Magic Keyboard: our first impressions of the keyboard supposed to revolutionize the iPad Pro

Before updating iPadOS to turn iPads into computers a bit more, Apple released a full Magic Keyboard with a trackpad. First impressions.

In 2020, the announcement of the new iPad Pros was overshadowed by an unexpected tool: a keyboard. Not just any keyboard, no, but a full Magic Keyboard, Apple’s iconic keyboard, with its trackpad. The Cupertino company’s goal was clear: to prove once and for all that. In the majority of cases, an iPad could replace a computer.

Since the transformation of iOS into iPadOS.Apple has continued to refine its tablet offering, to take the path Microsoft has long undertaken. That of professionals in a new world, who do not bother with software heavyweight incompatible with touchscreen operating systems.

And when you think about it. There are more of them than one would imagine at first glance. Only very specific professions and directly related to IT or the web need dedicated applications. installed in corporate culture. Which is sometimes decades old. For craftsmen, artists, students, people simply looking to take notes. Trades where travel is frequent and those who have all their activity on online services. The touchpad has only the advantages, of portability to the wealth of experience offered by the application park.

Magic Keyboard
Close-up of the keyboard // Source: Julien Cadot for Numerama

MAGIC KEYBOARD FOR IPAD: OUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Little chance that this Magic Keyboard changes our conclusions on the test of the last iPad Pro. We will have to rely on the next version of iPadOS.To perhaps break even more the barrier between the mobile and tactile environment and the Mac environment. But these first hours with the keyboard in hand confirm one thing. Apple has not skimped on the quality of its product.

It only took a few minutes for us to get used to typing, coming from a traditional Magic Keyboard. The contract is respected: it is perfectly the keyboard that you expect to have at your fingertips. The trackpad requires a bit of exercise. It is much smaller than its counterpart on Apple laptops for a few years. It is nonetheless precise and has transposed the familiar multi-touch gestures very well. Allowing you to navigate on iPadOS much as you navigate on macOS. On the other hand, we go to a fairly hard click, very mechanical. Compared to MacBook trackpads: you can. If that bothers you, activate the touch to click in Settings / General / Trackpad.

Magic Keyboard: our first impressions of the keyboard supposed to revolutionize the iPad Pro
There is an additional USB-C port // Source: Julien Cadot for Numerama

In terms of portability, the keyboard + 12.9-inch iPad Pro set is not too heavy. We note 1.34 kilograms on the electronic scale. It’s just a few grams the same weight as a 13-inch MacBook Pro. With a smaller footprint for the iPad thanks to the thin bezels. The little  Apple touch that we can’t help but notice comes from the way the assembly folds up. In a gesture starting from the top of the iPad.The hinge will first straighten the screen and then put it down gently on the Magic Keyboard. Pleasant.

On the application side, it will obviously be necessary to give them time to update. If software like Chrome, on which this article is typed from the iPad Pro. Is perfectly compatible, we already find frustrations with applications like Slack. (Forced to click in the text field to write when you change rooms) or Affinity Photos.(Which does not take into account the enter key or the shortcuts).

We will of course offer a full test of this Magic Keyboard solution after spending a few days with the keyboard.

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