After hearing so many podcasters praise it, I picked one up on Black Friday for $99 for my 12.9" iPad Pro.
It’s already gone back.
Although I liked the backlit keys (the only thing I dislike on my existing Apple folio keyboard), I just couldn’t get used to it otherwise.
It looks cool that it makes an iPad seem like a laptop, but that was the problem for me. The hinge mechanism makes the “swipe up” gesture from the bottom of the screen harder because my finger almost gets squished into the hinge to hit the right spot.
But mostly, the physical layout puts the keyboard right up against the screen and makes it a much longer reach for any touch operations. I found my hand fatigued very quickly even when I used an Apple Pencil as an extension to shorten the distance.
I also found myself constantly rubbing the empty metal area in front of the keyboard as if it was the touchpad on my MacBook Pro. (Yeah, I know they are working on one that will actually have a touchpad)
It is really heavy. And I mean really heavy. My iPad weighs so much that I am not comfortable with it in casual positions such as on a couch, reclining chair, or bed. For that amount of weight, I enjoy using my MacBook much more.
The hinge mechanism is very interesting, but is a tight fit and not something I see myself continually removing the keypad when I don’t want to carry the weight. Just worried too much that constant insertion/removable will break something and I don’t like using it for everything with the keyboard attached.
For me, the novelty wore off quickly, as I do a combination of typing but also using apps. I found myself just grabbing my MacBook for a better typing experience and getting confused when using my iPad - trying to use it like a laptop and not enjoying it.
Travelling a lot the Folio split and stopped working within a year, Apple weren’t interested.
The Brydge has been rock solid.
Horses for courses and all that
Brydge keyboard looks great, but if someone wants to transform his iPad into a laptop, why not just buy the laptop?
I would consider Brydge when they make a model with touchpad that would be properly supported in the iPadOS.
IMHO - no MacBook has touch screen, always connected LTE, flexibility of a small footprint tablet that can act a bit (or sometimes a lot) as you need, App Store ecosystem…I can think of quite a few reasons.
I do still carry both my iPad Pro 12.9” and MacBook Pro 13” with me, when desk bound With external monitor (27” 4K) I lean towards MacBook, whilst moving around my iPad exclusively.
The current generation of apple folio keyboards are far better than the first gen, that I had no end of problems with. I didn’t like the key size and layout on the brydge, it looked cheap and poor quality and the feel wasn’t right for me.
I’m on my second smart keyboard for my 10.5. Broke after two years but here in Norway we have great consumer rights, so I just got myself a new one for free, when that breaks in a year or so I’ll get a new one again.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have had it in my cart repeatedly, and even went way out of my way to visit a store to play with one. I’ve continued to be on the fence about it, but this helps confirm my belief in the Smart Keyboard Folio as the one keyboard to rule them all.
I don’t care about the iPad-as-a-laptop experience, but seriously though: how do you all use the Smart Keyboard Folio on your lap? The Brydge’s lap-stability potential and multiple viewing angles are the main attractor for me. I use a lap desk but the Folio is a bit slippery, and slides toward me over time… maybe there are grips I can buy and stick on?
Yeah, I bought one for my 2017 Pro and used it a bit but not enough and for the exact same reasons you mention above. With the 2018 iPad Pro I didn’t even consider the Brydge.
The 2018 Smart Keyboard Portfolio is a big improvement in terms of stability and using the iPad as a laptop and is easy enough to remove the iPad to use as a tablet. That said, I’ve got concerns about durability. I’ve had mine warranty replaced once already.
My current experiment is a Zugu case (very thin, same weight as Apples portfolio. The Zugu is VERY stable and has 8 angles. I use an external keyboard with it and I’m really liking this arrangement.
I also tried the Brydge Keyboard and sent it back. My main objection was the hinges that hold the iPad. A selling point is that the hinges allow the iPad screen to be positioned at multiple angles must like a traditional laptop. A laptop has a long one piece hinge that supports the screen and moves along one axis. On the Brydge Keyboard the iPad is held by two small independent hinges on each end of the iPad. If one hinge wears a little then you run the risk of the iPad being subjected to a twisting force along its long axis as the one hinge doesn’t know about the other hinge falling behind. This unequal force can lead to a cracked iPad screen. Another feature I didn’t like is the Brydge Keyboard design forces the iPad to be further away away from the user and impedes the touch screen interface, you have to reach too far to get to the screen.
Interestingly, Apple just started carrying Brydge units for iPad Pro.
I’ve had the 11” iPad Pro for a year, and I didn’t have a keyboard until about three weeks ago. Until then, I used the Apple Pencil and Goodnotes for daily planning and for note taking.
I now have the Brydge keyboard, and I love it. I feel like my productivity on the iPad has significantly increased, and I’m keeping my notes in Agenda.
I’ve found the Brydge keyboard to experience to be outstanding. Yes, it’s heavy. And, if the screen angle is close to 90 degrees, it’s hard to swipe up. I’ve gotten used to it in short order. I’d encourage people to give the Brydge a try.
Keyboard shortcut: Opt-Cmd-D. Makes the dock slide up and down on the iPad, as it does on the Mac. This piece of information was included in the documentation for the Brydge and it ROCKED MY WORLD. Because my previous keyboard had the same problem as the Brydge — hard to slide the dock up and down with my finger — and that keyboard shortcut fixed the problem entirely.
I just got the Brydge a couple of weeks ago. I’d been looking at it for months but hesitated. I didn’t buy because I already had a keyboard I liked, a foldable dealie from Microsoft which has been apparently discontinued. It worked well, but I made a lot of typos using it. Maybe it was just because it was different from the keyboard I’m used to, and maybe it’s a problem with the build of the keyboard itself.
But I finally pulled the trigger on the Brydge — and I’m very glad I did. It looks good, and it types nice. It’s very much like typing on the Mac — like OP, I found myself reaching for the trackpad with my thumb until I got used to not having it.
Yes, it’s a bit heavy. That’s a downside.
And yes it does turn the iPad into a mini-laptop. That is both a great benefit and liability to the Brydge. One of the best things about the Microsoft keyboard was that it didn’t HOLD the iPad. The iPad just rested in a slot. So you could easily pick up the iPad and return it, switching effortlessly between tablet and laptop mode (so to speak). With the Brydge, you have to give it a little shove to get the iPad seated, and a tug to remove it. It’s not a lot of work, but it requires mindfulness. I’m not sure how I feelabout that. Truly, the iPad makes a nice laptop, with a touchscreen, running iOS rather than MacOS.
Reaching the screen to touch it is just not a problem for me. And I have small hands, too.
I’ve used the Brydge keyboard with my iPad Pro 12.9” for almost a year every day. That was until after my last trip. Sometime during my travels pressure must have been put on the iPad where the rubber feet meet the screen and this caused the glass to crack (this is the first time I’ve ever broken a screen starting with the original iPhone.) So the Brydge immediately came off and will not be used again. I really liked the keyboard even with some of the drawbacks, but I just can’t trust it won’t happen again.
I waited, and waited, and waited for months trying to decide between the Brydge and the Folio. Amazon has had the Brydge for under $120 and I decided to just do it. Especially working from home during the CORONA situation. Got it and was so disappointed. I loved the quality and the feel of the keyboard but just couldn’t get over the weight and how I could not keep the pencil attached reliably. So, I shipped it back to Amazon and just ordered the new folio for the 2020 Pro.
Side note, my 2020 12.9 Pro arrives today and I’m passing this 2018 Pro down to my sister. I’m also using it with the Magic Trackpad 2 and will be ordering the new Magic Keyboard with Trackpad and passing this down to my sister as well.
I’ve had mine for a while now and I like it. I don’t love it, but I like it. It does turn my iPad into an iPadOS laptop. Which is the reason why to do that instead of just buying a ‘regular’ laptop (although the new MacBook Air sounds just about perfect with the new keyboard).
My biggest issue is attaching and detaching my iPad from the thing. I’ve already had to replace the rubber parts of the clips once, Somehow I seem to wreck those.
I haven’t had a problem keeping the pencil attached but that may depend on what type of bag you’re tossing it into.
Overalll, I prefer it to the old Folio, but not by a lot. And the new magic keyboard, well… Apple may be getting more of my money.
I think the Brydge keyboard’s hinge and point of contact with the iPad is really inelegant / make shift looking
DO NOT BUY THE BRIDGE KEYBOARD! The two hinge points that hold on to the iPad pinch the corners of the iPad with too much pressure. Leading both sides of my iPad cracked. Please don’t buy this keyboard it’s not worth the $500 screen replacement. Thanks brydge buy the Apple magic keyboard that just came out. Apparently this has been a issue with brydge since this design with the surface pros.
Harsh news. Thanks for the warning! Welcome to the forum—sorry it had to be for this reason
I bought the brydge keyboard for my 12.9 iPad pro last week. This morning, after I took it off the iPad to do some drawing, the keyboard slipped off the lounge couch and landed on the floor ( A drop of a little less than 2 feet). One of the hinges broke off completely. The metal rod that serves as the hinge mechanism snapped in half. I stared at it in disbelief. I paid $250 aud for it and can’t believe it’s trashed so easily.
Before this happened, I was loving it a lot. I found the unit easy to attach and unattach and the product was so great looking. It was easily the sweetest keyboard/case I’ve used.
I’m hoping the store where I purchased it will replace it. And, I’d even consider paying some more money to get one with a trackpad. I must say the ease at which it broke is making me uneasy
since I was looking to use the ipad pro as a laptop replacement, the brydge is perfect for me. just as lappable as a laptop, but wakes immediately.
plus, I have problems using trackpads and mice now (RSI), so touchscreen only is nice. I’ve not had trouble with reaching up to the screen in the years I’ve been using the brydge now.
I plan to keep this setup until apple comes out with an apple silicon laptop with a touchscreen.
when i’m using the mac, I have to use a table and stylus, I can’t use a trackpad or mouse for more than a few seconds without pain. I’m hoping a touchscreen mac laptop can replace my old macbook pro and ipad pro both.