Review: iPad Magic Keyboard (2020)

I’ve been using the Apple iPad Magic Keyboard for a while now, and here’s my thoughts about it.


The iPad Pro Magic Keyboard is viewed as an upgrade to the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard Folio, but has actually a mix of positive and negative points.

tl;dr: These are worthy of a 7/10 but it’s really a luxury to have.
  • Above everything else, the Magic Keyboard is expensive. It’s expensive enough to buy a midrange Android phone.
  • The scissor-switch keyboard keys are fantastic. At least, it’s a relief when you’re coming from the vastly inferior butterfly switches that came from the MacBook Pro prior to their recent switch.
  • The addition of the USB-C port at the opposite site is a huge relief. Now you can charge at either side, or have your iPad Pro charge while you have something else connected to it, like a USB-C storage device or a DAC or an external display.
  • The material they’ve used is the same as the Smart Keyboard Folio, which is actually terrible. It’s a grease/oil magnet that ages terribly in under a year unless you take good care of it.

Initial Impressions#

  • Reviewers weren’t kidding, this thing is heavy. Combined with the IPad Pro, it’s heavier than a MacBook Pro.
  • Keyboard uses the non-butterfly variant, and already feels better than the MacBook Pro keyboard with the terrible keyboards. Huzzah. (It’s still not better than an MKB of course. Oh, and it’s close to the feeling of the 2015 MBP keyboard)
  • Trackpad is fantastic. It’s just as great as a laptop one, but you’re now breezing through 120FPS with the iPad Pro. Switching between apps are much more fun with these. Force touch isn’t there, but the clickiness of it feels good.

Some mixed thoughts:

  • These feel great for prolonged uses, especially for typing, but not as great when bringing it around. Once the quarantine lifts, I’m gonna have second thoughts bringing this around.
  • I’m not fond of the material they’ve used – it’s the same as the Smart Keyboard / Folio series and those don’t age well in a year (it gets oily, coffee smells stick to it, the contact points -might- malfunction over time)

After some time..#

Okay, all in all, I’m glad I bought the Magic Keyboard. But I’ll admit, it’s a luxury.

  • Really love that it comes with a USB-C port and they added it at the opposite side. That means you can plug in your iPad Pro from either side, just like the 4-port MBPs. If you’ve never owned a device that does this, it’s such a godsend when you have to deal with chargers in inconvenient places.

  • I like that you can rebind the CAPS LOCK key to ESC. It’s basically a back button that I didn’t know I needed.

  • Keyboard backlights are fantastic. I’ve worked on a 12pm–2am document with it, and it was definitely a joy to use at the time.

  • I… ended up enjoying the iPad Pro screen more, because there’s significantly fewer fingerprints and oil smudges. Sure, that’s now on the keyboard and trackpad but now it’s fun to consume videos and content with it.

  • Two minor annoyances: it’s actually tricky to open the lid because it’s top-heavy. Laptops usually have this concave section which makes this easy, but due to the lack of space, it’s not there. Also, taking the iPad Pro with one hand isn’t a good idea, since you might end up smashing the unsupported side with the keyboard.

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