Thanks to the popularity of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, a new type of case for the iPad Pro has emerged over the last year. There are plenty of bags and sleeves out there that will hold a Pro and MK together and I’ve reviewed a few of those in recent months. However, the more interesting cases I’m seeing now are those that not only hold an iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, but also allow you to use them together without removing the from it.
One such accessory is the Magic Keyboard Case for 12.9″ iPad Pro from DODOcase. This beautifully made case for the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard is designed to both protect this pricey pair of devices in transit and also allow you full access to use them when it’s time for some work or play.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes this case tick.
Look and feel
The first thing I noticed when I took the Magic Keyboard Case out of its packaging was that the material feels substantial, but in a good way.
The case’s library-grade Buckram exterior has enough thickness to it to add additional protection to the more slight Magic Keyboard. There’s no denying that it adds bulk and thickness to the combo of the iPad Pro and MK in transit. That will hold true for any case that hold both the Magic Keyboard and iPad Pro, because they are already a hefty pair, as it is. However, for someone like me who is willing to accept the trade-off of a little extra weight and bulk in exchange for more piece of mind, it’s worth it.
The Buckram exterior feels good in the hand, similar to a finely bound hardcover book. It has a nice texture that makes the Magic Keyboard Case easy to grip and carry around without worry. The aforementioned thickness of the Buckram material also adds to the overall impression that this is a high-quality accessory.
The exterior color is a handsome but professional looking shade of gray, with the material adding some slight variations that keep it from looking too plain.
The well-executed white stitching also adds a nice contrast and is one of those things that sets a serious case apart from the rest of the pack.
The most interesting part of the design and construction of the Magic Keyboard Case is definitely its oil tan leather spine.
The leather looks and feels magnificent and really elevates the overall impression of this case. I’ve tried and reviewed other high-quality Buckram book-style cases for iPads before, but the subtle, but beautiful spine is a really nice touch puts this case at the top of the class for me.
The interior of the case is made from the same Buckram material as the exterior of the case. It comes in a tan color that adds a bit of contrast with both the outside of the case and the Magic Keyboard, itself.
The one notable design element of the otherwise very simple interior of the Magic Keyboard Case is the small document pocket that sits under the MK when in use.
If you are packing light for a meeting or while on the go, I do like the fact that this case can do a little more than just the basics of covering the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard. This pocket won’t hold a copy of War and Peace, but it can definitely hold a copy of your notes for a meeting or a class.
There are several ways I’ve seen cases for iPads and iPads with Smart Keyboards approach holding things together. Some have material to hold the hardware in place, which inevitably makes the case thicker. Others include non-residue adhesives to hold devices in place without any added thickness.
I’m seeing more cases today that use magnets to hold things together, much the same as Apple’s Magic Keyboard does with the iPad Pro or iPad Air. DODOcase’s Magic Keyboard Case works the same way, attaching to the MK with magnets built into the top or right side of the case, depending on how you are holding it.
The magnets are strong enough to hold your iPad Pro and MK in place, but not so strong that it’s difficult to remove the pair from the case with one hand. I’ve been testing this case for the last three weeks and I haven’t had any issues with the MK dislodging while I am carrying everything around. That means the magnets are good enough for me.
One thing to be aware of is that only the top (or right side) of the case has magnets to attach to the Magic Keyboard. That means when the case is open, the MK keyboard’s position can be adjusted against the bottom of the case. That said, once it is positioned, it stays there during use. I haven’t had any problems with the keyboard bouncing or moving around while typing or using the trackpad. More on this in a moment.
The only small complaint I have with how the case attaches is that you do have to pay attention to how things line up if you use the iPad Pro’s camera often.
Unlike the iPad Pro with the MK, which always snaps into the same place because of how the magnets line up between the pair, the MK can slide around against the magnets on the top of the case. As such, you may need to take a look and adjust the alignment of the iPad Pro’s camera module with the case’s cut-out to be sure you don’t have a bit of the material get into the frame of a shot. However, this very small criticism aside, I much prefer DODOcase’s use of magnets to attach to the MK over any other alternatives.
One thing to be aware of is that the Magic Keyboard Case is a single purpose case. There are a couple of other cases on the market that are designed to hold the iPad Pro alone, or the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard together. I just wanted to be sure to note that DODOcase’s Magic Keyboard Case is not one of those, nor does it claim to be. It is made to hold the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard together. If you remove your iPad Pro, it will be on its own, just the same as if you were using the Magic Keyboard by itself.
All that said, DODOcase does point out on their site that the Magic Keyboard Case can act as a prop for the iPad Pro alone in a drawing configuration.
The magnets line up enough to hold the Pro securely in this position.
Considering that the Magic Keyboard doesn’t really allow for such alternative configurations, this is a nice little added bonus. However, the description on DODOcase’s website is clear that they do not recommend using the Magic Keyboard Case as an iPad Pro case. I can attest to the fact that the magnets aren’t in the right places to hold it in place while carrying the case.
At the end of the day, if the Magic Keyboard Case got in the way when it came time to use the iPad Pro and Apple’s keyboard case, it wouldn’t matter how solid the design is or how good it looks. However, that is definitely not a problem. In fact, I have remarkably little to say about this because once you open the case, it gets out of the way and lets you do what you need to do.
The Magic Keyboard Case doesn’t cause any issues while typing. It doesn’t impede positioning the Magic Keyboard’s cantilever hinge. It doesn’t block access to the front-facing camera, any of the buttons, or the USB-C port. If you were worried that a case like this might make the Magic Keyboard harder to use, don’t. This case doesn’t add any usability trade-offs, which is a sign of very good design.
The Magic Keyboard Case has an elastic strap that loops around and holds it shut during transport.
It reminds me of a journal-style notebook and doesn’t feel at all out of place on a case like that this that so obviously simulates the feel of a fine volume.
There is a good design reason for the strap, as well. Remember when I said that the case doesn’t have magnets on the bottom (or left) side? Without the strap, you would have to hold the case closed during transport, which would be less than ideal. The strap keeps that from happening, and again, it fits with the overall design of the case, so I’m not put off by it.
To loop, or not to loop
There is another small design element of the Magic Keyboard Case that I’m a little ambivalent about. DODOcase included a small elastic loop at the top (or right side) of the case that is meant to act as a secure holder for the Apple Pencil.
On one hand, I appreciate that they included something since Apple and other keyboard case manufacturers tend to ignore this, leaving the Pencil completely exposed on the top or side of the iPad Pro during transport. While the iPad Pro’s magnetic charging pad does hold the Pencil securely most of the time, there’s only so much it can do if the Pencil is struck or hits against something with no additional bracing or support.
From that perspective, I like that DODOcase put some thought into improving this. However, the elastic band also happens to sit right on the magnetic charging pad when looped around the Pencil and diminishes the connection a bit if you aren’t careful about lining things up.
I actually tend to not use the elastic loop myself because the design of the Magic Keyboard Case already adds a bit a natural protection for the Pencil.
As you can see above, one side of the case tends to sit a bit higher while carrying it around. This alone adds enough extra Pencil protection for me. With a backstop on one side, it’s much more difficult for a knock or inadvertent touch to dislodge the Pencil enough for it to fall off.
After spending a few weeks using it with my iPad Pro at work and at home, I really like DODOcase’s Magic Keyboard Case. It adds the additional protection I prefer when using the Magic Keyboard and does so with professional-looking style. Yes, it does add bulk to an already hefty iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, but you will get that with any case made to cover this pair.
Unlike other sleeves and bags I’ve used to transport the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard in the past, I also really like that the Magic Keyboard Case allows you to use the pair without removing them from it. There’s less to carry and keep up with when your case is a permanent part of the equation.
Last up is the price. At $97.95, the Magic Keyboard Case does come in on the high side of iPad Pro cases. However, if you look at competing products made from fine materials, you will see that this price tag is right in line with the rest of the market. Considering the quality and design, I think the price is reasonable.
While the Magic Keyboard Case won’t appeal to all iPad Pro users who own a Magic Keyboard, I’m glad that DODOcase put in the time and effort to create it. There will always be users like me who want a little extra protection and are willing to pay for a quality case to provide it. If you are also in this group and looking for a better way to protect your iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, DODOcase’s Magic Keyboard Case is a great option.
The Magic Keyboard Case for 12.9 was provided for review on iPad Insight by DODOcase. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the About page.