Apple’s inevitable announcement of the iPad Pro was long overdue, and such being the case, it’s not surprising that several manufacturers already have keyboard cases in the queue. Although most won’t be available until mid-November or upon the Pro’s debut in November, they all will allow you to reap the benefits of a full-size keyboard without the added bulk. Some — like the lightweight Apple Smart Keyboard and Logitech’s forthcoming offering — capitalize on the tablet’s newfangled Smart Connector, while others excel when it comes to price and protection. Below are the first keyboard cases heading to market. If only finding the right stylus was as easy.
The lesser-known IVSO isn’t exactly a company that prides itself on the durability of its products, but it is one of the few companies currently offering a keyboard case for the iPad Pro at an affordable cost. The aptly-titled iPad Pro Keyboard Case was built with the design of the Pro in mind, too, allowing it to conveniently serve as a Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard, a stand, and a carrying case for toting your device with you on the go. The cover is composed of PU leather, while the soft interior makes use of micro-fiber lining designed to cushion the display. More importantly, it has precise cut-outs for various ports and a laptop-style keyboard built to last 60 hours on a single charge. And again, you can’t beat the price.
Thankfully, FYY ditched the silicon in favor of something a bit more luxurious with the iPad Pro Case. Elastic straps help secure your device in place while a dedicated holder keeps your stylus always close at hand, providing you with quick access to the latter when you’re not typing away using the gold-colored, magnetic keyboard. Much like IVSO’s aforementioned case, FYY’s also takes advantage of a micro-fiber interior and a PU leather exterior that’s textured for a better grip. The case comes outfitted with the appropriate cut-outs for the Pro’s various ports as well, and furthermore, comes in a variety of colors designed to suite your individual taste and style. Just try to keep in mind that gold and navy blue don’t always make the best color combo…
It should go without saying that Apple’s proprietary keyboard will likely set the bar when it comes to compatibility. Revealed during Apple’s recent keynote event, the Surface-like accessory will connect to the iPad Pro via the magnetic Smart Connector instead of Bluetooth, allowing you to avoid the virtual keyboard on the Pro in favor of something more physical. Each of the keyboard’s 64 keys is water-resistant and crafted with a durable, custom-woven fabric, providing durability as well as spring-like tension when pressed. It’s foldable, too, and outfitted with a conductive material that allows for the two-way flow of both power and data. No charging. No Bluetooth.
Zagg claims it manufacturers the No 1. selling keyboard for Apple devices, and regardless of whether that’s true, there’s no denying the company crafts some of the more favorable third-party accessories on the market. The Slim Book Pro — one of two recently-announced keyboard cases from Zagg — features the same hallmarks of other cases in the Slim Book line, though, tailored for the iPad Pro. The case’s unique hinge allows for 135 degrees of adjustment, while island-style keys let you comfortably type as if you were using a traditional keyboard. The keys are even backlit and make use of the integrated battery, which conveniently, is designed to last for up to two years on a single charge. The slim, svelte profile will only compliment your iPad Pro.
What separates the Iconic Pro iPad Pro Case isn’t so much the feature set, but the rock-bottom pricing. It’s the cheapest on our roundup, yet, it still manages to flaunt all the features you come to expect at a discounted cost. The solid, paper-white frame sports red highlights for an added touch a style, and moreover, capitalizes on a leather exterior and micro-fiber interior that’s textured for added grip when you’re on the move. Once turned on and pair with your device, the semi-rigid Bluetooth keyboard will provide you with a tactile typing experience no matter your location, taking advantage of the case’s built-in kickstand while doing so. Cut-outs also come standard.
Little is known about Logitech’s Create — other than it was designed directly in partnership with Apple. It’s built to take advantage of the Pro’s Smart Connector, too, meaning it will automatically power on and pair with the Pro when you connect it via the direct magnetic connection. Logitech also claims the keyboard features a full-size layout and keys, while offering thin and lightweight protection from everyday bumps, scratches, and spills. It’s also slated for release on the same day as the iPad Pro, even if the pricing and availability still remains a mystery.
Zagg’s other iPad Pro Case, the Messenger Universal, doesn’t offer the sleek profile of its high-end counterpart. It does grant you 135 degrees of adjustment and a 12-inch keyframe outfitted with island-style keys, however, allowing for natural typing more in line with a traditional keyboard than that of your typical Bluetooth offering. It will arrive alongside the iPad Pro in November and support multi-pairing, too, so you can pair the keyboard with multiple iOS devices at the same time. Other hallmarks include backlit keys — available in a variety of colors — and a battery designed to last up to two years on a single charge. Zagg also claims it will sport a “stylish, fabric finish” when it ships, though, what exactly entails seems open for debate.
Peyou is yet another company vying for exposure even before the iPad Pro hits shelves. The iPad Pro Keyboard features a magnetic, detachable keyboard designed for quick and easy removal, along with a laptop-style keyboard with ABS keys. The latter renders it a welcome alternative to cases outfitted with silicon keyboards, while the adjustable stand provides a simple a secure means for holding your tablet when viewing in landscape mode. Like others, it also makes use of a subtle leather exterior and energy-saving sleep mode, which only furthers the functionality and lifespan of the keyboard’s rechargeable battery.