The best tablet keyboards can transform your device into a mini laptop so you can work wherever you happen to be. It's a setup that works particularly well if you're a creative who spends a lot of time travelling, and makes replying to emails, preparing invoices and carrying out everyday admin far easier than typing on a touchscreen.
If you've already got one of the best tablets with a stylus and want to add one of these accessories, there are two main types of tablet keyboard to consider: Bluetooth devices, and ones that connect directly using pin connectors. Bluetooth keyboards can be used with pretty much any device, but they require batteries that have to be recharged or replaced. Keyboards that use pins are only compatible with a specific tablet model, but without batteries, they are slimmer and lighter than their Bluetooth counterparts.
When you're choosing a tablet keyboard, it's worth looking out for one with a built-in trackpad, which will make navigation feel more natural. Keyboards that double as stands are also a good choice, holding your tablet at a comfortable viewing angle while you type.
Here, we've rounded up the very best tablet keyboards for every tablet (whether it's running iPadOS, Windows or Android), with options for every budget.
The Apple Smart Keyboard for iPad connects to your tablet using Apple's proprietary Smart Connector, so you can simply snap it into place and start typing (there's no need to spend time pairing via Bluetooth). It works with the iPad 10.2 (2019), iPad Air (2019) and iPad Pro 10.5 (2019), and although it lacks a trackpad, it provides a full-sized keyboard for comfortable typing while adding barely any bulk or weight.
The Smart Keyboard doubles as a thin, light cover for your tablet, but it won't protect the back of the device, so it's worth investing in a proper case as well to avoid scuffs and scratches. A great choice for frequent travellers who want to get more done on public transport and in shared workspaces.
The Apple Smart Keyboard Folio is a seriously expensive piece of kit, but if you've already invested heavily in an iPad Pro for your creative work then the extra cost could be easy to justify - particularly as it'll help you get more value from your tablet. The Smart Keyboard Folio won't spoil your iPad Pro's looks thanks to its super thin design, and connecting it is a simple matter of bringing it close to your tablet's Smart Connector and letting the magnets do the work.
Unlike the standard Smart Keyboard above, this one protects both sides of your tablet so there's no need for a separate cover. It's a shame that it lacks a trackpad at this price point, but it does hold your tablet at a convenient working angle. This particular Smart Keyboard Folio is designed for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but a version for the 11-inch iPad Pro is also available.
Built from premium materials, the Microsoft Surface Pro Signature Type Cover works hard to justify its price. The glass trackpad is a particularly welcome addition, and feels pleasingly smooth under your fingertips. This top-end tablet keyboard also features mechanical keys, which many designers find more pleasant to type on than spongy switches, and the whole thing is finished with either microfiber or Alcantara (a stain-resistant fabric often used in car interiors).
There are Windows function buttons built in too, plus media keys. It's a shame that Microsoft Surface tablets don't come with Type Covers as standard, as they make using Windows applications feel much more natural. If you own a Surface Pro, it's a must-have.
The Surface Go is essentially a miniature Surface Pro, so it comes as no surprise that the Microsoft Surface Go Signature Type Cover is a smaller version of the keyboard above. It packs all of the same features as its larger counterpart, including a smooth glass trackpad for accurate navigation, a full set of function keys, and media buttons. We also particularly like the backlighting, which makes it easier to use if you need to catch up on client emails last thing before bed.
The only drawback (other than its rather steep price) is the fact that its mechanical keys can be a little on the noisy side, and might prove distracting if you're working anywhere particularly quiet. In a busy co-working space, you'll be fine.
If your tablet doesn't have a proprietary keyboard cover, or your budget won't stretch to Microsoft or Apple's own peripherals, the Logitech Universal Folio could be the perfect solution. Although it's not the most stylish keyboard around, it's very versatile, working with any 9-10in tablet that supports Bluetooth 4, and holding it in place securely with adjustable corner fastenings. It's splash-proof too, in case of coffee spillages while you're preparing pitches on the train.
The Logitech Universal Folio lacks a trackpad, but you do get dedicated function buttons, which help you work more effectively and avoid having to memorize awkward keyboard shortcuts. It runs on coin cell batteries, which Logitech says will last two years, but can't be recharged once they run down.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Thin Keyboard is another premium tablet keyboard that uses a simple pin connection to avoid tricky Bluetooth pairing. It comes in three colors (black, silver and red), and you can even choose to have Lenovo's signature TrackPoint nestled among the blacklit keys in addition to the large trackpad that supports multi-touch gestures. It supports three keyboard positions too, so you can choose the most comfortable option whether you're working at a cafe, on your lap, or presenting to a client.
It carries a premium price tag, but if you have a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 tablet then it'll be well worth the investment, effectively putting a full ThinkPad laptop at your disposal.
True to its name, the Microsoft Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard can connect to virtually anything, including PCs, Macs, phones, tablets and smart TVs, making it an ideal travelling companion. Once it's set up, simply opening the keyboard will put it in pairing mode so it can connect to your tablet automatically, and closing it will shut it down again to conserve battery power (it can be recharged when flat).
Any hinge is a potential weak point with regular use, but Microsoft's heritage in PC peripherals shines through and this keyboard doesn't flex in use like some of the cheaply made copies available on Amazon. If you want a folding keyboard, this is our top recommendation.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Book Cover Keyboard borrows several design cues from Microsoft's Surface Type Covers. It links to your tablet via a magnetic pin connector, so you can start typing immediately, and browsing the web with the large trackpad. It also offers a full set of function keys for quick access to common tasks, plus a holder for the Samsung Galaxy S-Pen, if you have one.
Unlike some folio keyboards, this one has a magnetic closure to keep your tablet's screen protected in your bag. It's a shame that the materials aren't quite as luxurious as Microsoft's (we're talking plastic rather than Alcantara and glass), but this is nevertheless a great addition to your Tab that'll let you leave your laptop at home for light work.
The Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard works with PC, Mac, Chrome OS, Android and iOS, and connects via either Bluetooth or Logitech Unifying Receiver (a tiny USB device that's included with the keyboard).
There's a lot to like about this versatile keyboard. It features a non-slip cradle for your tablet, hotkeys for switching between apps, and you a full number pad. It's powered by two pre-installed AAA batteries that are rated for three years, but can be easily replaced when necessary.
If you're thinking of upgrading your tablet soon or want something that'll work well with your phone too, the K780 is a great choice. It's whisper quiet too, though you may prefer the more solid feeling of mechanical keys.