The iPad and iPad 2 are amazing and versatile devices. There are also a huge number of great iPad and iPad 2 accessories available from a wide range of vendors. There’s a huge array of iPad cases available, from skins and minimalist designs to full-protection options. There are also screen protectors, iPad case plus keyboard combos, and some great iPad stands. For the iPad 2 in particular, there is of course the Apple Smart Cover and a wide range of back cover cases that are compatible with it.
I first wrote about Apple’s Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro a little over two months ago, right after it was released. I’ve logged many hours with this versatile accessory since then and I have to say that it’s been an interesting experience. My overall opinion of it has changed over this time, mostly for the better.
If you a regular reader, you may have already picked up on this, but I am not quite as enthusiastic about the Magic Keyboard as most of the Apple blogosphere. I’m not saying that I don’t like it, because I actually do in a lot of respects. It is very good at the things that Apple designed it for. But it is that narrowness of scope, along with a few other drawbacks, that I can’t completely shake off.
While there are still plenty of good things I have to say about the Magic Keyboard in the future, here is all of the bad news I’ve come across so far.
So my Magic Keyboard arrived at my house around 11:00 AM today. Normally I would be at work on a Friday even during these days of quarantines and stay at home orders, as my job is considered essential. However, this particular Friday found me at home for a not-so-pleasant reason. I had a date with an oral surgeon at 10:45 this morning. Yuck.
I’ve heard about the Brydge Keyboard for the iPad for years and seen the glowing reviews. However, I have typically stuck with products from ZAGG and Logitech, as they tend to be a little less expensive and provide more coverage as cases. The main thing that kept me from trying the more expensive Brydge was the fact that it was much more keyboard than case, leaving the back of the iPad completely exposed. The other cases I tried had very good keyboards and provided excellent protection, making them better overall choices for me at the time.
I would say MY Powerbeats Pro arrived, but they aren’t actually mine. I am taking a look at them so I can write a little about them, but they will belong to my wife very soon. Wednesday was her birthday, so these are her Combo bday/Mother’s Day gift. She was kind enough to let me test drive before she takes them so I won’t get in the way of her listening pleasure once I hand them over.
Logitech’s Slim Combo for the previous gen 12.9″ iPad Pro was my favorite keyboard case of all time by leaps and bounds. It checked all the boxes. It offered protection without too much added bulk. It could be positioned at a wide range of angles thanks to the hinged kickstand. The keyboard section could be separated from the iPad section giving it plenty of versatility. For me, that’s the perfect combo of features.
Every once in a while, I come across something really interesting while browsing Kickstarter or Indiegogo. The TouchType Pro, a creative and innovative keyboard case for the current gen iPad Pros, would seem to fit that bill. However, to be completely honest, that’s not how I found it. While the TouchType Pro campaign was just released on Kickstarter, I have been aware of this product for a while now. In fact, I’ve actually been able to go hands on with a prototype for a few weeks. More on this in a bit.
You see, Salman Sajid, the developer of the TouchType Pro and its earlier crowdfunded variations, originally reached out to me back in the Summer of 2017. After reading one of my iPad keyboard case reviews, he wanted to know if I would be interested in a project he was starting to work on. If you are a regular reader here, then you know there was no way I was passing that up.
I remember hearing about the new HyperDrive from HYPER when it hit Kickstarter last December, after the iPad Pro came out. I wrote about it after backing it, but by the time I had, the Kickstarter had ended and they moved over to an Indigogo campaign that is still going. While pretty much any USB-C hub will work with Apple’s new high-end tablet, this was the first one specifically designed for the new hardware. That made it worth checking out to me.
While I am more of a leather fan when it comes to cases, there are others who prefer the feel of a good book. Pad and Quill is a master of such materials, as I had occasion to discover this past Summer when I reviewed their Journal Notebooks. The linen-covered books were well-made and felt just like a fine hardback in the hand. When I hold the Contega case for the new 11′ iPad Pro, I get that same impression. While the cover has a rougher, more durable texture, it still feels like your iPad Pro is contained within a fine book.
I’ve used a backpack to carry my laptop for several years now. In my line of work, you can find yourself walking all over a job site while taking calls, running through an airport while scarfing down lunch, or climbing ladders to rooftops. I need my laptop with me pretty much wherever I am or whatever I’m doing, so a backpack is the most practical way to keep the load balanced and my hands free.
Back in June, I reviewed the Logitech Slim Combo Keyboard Case for the 10.5” iPad Pro. I came away giving it a recommendation, in spite of a few flaws. It had a high quality keyboard, which I have come to expect from Logitech. However, the plasticy feel of the exterior didn’t completely match up with the expectations at that price point. The 10.5” version also ended up quite a bit thicker than it had to be thanks to a large amount of dead space between the keyboard and iPad screen, making it a bit awkward to hold.
I noted in my review that there were some differences between the 10.5” and 12.9” versions of the Slim Combo. However, since I didn’t have a review unit in that size at the time, there was no way I could go beyond Logitech’s written descriptions of the differences. Well, a few days ago I saw a 12.9” version of the Slim Combo on the shelf at my local BestBuy, and I decided to take a look for myself. I decided to write a separate review because there are actually enough differences between the two versions of the Slim Combo that my first one doesn’t adequately cover the 12.9” version.