Best replacement for an exhausted iPad Smart Keyboard?

Hi Gear Geeks,
I have a 2017 10.5 inch iPad Air (A/1709) for which I bought the first generation of apple smart keyboards, you know the ones with the pins you have to line up, but that serves just fine once you learn how to fold it up. Its connecting isn’t as good as it once was, and it’s fraying at the edges. I probably have another couple of years on this iPad, so I don’t want to pay $160 for a new Smart Keyboard. Does anyone have a suggestion for either a great lightweight alternative or where to buy one that’s refurbished? Best Buy has one for $133, which is a little better, but something tells me I can do better. Thanks!

Mine stopped working (connection wore out) and Apple store replaced it several years after purchase).


Don’t know of anything lightweight, but Logitech had a 3 way switchable Bluetooth keynoard that’s relatively portable, albeit separate from the iPad.


This is what I’m thinking of getting for my (newly acquired) Air!

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FWIW I had K480 before, found it to be heavy and it only has 1 angle which’s too upright. Best try it at the shop before buying.


I was the same and Apple replaced it twice, despite it being outside warranty the second time.


I agree it’s not optimal - but it’s very budget-friendly and it can work on one’s phone, tablet, and even something like a TV or game console if they support Bluetooth - without constantly having to re-pair.

I wouldn’t want to type on it all day, every day as my primary keyboard, but it did a serviceable job for me for awhile in a backpack with my iPad. :slight_smile:

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Did you do this over the phone or in person at the store? I’m just off the phone with an Apple rep who said they couldn’t do anything for me.

I use the Logictech Combo Touch. Comes with a touchpad that supports all the gestures and has a good build quality. It is a bit thick though.
Cost 150$ if I remember correctly.

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I think this will be my next keyboard. I am not impressed with the smart keyboard.

I would like better retention of the iPad to the keyboard. That is my first gripe about Smart Keyboard. The second, if the connection isn’t just right the keyboard doesn’t function. It would also be nice to have some lighted keys from time to time.

I have been toying with getting a MacBook Air in lieu of an iPad.

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I went to the store prepared to buy a new one. They asked why and I said the iPad was no longer recognising it.

Apparently it’s a known defect so they replace them.

This was a couple of years ago (and indeed my current one is now started to have the same issue) so will take to the store soon and see what happens. They might have changed their policy on it.


I just use the $99 Magic keyboard which does not attach. I bought it for an older ipad but it works just fine with my ipad Air 3.

I just double checked it for you and it worked fine.:wink: Never noticed a single shortcoming to it other than the obvious, ie it not being attachable, but some attachables don’t lie flat as I learned from youtube videos.

And it stays paired.


Unrelated to me…

In Apple Discussions…

Pablo wrote on July 23, 2018 that “there is a technical problem in Smart Keyboards. Aware of this, Apple extended it’s warranty to three years. Take it to your Apple Store…” He checked with the Helpline.

Please note that I OFTEN get varying info from Apple’s line. So if I believe I have not received a satisfactory answer, I’ll call back. Also, I’ll check my info. I have noticed that they are taught exceptionally well how to access information. Some people are better learners than others. And occasionally people just give up and will give out wrong info. They certainly seem to be strongly taught not to give up.

Nevertheless, Pablo’s text is dated in July. Maybe that warranty is still good. It could be worth $150. I’d double-check it.

Just thought of something… you can pin them down on the date. That letter to Apple (from Pablo) is on their website where they advertise for their products. It is their responsibility to check and make sure that the website reflects accurate information. Voila! The date is in July…

Don’t forget my finder’s fee! :wink:

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I had the same setup as you (still have the iPad, but I’ve since added a 2020 iPad Pro) and my keyboard broke 2-3 months after the warranty expired. I took it to the Apple store, as I heard they were making some exceptions to the warranty date. They told me nope, the warranty is what it is (expired) but they made me a ‘special’ offer to replace it at a discount that was higher than what the keyboard was selling for on Amazon at the time! I cut the keyboard pard off, still use the rest as a Smart Cover. I wouldn’t be too hopeful Apple will do anything for you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

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I wish that they would’ve done that for me. I tried twice, once in-store and then another attempt online. Both times denied.

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You made me happy! I’ll report back when I have time to deal with this. Thank you!

It’s worth a shot! Good luck!