The Touchtype Pro is a new Keyboard case allowing iPad users to connect their 3rd generation iPads with the Magic Keyboard, and it is available on Kickstarter until May 17th. I received a prototype review unit from the creator of the Touchtype Pro, Salman Sajid, and this seems very close to the final product for me, and it is something I think many iPad users will love.
The Magic Keyboard
The Magic Keyboard was my keyboard of choice when it came to my 10.5” iPad Pro. I was never happy with the Smart Keyboard, nor was I thrilled with the Logitech Slim Combo. The only thing that came close was the Brydge 10.5 Series II, but even that was not a full sized keyboard, making my hands feel cramped after an hour of typing on it.
The Magic Keyboard wasn’t just my pick because of the size, it is also because something about the feel of the keys always felt like the perfect amount of travel and tactile feel for my taste. So for the last year of me using the iPad Pro 10.5” I had it accompanied with the Magic Keyboard. Now with this Touchtype Pro, I am able to use the Magic Keyboard in tandom with the iPad Pro 12.9”. This case has a lot going for it, but there are a few things I would like to see in the final product.
Look and Feel
The quality of the look and feel of this keyboard is out of this world. I love the microfiber cloth inside the case. It is soft and feels like it is actually helping preserve the screen and keyboard from dust and grime. The outer shell is a cross between the look of plastic leather and the feel of polycarbonate, which is very pleasing in the hands as well as to the eyes. The craft put into this shows every single time I look at it or have it in my hands. It isn’t easy to make a keyboard case look good both open and closed, but I think that the Touchtype Pro is the exception to that. This case looks very business casual and can be something any workplace will be happy to see in use.
Using the Touchtype Pro
This Touchtype Pro brings the reliability of the Magic Keyboard together with the iPad Pro. Put simply it unites the best iPad with the best standalone keyboard. It allows people to write with the freedom of a full sized keyboard that is reliable and perfect for all typists out there.
One problem with the Magic Keyboard is you can only buy it as a white version from Apple, for me I think if there were a black version it would make this look even better. Secondly, the Magic Keyboard doesn’t have backlighting, making it a bit more difficult to write with when you are in a dark area, or if you are a night owl like myself and don’t want to wake up your spouse. However, if you're not in need of backlighting all the time this keyboard does have a function row as well as the knowledge that a spec of dust won't ruin it forever.
The process of folding and unfolding the Touchtype Pro takes some getting used to, and has a bit of a learning curve, but after a few tries I managed to get it down to a science. I am also a big fan of the train track of magnets allowing users to adjust the viewing angle of the iPad Pro to what ever angle you prefer when typing. For me, it seems to fit perfectly when I have the front flap folded over and the keyboard resting right on the edge. The case looks sleek and the angle is perfect for my eyes.
The design of this case is admirable with their choice to make it possible to fold away the Magic Keyboard and have a viewing only mode for when I just want to watch a movie or read a book on my iPad. This is something that other cases, including the Smart Keyboard Apple has made for the iPad Pro, don’t have. I miss the old 1st generation Smart Keyboard cases because it was created with a viewing mode in mind. I am not sure why other 3rd party keyboard haven’t done anything like that with their cases for the latest iPads, but it is refreshing to see someone make that decision, and the Touchtype Pro makes it easy to use.
This case does come with its flaws though.
The magnets connecting the keyboard aren’t strong enough to stay connected when I am moving it from a typing mode into a viewing mode. It also collapses on me when I am trying to quickly fold it up to take with me on the go. This isn't the case's fault entirely, I know that there were times I was too cavalier with me packing this iPad up and that caused me to be less than delicate on the case itself. If I gingerly move the keyboard away it works every time.
I have spoken with Salman, the creator of this product, about this and he has expressed to me that the magnets in this prototype are not the ones going out to Kickstarter backers. Those who pay for the keyboard on Kickstarter or retail will be getting ones with stronger magnets to avoid this problem. After speaking with Salman on the phone about this I know he cares deeply about this product, and I have full faith that he will fix this before he ships them out to users.
All in all this keyboard case has a lot of great things going for it, and if you are someone like me wanting a full sized keyboard, the Touchtype Pro is a fantastic option worth looking into.
That said, this keyboard is $100 retail, and along with the case costing $100 retail, it makes this keyboard case setup the most expensive of any compared to Apple’s Smart Keyboard, Logtiech’s Slim Folio Pro, and the Brydge Keyboard. That said, you can get a used Magic Keyboard, like I did, on eBay for around $55. Making this less expensive than the Smart Keyboard as well as the Brydge Keyboard. So if you did have to buy both this case and a Magic Keyboard it wouldn't be outside of the competition.
Now, if you are like many who already own the Magic Keyboard, a $100 case like this one isn't asking for a lot. In fact, I would argue that this case is worth $150 on its own. There isn't a case out there that offers this much versatility and usability for the latest iPad Pros. If I am being totally honest I am sad to have to send this case back as I see it being a keyboard case I can use day-to-day.
if you want to get yours, act fast. You can get yours at a discount until May 17th by backing it on Kickstarter and find out more about it on their website.