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.
Things have changed with the current gen iPad Pro, though. Apple’s Smart Keyboard is the only option that works with the relocated Smart Connector and this year’s crop of Bluetooth Keyboard Cases for the 12.9″ iPad Pro has been underwhelming to say the least. None of the products I have tried outside of the Touchtype Pro, which was a pre-production prototype from Salman Sajid’s Kickstarter Campaign, has been worth what they cost. As such, I have stuck with the Smart Keyboard, but certainly not because I like it. It has just been the best of a mediocre crop of contenders.
The lack of better options has made me much more willing to part with a few extra dollars to get a better keyboard. Also, the Brydge Pro keyboard now comes with a magnetic cover to protect the back of the iPad Pro, making this a more realistic option for me now. I went ahead and ordered a couple of weeks ago and just received my Space Gray model for the current gen 12.9″ Pro two days ago.
Thanks to a crazy week at work, I didn’t get to try the Brydge Pro out until yesterday evening. My wife’s High School reunion is this weekend and she decided to do the driving while I typed up yesterday’s brief piece on the possible reappearance of the old rainbow Apple logo. That and my work using the Brydge Pro today is all I need to know that this bad boy is a cut above the rest. While the Logitech Slim Combo that I had last year was a better case, the Brydge Pro is the best iPad-centric keyboard I’ve ever used by a mile, and I have used a LOT of them over the last nine years.
It checks all the boxes. The keys are large enough and adequately spaced. They have a nice action and response that is reminiscent of a really good laptop keyboard. They also have familiar function keys, such as media controls, brightness, key backlight, lock, Home and even a Siri button. Combined with the expanded keyboard shortcut selection in iOS 13, the Brydge Pro is the perfect keyboard for an iPad Pro.
The only downsides I’ve noticed with the Brydge Pro so far are the weight and somewhat skimpy protection for the back of the iPad. As for the weight, that’s not the end of the world for me. I’ve used heavier keyboard cases, in fact. It’s more about performance, and the Brydge Pro delivers that in spades. However, if weight is a priority, then you might want to look elsewhere.
As for the protection for the back of the iPad Pro, that is really my only concern when using the Brydge Pro. I am glad that it comes with a magnetic cover for the back. This at least provides basic protection from small dings and scratches and does so without adding a lot of extra bulk and weight. It also makes it easy to keep a good grip on the back of the tablet. However, this back is not going to protect the iPad from a fall of any distance. Add in the concerns over the current gen iPad’s unintended exterior flexibility, and you have to take care how you handle your tablet with the Brydge Pro.
While these small concerns are valid, they don’t prevent me from highly recommending this keyboard case. It is easy to use, versatile, beautifully designed and well-made. If you do a lot of typing work on your iPad Pro, then the Brydge Pro is a near-essential accessory. I will continue writing about it as I use it, but I can already tell that I’ve found my go-to keyboard case for everyday use going forward.