iPad: With keyboard or without?

Do you mostly use your iPad with an external keyboard, or without? Do you hold the iPad in your hands, or prop it up with a stand?

  • I usually use the iPad with a hardware keyboard
  • I hold the iPad in my hands when I use it.
  • I put the iPad on a stand when I’m using it

0 voters

Until literally last night, I’ve been a without-keyboard guy. I held the iPad in my hands. If I wanted to write something, I thumb-typed it. A couple of times a week I had too much to write and I took out an external keyboard, opened it up, and got to work with that.

But yesterday late afternoon in the shower, I got to thinking about how if I just rested the iPad on the keyboard, and the keyboard on my lap, I could still read comfortably. And when I wanted to type something, I could just get down to it and type. And I tried it and I like it. So maybe I’m a convert to a new way of using the iPad. And maybe this will be expensive, because now I’m using the 9.7” regular iPad introduced this year, and if I keep going with this I might talk myself into a 12.9” iPad Pro.

BTW, the keyboard I use is the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard, which seems to have been discontinued. Which is unfortunate, because it is a FANTASTIC keyboard. Comfortable to type on and effortless to set up with the iPad — just open the keyboard and it’s on and Bluetooth connected, place the iPad into the slot at the top and you’re good to go. Nothing to attach.

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I have only removed the Smart Keyboard Folio a couple times since I put it on. I do use it folded back, especially to draw, but I hold the iPad on my lap when I do that so the weight of the folio doesn’t really matter. Typing on the iPad screen has never been an enjoyable experience and I like having it propped up on my lap when I’m sitting on the couch. I would probably use a stand more if I had enough counter space in my kitchen to set it down while cooking (alas.)

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My personal iPad Pro uses a Logitech Create keyboard. The iPad I use at work, I hold in my hands without a case or keyboard.

I would prefer to use a case with keyboard all the time.

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My GF gave me a lap desk for Christmas. It’s so nice to use the iPad with keyboard deployed, and not have it tipping over backwards, or bouncing around as I type.


All of the above survey and all below with my iPad

  • Separate Bluetooth illuminated keyboard (flexible placement)
  • Multiple angle case — Zugu
  • Two different stands that hang around home — one is a repurposed wood tea box Zugu holds iPad on top & metal multi-angle stand holds iPad with Zugu folded thin
  • Hermit Shell case to protect the keyboard.
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I always use the ipad with a keyboard, makes for a better typing experience.
On my old 9.7” pro I used the logitech create (imo the best keyboard case ever!) and now use the folio case on my ipad pro.

Does this position on a table count as using a stand?

I’m going to wait for the judges to make a ruling on that. :slight_smile:

While my real answer is “depends on what I’m doing at that moment” overall my use is while I’m sitting with the iPad Pro in my lap, pencil in hand whilst reading and making notes. I keep a Smart Keyboard attached to it most of the time and use it a couple times a day to batch email, but my primary way of interacting has always been tapping and swiping.


I may be a bit of an oddity (my wife would no doubt confirm) here, but I quite like typing on the onscreen keyboard. I’m not writing a novel or anything long, so it might be different if I were.

I only have the keyboard cover attached when I take my iPad out and need to work with it. I can’t stand the keyboard on the back so most of the time I have it in the non-keyboard folio case which is much nicer to hold, but which was an extra expense of course.

The judge has left… :wink:

My using-an-external-keyboard experiment was quite successful. I now prefer to have the iPad docked with a keyboard. Even when I’m just reading – the keyboard makes a nice stand, more comfortable than holding it in my hands.

This morning, I thought: Why use the iPad at all? I already have a MacBook Pro. And now I’m doing my Saturday morning social media/RSS pass on the MBP, which I previously did on the iPad. And enjoying it all the more.

Will the iPad be retired entirely, left to gather dust on our coffee table? Stay tuned!

Depending on what I’m doing. Most of the time I have the keyboard folio off. In terms of media consumption I have it always off the keyboard and using TwelveSouth Compass. I still like drawing without the keyboard. I only have the keyboard on when I’m planning to write something. Other than that, its off the keyboard. I like holding the iPad with one hand or both hand most of the time.

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Owning an iPad since the first one, I’m also adept at typing with the onscreen keyboard. This is the first time I really invest with a keyboard with the iPad Pro. Even my previous iPad Pro I have never had a physical keyboard.

I also use onscreen keyboard at night since the keyboard folio lacks backlit keys.

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