Brydge Pro Keyboard for 2019 iPad Pro Review
With Apple’s iPad Pro line expected to receive a shot in the arm in the form of iOS 13, Brydge’s latest keyboards have launched to further increase the device’s productivity. Launching at a lower price point than Apple’s own smart keyboard, the Brydge Pro is the new gold standard for iPad input devices.
Opening the impressively premium packaging, it’s impossible not to be wowed by Brydge’s latest. They come in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch variations, both available in space grey or silver colour options. These colours line up perfectly with the device itself, turning your iPad Pro into a MacBook for anyone looking at it from a distance.
Up close, the details are just as impressive. The keys are backlit (with three levels of brightness), while the caps lock and power keys both have LED lights. Keys travel well, and while it can take some time to adjust, they’re nicely spaced too - not too cramped, and not too distant. The unit is lightweight but has enough heft to suggest a high build quality, too.
The keyboard features a 12-month battery life, and while we haven’t been able to test that claim in our review period, we can confirm that the device charges via USB-C - and can also be charged by the iPad Pro itself using the included cable.
Aside from the keyboard, the package also includes an optional cover to protect the rear of the iPad. None of the above interferes with the Apple Pencil, either, so you can still attach and charge it as per usual.
One of the more curious elements of the Brydge Pro is the use of small clamps to hold the iPad in place during use. These line up perfectly with the new rounded bezels of the 2018 device, but many will rightly question if holding the screen by its corners will lead to any longer-term ramifications for the iPad itself. Thankfully, these clamps feature rubberised grips which minimise any pressure on the screen. There’s no protection on the sides of the device though, which is something to consider if you’re likely to keep it in a bag.
While the main draw of the Brydge Pro is almost definitely the keyboard, the device is much more than a one trick pony. While this mode works excellently (with small rubberised pads preventing the screen being scratched on the keys), there’s more on offer here with both Movie and Tablet modes.
While you’ll need to remove the iPad to swap modes (not the easiest thing to do when out and about), Movie mode allows for unlimited viewing angles (much more impressive than the Apple Folio Keyboard’s two viewing positions), and folding the iPad back over the keys is known as Tablet mode - perfect for graphic artists and those that rely on a flat surface to use the Apple Pencil on.
If this all sounds glowingly positive, then it's hard to argue. The Brydge Pro is the best keyboard for the iPad Pro, and its other modes are icing on the cake. Retailing for less than Apple’s own product and offering vastly more impressive functionality and versatility, the only foible is the lack of serious protection for your latest and greatest tablet. If you can see past that, though, there’s simply nothing better.