iPad Pro Keyboards - Two Perspectives

Perspective 1:

Ok, I’m getting an iPad pro 12.9 for my daughter. We need a keyboard case that offers some protection (travel/storage in a backpack, very rare drops, etc) but also typing for student/classroom use.

I’ve seen a few available from 3rd parties. Any recommendations?

Perspective 2:

I am considering the same iPad for myself. My use is teaching (lecturing, reading/writing, and grading using Canvas LMS as the interface, etc). When I’m in the classroom, I like to carry it around as I lecture - I’ll keep my lecture notes in the iPad. Because of the institutional limitations, I don’t broadcast lectures from the iPad to a screen, but dream of doing that.

Anyhow, I’m looking for a keyboard case suitable for me as well. I’ve been using the iPad Air2 with a keybord case that I don’t love, as it makes carrying it for lecture a pain, but I do like it for typing, etc (Kensington, I believe).

I’d love product recommendations.

I really like the Smart Keyboard Folio. Best keyboard Apple currently makes in my opinion.


I agree. I even like it better than the one on the new MBP.

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I have the Smart Keyboard folio for my 11” Pro and I really, really like it, especially when compared with bluetooth keyboards that slip into a powersave mode after a few min of not being used and require a moment to reconnect when you begin typing again, and the previous Smart Keyboard that was completely unsuitable for laptop use.

Pros: It Just Works. It’s always connected. Typing feels pretty good. Nearly perfectly suited to on-the-couch use.

Cons: No backlit keys. No media control keys. Edges of the iPad are exposed and may not be protected during a fall.

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Personally, I am not a fan of the keyboard folio because I hate typing on it but it is by far the best option out there right now.

@BiggKhalil - sounds like we do something similar, I work in academics and do some teaching. We use Canvas as well (I do some training for it at our school). If you have further questions on using the iPad in this context I’d love to chat.

Not related to keyboards, but: depending on what your institutional limitations are, there may be a workaround available.

I hate being tethered to the podium, so I use an Apple TV (an older 3rd gen) connected to the classroom projector’s laptop hookup, and AirPlay the iPad to that.

The projectors we have don’t have HDMI, unfortunately, but I picked up an HDMI to VGA adapter. It works pretty well, and lets me move freely around the classroom.

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I think I heard a MPU episode where something like that was discussed… I’d be interested in seeing in I can make that work. One of the challenges we have is radically inconsistent setups depending on the building we are in, and even then, we may not be able to connect our own devices.

I’ve considered one of those web based approaches and subscribing, but even with those, the wireless… yeah. We are in the dark ages. One colleague recently suggested that rather than having all these projectors and what not, we just get 68" flatscreen TVs mounted in each room with HDMI cables we can connect to whatever. I’m liking that idea more and more.

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Thanks to everyone for replying!

Not a keyboard Rex, but definitely get the pencil for grading in canvas. Makes it much easier for text selection. I love it (gen1 pencil).

As far as presentations go, I’ve had good experiences with an EZCast HDMI dongle. Allows for Airplay/mirroring without an AppleTV, and offers its own network for connection. Like acavander, I also carry an HDMI/VGA adaptor for those moments when HDMI isn’t an option. I’m affiliated with a university, but I also run a range of ad hoc schools workshops, so I totally appreciate the need for a flexible set up that “just works”.

Last time I checked, there was a wide range of EZCast dongles available relatively cheaply. Quick search on Amazon should give you some options, if it’s something you want to explore…

VGA was introduced in 1987. It was a huge step up from EGA, as I recall. I wonder if this might be the oldest port still in frequent use.

I just ordered an iPad Pro 11’ with the Apple Smart Keyboard. I tried it in the store and it seems a little small, but I might get used to that.

I’m thinking, it might be cool to have another keyboard around the house for typing longer pieces on. It could be either a usb or bluetooth keyboard.

Any suggestions out there for an external that might give a better experience when typing for an extended period of time?

I’m a fan of Apple’s Bluetooth Magic Keyboards


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Excellent choice! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that :blush:

Its perfect to just keep around in a drawer for those longform writing nights

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I got one with my 2017 iMac which I occasionally use at the dining table with my iPhone (I’m iPadless for now) … but on my iMac I’m still using the wired extended keyboard that came with my old Mac Mini! (I really, really like the offset inverted-‘T’ arrow keys and I use the numeric keyboard a lot too.)

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I agree.


FYI Federico Viticci at MacStories discussed (on AppStories podcast, I believe) that he found a cheaper solution that he found to be better designed and sturdier.

He compared it to the Canopy here:

A jump in sales must’ve had an effect on Amazon’s pricing algorithm, as the price soon went up from $9 to the current $16.

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Okay thanks. Any shortcomings with the Magic Keyboard when used with the iPad Pro? Anything it can’t do?