First look: iPad Pro 9.7″ Smart Keyboard

I’ve already written about how much I’m enjoying the iPad Pro + Pencil for product sketches and collecting ideas, so I thought I’d try diving in all the way with the Smart Keyboard. (It also helped that Apple’s smart case is super expensive, so I was almost there in terms of price anyway – clever pricing strikes again!)

First impressions: It’s nice and light, which is good since I was worried it’d be a pain to hold the iPad with the case on. And since it comes out easily, that’s not a huge worry anyway.

The origami folds necessary to use the keyboard as a raised surface for drawing are a bit complicated to do, but I suppose you get the hang of it soon enough.
 But most importantly: typing is pretty great on it. There’s almost no key travel, but it’s just enough to give your fingers the guidance you need to type. And shoutout to the great multi-language support in iOS: Switching languages is instant thanks to the dedicated (though somewhat awkwardly placed) hardware key.

But almost more important is the ability to assign different keyboard layouts per language, allowing me to use my preferred German keyboard layout in English. It almost makes up for the fact that Apple only sells a US keyboard layout printed on the keys – if you can touch type, it’s really not much of an issue.

So is it worth €169? Probably not, but it’s the sleekest keyboard solution I’ve seen for 9″ iPads and given the stuff that’s come out for the larger iPad Pro, I don’t hold much hope that Logitech or other manufacturers will be bringing out anything thinner than this.

So if you think you might want to get some more typing done on the iPad, it’s a pretty nice option to have.

Get the iPad Pro 9.7″ on