(Pocket-lint) - Launching alongside Apple iPad Pro, the Magic Keyboard is a supped-up version of the company's Smart Keyboard Folio that has been available for a number of years for the company's top of the line iPads.
The new Magic Keyboard brings with it a couple of much-wanted features for those looking to replicate the laptop experience as best as possible.
Backlit keys, a trackpad, and an additional charging slot so you can charge your iPad Pro and use an accessory via the USB-C socket on the device itself, makes the Magic Keyboard a "pro" experience over the Keyboard Folio offering.
The standout design feature is the collection of magnets in back of the stand that allows you to attach the iPad Pro so it hovers over the keys. Strong enough to hold the iPad Pro in place even if you shake it, the design is reminiscent of the iMac, and just works.
One of the benefits of the new stand, which is stiff enough to hold the iPad in place for the right viewing angle, is that said angle is now better for working and better for video calls. We've found the Smart Keyboard Folio is either pointing to low or too high and this design allows for a happy middle ground.
As for whether it's "lappable"? Yes. As long as it's is close to you. go to far towards your knees and the weight of the screen tips it over and it will fall off.
Combine that with a keyboard that features an almost standard Apple keyboard layout (there's no escape key) and experience (including the new improved scissor mechanism) and you'll be easily fooled into believing you're using a MacBook. The keyboard is really nice to type on, although some will find it frustrating there are no shortcut keys to manage screen display, music and other functions.
That's thanks to not only a similar typing experience, but also the inclusion of a miniature trackpad found below the keys with a with physical click that makes using the new trackpad support feature a breeze. The trackpad is big enough for using on the go, but you will need to lift your finger at least once to get from one corner of the screen to the other. Apple hasn't opted for haptic click like its MacBook range just yet.
Using it is second nature and certainly considerably easier to use than using a separate mouse or trackpad to the side.
Initial concerns are that the keys are no longer covered in fabric suggesting they could be prone to dirt, and the new keyboard does add considerable weight to the experience.
Based on our kitchen scales (Apple doesn't give official weights for the Smart Keyboard Folio or the Magic Keyboard) the 12.9-inch Magic Keyboard weighs a hefty 707g. Add in the iPad and it's 1.354kg it total making it heavier than a 13-inch MacBook Air (1.29kg). Wow.
It's worth noting the keyboard's USB-C port is for charging only, but having it means the iPad's USB-C port is free to use for accessories. That's handy if you're in need of power but also need to get files off a USB thumb drive or camera at the same time.
Ultimately this is a very expensive addition to your iPad Pro that will give you the feeling that you're using a laptop. This is a Pro keyboard if you will and something that in many ways improves, but not overly so, on the Smart Keyboard Folio that is also available at a fraction of the cost.
If you're an iPad Pro owner mainly using the iPad Pro as a mobile laptop then this is certainly something you should be considering, if only to make the trackpad support easier to enjoy.