As you may have read, I recently picked up an Apple iPad Pro 11” and with it I decided to pick up Apple’s new Smart Keyboard Cover. As you can expect, like the previous version, it is a flip folio cover with a keyboard attached. Let’s dive right in and give it a review. Right off the the bat I have to give the keyboard props for how easy it is to use. Notice how I didn’t say set up I just said use. That’s because with this keyboard there is no connecting, syncing or pairing, you attach it to the back of the iPad via the magnet that is built in to it and that’s it, it works, nothing else to it. I have used many other keyboards before that were Bluetooth and some of them are down right annoying to connect and some constantly drop connection which is even worse. Aside from connection issues and difficulty most other keyboard, in fact all other keyboards that I have tried personally have to be charged and charge using a micro USB cable requiring you to carry a second cable around to charge your keyboard. Again, another brilliant move on Apple’s part, no battery in the keyboard, so no charging issues, no cables and most importantly, noticeably less weight. The case simply runs off of the power supplied by the iPad through the pin connection on the back.
Lets jump to keyboard feel. Personally for me the keys and keyboard over all are a bit small compared to the desktop Apple keyboard that I am used to but I have to be realistic here and remember that its a portable device. I do have to admit that the 12.9” version’s keyboard is much better feeling but again that’s because of the size. As much as I would have loved the additional keyboard space, I couldn’t live with the overall size gain. After some getting used to I finally became comfortable with the keyboard size and found the keys to be very responsive, providing of good feel and feedback and overall pleasant to type on. So honestly aside from getting used to the move from a full size desktop keyboard to a smaller portable one I really have no complaints and am so far super pleased with the Apple setup (for $179 I’d better be).
Alright so far everything sounds all wonderful and great in Apple land and for all I know maybe it will be in the long term, but I do have some early complaints about the case. First, its too expensive, I mean come on Apple, $179 is excessive, I think you could have priced it a $149 at the most, but in my opinion the $119 ball park is the right price for this case. My second complaint is the material, I’m not sure what to call it, fake leather, rubber, some mix of the two, but what I can say is that when it was only a few days old, and barely used it had scuff marks all over it. It seems that the material is blemished very easily, honestly for the cost too easily for my liking. However to be fair, there are no super deep marks or defects yet so the verdict is still out on the material in question. I will for now hold my judgement until I put some more miles on the case and find out if this is a real problem or just some small early on blemishes.
To recap and wrap up this review, I am extremely happy with the lack of battery in this case, the super easy connection that doesn’t have issues like Bluetooth, the weight, size and shape of the case as well as the feel of the keys while typing. I am displeased with the price, and the material so far as I fear that it will not age well based off of the early marks that it has. Again I wont dismiss the case yet because of quality until I have put more miles on it, but I will say that I recommend it unless you are able to find another keyboard case that really works for you for much less money. Basically if you can find something that you like for $120 or less then this keyboard wont be worth it for you, but if you can not, then this case is worth tying. In a few months of use I will come back and update this review to let you know if material quality is an issue or not. If it ends up not being an issue then this Keyboard Smart case may be worth it after all. Till next time.