While Apple’s own Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro has been nearly impossible to find since the device’s launch last week, Logitech has filled in the gap for those who want an iPad Pro Smart Connector keyboard now. Create iPad Pro Keyboard Case ($150) is the first third-party accessory to dock with iPad Pro’s Smart Connector, which allows accessories and the iPad Pro to transfer both data and power to each other — no Bluetooth or wires necessary. Create features a full-sized keyboard, and as a case, it provides sleep/wake and volume button coverage. Unlike Apple’s Smart Keyboard, Create features backlit keys and comes in a variety of colors.
When Create is connected to an iPad Pro, the total weight is 3.17 pounds — more than a current MacBook or MacBook Air, and closer to 13” MacBook Pro weight. That’s heavy, and it might be too heavy for some users to even consider. Those willing to look past the weight will find a nice, solid feel to the rest of Create. Full-sized keys — including a row of shortcut keys — are contained within a mostly metal keyboard area. The outside of the case is covered in a nice, textured, water-repellent fabric, and there are holes to leave all four speakers unobstructed.
Inserting the iPad Pro in Create seems a bit more frustrating than it needs to be. You have to push the iPad Pro into half of the frame, and while it works fine once installed correctly, there were a few times where we were a bit off in the installation. Once installed, Create can easily dock into typing position, or it can be set into a viewing angle — while we’re glad Logitech gave us a viewing option here, the iPad is nearly flat in this angle, making it almost pointless.
Create can indeed be used in a lap, and that’s where its weight works to its benefit. The iPad Pro will wobble slightly if you move around enough, but the Smart Connector and typing angle keep everything secure. The keyboard itself is quite good. While we’d put the overall feel as a step below a MacBook, it’s possible to type comfortably and accurately for a long period of time on Create’s adjustable backlit keys. We also appreciate the shortcut bar — both those shortcuts (for brightness, search, volume, playback, and more) and the keyboard shortcuts (bold, italics, etc.) all work as expected. We’re not sure how other iPad Pro keyboards will differ yet, but Create sets a nice bar for a good typing experience.
The only strange issue we’ve had with Create during days of use is that on one occasion, the iPad Pro prompted us to say the accessory wasn’t supported. We restarted the iPad and tried again, and it worked fine, and it hasn’t given us any issues since. Perhaps it was a minor hiccup, but it’s something worth noting, in case it becomes a bigger issue down the road. Logitech does offer a one-year limited hardware warranty with Create.
Create is more expensive than most — though not all — Bluetooth keyboards that have been available for iPads in the past, but we see Smart Connector keyboards as a new thing entirely. iPad Pro users who are interested in an external keyboard are likely going to want a Smart Connector keyboard, and for good reason — it’s a smart, easy, integrated option that doesn’t require recharging. Create isn’t an absolutely perfect first effort, but if you’re looking for a solid solution now that allows for comfortable typing on iPad Pro, Logitech’s keyboard case is a good option.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad Pro