iPad Pro keyboard: Apple vs Logitech vs?

I purchased a 2018 11” iPad Pro just after is was announced last year and absolutely love it. I prefer it for most tasks - as I write this my 13” MBP is next too me, lid closed. There are really only 2 tasks I must use the MBP for: software development and CAD.

I’m currently using the Apple smart keyboard. It’s great - maybe even better than the 2018 MBP keyboard, but I digress. Has anyone directly compared the Apple keyboard to the Logitech slim folio vs [write in candidate]? The use case I’m most interested in is how well the keyboard transitions between keyboard as primary input to Apple pencil as primary input. This is a weakness of the smart keyboard.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Jason Snell recently looked at them:

Hearing guys like Myke and Viticci talk about them, the Brydge seems like the one to beat.

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The recommendation to read Jason Snell’s takes is right on! He lays out the pros and cons pretty well. On a relatively recent Upgrade he and Myke talked about them, too.

For me it’s all about portability so I stay with the Apple keyboard. That might change if they add trackpad support and Brydge comes out with a trackpad model.

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I got my Brydge just last week and I’m still evaluating it - but I do like it! it’s good, but heavy. So if you value light weight over an excellent keyboard then the Smart Keyboard Folio is probably the best.

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Federico Viticci covered all 3 of Apple, Logitech and Brydge in his recent huge review, including tips to customize the viewing angle: https://www.macstories.net/stories/beyond-the-tablet/10/#content
However it’s all about what you do with the iPad. I needed to be able to get my iPad Pro (9.7" so not your model) in and out of its case fast for 2 different activities - putting it on a music stand and using it in my drone remote controller. The Apple keyboard case with its magnetic attachments allowed me to remove it easily. I got an Apple back cover which is thin, robust, grippy and can easily be removed.
My main objection to the Logitech that was then available was it just made the iPad too bulky. According to the article, this and difficulty getting it in and out of the case are still issues with the current Logitech.

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I really liked Federico’s write-up. I decided to stay with Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio as it is so light, thin and easy to use in tablet mode. One thing I’ve been experimenting with is using it in an A-Frame configuration with an external keyboard. The nice thing about this is many more viewing angles are possible if the right surface is used. It also works well in the lap in certain situations.

I generally use the A-Frame if I want to elevate the iPad to a higher viewing level or extended night-time typing when I want the back-lit keyboard.

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I’m sticking with Apple’s due to convenience (light weight, no battery charging issue, always with me).

I don’t understand how Keyboard/Pencil input switching could be improved when the iPad is tilted back to support keyboard entry. Are you wanting something that can more quickly lie the iPad flat?

The Apple smart keyboard only supports two angles, both relatively upright, when using the keyboard. When the keyboard is folded back there are 2 issues: 1) there is no option for a slight upright angle (think drafting table) and 2) the keys are facing down, exposed to whatever work surface it happens to be on. Granted #2 is not a huge deal, but one I would take into consideration if other keyboard cover options existed.

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I understand now, thanks. I usually bring the iPad down into my lap to draw and then put it back up on the desk to type. On my lap, the keyboard base and the edge of my desk work together to balance it. But this is obviously a workaround and still not as draftsmanlike of an angle as you’d want.

I’m a huge fan of the Smart Keyboard Folio, so I’ve never really tried any of the other options out. It has a few benefits for me that options such as the Brydge just can’t fit:

I want something that protects the device front and back, but I don’t always want to use the device with it attached. The Keyboard Follio is so easy to remove and attach that this is a big benefit for me. I can rip the Folio off, attach the pencil to the magnets on the Folio so that it’s not in the way while I’m holding the iPad, and just as quickly clip it back into place.

It’s very lightweight and adds only the minimum thickness to the device.

The typing experience is great. I adore low travel keys. Clacky mechanical keyboards are anathema to me.

I love the design. The slate grey, featureless cover is beautiful. I couldn’t bring myself to despoil it with stickers.

The writing angles are fine. I usually have it in the more upright position.

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Unfortunately the Brydge for 11" iPad Pro arrived defective – the bracket + rubber (?) gasket thingy that u-shaped grips the bottom of the iPad were both bent and the gasket was detached from them. Perhaps the design is a weakness? Not sure if it’s that or just a manufacturing error.

Awaiting word from Brydge support about getting a refund.


Edit: Brydge got back to me. Turns out the rubber gasket was not seated correctly in manufacturing, and it’s an easy fix.

Federico Viticci’s article shows how he uses two little Spigen Kickstands to prop up the iPad to the drawing angle. The kickstands are sold individually for phones. You stick them to the cover and fold them in or out depending on the angle you want. Here is the link to the Kickstands: https://www.amazon.com/Spigen-Universal-Kickstand-Compatible-Cellphone/dp/B01LW6NN8T/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=Spigen+kickstand&qid=1557758094&s=gateway&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=macst-20&linkId=5e411272f4299cdca8cfa92c4a03a56c&language=en_US

Necessity breads inspiration. As the thread above discusses, I went looking for a suitable case that angles the iPad when using Apple Pencil. Since I already had the Logitech 380 keyboard, decided to build a stand. This is the first version which is angled up at 10deg. The next version I intend to modify the design to angle up at 15deg plus add cut outs for the lens bump. While I was at it, I also printed a case for the Apple Pencil when I want to carry it in my bag but not attached to the iPad.

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This is brilliant. :sunglasses: