The best iPad keyboards can perform quite the magic trick: transforming your iPad into a hybrid 2-in-1 laptop. So if you enjoy using your iPad on its own for movies and web surfing, but occasionally want to do some proper work with it, you get the best of both worlds.
Beyond choosing between separate keyboards, or a keyboard case for your iPad, you'll need to determine which model of iPad you own, as not all of them will be compatible with every keyboard.
• Take a look at the different iPad Generations to determine which model you have and ensure you purchase the appropriate compatible keyboard.
We'd suggest checking the model number of your iPad for comparison on Apple's website (the letter followed by four numbers) which can be found written in a small detail on the back of your device, as well as in your device settings.
We'll start with the best separate and wireless iPad keyboards, but if you'd prefer a keyboard case, then skip to the best iPad cases with keyboards.
How do I choose?
There are many iPad keyboards on the market, including official ones from Apple, and others from third-party brands such as Logitech and Lenovo. Overall, they fall into two categories: separate keyboards and keyboard cases, i.e an iPad case that comes with an integrated keyboard.
The latter will help protect your iPad from damage when you're on the move, while the former gives you more flexibility in where you place your iPad and keyboard on your desk. Be sure to check out the best iPads for photo editing if you tend to get your post-production complete on the go.
The best iPad keyboards: Separate wireless keyboards
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We'll start with the best iPad keyboard overall. The Logitech MX Keys Mini is light and compact, making it wonderfully portable. It's easy to set up, and comfortable to use. You can connect it to up to three different devices at once via Bluetooth (including Windows, Android and Chromebook devices as well as iOS ones), and there are dedicated keys to make switching between devices easy.
This keyboard comes in Mac and PC versions, and provides up to 10 days' use on a full charge, and an impressive five months' if you turn off the soft white backlight. That backlight, by the way, turns on when your hands are near, and turns off when not in use. You can also turn it on and off manually.
There are a couple of lovely little touches that shows Logitech has really put thought into this keyboard. Firstly, there are on-off switch toggles between a green and red background, so you can be sure it's on or off. And secondly, there are dedicated keys for dictating notes and selecting emojis.
This isn't necessarily what we'd recommend for constant, 9-5 office work: the keyboard is just a little lightweight for that, plus there's no number pad. Also note that it's slightly raised and so you can't use it flat. Other than that, this is the best accompaniment to an iPad we've found to date.
If youdon't want to use a keyboard and iPad separately, but physically join them together, we recommend the Logitech K780. It has a discrete slot at the top for placing your phone or iPad at a right angle.
This can accommodate even the largest iPad, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Alternatively, you can use it as a wireless keyboard from up to 10m away, or connect via USB. It connects to your iPad via Bluetooth, and you can connect up to three devices at once, including Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS, iOS and Android devices, with one-button switching between them and up to three can be simultaneously connected.
It runs off two AAA batteries, which promises up to two years of battery life. It has a number pad and arrow keys. On the negative side, the rounded keys may not to be everyone's taste, and the 2.8-degree incline is fixed.
Looking to save money? Logitech’s K480 keyboard is a great choice. Despite its low price, it has a lot to offer.
You can connect to three devices at once, including iPadOS, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, and Chrome OS ones, switching via them using a handy dial. And if you want to set things up laptop-style, it has a built-in slot to hold your iPad too. It's powered by two AAA batteries, which will keep it going for up to two years.
As you'd expect, this is not a premium product. Specifically, the keyboard feels a little plasticky, typing on the keys quickly gets tiring, and there's no backlight or trackpad. It's completely flat on the desk and doesn't incline. However, given the low cost, these may well be compromises you're willing to make.
Are you planning to use your iPad keyboard on a regular basis, day in, day out? Then the first three products on our list may not be sturdy or ergonomic enough. To ensure you don't succumb to RSI, we'd suggest this well-made, mechanical keyboard, which delivers a beautifully comfortable typing experience.
You can connect to four devices at once: three over Bluetooth and via the included USB-C cable. As well as iPads, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS devices are all supported. There are two adjustable angled rubber feet, and the backlighting offers more than 15 types of RGB light in different styles (including flashing, breathing, and static white) to match your mood.
The best iPad keyboards: cases featuring a keyboard
If Apple's official keyboard cases seem a little overpriced to you, and you have an iPad Pro (12.9 or 11 inch), let us recommend a cheaper alternative, that's nonetheless approved by Apple; they even feature it on their own site.
Logitech's Slim Folio Pro iPad Case connects to your iPad Pro via Bluetooth, features full-sized backlit keys and has storage for the Apple Pencil too. The keys are a little plasticky and don't feel quite as nice as those on the official Apple keyboards. But given the price, we'd say this still represents excellent value.
If you have an entry-level iPad, or an older model of iPad Air and iPad Pro, then Apple also has a keyboard for you.
The Smart Keyboard is the most basic of all the official iPad keyboard cases. Like the Smart Keyboard folio, there's no trackpad or backlighting, and in this case, there's no choice of viewing angles either.
However, the keyboard itself provides a very nice typing experience, it attaches easily and beautifully to your iPad. And overall you get the same high-end build quality you'd expect from any official Apple product.
Looking for a case to protect your iPad, and an iPad keyboard, all in one product? If you have an iPad Air (4th generation) or the iPad Pro (12.9-inch or 11-inch; 1st-3rd generation), Apple's own Magic Keyboard is your best choice.
The 1mm travel of its keys makes for a premium and comfortable typing experience, there's a great trackpad designed for iPadOS. You can easily adjust the viewing angle up to 130 degrees until you find the right angle. There's a USB-C port for charging the case, keeping your iPad's own port free.
The case is easy to fit, using the magnetic connector, with no charging or pairing required. And of course, you'll be protecting the back and the front of your iPad from damage, as well as having a great iPad keyboard.
Worried about damaging your iPad? This case, suitable for the iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Air (4th gen), features military-grade drop protection, to give you extra peace of mind.
The keyboard features large, backlit keys, a large trackpad and a full row of iPadOS shortcut keys. The keys automatically light-up to match your environment's lighting, too, and there's a well-designed kickstand providing 40° of tilt. It attaches nicely to your iPad via the magnetic connector.
Overall, this is a great combination of iPad keyboard and protective case; a good alternative to the Magic Keyboard for less money.
Unlike the other cases on this list, this one comes in two parts. One is a protective shell for the back and sides of your iPad, and includes a magnetic attachment for the Apple Pencil, allowing you to charge it with the case attached. The other side is the keyboard element, which magnetically attaches to the iPad's Smart Connector.
The keys offer 1mm of travel, making for a wonderful typing experience, and the trackpad is excellent too. There's a very well made kickstand, with 40 degree range, Best of all, this case is available for most models of iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro.
The ESR Ascend iPad keyboard case is ideal for those wanting a professional yet compact workspace. This multi-functional keyboard seamlessly attaches to your iPad through bluetooth (without the need for any cables) and the fully adjustable 15°-180° stand offers both portrait and landscape viewing options while you work.
The magnetic shell case allows for adaptive protection with the ability to quickly transition from a workstation to mobile tablet, while defending your device with or without the keyboard attached using the secure magnetic clasp.
• See our other guides to the best iPad Air cases, plus the best iPad mini cases, as well as the best iPad Pro cases. Need something to draw with? Check out the best stylus for iPads, and learn the difference between the Apple Pencil 1 vs 2.