Buying Guides iPhone and iPad

The Best Keyboard Cases for Turning iPads Into Laptops

Brent Dirks 18-04-2018

Since its introduction more than eight years ago, Apple’s iPad has definitely seen its share of changes. Originally thought of as something to use for mainly play, both the iPad hardware and iOS software has grown over the years.


Thanks to the powerful A-series processor and a number of great productivity features in iOS, iPads can now tackle almost any type of workload. This is especially true thanks to some great additions in iOS 11, like a new Dock and more multitasking features.

But there’s one major piece of the puzzle missing: a keyboard.

While Apple offers its own keyboard case for some models, many other iPad users want to add a keyboard to their tablet full-time or even for just an occasional work session. For most of us, adding a keyboard can make many tasks even faster.

Here are our choices for the best iPad keyboard cases to add a big shot of productivity to your work session.

For the 10.5-inch iPad Pro:
Logitech Slim Combo

Logitech Slim Combo iPad Pro Keyboard Case

Logitech iPad Pro 10.5 inch Keyboard Case Logitech iPad Pro 10.5 inch Keyboard Case Buy Now On Amazon $84.98

Working closely with Apple, the Logitech Slim Combo features the same Smart Connector technology as Apple’s own Smart Keyboard. Instead of having to worry about charging the keyboard or going through the Bluetooth connection process, you can just snap the keyboard the connector and you’re ready to go.

Thanks to a built-in kickstand, you can use the case both while typing and viewing media hands-free in both portrait and landscape mode. The kickstand is retractable and has a range of 50 degrees for a number of different viewing angles. It’s a big part of why this is one of the best keyboard cases for the iPad.

A holder on top of the case is made for the Apple Pencil so you’ll never be without the writing and drawing tool. And if you don’t need the keyboard, it can quickly detach from the case.

The keyboard itself features three adjustable level of backlighting so you can see in dark situations. There’s even a full row of iOS shortcuts on the top of the keyboard that offers easy access to a number of functions like volume controls and screen brightness.

For the 12.9-inch iPad Pro:
Apple Smart Keyboard

Apple Smart Keyboard iPad Pro Keyboard Case

Due to the higher cost and bulkier footprint compared to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, keyboards made for the larger model are more difficult to come by. That’s why Apple’s own option, the Apple Smart Keyboard, is the best keyboard case for the iPad Pro in the larger size.

The Smart Connector technology makes the keyboard case easy to use with the iPad Pro. Covered with special mesh-like material, the keyboard is made to fend off smaller liquid spills. Meanwhile, you can sweep off dirt and dust in a flash.

When you’re finished typing, just fold the keyboard behind the tablet and take advantage of the iPad Pro stand for watching media and more. It also protects the iPad Pro’s screen when not in use.

And to help make typing a breeze, definitely take a look at some iPad Pro keyboard tips and tricks The Most Useful Smart Keyboard Tips and Tricks for iPad Pro In its own right, the iPad Pro is a great productivity machine. Add a Smart Keyboard and you can take things to a whole new level. Read More .

For the 2018 iPad:
Belkin Qode Ultimate Lite

Belkin Qode Ultimate Lite 2018 iPad Keyboard Case

Belkin QODE Ultimate Lite Keyboard Case for iPad 5th Gen (2017) and iPad Air (1st Gen) Belkin QODE Ultimate Lite Keyboard Case for iPad 5th Gen (2017) and iPad Air (1st Gen) Buy Now On Amazon $88.78

Compatible with the newest iPad announced in March, its 2017 counterpart, and the original iPad Air, the Belkin Qode Ultimate Lite provides complete protection for both the screen and rear of an iPad.

The built-in keyboard battery can provide power for up to six months before needing a recharge. Special power management features will also turn the Bluetooth keyboard on and off to help preserve the charge.

Secure magnets help hold the iPad at a great angle for typing. You can also fold the keyboard behind the tablet to watch a movie or other media.

For the iPad Air 2:
Bluetooth Brydge Keyboard

Brydge iPad Air Keyboard Case

Brydge 9.7 Keyboard for iPad 9.7-inch, Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Brydge 9.7 Keyboard for iPad 9.7-inch, Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $69.99

Weighing just 18 ounces, the Bluetooth Brydge Keyboard is extremely versatile. Along with the iPad Air 2, it’s also compatible with the 2018 and 2017 iPad, the original 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and the first-generation iPad Air—making it one of the best keyboard cases for almost any iPad.

When ready to type, you’ll place your iPad into the case hinges. Those hinges also provide viewing angles from 0 to 180 degrees, so you’ll definitely be able to adjust it as you see fit. It’s also easy to quickly remove the iPad if necessary.

Along with three different levels of backlighting, a dedicated top row features iOS-specific shortcuts. And to better match the lineup of iPad colors, the Brydge is available in space gray, silver, or gold.

For the iPad Mini 4:
ClamCase Pro for iPad mini

ClamCase Pro iPad Mini Keyboard Case

ClamCase Pro for iPad Mini 4 ClamCase Pro for iPad Mini 4 Buy Now On Amazon $29.95

The iPad mini 4 presents a unique problem for anyone looking for a keyboard case. Because of the tablet’s small screen size, some keyboard cases are almost unusable due to uncomfortably tiny keys.

So while the ClamCase Pro for iPad mini costs more than other options, it’s the best keyboard case for the iPad mini. Providing complete coverage of the iPad, users can take advantage of a spacious, island-type keyboard for maximum comfort. When using the case, your iPad mini will sleep and wake automatically.

Easily the best feature is its 360 degree hinge that can place the tablet at any possible angle while still in the case. Buyers can select from a black or white version of the Bluetooth keyboard case.

Get to Work With the Best iPad Keyboard Cases

No matter what iPad you’re using, a keyboard case can help you become more productive. You can respond to email and accomplish other tasks that require substantial typing in moments.

And if you’re still undecided on whether you should buy an iPad or iPad Pro, take a look at our guide on how to pick the best Apple tablet for you Regular iPad or iPad Pro? How to Pick the Right Apple Tablet The iPad Air is no more, leaving only the regular iPad and two Pro models. So which should you buy? Read More .

Explore more about: iPad, iPad Case, iPad mini, iPad Pro, Mobile Accessory.

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  1. Jack
    December 25, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Loved your review, well written and great information on all the products listed. I was disappointed with one thing, you left out what I consider the best. Now, keep in mind, I’ve only owned two iPads prior to this week. I bought Zagg’s line of keyboards for both (Ipad1 and2) and was just blown away by quality, protection, length of charge, etc... After reading your review I went out to Zagg’s site and was just floored by the level of quality and innovation they’ve built into their latest line of keyfolios. I understand your space, inability to review all products however, I contend that the Zagg’s line of IPad keyboards beat every one that you have listed here. Thanks again.