For the online learning world


Using an iPad for real, part 8 – Magic keyboard

Apple recently released the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro.

Continuing my thoughts and experiences around trying to use an iPad Pro for ‘real work’.

Apple of course suggest that an iPad Pro can be a replacement for a laptop. But is it true? Well, so far I’m finding it far slower to get day-to-day work done, and limited in a number of ways. One area is of course the keyboard. I have the Apple folio keyboard, which also acts as a cover, and it’s basic, and has a retro-feeling rubber type keyboard. So of course I was very interested to see the new Magic Keyboard as it’s been named.

Apple unveiled the Magic Keyboard alongside the 2020 iPad Pro models. It would be a great upgrade from older iPads, and a truely amazing first tablet for new buyers, but it’s not an upgrade option for me because my 2016 iPad Pro is still perfectly fine for daily use..

The Magic Keyboard, on the other hand, is a more affordable way to greatly improve the iPad Pro experience. It’s pretty expensive at $300 to $350(!), but it might really enhance the iPad Pro in ways that help me? The main new features are:

  • Backlit keys – so great for using while half watching TV in the evening, at conferences, etc.
  • Adjustable viewing angles – because the keyboard is also a case / magnetic stand
  • Has a USB C port, in the ‘hinge’ area – could be very useful
  • It has a trackpad built in !!! Now you’re talking !

And now the sad part.

It’s only available for the iPad Pro 12.9″ (3rd and 4th gen) and the iPad Pro 11″ (1st and 2nd gen). That means my 9.7″ is left out in the cold :-(. OK, I understand, because it is a different physical size. But at $300+ for the keyboard, and a new 11″ iPad Pro at minimum (plus I’d need the new Pencil too) it’s just too expensive an upgrade to justify.

But if my iPad Pro dies (unlikely in the near future as they seem rock solid) it could be an option I would consider.

If YOU get the new Magic Keyboard with an iPad Pro do let me know your thoughts … I’m dying to be convinced !

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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