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The best iPad keyboards in 2021

Best iPad keyboards: a woman using an iPad Pro with Apple's Magic Keyboard at a table outside
(Image credit: Apple)

The best iPad keyboards can transform your tablet into a fully functioning alternative to a laptop, especially if you have one of Apple's latest models, like the 9th generation iPad or the 5th generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Add in the excellent Apple Pencil, and you've got a complete machine for creative work of all kinds as well as for general work and browsing.

Choosing a keyboard for the iPad isn't always straightforward, however. You need to decide whether you want a case with an integrated keyboard or whether a standalone will do the job? And what about a trackpad too and mechanical keyboard switches? Our guide below aims to help you decide We'll round up the best iPad keyboards money can buy, and outline the advantages and disadvantages of each. Whatever your needs, you'll find the best iPad keyboard for you.

If you’ve not yet bought an iPad and want to get some money off, don’t forget to check our round-up of the best iPad deals (and with Black Friday approaching, be sure to check our best Black Friday iPad deals). Already got your iPad? Then see our guides to the best iPad stands, the best iPad stylus and the best deals on smart keyboards for iPad.

The best iPad keyboards in 2021

Best iPad keyboards: The Logitech Combo Touch iPad keyboard caseCB

(Image credit: Logitech)

01. Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard Case

The best iPad keyboard case overall

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: Yes
Backlit keyboard?: Yes
iPad connectivity: Smart Connector
Weight: 1.72lbs
Reasons to buy
+Detachable keyboard+Tap-anywhere trackpad
Reasons to avoid
-Smart Connector drains battery-Fairly heavy

Want the best iPad case you can get? Then look no further than Logitech’s Combo Touch. This two-in-one case has a clever detachable keyboard, which offers great flexibility. the keyboard's great and works with Apple’s Smart Connector for super-fast connectivity. The trackpad is also fantastic. It lets you tap anywhere, so there’s no “dead zone” at the top.

Better still, Logitech does versions of the Combo Touch for the iPad Pro (in both sizes), the iPad Air, the entry-level iPad, and older versions of the iPad Air and iPad Pro. That makes this the best iPad keyboard case for pretty much every iPad.

The Brydge 12.9 MAX+ iPad Pro keyboard caseCB endorsed

(Image credit: Brydge)

02. Brydge 12.9 MAX+

The best iPad Pro keyboard case with a massive trackpad

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: Yes
Backlit keyboard?: Yes
iPad connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Weight: 2.1lbs
Reasons to buy
+Huge trackpad+Full keyboard experience
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Brydge’s 12.9 MAX+ has one BIG selling point, and that's its really massive trackpad. It’s far larger than the trackpad on Apple’s own Magic Keyboard, or on any other iPad keyboard we've seen for that matter. This lets you take full advantage of iPadOS’s gesture controls without ever bumping up against the keys.

Speaking of the keys, these are comfy, springy, and they're backlit. You get a full row of media keys (missing from Apple’s own keyboard cases) to help with video playback and brightness adjustments. This iPad Pro keyboard case's aluminium body and magnetic connection complete the premium, high-grade feel – perfect for the Pro.

The Apple Magic Keyboard for the 11-inch iPad ProCB endorsed

(Image credit: Apple)

03. Apple Magic Keyboard (11-inch)

The best keyboard case for the iPad Air

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: Yes
Backlit keyboard?: Yes
iPad connectivity: Smart Connector
Weight: 1.3lbs
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant keyboard and trackpad+Premium design
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-No iPad side protection

Apple’s Magic Keyboard costs a pretty penny, but it comes with some great features that you won't find on other iPad keyboards. For instance, it has a magnetic “floating cantilever” design that allows you to adjust the viewing angle with ease. There’s a built-in USB-C port to charge the case while keeping your iPad’s own port free, and it uses Apple’s superb Magic Keyboard and trackpad combo for a premium experience.

There’s also a version of this keyboard case for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that starts at an eye-watering $349. It’s expensive, for sure, but you get a great product for your money.

The Brydge Pro+ iPad keyboard case

(Image credit: Brydge)

04. Brydge Pro+ (12.9-inch)

A top quality iPad Pro keyboard case with plenty of features

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: Yes
Backlit keyboard?: Yes
iPad connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Weight: 1.51lbs
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy aluminum build quality+Adjustable backlight
Reasons to avoid
-Smaller trackpad-No side protection

Brydge’s 12.9 MAX+ is a fantastic iPad keyboard case, but if you find that option too pricey, this more affordable Brydge Pro+ is a great alternative. It pares things back a little, but you still get a full keyboard with media keys, solid aluminium construction, generous battery life, and adjustable backlit keys. 

The trackpad is a little smaller than the one on the 12.9 MAX+, but it’s still a decent size, and that's probably the only difference you'll really notice. If you don’t need a huge trackpad, the Brydge Pro+ is a very sound option.

The Logitech K480 iPad keyboard

(Image credit: Logitech)

05. Logitech K480

The best Bluetooth iPad keyboard at a great price

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: No
Backlit keyboard?: No
iPad connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0
Weight: 1.8lbs
Reasons to buy
+Very affordable+Connects three devices simultaneously
Reasons to avoid
-No trackpad-Not a case

For a great cheaper iPad keyboard, it’s hard to beat Logitech’s K480 keyboard. It doesn't provide a case like the models above, but its built-in cradle keeps your iPad upright in a laptop-esque setup. You get Logitech’s excellent typing experience, with soft, spacious keys that never feel too cramped or compact.

The K480 goes beyond a simple iPad keyboard, though – you can actually connect it to three devices at once and switch between them using a handy dial. It’s cross-platform, too, so it works with iPadOS, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, and Chrome OS. With up to 24 months of battery life, it’ll keep going as long as you need it.

The ZAGG Pro Keys with Trackpad iPad keyboard case

(Image credit: ZAGG)

06. ZAGG Pro Keys with Trackpad

A lightweight case with added Apple Pencil protection

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: Yes
Backlit keyboard?: Yes
iPad connectivity: Bluetooth
Weight: 1lb
Reasons to buy
+Detachable keyboard+Lots of protection
Reasons to avoid
-Small trackpad-Plastic body

The Apple Pencil is a key accessory for the iPad, especially for creatives, but surprisingly, a lot of the best iPad keyboard cases don’t take it into account. The ZAGG Pro Keys with Trackpad sets that right with a built-in slot to hold the Apple Pencil on the side of the case. With the case closed, the Pencil is protected by a wrap-around flap that keeps it in place.

This iPad case isn't a one-trick pony, however. It offers all-over protection for your iPad, which can be detached from the keyboard when you're on the go. The backlit keyboard itself is comfortable and can be paired with two devices at the same time. Note that the Zagg Pro Keys keyboard is available for the 10.2in and 10.9in iPads, the 11in iPad Pro and the 12.9in Ipad Pro (choose your device in the options provided), but only the 10.2in and 10.9in models are available with a trackpad.

The Keychron K8 keyboard

(Image credit: Keychron)

07. Keychron K8 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

The best iPad keyboard for serious typists and productivity enthusiasts

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: No
Backlit keyboard?: Yes
iPad connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1
Weight: 1.63lbs
Reasons to buy
+Mechanical keyboard switches+Connects to four devices
Reasons to avoid
-No trackpad-Not a case

If you type a lot and want to work at your most productive, a mechanical keyboard can be a joy thanks to the superb feeling on every press. The Keychron K8 brings this possibility to the iPad. It can connect to four devices at once (three over Bluetooth 5.1 and one with its bundled USB-C cable) and comes in numerous size and language variants.

Of course, it’s not a case so you miss out on some of the benefit of protection for your device. However, if you spend all day typing and don’t want to lose out on your iPad, the Keychron K8 is a great choice.

The Logitech Slim Folio iPad keyboard case

(Image credit: Logitech)

08. Logitech Slim Folio

The best keyboard for the iPad (8th or 9th generation)

Specifications
Multi-touch trackpad?: No
Backlit keyboard?: No
iPad connectivity: Bluetooth LE
Weight: 1.09lbs
Reasons to buy
+Good protection+Quality keyboard with media keys
Reasons to avoid
-No trackpad-Plastic body

The 9th generation iPad is a compact, lightweight device, so you don’t want to lose all that by getting a keyboard case that adds too much bulk. Logitech’s Slim Folio case, though, gives you the functionality of a keyboard while maintaining that portable edge.

It’s also one of the few iPad keyboard cases too offer all-over protection for your iPad and a slot for an Apple Pencil, keeping everything safe and secure. It doesn’t have a trackpad, but the keyboard is great for typing up quick notes on the fly.

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Alex Blake

Alex Blake is a freelance tech journalist who writes for Creative Bloq, TechRadar, Digital Trends, and others. Before going freelance he was commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine, focusing on the world of Apple products. His interests include web design, typography, and video games.