Apple iPad Pro’s Magic Keyboard trackpad is better than Microsoft’s Surface

The new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is now available. It brings a whole new level of versatility and capability to iPad Pro, and is the best way to experience the new trackpad support introduced in iPadOS 13.4.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro with trackpad delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad.
The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro with trackpad delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad.

Apple’s new keyboard attaches magnetically to iPad Pro, putting the beautiful Multi-Touch screen up on display with a floating cantilevered design for smooth adjustments of the viewing angle up to 130 degrees. The portable design features a full-size keyboard with backlit keys and a scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm travel, offering a comfortable and responsive typing experience, whether working on a lap or on a desk. The click-anywhere trackpad of Magic Keyboard complements the touch-first design of iPad for fluid navigation, easy cursor control, and precise adjustments. With USB-C pass-through charging, Magic Keyboard keeps the USB-C port on iPad Pro free for accessories, including external drives and displays. And for added security, when Magic Keyboard is attached and closed, the iPad Pro microphones are disconnected, preventing any audio data from being compromised.

Apple’s new keyboard takes full advantage of the distinct experience of iPadOS. As users move their finger across the built-in trackpad, the pointer elegantly transforms to highlight user interface elements. Multi-Touch gestures on the trackpad make it fast and easy to navigate the entire system without users ever having to lift their hand. Trackpad support in iPadOS is designed to work great with apps customers use every day.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is designed to work with the new iPad Pro, and is also compatible with the previous generation iPad Pro models

Dieter Bohn for The Verge:

At first glance, Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro looks like it’s exactly what so many people have been asking for: a well-made keyboard case with a trackpad that finally lets you use the iPad as a kind of laptop.

After testing it over the weekend, I will tell you that it does that exact thing admirably. It’s a well-made, beautiful keyboard case that’s nice to type on and makes lots of work on the iPad much more convenient — or at least familiar…

[Bohn wishes however that] Apple had simply put a function row of keys above the number row. There are plenty of system-wide buttons that would be useful there! Music controls, volume, screen and keyboard brightness, home, multitasking, search: all things for which it would be convenient to have dedicated buttons.

After giving in and providing a clamshell design and a trackpad, leaving both the Esc key and a function row out seems obstinate. You will still be reaching (or swiping) up to the Control Center to manage essential functions all the time…

The trackpad is good. That’s really the TL;DR of it. It is fairly small, of course, and if you’re used to the capacious trackpads on MacBooks, it will probably feel absolutely tiny. On the 12.9-inch unit I am reviewing, it’s almost exactly the same size as the trackpad on my Surface Pro — so it felt familiar to me, at least.

But the Magic Keyboard’s trackpad is better than the Surface’s because it lets you click anywhere on the trackpad, not just in the middle or at the bottom. It’s also smooth, accurate, and there’s zero lag on iPadOS.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course it’s better than Microsoft’s Surface. It’s from Apple! Still, if your goal is to try to make an iPad Pro into a MacBook, it’s not all the way there, yet.


  1. ” if your goal is to try to make an iPad Pro into a MacBook, it’s not all the way there, yet.”

    It will never happen until it have the on-board memory and storage of a MacBook, but when it does, it will be a MacBook

  2. The ultimate expression of this hybrid will still end up being a laptop OS with a removable iPad display, which is why it still isn’t quite there. The Surface was ahead of the technology, which is why it has always been clunky and inelegant (and Windows-infested). Kudos to them for jumping ahead and pushing the industry, but it will be Apple who will hopefully produce the best of both worlds.

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