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 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.