I’m on an iPad Pro 12.9” Gen 3.
On my previous iPad Pro, I used the Smart Keyboard which was good to use (if a little cramped) with it’s great downfall (especially for the price) being that the Connector would fail and one one Smart Keyboard the glue on one side failed. Apple replaced the Smart Keyboard twice though (once outside warranty)
For this reason I was reluctant to drop £200 on a new Keyboard Folio, so after recommendations from Myke Hurley and Jason Snell, I put down my money for a Brydge Keyboard (with a reduction of £30) and I think it’s wonderful. Yes it’s heavier than the Apple keyboards, but it’s also backlit and it’s easy to take your ipad out of it.
I would recommend it to anyone unless the weight would be a particular issue for you.
Been thinking about a new keyboard since my old K811 started acting up.
Funny you should mention it, but I just got myself a Brydge keyboard for my new 10.5 iPad Pro this week and I agree on all accounts. I do miss the instant response of the Smart Connector, but other than that, it’s been great.
See another example of a possible sacrifice of function for ‘weight’?
I played with the Brydge in store a few days ago. I’ve been using the Smart Keyboard since I got my 11” iPad Pro, but I hate that:
- you can only use it at fixed viewing angles
- you can’t really use the pencil and type at the same time because of the angle and balance
- you can’t use the keyboard unless it’s connected and at the right angles, so e.g. typing on diagrams while the iPad is lying flat isn’t an option
That said, I have been surprised by one thing: since all the reviews came out after it shipped, it doesn’t seem like people who celebrated the Brydge use it anymore. I think I’ve heard folks like Federico Viticci and @RosemaryOrchard talk about their setups in recent months but not mention the Brydge. (Rose, sorry for the ping, but do you still use yours?)
Hmm. Spending another $200 on an iPad keyboard is tough. I wonder if I’d be able to sell the Smart Keyboard on its own…
Brydge is working on a new model with a trackpad.
Yeah, it seems like any choice comes with trade offs. I had the Brydge with my 2017 12.9” Pro but with the new design of the portfolio for the 2018 I’ve stuck with that. In my use the big benefits of the Smart Keyboard Portfolio:
- Easier to detach (which I do all the time)
- Space from keys to glass is very small
- Easy access to swipe up for dock/multitasking
- 2 set angles
- No backlighting
- No media keys
And, of course, the benefits and drawbacks of the Brydge are the opposites of the above.
I found that when I had the Brydge the biggest upside was also the biggest downside: I felt like the iPad was a laptop. I don’t want a laptop, I want an iPad. And I think that’s the best way to summarize the difference between the two choices.
One thing to add: Durability. I’ve had to replace the 2018 Smart Keyboard Portfolio once and I did the same for the previous version too. For the cost, I don’t think these last long enough. They should be designed to last 3 to 4 years, not two years or less.
I couldn’t get over the weight. The 12.9" Bridge has sat on my nightstand and I’ve been using the Smart Keyboard. It’s inferior in almost every way (except for the Smart Connector) but I still “prefer” it for the weight. Which is completely surprising to me.
I like the Brydge keyboard for “heavy” writing. But, it is literally a heavy keyboard and I don’t use it 100% of the time because I find the weight and thickness a bit cumbersome.
So far there are 3 things I don’t like when compared to the Smart Keyboard (1st gen iPad Pro 9.7”)
- The Siri key is poorly placed as it’s where CTRL should be, this means I invoke Siri far too often
- It’s not as easy with the Brydge to remove the keyboard, but it’s not difficult either
- It is very heavy.
However, the many, many benefits outweigh these, including the Backlit keyboard, the multiple viewing angles, the inverted T arrow keys and the media keys.
Hi Geoff, I agree. I bought one for my 11" iPad Pro and it works a treat. However, the weight of the pad plus keyboard is more than my wife’s previous Mac Air and definitely heavier than her new Macbook. That considered, sort of negates the whole idea of carting around a supposedly portable set-up.
I do miss the instant response of the Smart Connector, but other than that, it’s been great.
This! Coming from the Smart Keyboard, it took a while to get used to the 1-2 sec delay to wake up the Brydge. I’m also getting nowhere near the advertised 12-months of battery life on the Brydge. It usually is closer to 1-2 months with moderate use of 2-3h, 3-4 days/week. The backlight really kills the battery, so I end up having to carry around the included USB-C-C cord just in case. Another tiny annoyance is after not using it for a while (say when reading, or just using the screen to scroll), the Brydge goes into standby mode and disconnects from the iPad, so often the software keyboard will suddenly pop-up and take over half the screen.
That said, the main reason I’m continuing to use the Brydge (~6 months now) is the function keys and the inverted-T. I also do like that it’s more stable as a lap-able device.
The annoyances that you’ve pointed out are the things that drive me insane with Bluetooth keyboards and what keep me on the SmartFolio Keyboard. The short delay as the keyboard wakes gets so overwhelmingly distracting that I find myself cringing every time I want to type. It’d be fine if it was only upon first use, but every BT keyboard that I’ve used puts itself to sleep after a short time and takes time to reconnect. Silly maybe, but it’s funny how small, silly things become “major” problems
I wish more companies besides Logitech would utilize the Smart Connector.
For the money Apple charges, i wish they would make a backlit keyboard with media keys.
When I originally received my iPad Pro 10.5 from my carrier I also purchased the Brydge keyboard. A month or so later I purchased the Logitech keyboard.
The weight on the Brydge and Bluetooth connection were appealing to me.
When I travel I put on the Logitech, Brydge is collecting dust.
The Brydge was an expensive error for me. The typing experience was poor (‘b’ key unreliable, size and action) but the weight wrote it off for me.
11’ iPad, Logitech K811 has been a consistent favourite here.
Follow Up: I’ve had to replace both rubber grommets which hold the ipad in place. Brydge shipped me those for free.
But now the right hand hinges has fallen off, I can slot it back on, but it means that the resistance on the hinge and it’s ability to hold the ipad in place are vastly inferior now and it regularly flops backwards.
Suppose I better start saving up for a magic keyboard. Sigh
Hunting around, I managed to pick up a lightly used (we’ll see) Smart Keyboard for £80, this is a lot cheaper than the £200 brand new.
No trackpad, but I can cope without if for a saving of £270