Apple’s new $99 Magic Keyboard comes with iMacs, but I think it also makes a great accessory for iPad owners. I went to the Apple Store yesterday to test one out and came away very pleased with the results.
The travel on the keys is much better than the previous generation wireless keyboards, which required a little too much force to register a key press. This new Magic Keyboard feels a lot more like the 12–inch MacBook keyboard, which I also really like. My hands just fly along the keys, and I was able to type at my standard 80–100 wpm (words per minute) within just a few minutes of testing. The slight tilt in the keyboard also makes long form typing a little more comfortable on my wrists.
It also no longer matters that the Magic Keyboard lacks a dedicated home button, thanks to the new keyboard shortcuts in iOS 9. Command + Tab switches between apps, Command + H goes to the home screen, and Command + Space triggers Spotlight search. These shortcuts work on any keyboard attached to an iPad, and so they work perfectly on the Magic Keyboard.
Finally, the Magic Keyboard also makes a great tablet companion because it’s lithium ion battery charges with a Lightning cable. This is a big improvement over the previous 2x AA batteries required to power the previous wireless keyboard, and it also means you’ll only require one cable (Lightning!) to charge your iPad writing setup. The latter could be a deciding factor for a lot of people, since most every other Bluetooth keyboard on the market requires micro USB to charge. If you’re the type of person who wants to reduce bag clutter, the Magic Keyboard could be a great addition to your gear kit.
The only caveat is that you’ll need another accessory to stand your iPad up. I’d recommend the Twelve South Compass if you’re looking for a flexible stand that will be useful anywhere in the house; I vastly prefer it to the Smart Cover for use in writing situations.