro 12.9 2018 Keyboard case. Its high-end wireless design features full function keys and the comfortable tactile typing experience and response you expect. The keyboard’s metal retroflex plate provides a stable stand for the iPad and an adjustable viewing angle for watching videos, chatting, or typing. The stand is engineered from premium hard plastic combined with faux leather to protect the iPad from drops, cracks, scratches, and dirt. Precise cutouts leave room for all functional buttons, it connects via Bluetooth, and it supports the auto sleep/wake function.
Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
The Apple Smart Keyboard Folio should always be your first port of call when you’re looking to get the most out of your 11-inch iPad Pro. It’s now a full-coverage case that covers the front and back at all times, and the new folio-style stand means your iPad can be positioned in a bunch of handy positions. There’s no need to connect via Bluetooth, and there’s no need to charge it, either. It’s slim and keeps your iPad protected when on the move. There’s a full-size keyboard, too. Though it’s expensive, it’s a great addition to your iPad Pro if you’re looking to boost your productivity.
Chesona iPad Pro 11 Keyboard Case 2018
The elegant Chesona is a detachable Bluetooth keyboard with a magnetic hybrid case that transforms your iPad into a laptop. The faux leather cover and soft microfiber lining fully protect your tablet. It supports wireless charging for Apple Pencil with a discrete pencil slot to place the pen when it is fully charged. The cover provides both protection and a quiet keyboard with three modes — typing, viewing, and reading. Precise cutouts give you full access to all ports, sensors, speakers, microphone, and cameras. The built-in rechargeable battery extends your tablet’s battery life two to three hours on a full charge, and works for more than 60 hours, with standby for 120 days. It comes in a variety of bright colors.
Brydge Pro Keyboard Case
We’ve already highlighted the Brydge Pro case for the iPad Pro 12.9, but iPad Pro 11 owners should know they’re also supported by Brydge’s great looking keyboard case. The version for the iPad Pro 11 is slightly cheaper, but it’s just as stylish, using a chrome color scheme to emulate the classic look of the MacBook. It’s just as good as its bigger brother, offering huge amounts of flexibility and additional protection thanks to the magnetic clip-on backplate. Alright, it’s expensive, but it turns your iPad Pro into a very passable laptop alternative.
Earto iPad Pro 10.5 Keyboard Case
The Earto keyboard hard case rocks out with seven color lighting options (red, white, green, yellow, blue, purple, and cyan) and three brightness adjustment levels for your visual pleasure and a comfortable typing experience, even in dark surroundings. The cover also facilitates 360-degree rotation and 180-degree flip. The shaft bracket design allows the iPad to be rotated 360 degrees and tilted up to 135 degrees for typing, watching videos, or playing games. It supports the smart auto sleep/wake function, where opening or closing the cover triggers iPad sleep or wake modes, saving your battery life. Precise cutouts facilitate full access to all ports and features.
Apple Smart Keyboard
The first keyboard on our radar is, of course, Apple’s Smart Keyboard. This one is similar to the 9.7-inch smart keyboard, with the same shallow key travel and overall build quality. This iPad Pro keyboard case is a one-sided affair. It doesn’t cover your entire iPad like other keyboard cases, but it does make use of the Smart Connector, meaning you don’t need to pair it via Bluetooth. Like many Apple-branded products, however, this keyboard is pricey, but if you want ultimate compatibility and something that was built by Apple, then this should be your first choice.
Zagg Rugged Messenger
Protection can be a little light on most keyboard cases, but that isn’t the case here. The tough case is capable of withstanding drops of up to 6.6 feet, features reinforced corners to help resist other forms of damage, and works as a folio case that completely covers your device. It’s not just protective; it’s also a strong keyboard case. You’ll find backlit keys, support for multi-device pairing, a built-in kickstand, a holder for the Apple Pencil, and a claimed battery lifespan of up to two years between charges. That’s a heck of a features list for $100, and it’s a great choice for anyone whose iPad Pro follows them outdoors a lot.
If you’re looking for alternative, non-keyboard cases, check out our picks for the best iPad Pro 10.5 cases.
Zagg Slim Book
If you want to go more for the traditional laptop feel when it comes to your keyboard case, Zagg’s Slim Book Pro is your best bet. The case is fashioned to look more like a notebook when attached to the iPad Pro, so it’s a bit bulkier than the first two options. The case’s unique hinge allows for 135 degrees of adjustment, while island-style keys let you comfortably type as if you were using a traditional keyboard. The keys are even backlit and make use of the integrated battery, which is conveniently designed to last for up to two years on a single charge.
Brydge BrydgeAir Keyboard
Another entrant for laptop-style cases is the beautifully crafted Brydge BrydgeAir. This 100% aluminum case feels solid, but because it’s just a keyboard that clamps directly to the tablet, it’s not too heavy. It connects via Bluetooth, and there are backlit keys with adjustable brightness. We love the 180-degree hinge, allowing you to find the perfect angle for comfort, or to use it as a tablet when you need to.
If you’re looking for alternative, non-keyboard cases, check out our picks for the best iPad Pro 9.7 cases.
Apple Smart Keyboard
Apple’s Smart Keyboard is always going to be a tempting option. The keyboard connects via the Smart Connector instead of Bluetooth, and that allows it to draw a charge and send keystrokes. It’s a nice alternative to the virtual keyboard on the Pro. Each of the 64 keys is water-resistant as they are made from a durable, custom-woven fabric, that has a spring-like tension when pressed. This keyboard case is foldable, too, so you can prop your iPad Pro in a comfortable position.
Brydge BrydgePro Keyboard
We love the solid feel and matched color of the BrydgePro. Brydge made the case out of 100% aluminum, and the weight of the 12.9-inch model is less than the MacBook Air. The BrydgePro uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPad Pro, and it features backlit keys with adjustable brightness. The case has a hinge that allows it to open 180 degrees, giving you the ability to use it as a tablet when you’re on the move.
Lenrich 360-degree Keyboard Case
There’s no doubt this is something of an odd case, as it makes your iPad Pro look a little bit like the laptop you get from your workplace’s IT department. There’s more here than weird looks; there are some seriously cool features here, too. This case will not only transform your tablet into a laptop, but you can also fold the case to use as a media-viewing stand. The screen also rotates in a full circle, making it easy to position your iPad Pro so everyone can see it. It’s not perfect, however. Aside from the unfortunate looks, it’s also quite chunky and adds a lot to the iPad Pro’s otherwise slim build. You also have to keep the keyboard charged, so you’re able to use it. It’s a good choice to help you with basic setup and functions at an affordable price.
- Samsung confirms February Unpacked event for Galaxy S22
- Latest Samsung Galaxy A53 leaks point toward imminent launch
- Best Amazon Fire tablet deals for January 2022
- Best Android tablet deals for January 2022
- Best Apple deals and sales for January 2022