The 5 Best Alternatives to the Official iPad Keyboard

A photo of a person using the Logitech Slim Folio case for iPad.Logitech

The iPad is a compelling laptop stand-in, as long as it’s paired with a keyboard. But at more than $ 150, Apple Official iPad keyboard and Magic keyboard are far from affordable. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of third-party iPad keyboards that will increase your productivity without draining your wallet.

Before buying an iPad keyboard

The official Apple iPad keyboard is an all-in-one package. It has no battery, it is easy to detach from your iPad, it has high quality keys and it does not clog the magnetic charging station of iPad for Apple Pencil.

But third-party options are rarely as robust. They are generally insufficient in at least one or two areas, although they sometimes have features or constructions that you may like more than the Apple iPad keyboard.

Here are some things to look for in an iPad keyboard:

Device compatibility: Check the size and model of your iPad to make sure it actually works with the keyboard you buy. We will link the sizes available for each keyboard to make it easier for you.
Key quality: The keyboards in this item are of high quality for their shape and size. But if quality is your number one concern, we suggest you buy a Logitech Slim Folio, a Slim Folio PROor a Bluetooth keyboard like the Logitech Key-to-Go. You could even use a full-size Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad!
Protection: The folio-style cases are quite thin. If you want a thick case that can take a hit, then pair a wireless keyboard with a nice thick case. There are no heavy-duty keyboard cases for the iPad yet (except for the Logitech Rugged keyboard, which is designed for children and only works with 9.7-inch iPads).
Pencil compatibility: The Apple Pencil (2nd generation) charges while being magnetically attached to the iPad. This is not possible on some keyboard cases, because the case physically blocks the magnetic pencil holder of the iPad. It’s a minor annoyance, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re using an Apple pencil. (Note: iPad Mini cannot charge Apple Pencil wirelessly).
Connection style: The official iPad keyboard works via the iPad’s magnetic smart connector. It does not require any Bluetooth pairing and it turns on and off automatically. That said, the third-party solutions in this article work via Bluetooth.
Battery life: Again, most third-party iPad keyboards work via Bluetooth, and their batteries may need to be replaced or recharged every few weeks or months. We are going to list how each keyboard is powered, as well as the average battery life.
Adjustability: The official iPad keyboard only offers two viewing angles. In other words, it is not really adjustable. But some of these keyboards, like the affordable IVSO Keyboard Case, are built with fully adjustable stands.
Trackpad: Apple introduced trackpad support for iPad with its Magic keyboard. Right now, the Logitech Combo Touch keyboard case with touchpad (what name) is the only third-party keyboard with a trackpad.

Now that you have a good idea of ​​what you are looking at, let’s go. Don’t forget to recheck the size and model of your iPadand only buy cases intended for this device. We will list different sizing options for each keyboard case.

Best overall: Logitech Slim Folio and Slim Folio PRO

A photo of the Logitech Slim Folio and Logitech Slim Folio Pro keyboards.Logitech

Logitech Slim Folio The keyboard is an almost perfect clone of the official iPad keyboard. Apple even sells the Slim Folio on his website! It offers full front and back protection for your iPad, a full laptop-style keyboard with iOS shortcut keys, and a case for your Apple Pencil. It works on a replaceable button cell which should last 4 years. (The keyboard turns off automatically when not in use.) The only drawback of this case is the lack of charge in the Apple Pencil – a minor annoyance for anyone using a 2nd generation Apple Pencil.

To the credit of Logitech, this little problem is solved with Logitech Slim Folio PRO, an improved case that fits the iPad Pro. The PRO case has improved build quality, backlit keys and a magnetic laptop flap that keeps the Apple Pencil in a suitable position for charging. It also has a 3-month battery that charges via USB-C. Like the regular Slim Folio keyboard, the PRO turns on and off automatically when moved between the typing position.

Logitech sells its Slim Folio keyboard case for 9.7 inch iPad, the 10.2 inch iPad, and the IPad Air 10.5 inch. The company sells its Pencil-friendly PRO case for the 11 inch and 12.9 inch iPad Pro.

Best overall


Best with a trackpad: Logitech Combo Touch with Trackpad

Apple’s new magic keyboard for iPad Pro is stupidly expensive, but it’s the first iPad keyboard to have a trackpad. Fortunately, Logitech offers a serious alternative with a long name: the Logitech Combo Touch keyboard case with touchpad.

This keyboard case is similar to what is found on the Microsoft Surface tablet. It has an adjustable kickstand, a row of iOS shortcut keys, a large trackpad, backlit keys and a nice little case for your Apple Pencil (which doesn’t interfere with wireless charging). Impressive, this Logitech keyboard is easy to detach from its case and connects to the iPad with its intelligent magnetic connector (no Bluetooth, no batteries).

Logitech will start selling this keyboard for the 7th generation iPad, the 10.5-inch iPad Air 3 and iPad Pro in May 2020.

Best budget: IVSO keyboard case

The IVSO keyboard caseIVSO

the IPad IVSO keyboard offers a range of features and adjustable viewing angles for an incredibly low price. Unlike the official iPad keyboard, the IVSO keyboard case has an adjustable kickstand, a foldable wrist rest and a comfortable Apple pencil holder. It also supports pencil loading and offers a line of iOS shortcut keys. The only drawback of the IVSO keyboard is its battery, which must be recharged by Micro-USB after approximately 30 or 40 hours of use and must be switched on or off manually.

IVSO sells this keyboard case for the 11-inch iPad Pro, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the IPad Air 10.5 inch, and the iPad Mini (2019 or 2015). IVSO sells a less adjustable version of this case for 10.2 inch iPad.

Best economical keyboard


Ideal for iPad Mini: COO iPad Mini Keyboard Case

COO iPad Mini Keyboard CaseCOO

COO is one of the few companies to sell a keyboard case for the 5th generation iPad Mini. This case is made of soft rubberized material and sports a full keyboard with iOS shortcut keys. It even has a cutout for the Apple Pencil – a necessary touch considering the iPad Mini’s inability to magnetically connect to the pencil. The keyboard is removable, charges via Micro-USB and lasts around 30 or 40 hours of use. It must be activated and deactivated manually.

This particular case will adapt to the iPad Mini 5 (2019) or 4 (2015).

Ideal for iPad Mini


Best option without housing or robust: Logitech Keys-to-Go

The Logitech Keys-to-Go wireless keyboard.Logitech

the Logitech Keys-to-Go is an ultra-slim Bluetooth keyboard designed to work with iOS devices. It includes iOS shortcut keys, 3 months of battery life and a battery that charges via a micro-USB cable. But this particular keyboard does not come with a case, which makes it an interesting alternative to the other keyboards in this article.

Of course, the Keys-to-Go may seem less practical than an attached keyboard case. But this totally wireless keyboard may be a better option for some people. After all, you can use it with any case you like. The Keys-to-Go works very well with a cheap folio case, or even a super durable kickstand case (for those who are not in the thin and fragile cases of the folio keyboard). Just make sure the box you’re using with the Keys-to-Go has some kind of kickstand so you can see the screen while typing. It’s important, right?

A keyboard for all cases


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