How to pick the best keyboard case for the new 2021 iPad Pro

The 2021 iPad Pro has a new M1 processor, a new display (on the larger model) and optional 5G. But just like before, it doesn't come with an iPad keyboard.

Keyboard cases for the iPad Pro add a lot to the picture, especially with a trackpad. Cases that have both a keyboard and a trackpad really feel like they help the iPad transform into a laptop.

Granted, the OS is different. But Apple's support for keyboard shortcuts and multitouch trackpad gestures work really well on iPadOS. Last year, I compared options.

This year, I'm doing the same.

iPad Pro keyboard options: Logitech Combo Touch (left), Magic Keyboard (middle), Brydge Max 12.9+ (right).

Scott Stein/CNET

Apple has its own fancy and expensive Magic Keyboard case. Two other manufacturers are also worth noting: Logitech makes a keyboard-detachable case with a kickstand that's perfect for Zoom/FaceTime calls using that new zoom-in Center Stage camera, while Brydge has a new case with an extremely large trackpad and a design that feels closest to laptop-like. CNET Apple Report

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They all have their advantages, and all work well, but I still prefer Apple's Magic Keyboard for its size/performance over the others. I tested all of these on the 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Pro, which isn't compatible with many older accessories because of its slightly thicker size. The smaller 11-inch Pro works with any 11-inch iPad Pro accessories going back to the 2018 model, and also cases for the 2020 iPad Air.

Prices below are for the 12.9-inch keyboard version.