Here are five of the best iPad-compatible keyboards for going back to school

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in iPad
Apple likes to tout the iPad as a laptop replacement, and ideal for students, but let's face it: to make that halfway realistic, especially for typing up projects and notes, you need a keyboard. These are some of the better options out there.

Logi K780 keyboard

Logitech Slim Folio for 9.7-inch iPad

If you've got a 2017 or 2018 "budget" iPad, the Slim Folio ($99.99) case serves as protection and a stand as well. You may want both, especially if you plan to jam your iPad into a crowded backpack.

Logi Slim Folio for iPad


Its keyboard can operate for up to four years on a coin battery, in part because it engages and disengages automatically based on whether your iPad is in typing position. Its layout is closer to that of a laptop, making it more comfortable, and iOS-specific shortcuts make it easy to do things like return to the homescreen.

Recent versions of the case have an Apple Pencil holder if you decide to spring for that stylus.

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Keyboard

Keyboard cases are often convenient, but do have drawbacks, above all the risk that if you decide to upgrade your iPad you may be left with a useless accessory. The K780 ($79.99) is a detached, multi-platform keyboard with a slot for propping up devices like iPads.

Logi K780 keyboard


It's also a full-size, desktop-style keyboard that nevertheless offers iOS-compatible shortcuts. More importantly you can switch between three devices on the fly, for example switching from your iPad to your Windows desktop, saving cash on peripherals. Special software called Logitech Flow lets you copy and paste files from one system to another.

Anker Ultra Compact Slim Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard

Anker Bluetooth keyboard


If you've already got any stand and/or case issues solved, Anker makes a barebones Bluetooth keyboard ($23.99). The accessory uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery said to last for six months at a time, and it can be used with all major platforms, though switching is more complicated than something like the K780.

Brydge (for iPad Pro & 9.7-inch iPad)

The goal of Brydge's keyboards is to create a "MacBook-like" experience, with aluminum, backlighting, and even matching colors. iPads slip into special hinges that allow them to fold like a MacBook lid.

Brydge keyboard for 2018 iPad


The company makes versions for the 10.5- ($129.99) and 12.9-inch Pro ($149.99), as well as the 2018 basic iPad ($99.99).

ZAGG Rugged Messenger for 9.7-inch iPad

Some people simply can't afford to have their iPad break. The Rugged Messenger ($99.99) can theoretically protect iPads from drops over 6 feet, and has a snap-on screen protector to boot, though don't count on that saving your iPad if it lands face-first.

ZAGG Rugged Messenger for iPad


The keyboard component can connect to two devices simultaneously and flip between them with a quick toggle. Its rechargeable battery last up two years between charges, thanks again to a function that puts the keyboard asleep when it's not in use.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 676member
    Yes, but how many of these can get through a sentence without injecting key repeats or missing keys?*
    *Very disatified customer.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Do any of them use the smart connector?
  • Reply 3 of 8
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,566member
    brakken said:
    Yes, but how many of these can get through a sentence without injecting key repeats or missing keys?*
    *Very disatified customer.
    I have not had a single problem with the Logitech Slim Folio.
    dewme
  • Reply 4 of 8
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,566member
    Do any of them use the smart connector?
    Why? Does the smart connector do anything that bluetooth can't?
  • Reply 5 of 8
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,566member
    I found the Logitech Slim Folio to be an excellent keyboard -- at least for the super mobile, super thin variety with almost no key travel.   It also is a sturdy protector of the iPad.  But, it does add very noticeable bulk and weight to the iPad.

    But, I can see where the desktop type keyboards would be really nice for a kid doing homework.  Particularly if he knows how to "touch type".

    I think Apple should release a bluetooth version of its current portable case/keyboard that it sells as an accessory for its iPad Pro.  It is much thinner and lighter than the Logitech Slim Folio (although I doubt if it protects as well) -- which fits with the ultra portability of the iPad.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    brakken said:
    Yes, but how many of these can get through a sentence without injecting key repeats or missing keys?*
    *Very disatified customer.
    I have not had a single problem with the Logitech Slim Folio.
    I have Logitech Type+, which is the predecessor to the Logitech Slim Folio, for iPad Air2. I love it for all the reasons in the article (and it also uses Micro USB to charge, but have only charged it 4 times in 3 years!). HOWEVER, the keyboard does leave scrape marks on the iPad screen after a while - I have already had the iPad screen being replaced once. ANY keyboard case with hard keys will have this problem, especially when dust and stuff gets on the keys and when you stuff it into your busy bag. If you really care about your iPad, get the habit of putting a thin cleaning cloth on top of the keyboard before you close it!
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 8
    Do any of them use the smart connector?
    Why? Does the smart connector do anything that bluetooth can't?
    1) BT can be glitchy, and there can a response lag when typing;
    2) The keyboard needs to always be charged;
    3) The use of a smart connector frees up the iPad's BT to be connected to some other device (e.g., a remote if presenting with Keynote);
    4) All that aside, why do you think Apple bothered with a smart connector? They could just have used BT instead?
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 8 of 8
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,566member
    Do any of them use the smart connector?
    Why? Does the smart connector do anything that bluetooth can't?
    1) BT can be glitchy, and there can a response lag when typing;
    2) The keyboard needs to always be charged;
    3) The use of a smart connector frees up the iPad's BT to be connected to some other device (e.g., a remote if presenting with Keynote);
    4) All that aside, why do you think Apple bothered with a smart connector? They could just have used BT instead?
    1)  What era are you living in?
    2)  Yep!  It's terrible -- an new watch battery every 4 years!   Horrible!
    3)  No impact at all for most
    4)  I can't imagine why Apple bothered.   That's why I asked the question.   Since you couldn't answer the quesiton, it suggests that Apple screwed this one up.
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