21 of the best iPad keyboard cases: get the right keys for your tablet

With the iPad Pro Apple showed that it had ambitions for its slate to be more than just a humble tablet, with the official Smart Keyboard turning it into more of a laptop alternative.

But third-party manufacturers have been making iPad keyboard cases for years, so you don’t need an iPad Pro – or an official accessory – to get your type on.

With that in mind we’ve created a list containing some of the very best keyboard iPad cases for all of the currently available models, and some of the older ones that are still popular.

Note: within each category we’ve ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.

iPad Pro 10.5 keyboard cases

The iPad Pro 10.5 is a new model in a new size, bridging the gap between Apple’s mammoth 12.9-inch slates and its long-running 9.7-inch range.

It’s big enough for a full-size keyboard, so it’s great to type on, especially if you opt for one of these cases.

The KuGi iPad Pro 10.5 Keyboard Case is one of the cheaper options, but it’s got more going for it than just a low price.

For one, it fully protects the front and back of your tablet, which the official Smart Keyboard doesn’t. It’s also got a slot for the Apple Pencil, and that too is surprisingly lacking from Apple’s option.

It can also be folded into a variety of angles and the keyboard itself is a decent size. But like most cheaper options it uses Bluetooth rather than the Smart Connector, which makes connecting it less seamless and means you’ll occasionally have to charge the thing.

Don’t let the name fool you, if you want a genuinely slim iPad Pro 10.5 keyboard case you’re better with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, but the Logitech Slim Combo is more feature-packed and cheaper.

It has backlit keys and shortcut buttons, the keyboard itself is detachable and the case can be propped up at four different angles.

It also protects both the front and back of your iPad, is powered by the Smart Connector and includes a slot for the Apple Pencil. It covers your iPad in dull plastic, but if you want function more than form it’s a strong option.

Apple’s official option is arguably the best option, though only if you can stomach the price tag. Its slim and light design adds very little weight and bulk to your iPad Pro 10.5, and as it uses the Smart Connector you don’t need to worry about charging it.

When using the keyboard you can only really stand your iPad in one position, which can be limiting, but it works on a desk or your lap, and when not using the keyboard you can fold it out of the way and angle the tablet in other ways.

The Apple Smart Keyboard also offers protection to the front of your slate, but not to the back, so you might want to consider a sleeve or back cover too (just make sure it fits with the keyboard attached).

iPad Pro 9.7 keyboard cases

The iPad Pro 9.7 is Apple’s latest and arguably greatest slate, but you can make it even better with one of these keyboard cases.

This keyboard doesn’t use the Smart Connector, instead pairing via Bluetooth, which means you will occasionally need to charge it.

But the case it’s attached to stands out through enhanced durability, as it can protect your tablet from drops of up to 6 feet on to concrete, while a soft interior keeps your iPad’s screen clean and scratch-free.

The Logitech Create is one of the best – and most expensive – keyboards you can get for the iPad Pro 9.7. It plugs in via the Smart Connector and draws power from the iPad itself, so it never needs charging.

Once placed in typing position it will also automatically connect to your iPad Pro, so there’s no need for Bluetooth, and with full size, backlit keys there’s plenty of space to type comfortably.

The Logitech Create case also has a holder for the Apple Pencil, built-in iOS shortcuts, and a sturdy cover, to keep your iPad safe.

The official Apple Smart Keyboard also ranks among the very best, as you might expect.

It’s slim and light, so it doesn’t hamper the portability of your iPad, but it also does the job it’s tasked with, as it’s reasonably spacious and works seamlessly – just connect it to the Smart Connector and get typing.

The Smart Connector also keeps it powered, so you never need to juice it up, and the keys offer a reassuring spring-like tension without the bulk found on a traditional keyboard. The only real downside is the typically Apple pricing.

iPad Pro 12.9 keyboard cases

The iPad Pro 12.9‘s expansive screen makes it the best iPad for productivity, and the one that can most benefit from a keyboard.

It’s now been refreshed with a new iPad Pro 12.9 (2017) model, but they’re exactly the same size, so the same keyboard cases fit both of them. The following are among the best options.

This Fyy keyboard case is far cheaper than most of the big name ones and that’s one of its main selling points, but you still get a decent case for your money.

It’s a wireless Bluetooth one, rather than a Smart Connector one, so it will occasionally need charging, but it has a stylish faux-leather exterior, a holder for the Apple Pencil and comes in a choice of four colors.

It also has a slot for paperwork if you ever find yourself wanting to take notes the old-fashioned way, but you shouldn’t need to, as the keyboard itself is a good size and includes various function keys.

This Snugg keyboard is all about versatility. You can rotate the iPad 360 degrees inside the case and stand it at multiple angles, so whether you’re typing or viewing the case will accommodate you.

It also comes in a range of bright colors, which won’t appeal to everyone, but certainly help it stand out from other cases. It’s a Bluetooth keyboard though, so it will need charging from time to time.

We’ve included this very same keyboard in the iPad Pro 9.7 selection, but Logitech makes a 12.9-inch model too, and it’s good enough to be worth highlighting for both slates.

The Logitech Create Keyboard Case has an assortment of standout features, from full-size backlit keys, which let you type comfortably, even in the dark, to its row of iOS shortcuts along the top.

The Logitech Create also makes use of the Smart Connector for easy pairing and no charging, and the case itself provides some protection, as well as automatically waking your iPad up when you open it, and sleeping it when it’s closed.

New iPad keyboard cases

The new iPad is a relatively affordable option from Apple, offering a 9.7-inch screen and a stylish design, but lacking the power and features of the iPad Pro range, which many will find overkill.

Of course, if you’re planning to do a lot of typing then an iPad Pro might be a better option, but there are some decent keyboard cases available for the new iPad as well, such as the following three.

There’s a lot to like about the Fintie New iPad 9.7-inch Keyboard Case, starting with its low price and the wide range of colors and designs that it’s available in.

When it comes to using the thing, you can fine-tune the viewing angle, and with a spring mechanism underneath each key it will feel more like using a proper desktop keyboard than some keyboard cases do.

The case also provides full body protection for your tablet, and the keyboard part is removable, so you don’t have to carry it with you when you don’t need it.

The Anker Ultra Slim Keyboard Cover is fairly affordable but looks expensive, with a slim, lightweight design that matches the iPad itself.

It has a long-lasting battery that can go up to six months between charges. It’s also easily removable if you’d rather use your iPad au naturel, and it’s almost a full-size keyboard, with molded key caps, so you get a comfortable typing experience.

Anker’s case isn’t as protective as some, only covering the front of your iPad, but that helps keep the bulk down.

The Logitech Slim Folio Case is one of the most premium options available for the new iPad, and we mean that both in terms of price and features.

For one thing, its battery lasts up to four years, though it uses a coin cell, so after that you’ll need to replace the battery, rather than charging it.

It also has a full row of iOS shortcut keys, so you can easily change the volume or track for example. It should also offer a decent amount of protection, and has large, well-spaced keys for fast and accurate typing.

iPad Air 2 keyboard cases

The iPad Air 2 doesn’t have a Smart Connector, but with a 9.7-inch screen and plenty of power it’s still ideally suited for productivity, so why not give it an upgrade with one of these keyboard cases?

This Anker Bluetooth Folio Keyboard Case is a solid option for the iPad Air 2. A 6-month battery life means you’ll only be charging it twice a year, and a case that stays locked shut when the slate isn’t in use ensures your iPad is safe from scrapes and falls.

The case also allows you to have your iPad Air 2 either upright or laid flat, and the keys are designed to be quiet, so you can type without bothering those around you.

You should be aware that this case covers one of the iPad’s microphones, but Anker claims this doesn’t affect sound quality.

This keyboard case uses aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, for a finish that’s just as premium as the iPad it’s attached to.

It’s also thin and light, so you can happily chuck it in your bag without being weighed down, and with well-spaced keys you’ll be able to type comfortably.

Like any good keyboard case it also automatically sleeps and wakes your iPad when it’s opened or closed, and you can angle your tablet in a variety of positions, for comfortable use whatever position you’re in.

The Logitech Type+ is one of the more premium iPad Air 2 cases, in terms of both price and features. The keys are well-spaced, to help you type quickly and accurately, and there’s also a row of iOS shortcuts to speed things up further.

But despite being spacious, this keyboard case is thin and light. It’s also designed to keep your iPad safe from bumps, scratches and even minor spills, and it will automatically sleep and wake your slate when it’s opened or closed.

Its 3 months of battery life isn’t as impressive as some rivals, but otherwise this case is hard to beat.

iPad Mini 4 keyboard cases

The iPad Mini 4‘s small size means it’s not quite as well suited to typing, but that hasn’t stopped companies making keyboards for it. These are three of the best.

This KVAGO case is worth considering if you’re on a tight budget, as it’s less than half the price of most decent rivals.

It’s also not as good as those rivals, with a plastic construction and a fit that’s not perfectly snug, meaning this won’t offer a huge amount of protection.

But it’s available in a range of colors, automatically sleeps and wakes your iPad and includes function keys to control music and other settings. If you plan to type a lot, maybe spend a bit more, but if you just want something to occasionally tap away at this could make for a great value option.

The Logitech Logi Focus doesn’t have the most high-end of looks, but it gets the basics right.

There’s six months of battery life, iOS shortcuts for speedy operation, and a case that’s designed to protect against bumps, scratches and spills, rather than just house the keyboard.

It’s also available in a slightly wider selection of colors than some keyboard cases and will automatically wake up your iPad when you open it, with the only real problem being the same one faced by any compact keyboard – that it might feel a bit cramped.

The iPad Mini 4 is a bit small to comfortably type on, but if you’re going to try you could do a lot worse than this keyboard from Belkin.

Its aluminum build gives it a shiny, premium finish that ensures it doesn’t look out of place attached to your sleek slate, and with a battery life of up to six months you won’t need to charge it often.

The case is also fairly thin and light, so you don’t sacrifice too much portability, and it can be folded down flat to get the keyboard out of the way when it’s not in use.

iPad Mini 2 keyboard cases

The iPad Mini 2 is still going strong, and it can go even stronger with one of these keyboard cases.

More worried about the keyboard part than the case? Then you might want to check out this Arteck option.

It’s a cheap clip-on keyboard with 50 hours of battery life (when actively using the keyboard – you’ll get a lot more in standby).

The main issue is that, despite being called a case, there’s no back to it, so while it protects your iPad Mini’s screen, it won’t protect the rear, but if you just want a cheap way to type this is an appealing option.

The JETech Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Case won’t cost the Earth, but you get a surprisingly well thought out case given how affordable it is.

The highlight, other than the price, is how adjustable your iPad Mini 2 is in the case, as it can be stood in landscape or portrait at a variety of angles.

The case is also designed to offer a reasonable amount of protection, and includes the basics you’d expect, like auto wake/sleep and iOS function keys.

A more premium option, the Snugg Ultra Slim Rotatable Keyboard Case isn’t cheap, but it is versatile, allowing you to rotate your iPad Mini 2 360 degrees and stand it at a variety of angles.

It also comes in a range of bright colors – though these, coupled with the otherwise plain design, probably won’t suit everyone.

Otherwise, this is a fairly standard keyboard case, but it’s lightweight, just like your iPad, so you can comfortably carry it, and it has shortcut keys to help you navigate iOS.

  • You’ve got the hardware, now get some software with the best iPad apps

      

Download of the day – Evolution

Evolution invites you to construct simple stick creatures, then leave them to their own devices and let them learn how to walk. You can play it in your browser, but if you want to save your creations you’ll need to download the desktop version (available for Windows and Mac).

Create joints, then link them with bones, then connect muscles to the bones. Once you think you have something worthy of the gift of life, select how many of the creatures should be in each generation, select an action (running, jumping, obstacle jump or climbing), then click Evolve.

At first, your poor creatures will probably collapse in an undignified heap, but the most successful member of each generation will be used to spawn the next, and after several iterations hopefully they’ll evolve into something capable of locomotion as they learn how to use their muscles to best effect.

My creature – a hideous tangle of muscle and bone – began by flailing and twitching like a stick man wrapped in a bungee cord, but eventually developed a kind of bouncy walk, using momentum from its horrible limbs to propel itself forward. Nothing as co-ordinated as actually walking, but satisfying nonetheless.

Download here: Evolution

Download of the Day is our pick of the best free software around – whether it’s useful, fun, or just plain silly. If you have any recommendations, please send them to downloads@techradar.com.

      

Facebook on mobile may soon let you make GIFs

If you thought Facebook was running out of ways to help you bombard your friends’ news feeds, think again.

It appears that the social media giant is trying out a new feature for its mobile app that allows you to make your own GIFs, according to The Next Web.

Found in the upper portion of the app’s camera, the GIF maker seemingly allows for short, looping video that can be augmented with effects and captions.

It appears the GIF-making feature is not available to all users at this time, suggesting those who currently have their hands on it either got it by accident or through the update rolling out very slowly.

Additionally, it’s suspected that Facebook’s newest trick will roll out primarily to iOS devices before making its way to Android. We have contacted Facebook to learn more and will update this story as new details emerge.

Though this feature hasn’t been confirmed yet, we still look forward to the day we can resume posting short, looping posts for our Facebook feed — things just haven’t been the same since Vine shut down, you know?

      

The new Surface Pro’s sleeping problem is no more following recent fix

Well, that was surprisingly fast. Microsoft has announced via both a forum post and through its support site that the brand new Surface Pro‘s well-document sleeping problem is no more.

Specifically, the pleasant news was delivered by the very same Microsoft forum moderator ‘BryanH’ that promised disgruntled users a fix was on the way just days prior.

For those who may not have experienced this issue, like us, a considerable number of new Surface Pro owners reported their tablets were randomly entering a “Sleep” state. What’s worse, a smaller amount of users claim that the bug has caused them to lose work.

Naturally, the fix was made available through the Windows Update channel via Windows 10‘s Settings menu on July 13, with Microsoft’s BryanH alerting users on July 14. In the patch notes for the fix, the firmware update description simply reads “233.1763.257.0 revises system power reporting.”

Microsoft hasn’t explained what that means exactly, but has ensured folks that this will fix Surface Pro units randomly going to sleep.

While this is far from the first time a Surface device to suffer from random bouts of narcolepsy, this is definitely the fastest Microsoft has responded to the problem with a fix.

Via ZDNet

      

The best popup blocker 2017

‘Popup’ seems a bit of an understated term given the increasingly manipulative form of today’s invasive advertising. Yes, they pop up. But they also pop under, hide themselves offscreen until you least expect them, leap up as new browser tabs and, most gallingly, shout annoying things at you until you seek them out and shut them down. Nobody wants to deal with a popup.

Before we get into the best tools to do away with them, however, it’s worth pointing out that most modern browsers include built-in options to disable popup windows. In Google Chrome, for example, click the three-dot icon, select ‘Settings’, click ‘Show advanced settings’, then select ‘Content settings’ below ‘Privacy’. In the box that appears, you’ll be able to select whether to allow or disallow popups – the latter will be true by default – and add whitelisted sites.

Here’s the thing, though: whichever browser you use, you’ll no doubt have noticed that its default popup blocking skills leave a lot to be desired. Time to enlist the best third-party popup blocker you can find.

1. Poper Blocker

The best popup blocker for Google Chrome, with active user support

Available as an extension for Google Chrome, it was a head-to-head battle between this and Popup Blocker Pro over which would make it on to our list. The slightly anonymous authorship (and occasional suspicious triggering of our antivirus software) of Popup Blocker Pro saw Poper Blocker come out on top, but it has a lot going for it besides trustworthiness.

Designed specifically with the web’s most popup-ridden sites in mind – we’re sure you know the sort of thing – Poper Blocker does a great job at quashing the majority of popups, popunders, unwanted new tabs, and even those supremely-irritating site overlay layers. It’s not, primarily, an ad blocker; yes, it’s designed to work harmoniously alongside them if you so wish, but you can equally run Poper Blocker alone to support your favourite sites without being hit by the most egregious of online ads. With active, personalised support from its developer, Poper Blocker is only getting better as time goes on.

Download here: Poper Blocker

2. AdwCleaner

Malware is a common source of popups, so wipe infections out for good

We recommended AdwCleaner a couple of years ago, and we’re maintaining our recommendation here. Not necessarily because of its capabilities at protecting your browser – although it does a brilliant job at squashing home page hijacks and removing toolbars – but because of its ability to clean up undesirable software that you might not even realise is there. If you’ve ever had a mysterious popup outside of your browser, or a cryptic (or simply bothersome) system message, there’s probably some kind of malware present. That’s not just bad from an irritation standpoint; you never know what kind of data it’s collecting about you.

So, regularly fire up ADWCleaner – first in its Scan mode, and then in its Clean mode – to hunt through your system for adware and expunge everything from fake Firefox profiles to full-blown hidden advert factories. It’s now owned by Malwarebytes, which means one of two things: either ADWCleaner will inherit technology from its new parent and get better, or it’ll be folded into Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and disappear.

Download here: AdwCleaner

3. Noscript Security Suite

Prevent sneaky Javascript operations that produce popups

Made specifically for Firefox (and with functional equivalents like ScriptSafe available for Google Chrome) Noscript Security Suite isn’t what you’d traditionally think of as a popup blocker – it doesn’t, technically, block popups at all. What it does is offer you fine control over the Javascript items which are allowed to run in your browser, meaning the sneaky scripts which manage to weasel their way past Firefox’s built-in popup blocker won’t get a chance to run.

This is, naturally a boon to internet safety – with scripts on all sites blocked unless you specifically whitelist those locations, there’s no way anything malicious, let alone a popup, could run without your permission. This includes the likes of cross-site scripting attacks and so-called ‘clickjacking’. Granted, you’ll have a bit of a battle facing you until you’ve whitelisted your favourite sites, but you’ll quickly settle in to a world of popup-free bliss

Download here: Noscript Security Suite

4. Goodblock

A popup blocker that soothes your conscience with charity fundraising

We were consciously avoiding covering direct ad blockers in this list, but this one is a little bit different, so we’ll give it a pass. Goodblock will, naturally, keep the worst Chrome popups at bay, block ads on sites unless you use its quick menu to whitelist them, and stop you being tracked as you browse around the web. It’ll also, er, show you its own ads.

That practice is not as cross-purpose as it seems, because this is an ad-and-popup blocker for those with a conscience. Once a day, its cute butterfly mascot – the irrepressible ‘Tad’ – will pop up in the corner of your browser. Give him a click, watch the curated ad that pops up in a new window, and you’ll raise a little money for charity. The ads themselves are generally rather good, too; we’re not going to say you’ll want to click on them, but you equally won’t regret it.

Download here: Goodblock

5. Opera

The browser with the best built-in popup blocker, able to differentiate between annoying ads and popups that are actually useful

We’ve had a look at the TechRadar stats, and we have a serious question: why does nobody use Opera? It’s one of the best browsers around, one of the fastest and lightest of memory. It has a built-in proxy/speedup tool in the form of its Turbo mode – which is handy for dodging international or ISP restrictions – and (yes) it includes the absolute best popup blocker of any browser on the market today.

By default, Opera’s blocker does its best to distinguish between ads and legit popups, and does a sterling job at that. Using the Settings / Websites panel, you can set it to block everything (with a quick whitelist option for sites you trust), or block nothing at all, and also restrict other content like popout videos or Flash. For additional protection, Opera is extendable – there are, naturally, popup blockers in its extension library. Try Popup Blocker (strict) if Opera doesn’t match your expectations by default.

Download here: Opera

      

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