pigfender wrote: For typing, I actually really like the Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro. A surprisingly pleasurable experience, and much better (for me) than their current laptop keyboards.
Well, based on pigfender’s comment, those of other users, and Target’s recent half price sale on the 10.5” iPad Pro smart keyboard, I picked one up, intending to try it out for a week or so and return if it didn’t work out. I’m going to keep it — but for the most part, not really for Scrivening.
This is such a polarizing keyboard! I realize that keyboard preferences are notoriously idiosyncratic, but it seems like most commenters and reviewers I’ve seen either love it or loathe it. Count me in the former camp. It has a solid feel that I really like. The fabric is a little slippery but no prob typing so far. I agree with the criticisms about lack of backlighting and function keys and adjustable angles, but none of those are really important in my use.
My biggest worry was whether it’d work in my lap — a major complaint of many users. But for me, it’s surprisingly stable, either when I use my lapdesk or just on my thighs. I don’t mind the low travel — it’s better in that regard than my logitech keys to go, whose fabric covering is beginning to detach from the keys. It’s a bit noisier than that one, but not enough to disturb anyone in a library.
I’m actually using it with my 9.7” ipad pro, so the cover extends a bit beyond the ipad’s edges, but that doesn’t seem to affect my use, and the bigger, wider spaced keys compared to the smart cover I tried out for the 9.7 in ipad pro make a big difference. Some buyers apparently got models that didn’t sit flush on a desk, but mine does.
The real advantages are portability (thin and light) and easy detachability. I’ve realized that there’s no ideal keyboard for the iPad because of its flexibility. If I’m doing extended Scrivening or other typing, I don’t want to use the Smart Keyboard or a Brydge or even a laptop keyboard, because of the danger of ‘laptop neck.’ In that case, I mount the ipad on a stand that brings it to eye level and use my excellent Apple Wireless bluetooth keyboard on my desk. When I’m just reading on the iPad, which is most of my use, I use a yohann stand or just hold it in my hands.
But when I’m just banging out a quick email or, ahem, forum post, or editing a document or typing in notes at the library or a meeting or cafe or on the train, this Smart Keyboard works a treat. It’s easier to haul around than my wireless keyboard and origami case, easy to fold back or detach when not using it. This ability to easily switch contexts makes the ipad pro and smart keyboard combo a winner for my use, because when I’m not Scrivening , I’m frequently shifting between reading and writing short items .
I can’t speak to its durability yet, and I’m guessing that the next version of iOS will introduce mouse/trackpad support, and that therefore new ipad keyboards with trackpads won’t be far behind, so maybe that’s why the big sale discount, which brings the price down to almost reasonable. But it will work with the new ipad Air, which is probably my next ipad as the new pros are just too pricey. I’m keeping it.