Compare Apple Magic Keyboard 2021 vs 2020 – is it compatible with iPad Pro?


Does the new iPad Pro fit well into Apple magic keyboard? The Magic Keyboard has a floating cantilever design, allowing you to attach iPad Pro and iPad Air magnetically and to smoothly adjust it to the perfect viewing angle for you. The Magic Keyboard features an incredible typing experience, a trackpad that opens up new ways to work with iPadOS, a USB-C port for pass-through charging, and front and back protection. Know about more features in Apple Magic Keyboard 2021 vs 2020 comparison.

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Pros & Cons


  • Tactile, precise typing experience
  • Responsive trackpad
  • Perfectly weighted for desk or lap use
  • Genuinely increases productivity on iPad Pro


  • An expensive accessory
  • Screen angle adjustment is limited

Specs – Apple Magic Keyboard 2021 vs 2020

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020) 4th Generation

  • 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm (11.05 x 8.46 x 0.23 in)
  • 641 g (Wi-Fi), 643 g (LTE) (1.41 lb)
  • iPad Pro attaches magnetically and allows you to smoothly adjust to the perfect viewing angle for you.
  • It features the best typing experience ever on iPad
  • A trackpad that opens up new ways to work with iPadOS,
  • USB-C port for charging, backlit keys, and front and back protection.
  • Compatibility: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation)

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) 5th Generation

  • It has a comfortable, responsive typing experience
  • With a floating cantilever design, iPad Pro attaches magnetically
  • USB-C port for charging, backlit keys, and front and back protection.
  • A trackpad that opens up new ways to work
  • 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm (11.05 x 8.46 x 0.25 in)
  • 682 g (Wi-Fi), 685 g (5G) (1.50 lb)
  • Compatibility: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th and 5th generation)

Price – Apple Magic Keyboard 2021 vs 2020

It seems that the $350 Magic Keyboard accessory, which worked interchangeably between the 12.9-inch 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models, won’t fit the new 2021 edition, despite screen sizes remaining the same between generations. 

The Magic Keyboard costs a jaw-dropping $349 for the 12.9-inch model. For perspective, that’s more than you’ll pay for an entry-level regular iPad. The 11-inch model is slightly more affordable at $299, but that’s still a hefty chunk of change.

What is the key differences – Apple Magic Keyboard 2021 vs 2020?


The biggest difference in what we can see is the colour options. Old 2020 model is only available in black, while the new 2021 model is available in black or white.


the 2021 model uses a mini LED-blacklit display, which has caused Apple to make an ever so slight change to the design to make it thicker. The 2021 model is 6.4mm (0.25 inches) thick, while the 2020 version is 5.9mm (0.23 inches) in depth.

Fitting into the case

This half-millimeter difference is a sliver of material, which for the vast majority of cases and other accessories you can purchase, should not matter at all. The Magic Keyboard is designed to be as close-fitting to the iPad as possible, to ensure as slim a profile as Apple can produce. 

5G support

That optional 5G is one of the new features debuting with the 2021 iPad Pro models. In addition to that and the Mini LED display, the new iPad Pro models introduce a TrueDepth sensor to the front-facing camera for improved FaceTime calls, and introduce Thunderbolt support, meaning 4x the bandwidth of the previous generation. 


If you own a 2020 Magic Keyboard you purchased for the iPad Pro released in 2020 (the 2nd- and 4th-generation models), Apple says it will work fine with the new tablets,  If you have a new 2021 iPad Pro 11-inch or 12.9-inch tablet, known as the 3rd- and 5th-generation models respectively, you should buy the new Magic Keyboard to go along with it.

M1 Chip

They’re also powered by Apple’s brilliant M1 chip that debuted on last year’s MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini. This chip will give a 50% CPU boost on the A12Z Bionic which powered the previous generation of iPad Pro, and offer a 40% leap in graphical performance. 

Apple Magic Keyboard 2021 vs 2020 Similarities

Ergonomic tilt

Magic Keyboard, you can tilt the iPad up to 130 degrees until you find the perfect viewing angle, much as you might with a MacBook. The iPad itself “floats” above the keyboard, so you won’t have to look down.


The Magic Keyboard has a USB-C pass-through port for charging built right into the hinge. You can only use it for charging, but on the bright side, this port frees up the USB-C port on the iPad itself for any thumb drives, wired mice, or other peripherals you want to hook up.


They are “real” keyboard, complete with the scissor switches you’ll find in the latest M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops.

The keys are even backlit—which is an improvement over Apple’s Magic Keyboard for the Mac—and they allow for 1mm of key travel. Below the keyboard, you’ll also find a trackpad, which is probably the main reason why you want to buy one.


The Magic Keyboard has a trackpad. That’s a massive advantage in the Magic Keyboard’s favor as you’ll have to hook up an external mouse or trackpad to get the same effect with a Smart Keyboard. The trackpad gestures are generally similar to what you would use in a MacBook, but there are some iPad-specific ones as well. 

Apple Magic Keyboard 2021 vs 2020 alternative

Keychron K3

Anyone who types and works a lot on their iPad, and prioritizes typing feel. It provides a fast, precise, and pleasurable typing experience that rivals one on the desktop, and it’s still compact enough to carry around.


  • Portable
  • Excellent typing experience
  • Wired or Bluetooth connection options


  • No protective qualities
  • Needs a case or stand to be used properly

Available with either mechanical or optical switches, the typing experience on the Keychron K3 is excellent: It’s responsive, tactile, and precise. There’s a choice of switch types — they vary in pressure, sound, and feel — to tailor the keystrokes to your preference, and alongside the reliable Bluetooth 5.1 connection is the option of using a cable to connect to your computer.

The iPad is an excellent laptop alternative, and is very effective as a typing and work tool, but what if you want a keyboard to rival the one you use on the desktop without sacrificing portability? Enter the Keychron K3, a low-profile mechanical keyboard with Bluetooth that’s designed to work with iOS and MacOS.

At 396 grams and 22mm thick the 75% layout size Keychron K3 is surprisingly compact and light, which makes it easy to carry around in a bag with your iPad. Because it’s designed to work with Apple software, all the required keys (like Command) are pre-fitted, and all the keyboard shortcuts operate without a problem. It only requires you to set up the Bluetooth connection and it works, no need for any additional software or apps.

The typing experience is great, and the chance to personalize it with different switches makes it desirable to someone who works a lot on their tablet. Best of all, the price is very reasonable at $84 with the RGB backlighting, which you’ll definitely want as it adds character to the otherwise simple design.

Because it connects with Bluetooth and isn’t part of a case it works with any iPad model, but this does mean you will need to find a way to support your iPad at an angle. We’ve got case recommendations for the 2018 iPad, the 2019 10.2-inch iPad, and the 2020 iPad range to help get you set up.

Editor’s recommendations

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