The 9 Best iPad Pro Keyboards of 2021

Alternatives for typing on-screen

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The Rundown
It's one of the most versatile keyboard cases we've used, letting you easily switch from typing, drawing, sketching, and reading.
With the ability to switch between up to three different devices, you'll be able to use it with your iPad Pro, Mac, or Windows PC.
This is a case that’s designed to take a beating, and it’s actually rated for 6-foot drop protection.
It's built from the ground up to provide a pro typing experience while also taking advantage of the newest iPadOS features.
Best Design:
Brydge Pro+ at Amazon
The solid aluminum construction provides a classy and durable design with a very Mac-like aesthetic.
It's slim enough to be used as a basic protective case without the bulk of most other iPad keyboards.
Best for Apple Pencil:
ZAGG Slim Book Go at Amazon
Provides three different places to store your Apple Pencil, plus a seven-color backlight and multi-device pairing.
Best Standalone Keyboard:
Apple Magic Keyboard 2 at Amazon
Made for Macs, but just as powerful for iPad users, with special function keys that map directly to iPad features.
More than just typical backlighting, it features a circular breathing rainbow that mesmerizingly ripples across the keys.

The best iPad Pro keyboards should provide solid protection for your iPad, ease of use, and versatility, while coming in at a reasonable price and offering a great typing experience. A device like the iPad Pro is many things to many people, so your specific needs will determine which kind of keyboard works best for you, but as you can see from our selections, there are a lot of great options to choose from. 

One thing that is certain is that if you do any serious amount of typing on your iPad Pro, the on-screen keyboard just isn't going to cut it, and you'll definitely want to go with a hardware keyboard of some kind. While most iPad Pro keyboards come with attached cases that are designed to provide some level of protection for your iPad, others focus more on the keyboard and typing experience, leaving you to find other ways to protect your iPad. 

The best iPad Pro keyboards are great options for anybody who needs to do serious typing on their iPad, whether that's at home, in the office, or on the go.

Best Overall: Logitech Slim Folio Pro

Logitech Slim Folio PRO for iPad Pro 11-inch
What We Like
  • Backlit Keys

  • Apple Pencil holder with charging support

  • Features iPad-specific shortcut keys

What We Don't Like
  • Keyboard isn't detachable

  • No palm rest

While finding the best iPad Pro keyboard case can be tricky, we think the ideal one should strike a balance between offering solid protection, ease of use, versatility, price, and a great typing experience. Logitech’s Slim Folio Pro checks all of these boxes quite well, but that’s not surprising considering that Logitech has been doing this since the iPad 2.

Logitech has decades of experience in making keyboards, so you can count on a great typing experience from this one as well. Logitech’s solid scissor switch keyboard design offers keys that are nice and responsive, letting you type comfortably for hours without fatigue. It pairs up with your iPad Pro as a standard Bluetooth keyboard, and features a magnetic dock that holds it in an upright position while also doubling as a power switch. This automatically preserves battery life when it’s not in use so there's no need to fuss with a power button.

The Slim Folio Pro is also one of the most versatile keyboard cases we've used, allowing you to switch between typing, drawing, sketching, and reading with minimum hassle. The thoughtful space-saving design makes it a great pick for using on the go, since the front cover folds back to form the stand, minimizing its footprint so it sits comfortably in your lap while typing.

However, you can just as easily fold the keyboard around and behind your iPad to place it flat on a desk or hold in your hand for reading or browsing the web. In addition to a full collection of iPad-specific keyboard shortcuts, the magnetic latch that holds the case closed also keeps your Apple Pencil in the proper position for magnetic charging so your stylus will always be powered up and ready to go.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Bluetooth | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: No | Media Controls: Yes 

Best Budget: Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

What We Like
  • Connect to multiple devices

  • Low price

  • Two-year battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Round keys may not be comfortable to use

  • Doesn't attach to the iPad

  • Non-rechargeable battery

While Logitech's K380 isn't an iPad-specific keyboard, its wallet-friendly price and multi-device compatibility make it a great budget pick for anybody who wants an affordable yet versatile keyboard. With the ability to switch between up to three different devices, you'll be able to use it not only with your iPad Pro, but also your Mac or Windows PC, an iPhone or Android smartphone or game console—basically anything that can handle a Bluetooth keyboard.

That said, Logitech has had to cut a few corners to produce a keyboard at this price. For instance, it lacks the rechargeable battery found on most pricier wireless keyboards, although Logitech promises that the included pair of AAA alkaline batteries will last up to two years before needing replacement. The modern round keys lean more toward form than function, which can take some getting used to, especially combined with the relatively narrow pitch.

The multi device compatibility also has a downside. Since Logitech doesn't want to make any assumptions about what you'll be using the K380 with, many of the keys have multiple labels to represent their different functions on iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, which makes it look a bit cluttered and potentially confusing.

It's also a standalone keyboard that doesn't attach directly to your iPad, so while it's fine if you're planning to settle in and do some writing in a coffee shop, it's less than ideal for using on the go.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Bluetooth | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: No | Media Controls: Yes 

Best Protection: ZAGG Rugged Book Go

ZAGG - Rugged Book Go Keyboard Folio
What We Like
  • Multi Device pairing

  • Rugged build with Apple Pencil holder

  • Versatile case

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky

While most iPad keyboard cases will offer basic protection against scuffs and scrapes, sometimes that’s just not enough if you’re on the move all the time with your iPad in tow. That's where Zagg’s Rugged Book Go comes in. As you can tell from the name, this is a case that’s designed to take a beating, and it’s actually rated for 6-foot drop protection.

With this level of protection, it may surprise you to find it's a surprisingly lightweight case, offering a well-designed keyboard that’s second only to Logitech’s—and it’s a very close second. The keys are full laptop-style with nice tactile feedback, so long typing sessions won’t be a problem. Not only is it backlit, but you get seven different colors of backlighting to choose from. There’s also a secure slot to hold the Apple Pencil in position against the magnetic charging port, so it’s always ready to go when you need it. 

The keyboard is also detachable, so it not only lets you use your iPad Pro in a more traditional tablet format, but since the kickstand is on the case and not the keyboard, you can also use the keyboard at a short distance from the iPad if you prefer. You can also pair the keyboard with a second device, letting it do double-duty as an iPhone or computer keyboard as well.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Bluetooth | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: Yes | Media Controls: Yes 

Best Laptop Experience: Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro and iPad Air

Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
What We Like
  • Great typing experience

  • Integrated multitouch trackpad

  • iPad Pro can be easily removed

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Can't be used in Portrait mode

  • No Apple Pencil holder

Apple's new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro is designed for those who are looking to turn their iPad Pro into a serious productivity tool. While it's not as fun and whimsical as some of the other options on our list, it's built from the ground up to provide a pro typing experience while also taking advantage of all of the newest features that iPadOS has to offer.

The Magic Keyboard's design actually differs quite a bit from Apple's Smart Keyboard folio and most other iPad Pro keyboards. Strong hinges and magnets hold the iPad Pro suspended above the typing area while also letting it be easily removed when you want to pick it up to use as a tablet.

It also Apple's Smart Connector to connect with your iPad Pro rather than Bluetooth, so you'll never need to worry about pairing or charging it. In fact, although the Magic Keyboard includes a USB-C connector, it's there only to charge your iPad Pro so you can keep the main USB-C port free for other accessories. 

Beyond the design, however, the Magic Keyboard offers something that few other iPad Pro keyboards provide right now: a trackpad. Apple has always made consistently great trackpads, and it's applied that expertise to the new iPad Pro keyboard, which is not only responsive and well designed, but also supports the usual gamut of multi-touch gestures, from two- and three-finger swipes to pinch-to-zoom. Apple has also finally done justice to a first-party iPad Pro keyboard with cleanly backlit keys that auto-adjust to ambient lighting, plus a great typing experience that's surprisingly close to using a MacBook.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Smart Connector | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: Yes | Media Controls: Yes 

Best Design: Brydge Pro+ Wireless Keyboard with Trackpad

Brydge Pro+ Wireless Keyboard for iPad with Trackpad
What We Like
  • Amazing pitch, key travel, and feel

  • Integrated multi-touch trackpad

  • Cool MacBook-like design

What We Don't Like
  • Detachable, but not easily

  • Not portrait friendly

Brydge is another veteran of iPad keyboards, and it’s long been known for taking a completely different approach when it comes to the iPad, focusing on making a great keyboard with a more MacBook-like aesthetic. It’s far from the most protective solution you’ll find—in fact, we’d barely call it protective at all—but it’s definitely one of the classiest industrial designs going.

With a solid aluminum construction, the Brydge Pro+ is the most durable iPad keyboard available, and the similarity to the MacBook design doesn’t end there. It feels almost exactly like typing on a laptop, with responsive keys that have just the right amount of tactile feedback, and it includes a generously sized multi-touch trackpad to round out the MacBook-like user experience.

The aluminum design also gives it a nice heft that keeps the iPad Pro and keyboard securely in place while you’re typing without the need for a rear stand to prop up the iPad. This also means it's one of the best keyboards for typing on your lap, since it minimizes the surface area needed to make it stand up. 

The iPad Pro slips into two hinges on the keyboard, effectively creating a laptop-style clamshell design that can be adjusted to any angle, including a tablet mode where the keyboard stays tucked behind the iPad, and it’s easily removed for those times you may want to use your iPad Pro without the encumbrance of a case. While prior Brydge keyboards left the rear of the iPad exposed, the new iPad Pro versions also includes a magnetic snap-on cover to protect the back of your iPad from scratches.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Bluetooth | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: Yes | Media Controls: Yes 

"Brydge is my go-to for tablet keyboards. They're so great; they're in the top three keyboards I've ever used. They're that good."Adam Doud, Tech Writer

Best Lightweight: Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro and iPad Air

What We Like
  • No charging or pairing required

  • Uses Apple's proprietary Smart Connector

  • Ultra-slim keyboard adds minimal bulk

What We Don't Like
  • No space for wrist rest

  • Lacks media or function keys

  • Design is a bit uninspired

Apple’s Smart Connector has always been one of the most underused features of the iPad Pro—an intelligent docking connector originally found on the edge of the iPad to connect accessories such as keyboards and charging docks. Sadly, only two companies—Apple and Logitech—ever actually did anything with the original Smart Connector, and then Apple made the rather inscrutable decision in 2018 to move it from the edge of the iPad Pro to the back.

At that point, even Logitech threw up its arms in defeat and just switched to Bluetooth keyboards, but Apple kept at it, releasing a new Smart Keyboard Folio that provides a physical connection to the Smart Connector by also adding a flap that doubles as protection for the rear of the iPad. 

Although most iPad Bluetooth keyboards provide great battery life, there’s still something to be said for a keyboard that doesn’t need to be charged or paired with the iPad—Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio is literally “plug and play.”

It draws its power from the iPad Pro itself and there’s no need to do anything other than plug it in. It's a fairly minimalist keyboard design that doesn't offer much protection, but since Apple doesn’t need to worry about batteries or Bluetooth radios, it’s able to make the keyboard thinner than most, and it's slim enough to be used as a basic protective case without the bulk of most other iPad keyboards.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Smart Connector | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: No | Media Controls: No 

Best for Apple Pencil: ZAGG Slim Book Go

What We Like
  • Versatile Apple Pencil storage options

  • Detachable keyboard

  • Backlit keys

What We Don't Like
  • Flat hinge design

While many iPad Pro keyboard cases offer a place to keep your Apple Pencil, not all of them do it with as much versatility as Zagg’s Slim Book Go. The usual approach is to add a loop or holder on the outside of the case, and while that's great for charging the new second-gen Apple Pencil, it’s not the most well-protected spot when you’re carrying your iPad around.

The Slim Book Go, on the other hand, provides three different places to store your Apple Pencil: the standard spot on the top of the iPad Pro for charging, a storage slot at the base of the cover, and even a holder at the top of the keyboard for setting it down when you’re switching between typing and sketching. While the storage slot makes the case a little wider than most, the Apple Pencil is an expensive accessory, and we think this is the safest way to carry around your Apple Pencil on the go.

The case and keyboard also feature a lightweight, portable design, although despite the name it’s not the slimmest case we’ve seen—merely the slimmest one Zagg offers. But it does provide nice laptop-style keys for a comfortable typing experience, even for long writing sessions, and it includes the same seven-color backlight and multi-device pairing as Zagg’s other keyboards. Plus it’s detachable so you can use the keyboard with your iPhone or use your iPad unencumbered by the keyboard.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Bluetooth | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: Yes | Media Controls: Yes 

Best Standalone Keyboard: Apple Magic Keyboard 2

What We Like
  • Slim profile

  • Really good pitch and key travel

  • Special function keys work with iPad features

What We Don't Like
  • Separate device, does not attach to iPad

  • No palm rest

If having a great keyboard for your iPad is more important to you than portability, Apple’s Magic Keyboard 2 is just as powerful for iPad users as it is for Mac users. After all, even though keyboards designed for the iPad have gotten pretty good, most of them still make compromises that keep them a notch below standalone keyboards. Since the iPad supports any Bluetooth keyboard, however, this means you don’t have to limit yourself to those specifically made for the iPad.

In theory this means you can use any Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad Pro, but Apple’s Magic Keyboard has the advantage of mapping all the special function keys directly to iPad features like brightness, media playback, and volume control.

It’s also worth adding that a real keyboard gives you an ESC key—something that's useful in many iOS apps but is omitted from many iPad keyboards due to the need to fit more specialized function keys into a smaller space.

The downside to the Magic Keyboard 2 is that it's not designed to travel with your iPad, but there are also several iPad cases available that are designed to work with the Magic Keyboard 2. However, these generally just provide room to store the keyboard and work as iPad stands rather than iPad cases, so while they’re a nice solution for use around the home or office, you’ll probably still want to spring for an iPad keyboard case if you plan to use your tablet on the go.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Bluetooth | RGB: No | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: No | Media Controls: Yes 

Best RGB: Phixnozar iPad Pro 12.9 Keyboard Case

What We Like
  • RGB Lighting

  • Trackpad

  • Apple Pencil holder

What We Don't Like
  • Short battery life

If you're looking for a keyboard with a bit more flair than the usual suspects, then Phixnozar iPad Pro case really stands out from the pack, thanks to its RGB lighting. More than just typical backlighting, it features a circular breathing rainbow that mesmerizingly ripples across the keys. You can choose normal stable backlighting too, of course, and adjust the brightness and rate of the RGB effects.

There's more to this keyboard than just cool lighting, however, as it also packs in a trackpad for iPadOS mouse input, and even a spot to store your Apple Pencil that keeps it aligned with the magnetic charging dock so it will always be juiced up and ready to go.

It also offers a nice clamshell design that both elevates the keyboard for a more comfortable typing experience while letting you easily adjust it for an optimal viewing angle. The downside is that all of this top-notch RGB backlighting will cost you in battery life, cutting it back to around 2.5 hours of active use with the lighting on, which is a far cry from the weeks or months that come with many other Bluetooth keyboards.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Bluetooth | RGB: Yes | Tenkeys: No | Palm Rest: Yes | Media Controls: Yes 

Final Verdict

Logitech's Slim Folio Pro (view at Amazon) offers the best combination of a quality keyboard and a protective case, but if you're looking to use your iPad Pro for serious work, Apple's Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro (view at Amazon) could easily be worth the higher price of admission.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jesse Hollington is a tech journalist with more than a decade of experience and expertise on all things Apple. Jesse was previously the Editor-in-Chief for iLounge and has written for many other publications, as well as writing books about the iPod and iTunes.

Adam Doud has been writing in this industry for almost a decade and considers himself something of a keyboard sommelier. He has strong feelings about keyboards, and as a writer, he should.

FAQs

What is keyboard pitch and travel?
Keyboard pitch and travel indicate the spacing between the centers of the keys and the distance you press them. These are entirely subjective conditions. Some people like keyboards that are condensed, others prefer a more spaced-out layout. Some prefer short travel, others prefer a long press. It'd be a good idea to find a keyboard that you really like and measure the distance between the centers of the keys (pitch) and the travel, then find something similar.

Do you need a keyboard?
The iPad Pro has a built-in software keyboard that is quite functional, but lacks the kind of tactile feedback that's usually needed for efficient typing. Furthermore, you need to keep the screen relatively flat to type on it, which isn't ideal if you want to see what you're creating. A separate keyboard alleviates all of these problems.

Can an iPad Pro with a keyboard replace your computer?
To a certain extent, yes. An iPad Pro with a keyboard is a very similar experience to a "computer" or laptop. iPadOS (the operating system) is definitely different than Windows or macOS, but in terms of functionality and content creation, yes, an iPad Pro and a keyboard is a great combination.

What to Look For in an iPad Pro Keyboard

iPad Size and Generation

When purchasing a keyboard for your iPad Pro, you need to take into consideration its size and what generation it's from. Most keyboards have attachments that are custom designed for each size and generation, and a mismatch simply won't work. Be sure you know your iPad Pro's model number and the model number the keyboard was designed for.

Typing Experience

Let's face it, if you're investing in an iPad Pro keyboard, you're doing it because the on-screen keyboard just isn't cutting it, so you'll want to make sure that the keyboard you pick is easy to type on. While it may not matter as much if you're only planning to dash off the occasional email, if you plan to do any long-form writing, you'll want to look to companies with established track records in designing great keyboards. 

Trackpad

A trackpad isn't necessary for the proper operation of an iPad, but iPadOS recently introduced mouse support for iPad which gets you even closer to a laptop experience. The precision of a trackpad/mouse can be very important to some, so a trackpad is a good thing to look for.

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