Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro Models

Apple last week introduced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, which are set to arrive in the hands of customers starting this week. Apple introduced a nifty new Magic Keyboard with trackpad alongside the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models that's coming in May, but it also debuted a new Smart Keyboard Folio, which is available now.

We picked up the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio for the designed for the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models and compared it to the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio that was released alongside the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models to see if there are any notable differences.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Design wise, the two keyboard are close to identical, but the new model is slightly darker in color, though it's still a dark gray shade. The material on the outside feels the same, but there is one major exterior difference - an Apple logo. The new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio is outfitted with an Apple logo, which the original did not have.

There's also a square-shaped camera cutout instead of the vertical camera cutout of the prior model, which allows it to accommodate the new square-shaped camera bump on the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models.

Apple's 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models feature a dual-lens camera setup with wide-angle and ultra wide-angle lenses along with a new LiDAR Scanner that's designed to scan the area around you for all-new augmented reality experiences.

When it comes to the keyboard and the typing experience, there's no change. The keys are shallow with little travel and have a fabric-like texture that's meant to be waterproof and spill proof. It's not the greatest typing experience, but it's passable.

The new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio replaces the prior model and it is designed to work with both 2018 and 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models. On 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, the camera cutout will be larger than necessary, but it fits both. Apple is no longer selling the version with the vertical camera cutout.

Apple in May will release the new Magic Keyboard, which is equipped with scissor switch keys with 1mm of travel and backlighting, making the new keyboard more similar to a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro keyboard.

The ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio is priced starting at $179 for the 11-inch version and $199 for the 12.9-inch version, which is a good deal cheaper than the $299/$349 asking prices for the new Magic Keyboard options.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
1 week ago
Basically the same as last years with a different camera cut out...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago
This iPad is being touted by some reviews as a laptop replacement. Unfortunately it still only runs mobile versions of popular programs, if a mobile version exists at all. Until it can run full programs like Capture One, it won’t be a complete laptop replacement for everyone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago
Gotta always remember that they want you to buy both a laptop AND iPad. The iPad was never supposed to completely do away with the need for a laptop. It will always be gimped in one way or another.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago
Anyone remember the disk notcher? Someone should come out with a keyboard folio notcher.

Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago


I don’t think anybody is calling it a replacement for everyone. But as it stands, it is more than capable for the computing needs of a big majority of people.

Wired ('https://www.wired.co.uk/article/ipad-pro-2020-review') certainly seem to think it’s better than a laptop and Apple are certainly trying to sell it as a laptop. They fail to address the issue that iOS is nowhere near as sophisticated as OSX and doesn’t run the same software.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 days ago at 11:55 pm


Having a backlit keyboard would be pretty nice. However I'm in Canada, and the new magic keyboard is $450, so that's not happening ;)

Why do people think that quoting the price in foreign currency strengthens their argument?

Yes, the Magic Keyboard's price is high compared to less functional options, but it still costs $299 USD.

But if you really want to go whole hog, why not quote the price in Japanese Yen: OMG it costs 31,800!!!!!!!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Zoom Updates iOS App to Stop Sending Data to Facebook

Friday March 27, 2020 5:35 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Zoom, a video conferencing app that many people are using at the current time to keep in touch with coworkers while working from home, was sending data to Facebook without disclosing the data sharing to customers. As of today, Zoom has updated its iOS app to remove the SDK that was providing data to Facebook through the Login with Facebook feature, according to Motherboard, the site that...

Apple Suppliers Worried About iPhone Demand, Production Ramp-Up for New iPhones Reportedly Postponed

Friday March 27, 2020 5:56 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Most of the factories in China that supply devices and components to Apple are back to churning out products, but Apple suppliers are said to be worried about how much demand there will be for the current iPhone models and the new iPhones expected in the fall. According to Reuters, a senior official at one of Apple's major supply companies said that orders for quarter ending in March are...

2020 iPad Pro Teardown Provides Closer Look at LiDAR Scanner and Confirms Incremental Update

Saturday March 28, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
iFixit today shared a video teardown of the new iPad Pro, which Apple unveiled earlier this month. iFixit found that most of the internals of the 2020 iPad Pro are the same as the 2018 model, confirming that the device is a relatively incremental update. The most notable new feature seen inside the new iPad Pro was the LiDAR scanner, which measures the distance to surrounding objects up...

Apple Watch Series 6 Could Feature Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, Pulse Oximetry and Sleep Tracking Support

Friday March 27, 2020 11:28 am PDT by Juli Clover
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 set to be released this fall could include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the crown of the device, according to Israeli site The Verifier, which cites "senior sources" who have worked with its staff for a "number of years" as the source of the rumor. It's not clear how the alleged Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be implemented, as the Digital...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Kuo: Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:19 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap,...

Top Stories: Hands-On With 2020 iPad Pro and MacBook Air, iOS and iPadOS 13.4 Released, iPhone 12 Delay?

Saturday March 28, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
After last week's flurry of product launches, Apple's new iPad Pro and MacBook Air have started to make their way into consumers' hands, and we've gone hands-on with both of them this week. Apple this week also released iOS and iPadOS 13.4 (as well as macOS, watchOS, and tvOS updates) with a number of new features and improvements. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...

Deals: Huge Refurbished iPhone Sale Discounts iPhone 7, 8, X, XR, and XS (From $120)

Friday March 27, 2020 5:47 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Woot is back today with a big sale on refurbished iPhones, including markdowns on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Woot. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. As with every Woot purchase, those...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...