In my initial article about the new iPad Pro where I decided to switch from the 10.5" to the 12.9", I mentioned how I really liked the Smart Keyboard on the smaller one but not on the larger one. I ended up returning the larger Smart Keyboard mainly because of how floppy it was when in cover mode.
I ended up buying a Bluetooth keyboard that can easily switch between multiple devices so that my wife and I could both use it, since neither of us expected to be using it much. The problem is, this keyboard is bulky enough that I just never take it anywhere. There are single-device solutions that would be much less bulky, but even then I discovered that as someone who doesn't carry a bag on a daily basis, I'd probably never be likely to have it with me when I need it.
So I started looking at other options. It turns out there aren't a lot of options that use the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro, and I was not willing to use a Bluetooth solution if I was getting a keyboard cover. I've used those in the past with other iPads, and they're OK, but there's always a connection delay that you don't get with the Smart Connector.
Wirecutter says that the Apple Smart Keyboard is the best keyboard "case" for the iPad so far, and after looking at the options available, I decided to go ahead and get the Smart Keyboard again.
It's no surprise that the only keyboard cases I found for the 12.9" iPad Pro that actually use the smart connector are from Logitech. I'll briefly cover these, so you have an idea of why I rejected them for my purposes. There are two options for the 12.9" iPad Pro: the Create, and the Slim Combo.
The Create is designed for someone who really wants to use the iPad as a laptop replacement and nothing else. The keyboard can be folded back behind the iPad, but it is not removable unless you completely remove the iPad from the case. As someone who uses a 12.9" iPad and a 2016 13" MacBook Pro, I don't want a case that makes my iPad bulkier than my laptop, and makes it harder to use it in non-keyboard ways. The keyboard itself seems quite nice, so if that is the kind of case you're looking for this might be the one for you.
The Slim Combo has some features that made me really want to like it:
The Slim Combo has one key downside, however: it's not slim.
The case portion of the Slim Combo has a very thick lip around it. I assume this is designed to keep the keyboard keys from marking up the screen, but there must be a better way to do it. This makes the case much thicker than is optimal for such a device. 1
So for the 12.9" iPad Pro, I recommend the Apple Smart Keyboard with some reservations.
The Apple Smart Keyboard is really the best option for a keyboard cover for the 12.9" iPad Pro that meets my requirements:
October 4, 2017