If you’re buying the brand-new <a href= 10.5-inch iPad Pro, you’re most likely going to want a keyboard to choose it. Right now, you have actually only got 2 alternatives that use the iPad’s Smart Connector.In one corner is Apple’s own$159 Smart Keyboard, a light-weight typing device that doubles as a screen cover. In the other is Logitech’s $130 Slim Combo keyboard, whose kickstand-equipped case and removable keyboard almost turn the iPad into a <a href= Microsoft Surface area.
These 2 iPad keyboards take significantly different approaches toward style and functions, with Apple favoring elegance and Logitech aiming for utilitarianism. And together they make for a case study in how including more features brings more trade-offs.
than the previous 9.7-inch variation, its Smart Keyboard is also roomier. I determined a little over 17.5 mm horizontally in between keys, and simply about 18mm vertically, falling simply a hair except OSHA standards.(The 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s keyboard, for exactly what it deserves, runs about 1mm wider in between each key.) Sizing aside, the brand-new Smart Keyboard has the same style as the old
one, with a nylon-like layer of woven fabric over the keys, in addition to plastic and felt-like fabric on opposite sides of the screen cover. The top of the cover snaps magnetically into the iPad’s Smart Adapter, then folds into a little triangle, allowing the iPad to drop into a narrow groove just above the keyboard. Setting this up ceases to be puzzling after about a day.When you’re done typing, the keyboard folds into the bottom two-thirds of the cover, then turns over to safeguard the screen. Alternatively, you can fold the cover back behind the iPad for portable use, or tuck the keyboard into a triangle behind the tablet for use as a stand; iOS will switch to its software keyboard when it recognizes that the physical one is stowed away.Jared Newman/ Macworld The Smart Keyboard is great for sketching, however has no Pencil holder.The Smart Keyboard’s
seeing angles– and it leaves no space for function secrets. The numbers row is also close enough to the screen to welcome some unintentional tapping, and there’s still no place to stow away an Apple Pencil.But that same style also makes it possible for the Smart Keyboard’s strengths. Since the keyboard area is so shallow, your fingers needn’t reach as far to touch the screen, and the whole cover is light enough that doesn’t severly jeopardize the iPad as a handheld computer system. It’s also simple enough to detach and reattach. The Smart Keyboard does not have all the creature conveniences of a basic keyboard, it’s effective in feeling like a real part of the iPad hardware, rather than simply a bolted-on accessory.Logitech beefs up with the Slim Combo Jared Newman/ Macworld Logitech’s Slim Cover is everything about bells and whistles.Meanwhile, Logitech’s iPad keyboard takes nearly all the Smart Keyboard’s strengths and weak points and turns them around.The Slim Combo
function crucial row with buttons for Home, screen brightness, an
on-screen keyboard, media playback, volume, mute, and lock. The clamshell style imitates a protective barrier for both sides of the iPad,
and it even includes a fabric loop for storing an Apple Pencil.Yet the style that facilitates those functions likewise provides a specific clumsiness to Logitech’s hardware. The kickstand is part of a large snap-in case that’s heavy in the hands and inconvenient to get rid of, and as soon as the kickstand is unfurled, it demands a lot more space than the Smart Keyboard’s triangular stand. That makes the Slim Combination trickier to balance on a lap, and more difficult to use on an aircraft. And with additional keys stuffed into the keyboard base– which runs about as deep as the iPad itself– the screen is even more away from your fingers compared to Apple’s keyboard.Jared Newman/ Macworld The Slim Combination’s case isn’t really cuddly, however it does keep the iPad safe.Logitech’s Slim Combo also suffers from some doubtful decisions and low-cost construct quality. The kickstand might be more rigid to prevent the screen from wobbling, and the floppy, rubberized band that links the case and base areas permits the keyboard to move around in your lap. And while the secrets themselves have more travel compared to Apple’s Smart Keyboard, they’re also more constrained together.(Somewhere, someone from OSHA is tsk-tsking.)In general, using the Logitech Slim Combo feels like a
much deeper commitment to the iPad-as-laptop principle, with more functions that appeal to major typists. However it also makes the iPad more difficult to utilize in its natural state, and in some ways still handles to fall short as a typing machine.The typing test To see which keyboard was faster, I ran a series of typing tests in the complimentary TapTyping app for iOS. Each test needed copying 3 brief
passages of literature, and I ran each test 3 times per keyboard on two separate days.In these tests, Apple’s Smart Keyboard was consistently much faster, but not significantly so. I averaged 98 words per minute on Apple’s keyboard, versus 94.5 words per minute on Logitech’s keyboard. My greatest score on the
and the soft springiness of Logitech’s secrets felt less difficult on my fingertips and joints throughout prolonged usage. Using the Smart Keyboard needs a softer touch to prevent discomfort.Bottom line Still, I found myself favoring Apple’s Smart Keyboard over Logitech’s Slim Combination in the end. While neither keyboard is perfect, the Smart Keyboard’s light weight and detachability are must-haves unless you plan to use the iPad as a laptop almost all the time. Even then, the Slim Combo’s bulkiness, confined keys, and unwieldy kickstand are harsh compromises just to gain a couple of additional features. Until the rest of the device market gets overtaken Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad style, the Smart Keyboard is the finest keyboard is as good as it gets.To remark on this article and other Macworld material, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
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