A few months ago I got an email saying that Brydge was working on a new firmware that would bring multitouch to their Pro+ keyboard case’s trackpad and I got really excited. All of the sudden, this accessory that I had completely given up on was back in the game with a fully functional trackpad. The beta firmware was impressive and gave Brydge’s first iPad Pro keyboard with trackpad a whole new lease on life.
A few weeks later, I saw even better news from Brydge. They announced that they were coming out with a new keyboard case for 12.9” iPad Pros (including the new, slightly thicker 2021 version) that was very different than their previous models. It was the 12.9 Max+ Wireless Keyboard Case with Trackpad, and it looked like a legitimate competitor to Apple’s Magic Keyboard.
I’ve reviewed more keyboard cases than I count off the top of my head. I have covered Apple’s Smart Keyboard (hated it), Smart Keyboard Folio (disliked it), and Magic Keyboard (really liked it and still own it), as well as all of the recent iPad Pro models from Logitech and Brydge. I also covered many keyboard cases from several manufacturers, all the way back to some of the first for the iPad 2 in 2011 in my former writing position. You could say iPad keyboard cases are kind of my thing and have been for a long time.
Keyboard cases used to be one of the most popular third party accessory categories for Apple tablets. From 2011 to 2017, this was a booming field with several companies like Belkin, Logitech and ZAGG offering strong alternatives for all models of iPad.
However, they haven’t taken off quite the same way for the iPad Pro, as Apple introduced the Smart Connector and its own keyboard product in the Smart Keyboard. There were at least a few third party options for the first two generations of the iPad Pro, but new models became scarce after Apple’s major redesign came in 2018. Other than a couple of options from Logitech and Brydge, the well seemed to dry up for newer iPad Pros.
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.