iFixit Provides Look Inside iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Trackpad

iFixit last week shared x-rays of the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, giving us a little look at what’s inside Apple’s newest keyboard design, and today, iFixit is back with a mini trackpad teardown.


In an update to the original x-ray article, iFixit disassembled the trackpad to take a closer look at what’s inside.

There’s a single button inside the trackpad that operates on a lever system. When you press near the center, regardless of whether you’re pressing the top, middle, or bottom center, you’re pressing on the button.

Pressing near the top, bottom, or one of the corners activates the lever system, causing the contact plate in the center to be forced upward to make a click happen.


iFixit says that the trackpad is the only part of the Magic Keyboard that’s able to be taken apart without major destruction to the accessory, so a further look inside will have to wait until the site is ready to publish repair guides.

Apple’s new Magic Keyboard with trackpad works with the 2018 and 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models. It’s priced at $299 for the 11-inch version and $349 for the 12.9-inch version, and can be purchased from Apple’s website.

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iFixit Shows Off Neat X-Ray View of Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

iFixit hasn’t yet done a full teardown of the new Magic Keyboard designed for the new iPad Pro models, but the repair site today partnered with x-ray company Creative Electron to create Magic Keyboard x-rays that give us a view of just what’s inside.


The Magic Keyboard uses scissor switch keys instead of butterfly keys, which have now been effectively eliminated from Apple’s product lineup. The scissor switch mechanism is clearly visible in the x-ray view, and iFixit calls it the simplest mechanism in the accessory, but the biggest improvement compared to the Smart Keyboard.

Below the keyboard, there are metal plates that iFixit believes are for reinforcing the keyboard’s body against bending, and the trackpad is a new design that’s different from MacBook trackpads.

There appear to be multiple buttons under the trackpad to capture presses, while the MacBook Trackpads have no buttons and simulate presses with haptic feedback.


There are at least two spring loaded hinge designs at the folding point, featuring both a small coil and a larger coil, plus there are two cables for connecting the Smart Connector to the keyboard for power and data transfer.

Lots and lots of magnets are visible in the x-ray, with the magnets used to hold the Magic Keyboard on the ‌iPad Pro‌. There’s a whole ring of tiny magnets around the camera cutout, which iFixit said was a “lot of little polarized bits” to line up, space out, and configure with the ‌iPad Pro‌ components.

According to iFixit, there’s more going on in the Magic Keyboard than there is in many laptops, which could explain its price point. Apple charges $299 for the 11-inch Magic Keyboard and $349 for the 12.9-inch version.

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10 Tips and Tricks for the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

If you’ve just picked up Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for your 2018 or 2020 iPad Pro, here’s a list of our favorite tips and tricks that you need to know.

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1. Use Your Free USB-C Port

Apple made a neat design decision to integrate a USB-C port into the side of the Magic Keyboard. This lets you power your connected ‌iPad Pro‌ via pass-through charging, leaving your tablet’s onboard USB-C port free to plug in other accessories like an SD card reader or a digital camera. You could even charge an Apple Watch from the free USB-C port, or connect your ‌iPad Pro‌ to an external display.

2. Reclaim the Escape Key

The Magic Keyboard for ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ lacks an Escape key, but there are a couple of ways you can get around this. Try hitting the Command key and the period key in combination. If that doesn’t work in the context that you need an Escape function, you can use an option in iPadOS 13.4 that lets you remap modifier keys for various actions.

settings
To do so, first make sure your Magic Keyboard is connected to your ‌iPad Pro‌, then launch the Settings app and select General -> Keyboard -> Hardware Keyboard. Select the Modifier Keys option, then choose the modifier key that you’d like to use as an Escape key. Choose the Escape action on the next screen, and you’ll be good to go.

3. Gain Quick Access to the Virtual Keyboard


If you need to use the onscreen virtual keyboard to do things like type accented characters or use dictation, tap the down arrow key on your Magic Keyboard, then touch and hold the downward-facing chevron in the bottom-right corner of the iPad’s screen. To hide the keyboard again, tap the key in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

4. Control Touchscreen Actions With Keys


If you have difficulty using your ‌iPad Pro‌’s touchscreen, you can replicate many of the functions and actions using the keys on a Magic Keyboard. With the Magic Keyboard connected, launch the Settings app and select Accessibility -> Keyboards -> Full Keyboard Access.

Toggle on the switch next to Full Keyboard Access, and you’ll be able to control and customize several keyboard shortcuts to replicate a range of functions, movements, interactions, gestures, and more.

5. Adjust Backlight Brightness

Perhaps the only drawback of the Magic Keyboard is that its layout lacks a row of function keys. That leaves users with no dedicated keys for adjusting some system settings, including keyboard backlight brightness.

The Magic Keyboard actually uses the ‌iPad Pro‌’s sensors to detect the lighting in your environment and will adjust the backlit keys accordingly. But if for some reason you find it too bright or too dim, you can adjust this manually. Granted, it’s not as convenient as tapping a key when you want to watch a video with the lights out, but at least it’s there.

settings


Launch the Settings app and select General -> Keyboard -> Hardware Keyboard, then simply drag the Keyboard Brightness slider to the right or left to make the keys brighter or dimmer.

MacStories’ iOS Shortcut magician Federico Viticci has also created a handy shortcut that launches the Hardware Keyboard section of Settings directly. As Viticci suggests, the most convenient way of using it is as a widget on the ‌iPad‌ Home screen.

6. Customize Cursor Behavior


‌iPadOS‌ includes options that let you customize the appearance and behavior of the trackpad’s round cursor. These include increasing the cursor’s contrast, changing its color, making it bigger or smaller, changing scrolling speed, and disabling the auto-hide after inactivity. These settings can be found in the Settings app under Accessibility -> Pointer Control.

7. Tap-to-Click and Two-Finger Secondary Click

If you own a Mac, you’re likely already familiar with Tap to Click. It lets your trackpad register a tap with a single finger as a virtual click, allowing you to do things like launch apps and open menus without physically clicking the pad.


Apple has included the same feature in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4, so you can use it with your Magic Trackpad. Launch Settings and choose General -> Trackpad, then switch on the toggle next to Tap to Click. Now you can tap the trackpad’s surface with one finger to register a click, instead of having the physically depress the trackpad.

You can also make a two-finger tap or click behave as a secondary click (or right-click, if you’re used to a two-button mouse). Simply enable the Two Finger Secondary Click toggle in the same Trackpad settings screen above.

8. Trackpad Gestures

As you’d expect, the Magic Keyboard supports the new trackpad gestures in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4. For example, you can enter the Slide Over multitasking interface by moving the cursor over to the right side of the screen or dragging an app over from the Dock.

You can also use two- and three-finger gestures. On the Home screen, for example, a two-finger swipe downwards on your trackpad will bring up Spotlight search. When you’re using Photos, you can pinch in and out to control picture zoom. You can also use two fingers to scroll up or down when navigating a web page in Safari.


Try swiping downwards with three fingers to be taken back to the Home screen no matter what you’re doing on the ‌iPad‌. Likewise, a three-finger swipe up on the trackpad will open up the ‌iPadOS‌ multitasking interface. And swiping to the left or the right with three fingers will also switch between your open apps.

9. Access Emoji Keyboard

It’s easy to access emoji while using the Magic Keyboard. Whenever you’re in typing mode, press the globe key in the bottom-corner of the keyboard layout.


As long as you’re using only English, the emoji keyboard will appear on the screen. To make it disappear again, simply tap the globe key on the keyboard once again.

10. “Easel Mode” and Other Orientations

Hold your ‌iPad Pro‌ in landscape orientation, prop the bottom side against the ridge below the keys, and rest its top side against the Magic Keyboard cover. Now you have a stable elevated drafting stand or “easel,” perfect for drawing.


You can also try this stand trick in portrait orientation for some FaceTime, or whenever you want to have the screen closer to you. It’s not quite as stable, but it works. (Hat tip to MacRumors forum member GrindedDown for this one.)

Alternatively, with the ‌iPad Pro‌ attached in the normal way, try flipping the Magic Keyboard over backwards, then take your iPhone and slip it in between the keyboard and the top of your ‌iPad‌, and you’ll have another decent angle for drawing.

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Testing Apple’s New Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

Apple last week surprised us with the early launch of the new Magic Keyboard designed for the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models, and as of this week, orders are arriving to customers. We picked up one of the new Magic Keyboards for the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ and tested it out to see how it works and whether it’s worth the $350 selling price.

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Apple actually sells the Magic Keyboard in 11 and 12.9-inch sizes, and while the 12.9-inch model is $350, the 11-inch version is priced at $299. Though sized to fit the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, the Magic Keyboards are also compatible with the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, so 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ owners won’t need to upgrade to take advantage of the keyboard.


Apple has offered an iPad keyboard in the form of the Smart Keyboard (and ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio) for quite some time, but this is the first time that Apple has developed an ‌iPad‌ keyboard with a trackpad with the intention of turning the ‌iPad‌ into something more akin to a MacBook.

Design wise, coming out of the box, the Magic Keyboard looks similar to the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ that was previously sold, but it’s a lot thicker and a lot heavier.


The Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ weighs more than the ‌iPad Pro‌ itself, in fact, at 1.6 pounds (the ‌iPad Pro‌ weighs 1.4 pounds). When you put the keyboard on the ‌iPad Pro‌, that’s a combined weight of three pounds, which is heavier than a MacBook Air and close to the weight of a MacBook Pro.

It is a hefty keyboard that absolutely adds a lot of bulk to the sleek and slim ‌iPad Pro‌. The 11-inch Magic Keyboard is smaller and not quite as heavy, but you’re still doubling the weight of the ‌iPad‌.


The Magic Keyboard is made from the same polyurethane material that Apple’s ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio was made from, and design wise, what sets it apart is a hinge that enables a “floating” design. The case attaches magnetically but pulls away at the bottom when the keyboard is in use, with lower part of the ‌iPad‌ kind of floating in space to allow for adjustable viewing angles with the hinge.


The magnetic attachment is strong enough that you don’t need to worry about the ‌iPad Pro‌ shifting or being shaken loose if you move it, and the case itself provides a minimal amount of protection, similar to the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ case.

The hinge at the bottom of the case is made from aluminum and it has a built-in USB-C port for passthrough charging so you can charge your ‌iPad Pro‌ while the Magic Keyboard is connected. The USB-C port on the ‌iPad Pro‌ isn’t obscured by the Magic Keyboard, but a cable from the side of the keyboard itself and out of the way looks nicer than one coming out of the middle of the ‌iPad‌ while it’s used in landscape mode.


The USB-C port is limited to passthrough charging and it does not support data transfer, so you’ll still need adapters for doing things like connecting the ‌iPad Pro‌ to an external display. Charging is also not quite as fast as it is when plugging a USB-C cable directly into the ‌iPad Pro‌.

When it comes to the hinge, it’s sturdy and strong, and when the Magic Keyboard is opened, it locks right into place and is in an upright position, but then you can make adjustments to the viewing angle. Apple’s ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio only had two viewing angles, but the hinge can be fine tuned and set at more angles, though the range of motion is similar to the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio.


There is no way to fold the Magic Keyboard back behind the ‌iPad Pro‌ to get to an ideal sketching angle for the ‌iPad Pro‌, but flipping the whole thing backwards kind of works. The best solution for drawing is probably to pop the Magic Keyboard off of the ‌iPad Pro‌, but it’s definitely a disappointment that there’s no built-in drawing angle.

The keyboard itself feels great, and it’s nothing like Apple’s previous Smart Keyboards. The keys have a good amount of travel and feel nice under the fingers, plus there’s backlighting for the keys. Unfortunately Apple did not include a row of function keys so there’s no quick way to adjust backlighting, change brightness, or access media playback controls from the keyboard itself.


The backlighting changes based on the ambient lighting in the room so users shouldn’t need too much manual adjustment, but it’s still a disappointment not to have the function keys, including an escape key. Command + the period key typically serves as an alternative to an escape key or another key can be remapped to that function, but it would have been nice to have a dedicated escape key.

Apple’s main selling point for the new Magic Keyboard is, of course, the trackpad, and it works great. It’s similar to using a trackpad with a Mac, though much smaller of course. Many gestures are supported, such as swiping down with three fingers to access the Home screen, swiping up with three fingers to get to the multitasking view, and more. We have a list of gestures in our Magic Keyboard guide, if you’re looking for more comprehensive gesture info.

Having a trackpad to use with the keyboard and the touch screen makes the ‌iPad Pro‌ experience much more similar to a traditional laptop, but you are, of course, still limited to iPadOS rather than macOS, which is still a major factor when it comes to multitasking, app selection, and more.

The Magic Keyboard is heavy and it definitely reduces the portability of the ‌iPad Pro‌, but for those who plan to use the ‌iPad Pro‌ as a full computer replacement, it adds so much utility that it’s most likely worth the weight and the price tag. If the ‌iPad Pro‌ is a secondary machine and you already have a Mac, the Magic Keyboard might not be as worthwhile, but it certainly provides the most Mac-like experience on an ‌iPad‌ to date.

What do you think of the Magic Keyboard? Are you getting one? Let us know in the comments.


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Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Reviews and Unboxing Videos

Last week, Apple began accepting orders for its new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, several weeks earlier than anticipated. Now, the media has shared several hands-on reviews and unboxing videos of the keyboard on YouTube.

The Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro and has a floating cantilevered design that allows the viewing angle to be adjusted up to 130 degrees. In addition to the full-size keyboard with backlit scissor switch keys, there is also a built-in trackpad, taking advantage of trackpad and mouse support added in iPadOS 13.4.

Earlier today, we learned that the combined weight of a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard is slightly heavier than the MacBook Air.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: reviews, Magic Keyboard
Buyer’s Guide: 11″ iPad Pro (Buy Now), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Buy Now)

This article, “Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Reviews and Unboxing Videos” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Combined Weight of a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a Magic Keyboard Is Heavier Than a 13-inch MacBook Air

Apple hasn’t specified the weight of its new Magic Keyboard, but a MacRumors reader who received their unit early has weighed the larger model for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and found it to be 710 grams. That makes the Magic Keyboard heavier than the ‌iPad Pro‌, which weighs 641 grams.

Image by OzMoon

It’s not surprising that the keyboard has to have some heft to counterbalance a connected ‌iPad Pro‌ and provide a sturdy base for working on. But that makes their combined weight 1,351 grams, which is heavier than a 13-inch MacBook Air (1,290 grams) and closer to the weight of a 13-inch MacBook Pro (1,370 grams).

So if you were expecting a 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ and Magic Keyboard to be a lighter option than using a laptop when you’re on the road, then it’s worth being aware that that’s not necessarily going to be the case. On the other hand, 9to5Mac claims the Magic Keyboard for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ weighs 601 grams, which would mean that their combined weight would be 1,072 grams. That’s lighter than any MacBook that Apple currently sells.

In our upcoming review of the new Magic Keyboard, we’ll look at weight considerations, portability, and more. Apple’s Magic Keyboard includes a floating cantilevered design for viewing angles, a backlit keyboard with scissor-switch keys, and an integrated trackpad. You can order one for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ for $299, and for the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ for $349 on Apple.com.

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First Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Hands-On Videos Appear Online

The first Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro orders have begun arriving to some customers ahead of schedule, and some have posted hands-on videos online.

Seven videos from two ‌iPad Pro‌ users have appeared online so far, offering the first close look at the new Magic Keyboard for ‌iPad Pro‌.

The first video appeared in Thai, featuring the unboxing experience of the Magic Keyboard. Other videos by the same user have given a look at the USB-C port on the hinge of the Magic Keyboard, which is used for passthrough charging, as well as the brightness of the backlit keys.

There have since been four videos in English by YouTube user MrExitStrategy, covering many of the new key features. The first of these shows the hinge system of the case, which provides a “floating” cantilevered design for smooth viewing angle adjustments of up to 130 degrees.

There is also a look at the preferences pane of the Magic Keyboard in the Settings app, revealing that the keyboard backlighting brightness may be changed manually or automatically adjusted based on ambient lighting conditions.

The most recent video offers a more detailed comparison of the Magic Keyboard with the Smart Folio Keyboard, and walks through some of the new trackpad gestures in iPadOS 13.4. This video suggests that the trackpad uses a mechanical click rather than haptic feedback. The cantilevered design is tested for stability, including for use with Apple Pencil.

Earlier this week, the Magic Keyboard became available for order online alongside the new iPhone SE, and most deliveries are expected to begin arriving next week.

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