I’ll never buy another iPad keyboard case and neither should you — here’s why

A car chase in Cyberpunk 2077 streaming on an Apple iPad Pro (2024).
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Putting disposable income into my hands, no matter how meager the amount, will see said cash being spent in less time that it takes the Road Runner to pull off a glute bridge. I have too much love for technology (and clearly, a lack of self control) to stop my fingers clicking that “add to basket” icon.

I’ve been particularly regretting my most recent splurges after reading my terrific computing colleague Tony Polanco’s recent experiment of using the iPad Pro 2024 as a laptop for a week. Spoiler: it didn’t go well. 

This really was the wake up call I needed. Tony, the first time we meet up in NYC, the beers are on me! I’ve simply been using my iPad wrong for so many years now, and it’s only by upgrading to the stunning new 13-inch model (with its incredible Tandem OLED display) that I’ve realized the full extent of my errors. 

I bought my first iPad Pro all the way back in ye olden days of 2018. Ah, what a simpler time. When I first picked up the Gen 3 version of Apple’s iconic prosumer slab back then, I immediately fell in love with that added screen real estate compared to an original iPad. Three years later, I was begging the Crew at Cupertino to “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY CASH”, as I upgraded to the iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch)

Up until about two weeks ago that incredible tablet and its impressive mini-LED display had a decent claim for being the piece of technology I’ve used most in my entire life. Then the new iPad Pro 2024 got an OLED screen, and I could only hold out for less than 7 days before selling my 2021 model on eBay to partially fund the tablet upgrade I’d been dreaming about for years. 

Y’know the one thing I didn’t upgrade, though? The Magic Keyboard. In the three short years I owned my Gen 3 iPad Pro, I went through exactly 5 different keyboard cases. Two first-party Apple Magic Keyboards — the first was white and got visibly grubby to look at after 18 months of being forced to touch my clumsy mitts; its successor (a black model), was doing better, until the “B and “V” keys suddenly stopped working out of nowhere. Who needs those “owerrated” letters, though? Oh. 

Then there was the knock-off version of Apple’s official peripheral I deeply regret turning to.  

I’ve also owned the excellent Logitech Slim Folio Pro Keyboard Case that is on sale for $124 at Amazon. Sure, that’s only 5 bucks off from the regular listing price of $130. Still, a saving is a saving, and this is a top-class case I dearly wish fitted my new OLED iPad.  

Dracool yourself

Dracool iPad Pro keyboard

Please, please don't buy this iPad keyboard case from Dracool. To put it as politetly as I can, " it's not very good."  (Image credit: Future)

By all means protect the delicious “Liquid Retina Display” of your tablet. Just don’t give Apple $399 for the privilege of bolting a snappy yet exorbitantly priced board onto your stylish slab. 

Don’t get me wrong, the Magic Keyboard looks completely classy. As Tony so aptly stated in the piece I linked to before, though, the best iPad in the world isn’t going to replace one of the best laptops or best gaming laptops, anytime soon. iPadOS has some serious downsides that’s going to prevent even the mightiest OLED iPad from replacing your portable PC anytime soon.

You know what the new iPad 2024 is capable of if you simply use it as a machine to devour the best Netflix movies, though? It can shine. Pair this tablet with the company’s Apple AirPods Max and the first OLED iPad provides an unbeatable A/V experience. 

Want to make Apple's incredible tablet even better (and crucially, more secure) at very little cost? Then the ZtotopCases New iPad Pro 13-inch Leather Smart Folio Cover is on sale for $18.99 at Amazon. Normally it retails at $21.99, so that's a small but not unpprecatied saving on an iPad cover I personally vouch for.

ZtotopCases New iPad Pro 13-inch Leather Smart Folio Cover: was $21.99 now $18.99 at Amazon

ZtotopCases New iPad Pro 13-inch Leather Smart Folio Cover: was $21.99 now $18.99 at Amazon
The best $20 I ever spent. This leather bound cover isn't just well priced, it also props up your iPad in a variety of naturally viewable positions. The fact this classy accessory also has a little slot to house the new Apple Magic Pen is also appreciated. 

That's a decent little drop on a budget cover that has reliably protected my new tablet since I cradled it into my apaprtment like a newborne baby.

The new iPad Pro’s Tandem OLED screen automatically makes it one of the greatest pieces of screen technology in existence. Do the smart thing. Use it as the best iPad ever made and not a substitute for your laptop.

To double down, you definitely don’t need to buy an expensive keyboard to squeeze the maximum enjoyment out of Apple’s peerless touchpad tablet. 

More From Tom's Guide

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

  • 700 Yr Old Living Witness
    I can 't believe Apple can still convince people to spend 1500 USD on a device they will only use to watch Netflix or read comic books.

    Yeah, it's amazing screen is great for media consumption but is it that much to ask to be able to edit documents, manage files, and easily multitask on a device that costs more than my gaming PC?