Apple’s Magic Keyboard for its new iPad Pro 2020 (opens in new tab) is now available to order just a bit earlier than it was expected to go on sale.
Simply head to Apple’s online store (opens in new tab) and you can order the slick new keyboard add-on for Cupertino’s flagship tablet. But keep in mind it’s far from a cheap impulse purchase, as Apple wants $299 for the 11-inch iPad Pro version and a wallet-worrying $349 for the 12.9-inch keyboard accessory. Apple estimates deliveries will take place in one to two weeks, and there’s no in-store pickup option due to the coronavirus lockdown.
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While several hundred dollars might seem like a ludicrous amount to spend on a keyboard accessory, the new Magic Keyboard for the new iPad Pro is a little different to other keyboard add-ons, such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 (opens in new tab) Type Cover.
It uses a magnetic mechanism to effectively float the iPad Pro above the keyboard deck, which not only looks rather futuristic but also positions the tablet in an orientation that’s not dissimilar to the display of the MacBook Air (opens in new tab). It also means the iPad Pro can be used in the laptop-like form without the need for a kickstand, which arguably makes it more ergonomic than some other keyboard add-ons for rival tablets.
The other significant part of the Magic Keyboard is it has a trackpad, bringing a proper Apple laptop-grade touchpad to the iPad for the first time. Combined with the new mouse support in iPadOS 13.4.1, the Magic Keyboard can help the iPad Pro carry out laptop-esque tasks that would previously be too hard to do with touch controls alone.
The Magic Keyboard also uses the same scissor mechanism keys found in the MacBook Pro 16-inch and the MacBook Air 2020, which promise a better typing experience and durability than the older Butterfly keyboard. We’re expecting the MacBook Pro 2020 (opens in new tab) to get such an upgrade as well.
And another neat touch to the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard is a USB-C port in its hinge mechanism. This allows for the iPad Pro to be charged and frees ups its other USB-C port for additional accessories. It’s a small but useful thing that could help the iPad Pro 2020 really start looking like a proper laptop replacement.
How well it does that depends on what you use your laptop for; there’ll be tasks power users simply can’t access on the iPad Pro, regardless of its capabilities and accessories. But with the Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro 2020 is a rather compelling machine for people who want a flexible, slick, and powerful tablet.