Photo source: Brydge
I love a good, creative Kickstarter or Indiegogo story, but I love it even more when an accessory maker with the chops to really deliver goes all out and brings something unique to the table. Brydge has been a step ahead of the pack when it comes to high quality keyboards for the iPad Pro for a couple of years and now they are pushing the limits even further. Their new Brydge Pro+ will be the first iPad Pro keyboard case from an established manufacturer to include a built-in trackpad.
I have had a current gen Brydge Pro for my 12.9″ iPad Pro for a few months now and I love it. I use it with my Pro every day and its versatility really shines. It’s durable and well made. The battery life is really strong. The hinge is durable and hold my iPad in place even after months of constant use. The keyboard is responsive and has a bright backlight. On top of this, it is easy to remove the iPad when you need to leave the keyboard behind. The included magnetic back cover for the iPad Pro is a nice cherry on top that offers more protection than I expected when paired with the keyboard. Put all of the above together and the Brydge Pro is really hard to beat.
Now comes the Brydge Pro+, which takes all of the features of the Pro and adds a trackpad. Again, this is the first iPad product from a well known accessory manufacturer to take advantage of the new AssistiveTouch Accessibility feature in iPadOS 13. While it still falls a little short of the full mouse and trackpad support you get in Windows or macOS, it is the beginnings of what will hopefully grow into full-fledged mouse support in the next year or two.
Tomorrow is my 45th birthday and I guess I now know what I’ll be getting this year. I will have to wait a bit, though, as the first 500 pre-orders won’t ship until late February, with the rest going out in late March. I’m definitely hoping to jump in quick and get into that first group. At $229, this keyboard is far from cheap, but I don’t think I can call myself an iPad fan or an effective reviewer if I don’t check this bad boy out.
If you already have a keyboard that you like for use with your iPad Pro, Brydge will also be releasing an iPadOS Trackpad later on. There isn’t any pricing or availability information available yet, but it seems like a solid option for those who don’t require a trackpad built into their keyboard.