New Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro has 4 key improvements — what you need to know

iPad Pro 2024
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The “Let Loose” event today (May 7) didn't just feature new iPads. Apple also announced a new upgraded Magic Keyboard to go with the iPad Pro 2024.

Available in two colors, Space Black and Silver, the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro is seeing revisions for the first time since the 2020 debut of the accessory. It’s coming at a pretty premium price of $299 for the 11-inch model and $349 for the 13-inch version. 

It could be argued that the combining the new Magic Keyboard with the updated 13-inch M4-powered iPad Pro, Apple’s tablet finally could be the replacement laptop it’s been positioned as for years. 

Read on to discover four key improvements to the Magic Keyboard we think you should know about.

Apple Magic Keyboard: Lighter and thinner

Magic Keyboard Pricing

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad Pro 2024 is the thinnest iPad in existence, and that’s competing against Apple’s own iPad Air line. The 11-inch Pro model is 5.3mm thin and the 13-inch model is somehow thinner at 5.1mm. The 2022 Pro models are 6.4mm, in comparison.

Designed for the iPad Pro, the new Magic Keyboard is staying in the aesthetic category as well. Apple says its thinner and lighter than previous models. We haven’t seen any official dimension specs for it but the eye test does look pretty thin. It will be slightly bigger than the 2020 version as we’ll discuss below.

Apple Magic Keyboard: Function row

In probably the most pleasing news, the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro is finally getting a function row. Base model iPads have had one since 2022 when Apple introduced the Magic Keyboard Folio.

The 14-key function row allows for access to tools like screen brightness and volume and media controls. If we’re being honest, it’s surprising that Apple hadn’t introduced this feature yet.

Apple Magic Keyboard: Aluminum deck

Sideways view of Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 13-inch model

(Image credit: Apple)

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro now features an aluminum palm rest, a nice upgrade from the plastic of the 2020 Magic Keyboard. 

Apple Magic Keyboard: Larger touchpad

Apple Magic Keyboard trackpad

(Image credit: Apple)

Lastly, the M4 Magic Keyboard is will feature a larger glass trackpad with haptic feedback. 

Again, we don’t have official dimension for this but comparing images of the original Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro with the new one does show a difference between the trackpads. 

The older trackpad is more rectangular and shallow. In comparison, the new trackpad appears taller and takes up more real estate in the deck. It looks more like a traditional square-ish trackpad on most laptops. 

Apple Magic Keyboard outlook

Neither the new keyboard nor the latest iPad Pro models come cheaply. A base 13-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage combined with the Magic Keyboard will set you back $1,648. By comparison, a 14-inch MacBook Pro with 512GB storage starts at $1,599, and a tricked-out MacBook Air costs $1,699 — though both those laptops come with an M3 chipset and not the newer M4 silicon found in the latest iPad Pro.

Nevertheless, for people who take their tablets seriously as a work tool, the Magic Keyboard looks like a fine complement to the iPad Pro. We look forward to taking this accessory out for a spin.

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.