I recently bit the bullet and purchased an iPad Pro (the big, 12.9-inch one). This was not an impulse buy; rather, I’d been contemplating it for quite a while. One major motivation in buying the Pro was in anticipation of writing more regularly, so the keyboard situation was a big consideration. I didn’t want to pull the trigger on the Pro until I could nail down exactly what I wanted to do keyboard-wise. So, I did what everyone does nowadays: I went to the Internets to pour over review after review. It seems almost counter-intuitive that I tend to gravitate towards products that have thousands of reviews instead of reviews numbering in the double digits. I guess it’s the larger sample size. Or something. I want to hear more peoples’ voices! But, no one has time to read a thousand reviews; hence, the star ratings on Amazon and every other website. “Sort by”…”Star Rating”…”4 and above.” Done.
I’ll be honest – I really wanted a backlit keyboard. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had one before (gasp!), or maybe because I anticipate more airplane or nighttime typing. Or – maybe the cool factor. So, that instantly threw Apple’s Smart Keyboard out of the running. And, at a whopping $169 bucks, it was far ahead of the other options price-wise. The alternative that everyone seems to give high praise is the Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case (Model 920-007824).
This was around $125 on Amazon, and it also has a back cover, which is appealing. Everyone loved the keyboard – best they’d ever used, blah, blah. But, digging deeper into some of the comments and reviews, there was a nagging, recurring issue with people reporting that the Logitech Create case scratched the screens of their beloved, expensive iPads. I dismissed the first few I read because the next reviewer inevitably gave the Create five stars. I almost bought the Pro and the Logitech Create…
But, I couldn’t shake the idea of the case scratching up my soon-to-be iPad. Also, a recurring theme in the reviews was that the Create added significant bulk to the iPad package. So, I decided to pass on it, and I went ahead with ordering my Pro – keyboard situation be damned!
When I picked up the Pro at the local Best Buy, they had a Create on the shelf, so I took it out of the package and demoed it a bit. It is bulky. It is heavy. It’s not very pretty. Good decision on the hard pass. But, now I had my Pro in hand, sans keyboard. So, I took to Amazon and the tech review sites again.
I knew I needed some sort of case or protection for the back of the iPad, especially after unboxing it. So, my new idea was to get a slim, clear case like I have on my iPhone and get a stand-alone keyboard. Surprisingly, not many third parties make such a case for the large Pro. I generally gravitate towards Luvvitt for clear phone cases, so that was my first search. They do make one, but it was fairly bulky-looking for my tastes. Ultimately, I bought the Clear Case made by Case Army ($14). So far, so good. It fits well, and it’s nice and slim.
As for a keyboard, in case you didn’t know, there are a TON of Bluetooth keyboards out there, and one can be yours for under $15. But, I wanted something durable and from a reputable brand – and backlit, remember? That narrowed the field a lot, and I ended up getting the Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 ($80).
Great – so I’ve got my Pro protected and a cool keyboard…but how do I prop this thing up so I can actually type? Well, luckily there are a myriad of brackets and stands for phones and tablets. For this, I also went with another brand I like, Anker, and bought their Multi-Angle Aluminum Stand for Tablets ($11). So, this is my setup: