iPad Pro 2018 Smart Keyboard Folio Case - Does anyone actually like typing on it?

While I do realize it is the only apple option for a built in case/keyboard, but I really struggle to actually type on it. I am assuming like most things that if you type on it for a month, you’ll get used to it and it will be fine, but is that actually true ?. I have read a few reviews where folks hate it don’t ever seem to get better at it. I currently use the Canopy case and the Apple Magic Keyboard in it and while I love it from a typing perspective, it’s not perfect from a mobility point of view (carrying it around, having to clip it together to work etc).

Anyone think the official one is great and why ?

Many thanks in advance

Jeremy Plotnikoff
Chris Botti Tour Manager

Typing this on the product in question! I’ve probably typed a few thousand words by now. It’s okay, but noticeably slower than the butterfly MBP keyboards I like so much. The hard flat surface underneath keeps it steady, but sometimes I move my knee so it doesn’t shift under me. Option+delete not erasing entire words is really annoying and I’m still not used to option+shift+left as an alternative; I don’t know if all external have that problem, or not.

So, not a ringing endorsement, but I think it is the best protection+speed+portability combo.

Thanks for the reply. I’d love to hear an update along the way as you get more used to it to see if you like it any better. I don’t use either of the key command you mentioned, so that hopefully wouldn’t hurt too bad

I use it everyday and love it. I do podcast transcripts with it, those range from 10,000 to 18,000 words each, at least one of those a month. On top of that I blog and do my usual work with it. I had the Brydge with my 2017 Pro and thought it was decent but preferred the feel of the Smart Keyboard which is what I used most of the time. Compared to previous keyboards on the MBP and MBA I’d say I like this one equally if not more which is saying something because I considered both of those to be excellent. I’ve also got a nice Logitech keyboard, the K811 which primarily gets used with my Mac Mini.

The new folio design is much improved and provides a solid, fairly stiff base for typing on my lap where the previous design would have been wobbly. As for the keys themselves, I really like both the sound and the feel of these keys. Not too terribly loud but they do provide a nice tapping sound. Also, not too much travel but enough that I have no trouble feeling them. Honestly I consider this keyboard about perfect. If it had the media keys along the top it would be even better, backlighting would be appreciated too. Even with those misses it’s my keyboard of choice and I have no real inkling to look elsewhere.

1 Like

I think the Smart Keyboard Folio is the best keyboard Apple currently makes (perhaps a low bar, I’ll admit). I find it miles better than the current Mac laptop keyboards and I’d even put it a smidge ahead of the Magic Keyboard. While it doesn’t hold a candle to a good mechanical keyboard, for a portable form factor I think it’s quite good.

I’m liking mine just fine. It is more stable than the previous version (note I’m referring to the 12.9” model).

I like it. It works for me, but I can see some with fat fingers having difficulty…

Big fan of Chris Botti, btw.

I don’t have fat fingers yet, so it may work for me yet :). Have you come to see one of our shows before ?

I’ve used the Smart Keyboard for the last few years, and tried the Folio in the Apple Store today. It feels similar. The Smart Keyboard is actually my favorite keyboard to type on, across all my devices. I didn’t feel that way at first, but quickly adapted to it. I like the low travel, without the noise of the MacBook Pro.

I really like the new 12.9 folio keyboard. Feels like more travel than the original Smart Keyboard cover of the original iPad Pro and definitely more stable. I’m actually pleasantly surprised at the keyboard, which is nice given its cost!

I have not, but look forward to the opportunity! Friends have seen his shows and they tell me they are amazing. Keep up the great work!

Good stuff. Send me a note if you see us in the area and I will take care of it


I will, thank you so much!

I use the new one and I used the previous generation. This new one is miles better; I don’t mind typing on it at all.

I use the 12.9 inch version and have no difficulties at all to write on it.

When I had ordered the keyboard I kept wondering, how I would get along writing on it because there are absolutely mixed reviews out there. I was pleasantly surprised when I got it. It definitly works for me. I am very happy with it.

You asked why the official keyboard is great (for me):

  • Very good typing experience (sorry for sounding a little silly… :blush:).

  • Ease of use in combination with the iPad Pro. It is there when I need it and when being folded to the iPad’s backside, it is out of my way.

  • I am surprised about how little bulk the keyboard adds to the iPad.

  • I love it that even if the keyboard is folded to the iPad’s backside, the keys do not interfere with me when I am using my fingers or the pencil to interact with the screen on the front, even when some keys on the backside are being pressed by accident.

I sound so silly, but for me, the keyboard really just works.

I get it that it does not work for everyone though. John Gruber (daringfireball.net) keeps buying and trying new keyboards. He thinks that the latest Magic Keyboard is the best one to use with new iPad.

Dave Hamilton from macobserver.com keeps recommending the Brydge keyboards. For the 2018 iPads, those keyboards still need to be released. There is a preview online, though: https://www.brydge.com/pages/2018-ipad-pro-keyboard-interest-form

Having used previous versions of this keyboard with earlier iPad Pro’s, I decided not to buy the case/keyboard for the new 12.9". I’ve found the Apple keyboard case a stop-gap at best and not a great option for typing. I’d rather wait until there are more options to choose from. Instead, I bought the basic cover (half the price of the keyboard folio) for protection and use a spare Magic Keyboard, which incidentally is exactly the same width as the iPad Pro.

The benefits to me:

  • much better typing experience
  • media control keys that I find very convenient
  • CMD-H gives me home screen etc. so I don’t miss out on iPad specific keys

I know it needs a charge now and again, but that lasts a while. And if I needed to I could give it a quick charge from the iPad itself. Pairing isn’t a problem. I just switch it on and start typing.

1 Like

I really like typing on it but I personally prefer the keyboard on my MacBook because I can type faster on it and I use the touch bar a lot in pro apps.

The biggest niggle I have is that I cannot find a way to start typing on the iPad keyboard without a capital letter when entering information on a lot of websites. Instead, I have to type the capital, then a lowercase, then delete the capital. Having to do this many times a day is just infuriating.

Has anyone found a solution for this?

If you are fine with it that Auto-Capitalization is being disabled for all keyboards (so also the on-screen one):

  1. Select “Settings” from the Home screen.

  2. Select “General”.

  3. Select “Keyboard”.

  4. Turn Auto-Capitalization to off.


I stand to be corrected. Apparently, it is possible to have individual settings:

1 Like

As I use my 12.9 in tablet mode with the Pencil a lot, I decided to stay with my external BT keyboard. I really did not like the feeling of holding it with the keyboard folded to the back. I also did not like using it “naked” as there is virtually no friction to the back.

I now use the Folio cover thing, and really like it. Because I always carry a backpack, there is plenty of room for a keyboard in there.

Thanks, just what I needed. I had missed that there is a “hardware keyboard” part to the settings.