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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.