A First Look at the Magic Keyboard…Sort of

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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 had a nice laugh in the car on the way to my appointment when I saw my package had been delivered right after we left. I called it when we were pulling out of the driveway. That’s just the way things go sometimes. Add that to the fact that I’m reviewing the Magic Keyboard days after every other website on the planet because I got into the preorder line pretty late. It’s all pretty ironic, but just first world problems and not worth complaining about.

Thankfully the dental procedure didn’t last long and was relatively painless, at least while it was being done. That changed when I got home. I was already starting to feel the pain come on when we arrived. I took a pain pill and had enough time to unbox the Magic Keyboard, take a few pictures of it and test it a bit before the pain ramped up and the pill kicked in. It’s hard to do much testing or writing when your brain is mush.

All things considered, I am not complaining, though. In fact, I am very thankful that I was still able to get treatment for an abscessed tooth last week and get this removal procedure done today. I had been putting it off because the tooth originally broke right as all of the shutdowns started, but it just wouldn’t wait any longer.

After some food and rest and a couple of those pain pills, I feel mostly human again, so I am writing this on the Magic Keyboard to get some early impressions of it. I like the keyboard so far. The keys are quite shallow, much more so than the Brydge Pro that I am used to using. However, they have a really nice feel and response. The lack of a row of function keys is a small shortcoming and one that I can easily live with.

The key backlight is very nice and it makes this Magic Keyboard better than the original and puts it light years ahead of the Smart Keyboard Folio. All that said, I still wouldn’t put this keyboard at the top of my list of favorites. I still think the Brydge Pro is a little better because of the more traditional key travel. That said, I would put Logitech’s iPad keyboards ahead of them all, but that’s a high bar in my book and none of their iPad Pro keyboards have trackpads, which can’t be overlooked.

As for the trackpad, I thought it might be too small when I first saw pictures of the Magic Keyboard. I’ve been using Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2 since the release of iPadOS 13.4 and appreciate its size and silky smooth operation. I wasn’t sure if it would be as easy to navigate the entire screen with a single swipe on the MK trackpad’s smaller surface. However, I am happy to be wrong on that point. This trackpad is actually quite good and very easy to use. It’s easy to navigate, click and use gestures. It perfectly suits the Magic Trackpad’s form factor.

I’m going to leave it there for tonight. I’m still a little woozy from the pain meds, so the words aren’t flowing all that smoothly. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and I will cover some of my impressions of the case aspects of the Magic Keyboard. Until then, if you have any questions about the Magic Keyboard, feel free to ask. If I don’t know the answer, I will be happy to do a little testing for you.

James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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