This document describes the keyboard options and accessories from Apple commonly used with the iPad Pro 11-Inch model. It offers some buying guidance.
Apple iPad Keyboards and Covers ($180 to $300)
These are the four options to consider when using an iPad Pro 11-Inch:
- COVER ONLY ($80) — The “Smart Folio” cover for the iPad Pro 11-Inch protects the front and back of the unit. It has a cut-out for the camera lens cluster, which makes the iPad smooth on the back for setting firmly on a surface. [View] Some people will choose this option, and use only the on-screen keyboard.
- NOTE: Older iPad models use a “Smart Cover” that attaches on the long edge with a magnetic hinge and covers the front but not the back. The cost is about $40 from Apple. [View] The lack of protection on the back was not as much of a concern for older iPads since they did not have a cluster of protruding camera lenses. The new iPad covers have front and back protection.
- APPLE KEYBOARD ($100) — The Apple keyboard would be used with the cover protection mentioned above. It would allow the keyboard to be placed in an ergonomically ideal position, with the iPad setting at a different position or location. [View] Alternative keyboards to consider would be the Logitech K380 for $30 [View] or the Logitech MX Keys for $100 which has backlit keys. [View]
- NOTE: The Best Buy website shows a standard Apple Magic Keyboard for $100 with an oddly shaped Enter/Return key [View] and a version with the Touch ID fingerprint reader for $150 [View] that also has the odd shape and positioning for the Enter/Return key. This is probably a mistake in the visuals used on the site. An open box unit was examined and instead had the standard Enter/Return key size and placement similar to what is shown on Amazon. [View]
- SMART KEYBOARD FOLIO ($180) — For the same price as the Apple cover and keyboard separately, the Smart Keyboard Folio provides something more similar to a laptop computer experience. The keyboard and cover are all combined. [View] This option provides for only two screen positions. The Magic Keyboard, described below, adjusts to more viewing angles and also has a touchpad.
- MAGIC KEYBOARD ($300) — For about $120 more, the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro 11-Inch includes the option to adjust the screen to many angles. It has a trackpad and also includes an additional USB C port for charging which makes the main USB C port available for accessories. This is probably the most durable option. [View]
Without one of the cover options described above, the iPad cameras will come in direct contact with whatever surface the device is on, causing them to smudge and possibly scratch. The camera bump also can cause the iPad not to rest securely on a surface.
Apple Magic Trackpad ($130 to $150)
Additional gestures are available when using the Magic Trackpad with an iPad. The cost is $130 for the white design [View] or $150 for the black design [View] to match the Pro models of Apple products.
Apple provides a list of gestures [View] but the list leaves out the four fingers up gesture which reveals any running programs.
Some people find trackpad use easier than the iPad touch screen gestures. The trackpad gestures are mostly identical to what a person might use for an Apple computer, providing some continuity between devices.
For people wanting to avoid fatigue and repetitive stress injuries, using a trackpad, mouse, and touch screen with an iPad, distributes muscle use and reduces fatigue.
Apple Magic Mouse ($80 to $100)
An Apple Magic Mouse provides a familiar navigation and control for the iPad. It allows a person to sit back in a more natural ergonomic position, using a keyboard and mouse at their desk, with the iPad set back at a comfortable distance, perhaps raised to eye level for optimal posture.
The mouse also allows for an alternate control for those wanting to switch between trackpad and mouse for reduced fatigue.
USB C Hub or USB C to USB A Port Adapter ($20 to $60)
As of 2021, both sizes of the iPad Pro come with USB C ports that also have high speed Thunderbolt capability for external displays and high speed drives. For anyone with an older style USB device, an adapter will be needed to connect from the larger USB A plug to the USB C port on the iPad Pro. The Apple adapter is available for $19. [View]
A USB C Hub will also work with the iPad Pro. If you have one plugged into your MacBook Pro, you could plug that same hub into your iPad Pro to connect with all the devices.
The Satechi hub for $60 is designed to plug into the iPad Pro and offers various ports. [View]
An independently powered hub, such as the TOTU model for $50, would put less strain on the iPad Pro. [View]
Apple Pencil ($130)
The Apple Pencil makes it easy to edit documents, drawings, diagrams, and other visuals. The cost is about $130. [View]
The iPad has writing modes that allow handwritten text to be converted to typed text automatically as you write.
Drawing can be free-form, but if you draw a circle, oval, box, line, or arrow, and hold down the pencil upon completion, the iPad will interpret what you’ve drawn and correct it making the design look more professional and precise.
While it’s helpful to keep price in mind, the primary considerations for technology purchases should be to choose what best fits your needs. The devices and accessories should serve for many years, so choose something you’ll enjoy working with daily. Select items that are durable and functional.
If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to get in touch using the options on the Contact Page. [Contact]