Brydge, known for its line of keyboards for the iPad, recently debuted its newest keyboard, an updated model designed for Apple's 2018 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. The new Brydge Pro has been highly anticipated by ‌iPad‌ owners who have used Brydge keyboards in the past and prefer the bulk-free Brydge keyboard style.

I've teamed up with MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera to review the Brydge Pro, so make sure to check out his hands-on video below to get a visual overview of the keyboard and read on for my own review.

Design

If you're familiar with Brydge keyboards, the Bluetooth-enabled Brydge Pro features the same general design as past Brydge options. It is the least bulky of the third-party keyboards for the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models that I've used, and it's my favorite third-party keyboard design by far.

Brydge Pro keyboard
There are two rubber-lined hinged clips on the keyboard that your ‌iPad Pro‌ fits into, which hold it securely in place and mimic a MacBook setup. The clips move forwards and backwards so you can fold it up just like you would a laptop (and when you close it, there are little rubber nubs to prevent the keys from touching the display). Because of the rubber lining, the ‌iPad Pro‌ is secure and stable in the Brydge Pro, but I have noticed that the weight of the ‌iPad Pro‌ can cause to it flip backwards a bit when I pick it up using the keyboard portion.

brydgepronoipad2
The hinges are tighter than a MacBook hinge, but it's still easy to open and close the keyboard and the ‌iPad‌, and when you close it up, the ‌iPad‌'s screen turns off. With the clips, there's an adjustable 180 degree viewing angle, which is nice because it lets you position the ‌iPad‌ at whatever angle works best for you regardless of whether you're typing on a flat surface like a desk or in your lap. On a desk, there are rubber feet at the bottom to keep it in place, which is a nice addition.

brydgeproclips
You can only rotate the clips a limited amount, so if you want to use your ‌iPad‌ in portrait mode, you're going to need to take it out of the keyboard, which is a bit of a hassle. There's no option to just fold it back, though I guess you could use it book style. You can pull the ‌iPad‌ out and stick it back in backwards to use the keyboard in tablet mode (folded back) or movie mode (no keyboard visible but ‌iPad‌ propped up) but it's a hassle to have to take it out and put it in the clips.

Brydge Pro tablet view

Brydge Pro tablet view

This isn't a traditional folio style case, but there is a magnetic back cover that's similar to a Smart Cover in both thickness and design. It's meant to protect the back of the ‌iPad‌ when the keyboard is attached, and there are cutouts for the portion of the Brydge Pro that holds the ‌iPad‌ in place. Since this cover isn't blocking the side of the ‌iPad Pro‌, you can still attach and charge your Apple Pencil 2.

brydgeprovideomode
Brydge Pro movie view

The Brydge Pro is made from aluminum and is available in either space gray or silver to match Apple's iPads. It's heavy and adds a good pound to the weight of the ‌iPad‌, but I do appreciate that it's much thinner than competing third-party keyboard options. Brydge says that it measures in at 15.6mm with the ‌iPad Pro‌, compared to 22.5mm for the Logitech Slim Folio Pro.

brydgeprothickness
I've noticed during daily use that when I open and close the Brydge Pro several times my ‌iPad Pro‌ has a tendency to scoot its way out of the clips a bit, which can be an irritation. On the whole, though, I love the design of the Brydge Pro because of the minimal bulk and because of the way it mimics a MacBook. I can't tell you how many times I went to use the trackpad during this review because the Brydge Pro had such a MacBook vibe, but I did it a lot.

brydgeprocover2
At one side of the Brydge Pro, there's a single USB-C port, which is used for charging. You can check battery level on the keyboard itself using a battery button, but Brydge says you should only need to charge about once a year depending on how often you're using the keyboard. Like all third-party keyboards for the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models, the Brydge Pro is a Bluetooth keyboard and connects to the ‌iPad‌ over Bluetooth.

Keyboard

The keys on the Brydge Pro are soft and aren't as satisfying to press as the keys on the Logitech Folio and they're nowhere near as firm as the keys on a 2016 or later MacBook Pro, but it's a better typing experience than the Smart Keyboard Folio from Apple, for the most part.

You know how Apple says butterfly keys are designed to be accurate and provide the same press no matter where you're hitting the key? These keys on the Brydge Pro are the opposite. They're squishy and don't feel particularly stable to hit, so it's not my favorite typing experience.

brydgepronoipad
I had a hard time adjusting to the keys on the Brydge Pro, and I'm not entirely sure why. They're soft and also quite small, which meant I wasn't always hitting them accurately given the spacing between them, and at times, it almost felt like there was some lag that was resulting in missed key presses. Thankfully autocorrect mostly made up for it, but I needed to press harder on the keys than I'm used to in order to get my key presses to register accurately.

It took me about 15 minutes to figure out that I wasn't experiencing lag, but needed to type in a more deliberate way with more force on each key and a more accurate press. I've never thought of myself as a light typer, but I guess using the MacBook Pro/‌iPad Pro‌ ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio has taught me to use less force. I'm not a fan of the MacBook Pro keyboard in general due to its penchant for failure, but I have come to love the stable feel of the keys. The Brydge Pro is quite different from the MacBook Pro keyboard, which could be a plus for those who aren't into the feel of the MacBook Pro keys.

brydgeprofront
I used the Brydge Pro to type this entire review and on the whole, I found it to be a frustrating experience until I got used to the amount of force the keys require and until I adjusted to the spacing between the keys. It's still not an entirely comfortable experience for me because I'm so used to pressing more lightly on the MacBook Pro keyboard, but I was able to type at close to the same speed that I can get to with a keyboard I'm more accustomed to.

For those who have owned Brydge keyboards in the past, I don't think the Brydge Pro is offering up the same typing experience. There are definite changes to key feel in this model.

I generally think that most people are going to be able to adjust to the Brydge Pro keyboard, but it's possible that this is a key feel that isn't going to suit everyone. Compared to something like the Logitech Folio Keyboard for the ‌iPad Pro‌, I think the Brydge Pro's keys aren't quite as nice nor as immediately easy to adapt to.

brydgeprosideview
There are a number of function row keys with special abilities when connected to an iOS device, such as options to get to the Home screen, adjust the brightness, bring up the onscreen keyboard, adjust volume, connect to Bluetooth devices, check battery level, and power the keyboard on and off.

This is a backlit keyboard, which is nice because that's something that Apple's ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio doesn't offer. It's just an on/off setting, though, with no way to adjust the brightness.

Bottom Line

I'm a huge fan of the design of the Brydge Pro, and though it's still heavier than the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio from Apple, it adds a lot less bulk than something like the Slim Folio Pro from Logitech or Zagg's similar keyboard. It's also easier to get off than these options, so you can keep it with you and pull it out only when you need it.

I've used Brydge keyboards in the past, and I've always thought they offered up the most MacBook-like experience out of any of the third-party keyboard options. I love that this version comes with a back cover to keep the ‌iPad‌ safe. It's a great new update.

brydgeproback
Unfortunately, the miss here for me is the keyboard. I just don't like these keys. They're too small and too soft, with too much spacing between them. I had a hard time adjusting to the feel of the keys and I made a lot of typing errors trying to get used to the amount of force and precision that I needed to type.

That said, other people may prefer the softer key feel and may not have the same adjustment issues because keyboard likes and dislikes vary a lot between people. I was still able to type at close to full speed, and I did eventually adjust and get a little better at it, but it's never going to be my favorite keyboard when it comes to key feel.

Choosing between the Brydge Pro, the Smart Cover Folio from Apple, or something like the Slim Folio from Logitech is going to come down to personal preference. If you want the thinnest option, go with the Smart Cover Folio. Compared to other options, it's whisper thin.

If you want the most MacBook-like experience with an amount of bulk that's not overwhelming, choose the Brydge Pro. If you want the absolute best key feel out of the bunch and don't mind the added size, choose the Logitech Slim Folio.

How to Buy

The Brydge Pro for ‌iPad Pro‌ can be pre-ordered from the Brydge website. The 11-inch model is priced at $149.99, while the 12.9-inch model is priced at $169.99.

Note: Brydge provided MacRumors with a Brydge Pro for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Brydge. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Top Rated Comments

ftz Avatar
26 months ago

The Brydge Pro Keyboard for iPad Offers a MacBook-Like Experience
So it's that bad?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
26 months ago
For just a bit more a MacBook Air is a much better choice than this and a 12" iPadPro.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmylrea Avatar
26 months ago
"Macbook-like"? What Macbook lacks a trackpad?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apolloa Avatar
26 months ago
"Macbook-like"? What Macbook lacks a trackpad?
One that offers a full capacitive multi touch screen...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
entropys Avatar
26 months ago
One that offers a full capacitive multi touch screen...
Yeah but the ergonomics then sucks. To be fair though, trackpad capability is up to Apple, not Bridge.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigBoy2018 Avatar
26 months ago
Yeah but the ergonomics then sucks. To be fair though, trackpad capability is up to Apple, not Bridge.
It amazes me the lengths people will go in an effort to make their ipads ‘like a real computer’.

Its like they’re all reaching around the back of their heads with their right hand to scratch their left cheek. Just get a macbook for gods sakes
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...
3d printed airtag case siri remote

3D-Printed Case Lets You Attach an AirTag to Your Apple TV Remote

Monday May 10, 2021 8:11 am PDT by
Apple recently released a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, but if you have an original Siri Remote laying around that you still plan on using, you may be interested in getting an AirTag case for the remote. Etsy user PrintSpiredDesigns has capitalized on the opportunity with a new 3D printed, made-to-order AirTag case for the original Siri Remote. The remote slides into the...
airtag hacked

AirTag Successfully Hacked to Show Custom URL in Lost Mode

Monday May 10, 2021 1:52 am PDT by
The inevitable race to hack Apple's AirTag item tracker has reportedly been won by a German security researcher, who managed to break into the device's microcontroller and successfully modify its firmware. Yesss!!! After hours of trying (and bricking 2 AirTags) I managed to break into the microcontroller of the AirTag! 🥳🥳🥳/cc @colinoflynn @LennertWo pic.twitter.com/zGALc2S2Ph— stacksmashing ...
zoom app icon

Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Sunday May 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode. This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the...
tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
Top Stories 59 Feature

Top Stories: Epic Games vs. Apple, Hidden AirTag Mode, Apple Music Hi-Fi, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 8, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
While we wait for the newly introduced iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV models to launch later this month, this week saw the kickoff of the big Epic Games v. Apple trial, with lots of juicy tidbits coming out as the two sides make their arguments. This week also saw some rumors about a Hi-Fi tier for Apple Music, more biometric sensing capabilities for Apple Watch, and timing for the...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Kuo: Apple-Designed 5G Modem May Debut in iPhones as Early as 2023

Sunday May 9, 2021 10:02 pm PDT by
Apple plans to adopt its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the 2023 iPhones, meaning it'll no longer need to rely on Qualcomm to supply the 5G cellular modem for the iPhone, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple plans to include its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the launch of the 2023...
maxresdefault

Video: Make Your iPhone Last Longer With These Battery Preserving Tips

Monday May 10, 2021 1:23 pm PDT by
Maximizing battery life is something that many iPhone users deal with on a regular basis as we all want our iPhones to last as long as possible. Sometimes there are bugs in iOS that make the battery drain faster, and sometimes we just need to eke out as much as possible on a long day out and about. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, MacRumo...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...