Apple Magic keyboard review 2022 – does it work with iPad 5th Generation?

Apple Magic keyboard review 2022

Should you invest on Apple Magic Keyboard in 2022? With a floating cantilever design, iPad Pro attaches magnetically and allows you to smoothly adjust to the perfect viewing angle. It features a comfortable, responsive typing experience, a trackpad that opens up new ways to work, a USB-C port for charging, backlit keys, and front and back protection. Reveal more features in Apple Magic keyboard review 2022.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Responsive trackpad
  • Touch ID is a nice inclusion
  • Sleek white and silver design
  • Media control hotkeys
  • Eco-friendly, rechargeable battery
  • Attaches magnetically to iPad
  • Pleasant typing experience

Cons

  • Weighs over 600g
  • Flat-out expensive
  • Lacks ergonomic-oriented features
  • Screen angle adjustment is limited

Apple Magic keyboard Compatibility review 2022

Pad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, or 5th generation) running iPadOS 14.5 or later.

Things are a little confusing, but we still recommend it as the best choice, so here’s what you need to know. 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.

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, but because the 2021 models are 0.5mm thicker than the old ones it may not be a perfect fit. 

iPad Models

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)

Specs

  • Number of Keys 109
  • Media Controls Dedicated
  • Dedicated Shortcut Keys No
  • Interface Bluetooth, USB-C, RF Wireless
  • N-Key Rollover Support Yes
  • Passthrough Ports None
  • Key Switch Type Scissor-Switch
  • Key Backlighting None
  • Onboard Profile Storage Yes
  • Palm Rest None

Price

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro Magic Keyboard is $350 while the 11-inch model is $300; take a look at our iPad accessory price guide for more information. The standard external keyboard is $99, with Touch ID is $150, and the extended version with keypad and Touch ID is $200;

  • Apple store – Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (5th generation) – US English – White @ $349.00

Compare Apple Magic keyboard 2022

Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9-inchApple Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro 12.9-inchApple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 11-inch
Smart ConnectorYesYesYes
Full Size KeyboardYesYesYes
Backlit KeysYesYes
TouchpadYesYes
Port TypeUSB-C pass through chargingUSB-C pass through charging
ProtectionFront and backFront and backFront and back
ColorWhite or BlackBlackWhite or Black
Compatible withiPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th and 5th Generation)iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th and 5th Generation)iPad Pro 11-inch – (1st, 2nd and 3rd Generation) and iPad Air (5th and 4th Generation)
Apple Magic keyboard review 2022

Apple Magic keyboard review 2022

Build

The Apple Magic Keyboard is a membrane keyboard with Apple scissor switches. The keys require just over 60 grams of force to operate, which is a little on the heavier side. 

Color

The Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad comes in black or white. In April 2021, Apple added a white color option to its iPad Pro Magic Keyboard. The white variant is available in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes. Its form and function are otherwise identical to the black accessory that launched the previous year.

Design

The full-size keyboard’s height, width, and depth (0.4 by 16.4 by 4.5 inches) remain identical to that of the older keyboard. One side of the Keyboard case is completely plain and on the other side is the Apple logo. The larger cutout is noticeable for the square camera module.

The iPad Pro sits above the keyboard when placed on the magnetic mount. A cantilever hinge holds the iPad aloft and can be adjusted into two viewing angles while in use. The second hinge attached to the keyboard has a more granular level of movement that lets you adjust the iPad into various viewing positions.

Lightweight

The 12.9-inch version does start to get a little cumbersome. Combine that accessory with the biggest iPad Pro, and the total weight stands at 3.1 pounds. That makes it heavier than the M1 MacBook Air, and about the same as a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The 11-inch Magic Keyboard is slightly heavier than the iPad Air 4 to which it has been attached for this long-term review. Despite this, when you combine the two, the resulting device is still shy of the M1 MacBook Air’s 2.8 pounds.

Ports

The case has a USB-C connector on the side which can charge the iPad Pro while leaving the USB-C port free for a hub or other accessory.

Keyboard backlight

The keyboard backlight is controlled using an ambient light sensor on the iPad Pro to intelligently adjust the brightness automatically. At times, I felt the keyboard brightness was lacking but luckily you can adjust in the settings: 

  • Tap Settings > General > Keyboard
  • Tap Hardware Keyboard
  • Tap on the Keyboard Brightness slider
  • Adjust accordingly

Apple Magic keyboard Charging & Battery life

The Magic Keyboard does not contain a battery, it uses the Smart Connector on the back of the iPad Pro for power.

The Magic Keyboard has one little bonus that’s been super handy — there’s a pass-through charge port for USB-C on the side of the hinge. It’s on the left side, while the USB-C port on the iPad is on the right. This means I can charge from either side at a desk.

I have only tested over the past 48 hours but my initial impression is that battery life is as per Apple’s estimate of 10 hours total iPad Pro battery life even with the added power consumption from the Keyboard, Keyboard’s backlight and Trackpad.

Keys

This iPad Pro accessory has backlit keys. You can adjust the brightness level within iPadOS’ keyboard settings (General > Keyboard > Hardware Keyboard).

The keyboard is very comfortable to type on. Each key has 1mm of travel, and gives precise feedback with each press, making it easy to type at full speed without much practice. The entire keyboard is backlit for use in low light and the base doesn’t flex, so it’s suitable for use on both a desk and your lap. The trackpad looks small in the pictures.

Trackpad

The trackpad works well too, and is pretty intuitive, although it can feel a bit fiddly at times. But using the Apple Pencil or tapping the screen doesn’t help much either, so this is probably the fault of the app and the iPad in general, rather than a problem with the trackpad. 

Touch ID

The sensor sends encrypted fingerprint data to the M1 chip, which uses it to unlock your Mac, use Apple Pay, authorize downloads from the iTunes Store, App Store, or Apple Books, and autofill passwords. You can even use the Touch ID sensor to quickly switch users, a nice feature if you’re using your Mac as the designated family computer. You can save up to three fingerprints at one time.

Apple Magic keyboard Performance review

The keys light up when you’re in low-light, which is a really nice feature. It’s one of those Apple design features that you might not even notice unless it’s pointed out to you because it works so well. 

The Magic Keyboard for iPad keyboard has a scissor mechanism, and typing on it is a pleasant and quiet experience. Although the Magic Keyboard is relatively small, the keys feel well spaced out and I don’t ever feel like my fingers are knocking into each other. In short, it feels pretty much like using a ‘real keyboard’, just smaller, and probably quieter. It’s also fairly easy to add special characters or accents using the keyboard. You hold down Option and then the letter you want to add the accent to, so Option E plus E gets you é, for example.

Apple Magic keyboard 2022 alternatives

Brydge Pro+

PROS
  • Has a trackpad
  • Excellent design
  • Long battery life
  • Cheaper than the Magic Keyboard
CONS
  • No additional case protection

Why you should buy this: It’s a high-quality package offering a keyboard and a trackpad that costs a little less than the Magic Keyboard.

Who it’s for: If you want to spend a little less on your iPad keyboard, but still want a cohesive and attractive design and a trackpad.

Why we picked the Brydge Pro+:

If you want your iPad to function more like a laptop, but don’t want to spend a ton, then the Brydge Pro+keyboard accessory is for you. You need to choose carefully based on the iPad you own though. The company sells the Pro+ model, which works with the 2018 and 2020 versions of the iPad Pro in either size and with the 11.9-inch 2021 (3rd generation) iPad Pro. The 11-inch version costs $150, while the 12.9-inch version costs $169. If you own the 2021 5th-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro you need the Brydge 12.9 Max+.

The internal battery of the Brydge Pro+ will last for three months before it needs recharging, and the tablet’s screen can be angled up to 180-degrees, meaning it can be laid flat. The aluminum keyboard comes in a space grey color, and the package includes a metal cover that snaps on the back of your tablet.

The design is highly reminiscent of a MacBook’s keyboard, and when attached to the iPad tablet, the similarity to a MacBook is uncanny. It’s especially noticeable because of Brydge’s use of an oversize trackpad, which is much larger than the one fitted to the Magic Keyboard. The keys are backlit with three levels of brightness, and everything integrates with iPadOS using the Brydge Connect app.

If you like the look and the price of Brydge’s keyboards but don’t want the trackpad, the Brydge Pro doesn’t have one and costs $90 for both the 11-inch version and for the 12.9-inch version. Finally, if you don’t own an iPad Pro, don’t worry, as Brydge makes a keyboard for all models of the iPad, including the iPad Mini.

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