Have you ever wished your 12.9″ iPad Pro was a MacBook instead? Well, now there’s a way to make it feel, look, and almost perform like one with the Brydge Keyboard Cover for the 12.9″ iPad Pro.
The body is made of all aluminum, you’ve got your plastic keys and around back you’ll find rubber feet and a very familiar design you’d find on the bottom of a MacBook, even with the placement of the screws. There are soft rubber tabs to secure the iPad in place without damaging it as well.
The benefit of this being a keyboard cover over a keyboard case is being to slide it in and you’re setup, but, then pulling it right off when you don’t need it – it’s really convenient. Since it doesn’t use Apple’s fancy Smart Connector, to connect, it uses Bluetooth 3.0, that’s the faster and more efficient stuff, and start by turning the keyboard on by holding the power button down in the top right corner. If it’s not flashing blue already, hold the Bluetooth button beside it. Then go into settings, Bluetooth, and select the Brydge keyboard to connect it, simple.
For the 4 of you who own the Apple Pencil, you may have noticed there’s no where to store it, and you’d be right. Fortunately, you can check out this video for an accessory to fix that
The only port is for a micro-USB to charge the keyboard that I’ve yet to use, given the battery life is rated at a whopping 3 months. To save you even more power, there are magnets built-in for auto on and off of the iPad. When closing the iPad there are these tiny rubber feet to keep it raised above the aluminum but if you squeeze or apply pressure when closed, it will cause the screen to contact the aluminum, so I highly recommend installing a nifty screen protector.
It wouldn’t really feel like a MacBook if it didn’t also weigh like one though. The keyboard itself weighs in at 740g, that’s more than the iPad Pro itself and just about doubles the size of the iPad. But it’s the extra heft but slim design that I love and reminds me of a MacBook feel – holding it in the hand, it feels like a premium combination.
And with the sturdy weight on a table when typing, you really forget you’re using an iPad, sometimes so real that you reach for a touchpad, only to be brought back to reality, it’s still an iPad.
What you’re really buying is this keyboard though. There is a full keyboard layout, with full size enter, shift and back space keys. Arrows keys at the bottom, beside that are standard modifier keys, and a dedicated Siri key. Although, as a power Windows user, having it sit where the control button usually is can cause some unexpected triggers, especially since the same function can be achieved by holding the home button shortcut as well.
There’s also a iPad lock, and yes, something you all complained about missing in the Apple keyboard, backlit keys with 3 levels of brightness, which I wish were slightly brighter. Beside that are keys to adjust screen brightness, on-screen keyboard, playback and volume controls, a keyboard battery indicator, Bluetooth to connect, and a dedicated power button to turn the keyboard on and off.
The keys themselves offer really great feedback and travel – it really is like typing on a MacBook pre-butterfly style keys, I haven’t experienced any Bluetooth hiccups and there was no learning curve jumping over to this. Compared to the other main keyboard cover, Apple’s very own Smart Keyboard, which was difficult to type on your lap because it lacked the one thing Brydge has, a palm rest.
So typing on the lap is like using a MacBook, unfortunately, the hinge did give in pretty often anytime it went past 90 degrees, but even then it was a comfortable angle to type at. However, it does cause some issues when you’re interacting with the iPad itself. If you’re as strong as I am and tap like I do, you’ll find yourself adjusting the screen quite often. Scrolling on screens were fine, so just try and keep your touches a tad lighter.
Fortunately, it’s a lot better on hard surfaces. You can have the screen rest up to a 45 degree angle, anything past that and gravity takes over. And as cool as having your iPad Pro sit in a 180 degrees angle, I don’t see why anyone would use their iPad this way.
But the hinge is better than I make it sound, starting with the rubber feet on the bottom combined with the hefty weight prevents the iPad from sliding around and testing the grip of the hinge, it held in quite well only giving into harder shakes, but it slides out without an issue when you need it to. I found it useful to also turn the keyboard off and flip it around. Now you’ve got a pretty sturdy stand to watch or play games on. Then when you’re on the go just reading an article, fold it flat and have the keyboard go with you
As mentioned throughout, some improvements I’d wish to see are larger padding for the screen to lay on, and like on MacBooks, an indentation to actually help with opening the two, and finally a stiffer hinge, that preferably stopped at a set angle as I can’t imagine anyone needing to fold their iPad to 180 degrees.
If you bought an iPad Pro to be used a workhorse, the Brydge keyboard cover is a must have accessory. But, there is 1 caveat, and that’s only if you’re a careful human being, as the cover isn’t designed to protect your iPad.
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