When it comes to actually getting work done on your Apple-powered tablet, you’ll definitely need a good iPad keyboard. iPads, especially the newer models, pack a surprising amount of power in a very small space. They offer speed, strong graphics, and some seriously solid performance. And while they’re good for streaming YouTube, gaming, and reading novels, news, and magazines, they’re pretty terrible when it comes to “real work.” But a good iPad keyboard makes your simple device nearly as versatile as a laptop. Here’s a compilation of the best iPad keyboards to transform your tablet.
— Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
— Best Versatility: Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard
— Best for iPad Air: Apple Smart Folio
— Best for Typing: Logitech Folio Touch
— Best Cheap: Fintie Keyboard Case
How We Picked the Best iPad Keyboards
What makes a good iPad keyboard? In many ways, the rubric isn’t much more different than for a keyboard for a PC. However, there are a few extra facets to consider, considering that the iPad simply isn’t a PC or a laptop. Here are a few things we considered when picking out the best iPad keyboards.
Build Quality: Because iPad keyboards are built with portability in mind, they occasionally look cheap, feel cheap, and operate poorly. Looks are rarely deceiving when it comes to iPad accessories, and keyboards are no different. Clicking away on an iPad keyboard should feel good, and the build should stand the test of time, or at the least until you need to upgrade your tablet.
Responsiveness: Most iPad keyboards connect to your tablet via wireless 2.4G or Bluetooth. Anyone who has ever used a wireless mouse, gamepad, or keyboard knows that you can experience input lag and other latency issues on rare occasions. These should be rare. Experiencing issues on a daily basis simply isn’t worth it.
Versatility: A keyboard, is a keyboard, is a keyboard, but what if it was more than that? On occasion, iPad keyboards pack a few surprises, with features that streamline everything from connectivity to workflow. Getting extra functionality out of a device may be worth the additional investment in it. Ideally, the iPad keyboard will also be able to connect to more than one device and switch between them on the fly as well.
Price: The cost of the iPad keyboard is important, but the value is paramount. Many iPad keyboards double as cases, some with some serious protection in them. Others are keyboards and little else. Both have their place, so long as the price is right.
The Best iPad Keyboards: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
Why It Made The Cut: A near-perfect companion for all Apple-powered tablets.
— Brand: Apple
— Model Compatibility: iPad Pro 12.9-inch Generation 3, 4, and 5
— Colors: White and Black
— Responsive typing with trackpad and backlit keys
— Provides front and back protection
— Endless viewing angles
— Expensive for an accessory
From certain angles, an iPad inside the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro almost looks like a desktop PC. Almost.
The Apple Magic Keyboard provides an experience that’s almost akin to typing on a MacBook or iMac. Typing is responsive, lag-free, and even has a backlight to use in dimly lit spaces or from the comfort of your bed right before sleepy time. There’s even a full-fledged trackpad which provides even more ease of use, whether you’re scrolling through apps or doing some light gaming. Like any great keyboard, there’s a USB-C passthrough in case you want to add another accessory into the mix. Apple Magic Keyboard also offers a fair amount of protection for your iPad on both the front and the back of the device. The real breakthrough feature here is the floating cantilever screen. It props up your iPad screen and allows you to quickly adjust the viewing angle. All these features come at a premium, of course. The build quality is what you can expect from an Apple product in this price range, and is definitely sleek, sturdy, and built to last.
Best Versatility: Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard
Why It Made The Cut: A portable wireless keyboard that works with iPad and a slew of other devices.
— Brand: Logitech
— Model Compatibility: All iPad models with Bluetooth
— Colors: Dark Gray, Line Friends Brown, Line Friends Cony, Off-White, Rose
— Wide compatibility
— Connect up to three devices at once
— Compact enough to be portable
— Occasional response time issues
Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard is aptly named, as it works as one of the best iPad keyboards, but is also compatible with other Apple and PC devices.
This keyboard is incredibly low-profile, even if it is a separate entity from an iPad case like the other devices featured here. It’s thin and lightweight enough to be considered portable, and it runs on batteries so you won’t even have to worry about charging it. Two fully-charged batteries will provide up to two years of continuous use, which is almost unheard of. The Logitech K380 is also compatible with tons of devices including Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, and pretty much every other Bluetooth device under the sun. Best of all, you can switch between these devices with a single button press, so you don’t have to worry about connecting it to Bluetooth every single time you want to use this keyboard on your iPad. That said, a device at this price point comes with a few pitfalls, most of them having to do with connectivity. This isn’t uncommon for even the best Bluetooth devices, but it’s rare here. There are also plenty of possibilities for personalization here, with five different colors, including two featuring popular characters from LINE.
Best for iPad Air: Apple Smart Folio
Why It Made The Cut: Apple Smart Folio is slim, sleek, and dependable.
— Brand: Apple
— Model Compatibility: iPad Pro 11-inch Generation 1 and 2, iPad Air 11-inch Generation 3, 4, and 5
— Colors: Black
— No charging or pairing required
— Elegant and secure
— Durable, but lightweight
— Few features for the price
Apple Smart Folio is a more scaled-down version of the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad, but considering its portability, it may be the smarter, more affordable keyboard option for many.
The build quality is almost as great as the more expensive offering with a slimmer profile. The outer case protects the front and back of your iPad and has an almost velvety feel. Keyboard cases don’t come much more elegant than this. Gorgeous build quality aside, it’s also very durable — especially the keyboard, which provides a similar feel to typing on a MacBook. Using the Apple Smart Folio is incredibly simple. No charging, no Bluetooth syncing, just slide it into the mechanic case and start typing away. That said, the Apple Smart Folio isn’t cheap. In fact, depending on which model you get, it’s not much more inexpensive than going for the full Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad, especially considering that this device doesn’t have a passthrough USB port to work in another device. That said, the device does work seamlessly, so it’s hard not to rank it among the best iPad keyboards.
Best for Typing: Logitech Folio Touch
Why It Made The Cut: Logitech Folio Touch offers precise typing and tracking, and is even built with sustainability in mind.
— Brand: Logitech
— Model Compatibility: iPad Air Generation 4 and 5
— Colors: Graphite
— Precise trackpad
— Military-grade drop protection
— Climate Pledge friendly
— Casing makes it difficult to use other USB-C
Many Logitech products are built sustainably and come with Amazon’s Climate Pledge certification. The Logitech Folio Touch is one such device, and despite its eco-friendly status, it doesn’t compromise on performance.
It’s a keyboard, it’s a case, it’s both. In fact, within this slim device is a casing with military-grade drop protection. The keyboard is deceptively large and even has a full suite of iPad OS shortcut keys to further streamline the operation. The kickstand allows you to operate your device in a handful of different modes, from ones that optimize reading and viewing, to others that make it easier to sketch or get actual work done. Speaking of work, you’ll be able to type well into the midnight hour with a completely backlit keyboard. There’s even a precise trackpad, making the Logitech Folio Touch an almost complete package. Worth noting: The casing makes it difficult to use other USB-C devices, and there’s no passthrough on the keyboard. But considering its versatility, you may not miss it.
Best Cheap: Fintie Keyboard Case
Why It Made The Cut: The Fintie Keyboard Case is inexpensive but surprisingly well-made.
— Brand: Fintie
— Model Compatibility: iPad Generation 7, 8, and 9
— Colors: Black, Gray, Lilac Purple, Rose Gold, Sky Blue, and 12 Graphic Styles
— ABS Keyboard with tactile response
— Slim and lightweight
— Super affordable
— Free-floating keyboard
Many iPad keyboards come with a hefty price tag, but luckily, the Fintie Keyboard Case is an outlier.
What’s most surprising about this keyboard case is how well-built it is. High-quality ABS plastic provides an almost tactile feel that’s not as solid as typing on a mechanical keyboard, but it does feel slightly reminiscent of it. The Fintie is fairly slim and lightweight, complete with multiple viewing angles. The keyboard slides into the magnetic case and stays put when you’re typing away. There’s a slot to tuck your Apple pencil in. You can even pick from five gorgeous colors and 12 different graphic designs including Starry Sky and Ocean Marble, for some of the best customizations in iPad keyboards. All in all, the Fintie is a fairly complete iPad keyboard case with a surprising level of build quality. However, the keyboard is free-floating, and there’s nowhere to store it on the case once you’re done using it. Whether or not this is a pro or con in the Fintie Keyboard Case’s favor is up to you.
Things To Consider Before Buying an iPad Keyboard
Dip Your Toes Before Buying
Considering the wide array of possibilities a full-fledged keyboard unlocks on an iPad, the whole idea of an iPad keyboard is attractive. The Pages app is perfect for typing up documents from anywhere using your favorite Apple-powered tablet and offers the same great user interface as the app on Mac OS. However, the whole experience, even with one of the fancier offerings, pales in comparison to typing on a good keyboard. Still, if your iPad is your primary portable computer, buying one may still make sense for you and your budget. Of course, we recommend actually trying it out before committing to even a modest investment.
Q: How much do iPad keyboards typically cost?
High-quality iPad keyboards run anywhere from $30 all the way to a few hundred. Our best cheap offering is the Fintie Keyboard Case. The Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro for iPad, our best overall pick, comes with a premium price tag.
Q: Are all keyboards compatible with iPads?
No, not all keyboards are compatible with iPads. Many if not most of all Bluetooth keyboards should work with new iPads, but you should always check if a keyboard is compatible with your device before buying it.
Q: How long do wireless iPad keyboards last on a full charge?
It depends on the device, but the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad will run for up to a month on a full charge. The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard runs for an unfathomable two years on two batteries.
Q: How do you connect a wireless keyboard without Bluetooth?
Some keyboards connect via the USB-C input on the iPad, but in general, the wireless connection on the iPad happens through Bluetooth.
Final Thoughts on the Best iPad Keyboards
Adding a keyboard to your iPad unlocks some serious potential that can put it toe to toe with a Macbook. For the best of the best iPad keyboard experience, there’s the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, though it doesn’t come cheap. For more affordable offerings, both the Fintie Keyboard Case and the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard are fine choices, and the latter is even compatible with tons of other devices.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.