Future iPad Pro Magic Keyboard will use MacBook-like aluminum enclosure

Posted:
in iPad edited September 2023

The revamp of the Magic Keyboard will make the iPad Pro seem even more like a MacBook Pro, a report offers, with a switch to aluminum to the top of the case bringing it more in line with the MacBook design aesthetic.

Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro



Apple's update to the iPad Pro is expected to occur in early 2024, with the switch to OLED being the main talking point. However, Apple is keen to update the Magic Keyboard, a signature accessory for the product line.

Previous rumors said a change was on the way that would add a larger trackpad to the Magic Keyboard. In Sunday's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman offers more detail about the overhauled accessory.

As part of the redesign, Gurman claims the top case, namely the area around the keyboard, will use aluminum that matches recent Mac notebooks.

The change will also make the keyboard sturdier compared to previous incarnations, as well bring the entire assembly closer to the MacBook aesthetic in general. The exterior shell of the Magic Keyboard will use the same material as the current model.

As well as the shift to aluminum for some sections, the case will also have a USB-C port.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,422member
    Interesting how times have changed, from Apple criticizing the Surface Pro for being a "fridge / toaster", to making the iPad the Apple "fridge / toaster".  
    muthuk_vanalingamAlex1NFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 2 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,411member
    danvm said:
    Interesting how times have changed, from Apple criticizing the Surface Pro for being a "fridge / toaster", to making the iPad the Apple "fridge / toaster".  
    You could say the same thing about jumbo smartphones and mini tablets. But that’s what make science, technology, product marketing, and running big businesses so interesting and refreshing - you get to change your mind when new evidence, greater/broader insights, emerging trends, and consumer demand compels you to “think different.” This isn’t religion. 
    Alex1NFileMakerFellerchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,362member
    danvm said:
    Interesting how times have changed, from Apple criticizing the Surface Pro for being a "fridge / toaster", to making the iPad the Apple "fridge / toaster".  
    Apple has been building iPad's and accessory keyboards for 13 years, so I'm not seeing Apple as "hypocritical" for continuing to evolve the iPad platform.

    Meanwhile, the iPad is set to gain the M3, which does indeed give it potential capabilities matching MacBook Pro branding, even as a "fridge/toaster" that you describe it.
    edited September 2023 Alex1NFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,422member
    dewme said:
    danvm said:
    Interesting how times have changed, from Apple criticizing the Surface Pro for being a "fridge / toaster", to making the iPad the Apple "fridge / toaster".  
    You could say the same thing about jumbo smartphones and mini tablets. But that’s what make science, technology, product marketing, and running big businesses so interesting and refreshing - you get to change your mind when new evidence, greater/broader insights, emerging trends, and consumer demand compels you to “think different.” This isn’t religion. 
    I agree with you.  What is interesting is that, in this case, the "Think Different" you mentioned didn't came from Apple, but from the competition. Apple just followed what other companies did.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 5 of 11
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,422member
    tmay said:
    danvm said:
    Interesting how times have changed, from Apple criticizing the Surface Pro for being a "fridge / toaster", to making the iPad the Apple "fridge / toaster".  
    Apple has been building iPad's and accessory keyboards for 13 years, so I'm not seeing Apple as "hypocritical" for continuing to evolve the iPad platform.

    Meanwhile, the iPad is set to gain the M3, which does indeed give it potential capabilities matching MacBook Pro branding, even as a "fridge/toaster" that you describe it.
    I didn't describe the "toaster / fridge" device, it was Tim Cook.  At that time, I had a Surface Pro 4, and noticed the benefits of this type of device.  Now we see Apple with the type of device they were criticizing a few years ago.  

    And if you ask me, from a hardware POV, the iPad Pro with M1 has been very capable.  But iPadOS is a different story to use as a notebook replacement.  Like I said in a previous post, iPad is a better tablet, but the Surface Pro is a better device when you connect the keyboard. I would love to have a Surface Pro with a M2 / M3 SoC.  We'll have to wait and see what Qualcomm does with the Oryon processor.  
    edited September 2023 nubusAlex1N
  • Reply 6 of 11
    thttht Posts: 5,494member
    As part of the redesign, Gurman claims the top case, namely the area around the keyboard, will use aluminum that matches recent Mac notebooks. The change will also make the keyboard sturdier compared to previous incarnations, as well bring the entire assembly closer to the MacBook aesthetic in general. The exterior shell of the Magic Keyboard will use the same material as the current model. 
    Totally understand wanting the keyboard deck to be metal instead of plastic, rubber or fabric. Palm and finger oils will eventually deteriorate them. 

    How the aluminum top deck interfaces with the current rubber, synthetic material of the Magic Keyboard? Hmm? How? Compressed fit? Sewn in with laser drilled holes in the aluminum? Interior lip with glue? Bolts?

    And, the synthetic soft material on the outside deteriorates along the corners after a few years of use. It needs to be plastic or aluminum. 

    Odd design decisions in the rumor. 

    My big wish is still a Smart Connector with TB/USB data. A Magic Keyboard could then have a multitude of ports, and it should have had batteries as counterweights instead of plain on plates of metal as ballast. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Just give the MacBooks a touchscreen already. 
  • Reply 8 of 11
    thttht Posts: 5,494member
    Just give the MacBooks a touchscreen already. 
    They can I suppose. To encourage Mac apps to be more touch accessible and therefore have more transportable UIs across their platforms. 

    But, I think hand and eye tracking would be the better option, and they should be included in Macs, iPads and iPhones. 

    Personally, I don’t like the Magic Keyboard for the iPad. It’s a necessary accessory for a good chunk of folks, but I would prefer Apple put all their efforts into advancing the iPad as a touch tablet with equal features to macOS. 
    williamlondon9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,411member
    danvm said:
    dewme said:
    danvm said:
    Interesting how times have changed, from Apple criticizing the Surface Pro for being a "fridge / toaster", to making the iPad the Apple "fridge / toaster".  
    You could say the same thing about jumbo smartphones and mini tablets. But that’s what make science, technology, product marketing, and running big businesses so interesting and refreshing - you get to change your mind when new evidence, greater/broader insights, emerging trends, and consumer demand compels you to “think different.” This isn’t religion. 
    I agree with you.  What is interesting is that, in this case, the "Think Different" you mentioned didn't came from Apple, but from the competition. Apple just followed what other companies did.
    “Think Different” also allows you to put aside dogma, popular assumptions, and conventional approaches to solving existing problems. It’s not always about going into uncharted territory and discovering new things. It can also be about traversing through previously charted territory with a different mindset and finding value in things that are already there, but undervalued, overlooked, or implemented poorly or in a suboptimal manner. It’s also about never assuming that a problem has been completely solved and you can close the door and no longer have to think about it. 

    The iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirTag are all examples of product types that were introduced into markets that already had products that purported to solve the same problems that Apple set out to solve with their design approaches. Apple succeeded, or greatly exceeded what the others had done, by breaking with convention, pushing aside assumptions, and taking a system level view of the problem to be solved. “Think Different” is about leaving the door open for new approaches and new ideas to enter.

    Music players didn’t have to be built around ripping CDs and downloading pirated music when individual songs, only the ones you liked, could be purchased for less than a dollar with the full blessing of the content owners. Smart phones with texting as a front line feature didn’t need to have physical keyboards. Web browsers on smart phones didn’t have to be austere stripped-down versions of their desktop counterparts. A tablet device could actually be little more than a much larger version of the vendor’s smartphone and still possess sufficient appeal to attract millions of new buyers. A watch didn’t have to run for weeks on a single charge to be accepted. An inexpensive tracking tag lacking GPS could be used beyond the limitations of Bluetooth.

    I have no doubt that Apple’s competitors can be as inventive and as innovative as Apple, especially when it comes to new product design, new features, and creating new markets. Apple does not and will never have exclusivity on having all of the very smart people on their team. But in some cases some of those competitors with great ideas and impressive innovations still got hamstrung by their conventional thinking and assumptions that were instilled in their perspectives by excessive inward focused thinking, listening to so-called market experts and pundits, moved on to other things, or simply getting lazy and complacent once the money started rolling in and the cash cows were happily grazing in the field. They closed the door and assumed that the problem was solved and required little or no new thought. Those are all behaviors that are the antithesis of “Think Different.”  
    edited September 2023 FileMakerFellerroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,422member
    dewme said:
    danvm said:
    dewme said:
    danvm said:
    Interesting how times have changed, from Apple criticizing the Surface Pro for being a "fridge / toaster", to making the iPad the Apple "fridge / toaster".  
    You could say the same thing about jumbo smartphones and mini tablets. But that’s what make science, technology, product marketing, and running big businesses so interesting and refreshing - you get to change your mind when new evidence, greater/broader insights, emerging trends, and consumer demand compels you to “think different.” This isn’t religion. 
    I agree with you.  What is interesting is that, in this case, the "Think Different" you mentioned didn't came from Apple, but from the competition. Apple just followed what other companies did.
    “Think Different” also allows you to put aside dogma, popular assumptions, and conventional approaches to solving existing problems. It’s not always about going into uncharted territory and discovering new things. It can also be about traversing through previously charted territory with a different mindset and finding value in things that are already there, but undervalued, overlooked, or implemented poorly or in a suboptimal manner. It’s also about never assuming that a problem has been completely solved and you can close the door and no longer have to think about it. 

    The iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirTag are all examples of product types that were introduced into markets that already had products that purported to solve the same problems that Apple set out to solve with their design approaches. Apple succeeded, or greatly exceeded what the others had done, by breaking with convention, pushing aside assumptions, and taking a system level view of the problem to be solved. “Think Different” is about leaving the door open for new approaches and new ideas to enter.

    Music players didn’t have to be built around ripping CDs and downloading pirated music when individual songs, only the ones you liked, could be purchased for less than a dollar with the full blessing of the content owners. Smart phones with texting as a front line feature didn’t need to have physical keyboards. Web browsers on smart phones didn’t have to be austere stripped-down versions of their desktop counterparts. A tablet device could actually be little more than a much larger version of the vendor’s smartphone and still possess sufficient appeal to attract millions of new buyers. A watch didn’t have to run for weeks on a single charge to be accepted. An inexpensive tracking tag lacking GPS could be used beyond the limitations of Bluetooth.

    I have no doubt that Apple’s competitors can be as inventive and as innovative as Apple, especially when it comes to new product design, new features, and creating new markets. Apple does not and will never have exclusivity on having all of the very smart people on their team. But in some cases some of those competitors with great ideas and impressive innovations still got hamstrung by their conventional thinking and assumptions that were instilled in their perspectives by excessive inward focused thinking, listening to so-called market experts and pundits, moved on to other things, or simply getting lazy and complacent once the money started rolling in and the cash cows were happily grazing in the field. They closed the door and assumed that the problem was solved and required little or no new thought. Those are all behaviors that are the antithesis of “Think Different.”  
    Again, I agree with your comment and the examples you gave.  But if you noticed, in my post I said, "In this case...", talking specifically about the toaster / fridge device.  In you post you said, “Think Different” is about leaving the door open for new approaches and new ideas to enter.".  At that time, Apple didn't do that.  They closed the door and criticized 2-in-1 devices and touchscreen notebooks.  Maybe they experienced what you describe, "got hamstrung by their conventional thinking and assumptions that were instilled in their perspectives by excessive inward focused thinking, listening to so-called market experts and pundits, moved on to other things, or simply getting lazy and complacent once the money started rolling in and the cash cows were happily grazing in the field".  

    It looks like they found out they were wrong and did the right thing by copying the competition.  Now customers have the option of using iPads as tablets or as 2-in-1 devices, same as the Surface Pro. If you ask me, looks like customers won. 

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,328member
    As someone who has used a Surface Pro as well as an iPad Pro, both are excellent machines … but for the money, the iPad Pro is the better value for me, even adding the cost of the Magic Keyboard.

    I’m writing this now on my 11-inch iPad Pro, and I got a refurb Magic Keyboard from Apple (no difference from new at all), and I use it for at least four hours every single day. I love the floating design and the Smart Connector, I would be a bit dismayed if the new case had a USB-C port.

    I agree with those who have said that the keyboard area (aka top case) being aluminum would be a benefit for longevity and keeping it cleaner, but what would really be nice is if they could transplant the 14-inch MBP’s no-openings keyboard to the Magic Keyboard … I personally would love that.

    For me, I find myself far more productive and creative when using Apple products than I am using Windows products. Again, the Surface Pro is one of Microsoft’s absolute best products, but properly spec’d for best Windows use the Surface Pro 9 costs $3K+ where I live, where for under $2K I can have a better (for me) experience with my little iPad Pro and go-anywhere Magic Keyboard, makes it a no-brainer.
    dewme
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