Today, there are many different types of keyboards available for the iPad. The smart keyboard and the Apple Magic keyboard have become the most popular options, but many users are still hesitant to choose one over the other. Let’s look at why these two particular keyboards are so popular and which one is better for you.
Installing popular keyboards on your iPad helps make it a more productive tablet as they enhance the user experience and enable users to reach out easily. Interruptions associated with typing have been taken care of by installing these devices, eliminating all annoying interruptions like keystrokes and frustrating motor skills delays.
Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Folio Head to Head
Before we go to a deeper discussion, let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of both keyboards.
Smart Keyboard Folio:
- Incredibly light yet still feels substantial
- There are no gaps around the keys, so spills are not going to be a problem
- Attachments that use magnets work fairly well
- It does not require charging, pairing, or Bluetooth connection. The simplicity of use made it the better choice over less expensive options.
- It works well when kept in portrait mode.
- Though Bluetooth keyboard covers fewer features in contrast to the price, you have to pay a premium just to avoid Bluetooth pairing.
- Compared to the newer Magic Keyboard, there are only two viewing angles
- Not many people need the backlighting on the keys, but some people do
- USB-C port with extra charging capacity
- Adaptable viewing angles
- It has a responsive trackpad
- A relatively thin and sturdy case
- The feel of the keyboard is fantastic
- An amazing typing experience
- It is extremely expensive
- Only a few angles are available in the case
- It consumes some iPad battery
- Not compatible with folio-style tablets
- Quite heavy
- There are no additional function keys on the keyboard.
Smart Keyboard Folio Review
Despite its fans’ enthusiasm, Apple debuted its Smart Keyboard Folio in November 2018 with much fanfare. Finally, the company had created a keyboard case integrated with its own operating system to compete with third-party products.
But even with so many things to like, especially in the larger 12.9″ Folio, there were certainly those who didn’t appreciate it. The iPad Pro keyboard features a full keyboard, two viewing angles, and is completely integrated with the iPad Pro, automatically charging when connected, but other than that it has a pretty basic design, especially when compared to some third-party choices.
If you’re looking to buy the product for $180, you could certainly argue that there are better options, which are less expensive but have more functionality.
Apple Magic Keyboard Review
In March of 2020, Apple announced the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. Finally a backlit keyboard, and to our surprise a trackpad. Apple is trying to compete with its own MacBook. The design is great with adjustable viewing angles, a magnetic-floating cantilever, and a USB-C port, making for a serious laptop replacement.
Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Specs Comparison
We hope you get a brief idea about both keyboards till now. Now it’s time to dive deeper and understand which one is the overall winner. We will try to be fair with both the products and let you know our honest opinion.
Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Folio: Design
Smart Folio Keyboard is a success when you judge by simplicity and minimalism. The iPad easily attaches and detaches using magnets, immediately connecting to the keyboard – there’s no pairing.
And by drawing power from the device, there are no batteries, saving weight, space, and replacement hassle. You can only set the iPad on two different angles, reducing the complexity. This might look like a drawback, but it takes away a lot of accidental risks if you look at it from a safety perspective.
The Apple Magic Keyboard offers something really unique. Having the ability to adjust the angle “just right” rather than choosing between two fixed positions is a huge improvement. The floating cantilever design also makes the device visually attractive in a magical way.
In addition, this design achieves a lot more vertical height than you might think, which actually adds a lot to the experience.
And The trackpad is just like a cherry on the top. It will make your iPad feel more like a laptop than a tablet.
Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Folio: Weight
The Smart Folio Keyboard Only weighs 0.89 lbs, and that is quite expected from a rubber-built keyboard. Once attached with an iPad Pro, it doesn’t feel like a laptop.
The Magic Keyboard itself is 1.6 lbs, and with the iPad Pro Attached, the whole weight is over 3 lbs, equal to a MacBook Pro. We know the weight is a huge issue for some users, yet it’s worth it if you are more into your iPad than your laptop.
Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Folio: Usability
Less weight of the Smart Folio Keyboard is one of the best features of its usability. The covering protects both the screen and back part of the iPad Pro. You can fold the keyboard as much as you like, but once you keep it on a flat surface, it won’t twist or bend while using. And the keyboard has been adjusted with all the iPad from 2018 to the present date.
The keys are comfortable and easy to slide from key to key. The rubber feels premium and also water-resistant. So, you don’t have to worry if a drop of your drink or coffee splashes on the keyboard.
One thing that might be a problem it won’t set on a weirdly uneven surface, so you won’t be able to relax and put your iPad Pro anywhere you want.
The Apple Magic Keyboard, on the other hand, has a stiffer build. The combination of magnet and textured plastic is the secret behind this sturdiness. Yes, you can bend it a little with force, but it won’t flex in regular use. The keyboard case covers the whole iPad Pro leaving the edges yet making sure safe enough.
It has a backlight feature which is in high demand among some users. As the iPad is becoming more of a laptop replacement, this one is a step forward in that direction.
iPad developers already have integrated cursor technology on the device but lack an official keyboard. The Magic keyboard has just filled that gap. The trackpad is our favorite part of the keyboard. Also, you get buttons for volume control on the keyboard.
If you have a lot of stuff to type but travel a lot, it sometimes feels awkward to keep a laptop with yourself. But the Magic keyboard lets you enjoy your iPad Pro experience and turn that into a transformable laptop.
Tilting facilities on this keyboard is undoubtedly superior. You can change the angles between 90 to 130 degrees. And the angles are quite steady.
And last but not least, you get an extra USB-C port. Not a USB female port directly, yet you can use that for both charging and inserting external hardware such as Pendrive or another screen share device.
The only things missing are the function keys and the Esc key.
Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Folio: Typing Experience
the Typing experience is the main feature that matters most when you are looking for a keyboard. A keyboard doesn’t have to be super featureful if it doesn’t feel well while typing. So let’s cut the chase and talk about the keyboards one by one.
The Smart Folio Keyboard is made out of Woven Fabrics, and the buttons are made of ABS plastics, so they feel soft and comfortable. The key gaps are very minimal, and the surface lets you slide your finger without any resistance. Sometimes you will feel like you are drumming on the keyboard with your fingers.
Yet there is a problem if your hands sweat. The rubber will feel sticky, which might make your typing rate slower. But once you get the hang of it, you will feel the keyboard isn’t there when you are touch typing.
The Magic keyboard uses the same keys and scissors switch mechanism as the 16-inch MacBook Pro. You won’t feel a difference if you use a Macbook regularly. The keystrokes are more subtle and smooth. Registers the keystrokes every time quickly and accurately to minimize your hassle.
Backlit is one of our favorite features because once you are in low light condition, then you need that backlit highly. Yes, you can live without the backlit, but if you once use that, there is no turning back from that again.
The scissors switch mechanism justifies the presence of this keyboard. You can feel each keystroke without getting too much on the keyboard. Touch typing is enjoyable at its peak when you are talking about a tablet keyboard.
Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Folio: Comparison Chart
|Features||Smart Folio Keyboard||Magic Keyboard|
|Connection||Smart Connector||Smart Connector|
|Key Type||Woven fabric||Scissor switch mechanism|
|Arrow Keys||Block Chamber design||Inverted “T” Shaped|
|Sizes||11” inches & 12.9” inches||11” inches & 12.9” inches|
|Price||Between 179$ to 199$||Between 239$ to 349$|
Final Verdict Magic Keyboard Vs Smart Keyboard Folio
If you want our opinion on which one you should get, then the overall winner is Magic Keyboard. But if you are just looking for a keyboard to do daily social media typing tasks, then the Smart Folio Keyboard is not a bad option. Yet just to save 100$, you may regret it once you get the hands-on experience of Magic Keyboard. Also, those who are looking for a serious replacement for a laptop in an iPad Pro must get the Magic Keyboard.
Magic Keyboard vs Smart Keyboard: Shortkeys
You don’t need a mouse to navigate through text, make selections, and copy/paste around. Try this (in any app), and before you’ll know it, you’re moving the cursor at the speed of light:
Arrow (keys): moves the cursor one position at a time
CMD+Arrows: moves the cursor up/down/left/right
OPTION+Arrows: moves the cursor one word at a time
SHIFT + (any of the above): for selecting the text
CMD+A: for selecting all the text
CMD+C: copy selected text
CMD+V: paste selected text
If you don’t feel like touching the screen when you need to scroll a webpage, email, you can use the keyboard:
Arrow keys: scroll up/down precisely
Space bar: scroll down one entire screen’s height at a time
SHIFT + space bar: scroll up one entire screen’s height at a time
Is Smart Keyboard Folio good?
The smart folio keyboard is a good choice if you compare it with other third parties. First, it’s an official device and very minimal. Other keyboards may need an external power source, but the Smart Folio Keyboard uses the iPad battery to function.
How long does the Apple smart keyboard last?
It depends on the user, but to your relief, Apple will provide 3 years of free servicing for any functional issue on the keyboard.
Is the Magic Keyboard a case?
Yes, the Magic Keyboard (Mac) is a keyboard with a trackpad and case. So you don’t have to buy or use your iPad case. And the case is sturdy, which keeps your device safe.
Can Magic Keyboard fold back?
You can fold the keyboard way on the back of your iPad like you usually do on a regular iPad Cover. The keyboard is not bendable, but it comes in a case that you can fold while not typing in the keyboard.
Can you use a screen protector with Magic Keyboard?
Yes, if you have a screen protector, you can use that.