Which keyboard for an iPad is best?
The default onscreen keyboard of Apple’s operating system works great for typing short words or phrases. But unfortunately, it isn’t conducive to drafting epic novels or essays. The best solution, which will also keep your display fingerprint-free, is to get a keyboard for your iPad.
The small wireless device is a great alternative to the onscreen keyboard, letting you be more productive with a familiar gadget. An excellent choice is the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro — you can tilt it whichever way you want, and it keeps your iPad protected from dust and bumps.
What to know before you buy a keyboard for an iPad
Wireless keyboards require a battery
While it is always a good idea to have a power bank with you when you work remotely, you might need it to charge your keyboard. Wireless iPad keyboards come with a built-in battery, and just like any tech gadget, need to be recharged. You might get away with connecting the keyboard to the iPad with a cable, but it’s not something you want to risk.
You don’t have to buy the official Apple keyboard
The beauty of Bluetooth technology is that you can use any gadget with a Bluetooth-capable device. This includes a keyboard for your iPad, so you don’t need to buy the official Apple product. There are plenty of choices from third-party manufacturers, and while the Apple Magic Keyboard is the best, it’s also more expensive than others.
It will take some time to get used to
You’re probably familiar with working on a keyboard, but one designed for an iPad is slightly different. It’s much thinner and lighter than a regular, full-size keyboard, so it might feel a bit awkward at first. The travel distance of the keys and their tactile responsiveness is also less, which can be a stark difference from what you are used to.
What to look for in a quality keyboard for an iPad
Combine the keyboard with an iPad case
The best thing to do when looking for an iPad keyboard is to combine it with a case or cover. This gives you the freedom of working on a laptop-like keyboard while also protecting your iPad when you aren’t using it. As a bonus, the case also functions as a stand so you can angle the tablet for the best viewing position.
Well-built and durable
Unless you are looking for a one-off solution, the keyboard’s durability ensures that you can use it for many years. A good-quality keyboard is made from solid plastic, metal or a combination of materials. In the case of a keyboard combination, it should also have a microfiber lining on any parts that will come in contact with the iPad’s body or screen.
The keyboard draws power from a built-in battery, which needs to be charged sporadically. Typically, you can connect the keyboard to the iPad or power bank for charging, but that isn’t possible with all models. Some use non-rechargeable coin batteries, which still give you a few months of operating time. Naturally, a wired keyboard doesn’t have a battery.
How much you can expect to spend on a keyboard for an iPad
The average price of a keyboard for your iPad depends on the functions. A basic keyboard that provides no protection or additional functions costs $15-$20. But a keyboard-case combo can retail for $100-$300.
Keyboard for an iPad FAQ
Are there wired keyboards for an iPad?
A. Yes, since any keyboard can technically work with an iPad. Bluetooth is the easiest way to connect a wireless keyboard. To use a regular keyboard, you need a Camera Connection Kit that changes the Lightning port into a USB port.
Are keyboards interchangeable between iPads?
A. Typically, any device that uses Bluetooth can connect to an iPad, no matter the model or release year. Where the device model matters are when you’re looking for a case combo, as those are specific to the device.
What’s the best keyboard for an iPad to buy?
Top keyboard for an iPad
What you need to know: Few iPad keyboards can beat the design and function of Apple’s original creation. As a case-keyboard combo, you magnetically attach the iPad to the backplate and the thin keyboard flips closed to become the lid.
What you’ll love: The sturdy cantilever hinge on the inside of the keyboard case lets you effortlessly change the screen’s angle. It also has a trackpad that functions in the same way it does on a laptop.
What you should consider: The keyboard case is compatible with the Apple Pencil, but there isn’t a dedicated slot to keep the Pencil in place.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top keyboard for an iPad for the money
What you need to know: This is an easy and affordable solution if you need a compact wireless keyboard for working remotely.
What you’ll love: The backlit keys of this wireless keyboard can change among seven colors while the body is white. It has a built-in rechargeable battery that can give you around 40 hours of operation. The keyboard, while still compact, has additional multimedia keys to control your music or streaming content.
What you should consider: Weighing only 8.8 ounces, it might not be robust enough for some users.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This keyboard comes as part of a case combination, letting you work efficiently while also protecting your device.
What you’ll love: The hard shell of the case clips onto the iPad, and the horizontal fold down the middle serves as the hinge for angling it perfectly. It has an elastic loop to keep your Apple Pencil in place, and the keyboard uses a non-rechargeable coin battery. The keyboard connects to the iPad through Bluetooth.
What you should consider: Although the battery can last for several years, it can leave you in a pickle when it dies suddenly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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