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Needed: iPad Pro keyboards that use the Smart Connector

When Apple’s iPad Pro debuted last fall, two keyboard cases were available on day one: Apple’s own Smart Keyboard and Logitech’s Create. Both utilized the Smart Connector built into the iPad, which allowed them to draw power from the tablet and ditch the Bluetooth and built-in battery that tablet keyboards most often need. The Smart … Continue reading “Needed: iPad Pro keyboards that use the Smart Connector”

When Apple’s iPad Pro debuted last fall, two keyboard cases were available on day one: Apple’s own Smart Keyboard and Logitech’s Create. Both utilized the Smart Connector built into the iPad, which allowed them to draw power from the tablet and ditch the Bluetooth and built-in battery that tablet keyboards most often need.

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The Smart Keyboard is wonderfully thin, but lacking in features such as a row of special-purpose keys and backlighting; the Create is a lot more like a laptop keyboard, but bulky. So I hoped that other third-party manufacturers would fill the gap with other Smart Connector-enabled keyboards, an option open to them through Apple’s licensing program.

So far, however, nobody has. Even Razer’s new super-ambitious Mechanical Keyboard Case–that’s it below–uses Bluetooth and has a battery that may conk out in as little as 10 hours.

Maybe manufacturers don’t want to pay Apple a licensing fee and jump through any other required hoops to use the Smart Connector. I just know that eight months after the iPad Pro’s release, one of its most exciting features has yet to live up to its considerable promise.

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About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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