‘Goodbye to Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio’

Chris Welch, The Verge:

Then there was the fact that the folio keyboard was so damn light. It kept the iPad Pro feeling like an iPad in my bag. That has never, ever been the case with a Magic Keyboard attached. When it goes on, you’ve entered MacBook weight territory. I’m not saying there’s any problem with that, but with the Smart Keyboard Folio, there was something special about toting around such a powerful combo that always stayed so airy on my back.

At best, Apple is being somewhat stubborn in assuming that every iPad Pro buyer wants the tablet to feel like a laptop (and be a similar weight to one) whenever a keyboard is attached, which is what the Magic Keyboard gets you. If you want to view it with more pessimism, the company is intentionally doing away with what was a compelling, more affordable accessory — one that was easy to take anywhere — in hopes that more people will cave and fork over $300 for the only first-party keyboard that’s available for the new Pro.

I suspect if it had been more popular, Apple would have made new ones for the new iPads. But I know Welch is not alone in his affinity for it. The textile-covered keyboard was far from ideal for typing feel, but the whole point of the Smart Keyboard Folio was to be a “good enough” keyboard when you need it — and the nature of that sort of keyboard made it perfect for use in a kitchen, with wet or dirty fingers. It was a keyboard cover you could just leave on your iPad all the time — and the Magic Keyboard isn’t that.

Thursday, 9 May 2024