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iPad Pro Keyboard

So a while ago I decided to buy the iPad Pro 9.7″. Now as a developer, especially using Visual Studio so much, I spend a lot of time in Windows, you’re probably wondering why I went for the iPad over the Surface.

Well, it’s a good point! But I thought about it, and realised I wouldn’t really be using it for much developing and I really wanted an Apple Pencil. The price of the iPad with the Pencil is still cheaper than the mediocre Surface Pro, and then I was drawn to whether I’d want or need the keyboard.

But, I love the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil in combination with the Microsoft OneNote App. It’s a fantastic note taking app and works beautifully with the Pencil, and then to be able to still see all my pencil notes on my PC or Mac is awesome.

But, I’ve been happy with both and decided I’d give the Keyboard a while. Now as a developer, I really don’t think I’ll be using it much for writing Websites and Apps, but I’ll certainly use it for quick bug fixing, commenting (if I ever do any!) and e-mails!

So, to start off, I love the design, because of the 3 splits, even though the keyboard goes over 2, it still allows you to put the iPad in all the positions it would normally go in with the Smart Cover. This, I especially like, as I like the iPad at a slight angle when I’m using it, rather than flat on the desk and I also like how you can stand it up with the keyboard still hidden behind.

It does make the iPad a little heavier, but nothing really to whinge about. Still much lighter than the Surface Pro.

When it comes to typing on it. It’s a dream! I’m really shocked how quickly I’ve been writing this blog using it. It almost reminds me of my old Sinclair ZX81! But they’ve got a nice, pressed, feeling when you press them, they are nicely spaced apart too, so no mistypes. I’m impressed. It types very well on a flat surface, but can be a bit bouncy on your lap, but it’s bearable.

But, when it comes to working in Windows, well unfortunately Microsoft need to do a little work with their Remote Desktop App. Everything works perfectly, apart from all the Ctrl, Alt, and Windows Keys. Which just makes it next to impossible to program! But, I’m hoping this is just a little bug, and will be fixed soon, as it just looks like the keys aren’t mapped, and it’s a pain to keep pressing the screen to get the keys. With regards to actually programming though, it’s not too bad! All the keys are where you expect them, especially if you’re a Mac owner! So you can still get all those lovely ()’s, {}’s and []’s! Along with # \ and ~, which I also find can be a pain to find sometime! Octothorp for example is a pain in the neck to find! Option 3 of course!

Altogether though, it works well, the Cmd + Tab shortcut works to switch between Apps, and even the good old Mac Shortcuts, like Cmd + W, to close Window, works. Safari is nice to navigate around and all the Office Apps work beautifully with the combination of Keyboard and Pencil. There is 1 really, really disappointing thing that has really bugged me. It doesn’t have and Escape key!!! It has a pointless ±§ Key, that I’ve never in my life used! But I clearly never press Escape!? This is the only disappointment to me, things like editing a cell in Excel, and I just want to get out without writing that change, press Escape, oh wait! No, tap the little red x on the Input bar. It’s a little annoying, but I suppose it’s something I can live with. Another useful set of keys that are kind of missing are Page Up and Page Down, there’s an End and Home, by using Ctrl + Up and Down, but no page up or down, again, I’ll live with it!

So overall, I think the Keyboard turns your iPad Pro into, quite a usable little, almost PC! It does make browsing the Internet a lot quicker, writing blogs like this, it’s a dream. Only other downer, is the price, when you spend a ton for a pencil, and then a ton and a half for the keyboard! Not to mention over £50 for a back cover too, it can also turn you’re lovely iPad into a money draining machine!