Writing on the built in iPad keyboard or its virtual screen keyboard should be left for only the shortest possible entries. For anything of length, it is definitely not the answer.
Instead, it is well worth investing in an external keyboard. It will make your writing more like that done on a notebook or laptop computer. However, keyboards for the iPad vary greatly in their functionality and usefulness.
The Apple Keyboard is More about Shortcomings than Finesse
In theory you would think Apple’s keyboard would be an ideal adjunct to their iPad. Nothing could be further from the truth. Though the keyboard is called a Smart Keyboard as it does not require bluetooth pairing, that is about as much good as you can attribute to the device. It pairs automatically to the iPad once a connection is made and the keyboard’s power is derived from the iPad. Although this is excellent this is really where the benefits stop.
The Apple Keyboard is not nearly as protective as it should be. Although it covers both sides of your iPad, it is only held on by magnets. Should you drop your iPad the keyboard separates from the device quickly. Thus, it is fair game for the elements to wreak havoc.
A Keyboard that Should be much More
There is much to be desired about the Apple keyboard. It is the most expensive keyboard on the market for the iPad and yet it provides the least. Firstly, the keyboard is not backlit. Typing at night is not fun especially if you need to glance at your keys every so often to figure out where something is.
The keyboard itself is not a full size keyboard either. If you’re a touch typist this will prove very annoying quickly. The keys won’t be where your muscle memory is telling you where they should be.
Finally, the keyboard’s keys themselves leave a lot to be desired. They are by nature mushy in their feel. They do not feel very tactile at all. They are slightly difficult to press and thus uncomfortable. Again, for the touch typist, this makes for a less than appealing interaction.
A Nice Alternative: the Logitech Slim Folio Pro for the iPad Pro 11 inch
There are a number of third party alternatives to the Apple keyboard however, the one that is probably the nicest is the Logitech SlimFolio Pro for the iPad Pro 11 inch. Logitech has keyboards for the other iPads but for brevity’s sake I thought I’d simply highlight this one.
As a starting point, the keyboard is about half the price of Apple’s keyboard when bought on Amazon. Apple’s keyboard is considered quite expensive while the alternatives range in what one would consider more appropriate.
Secondly, the keyboard is backlit which makes working with it at night a much nicer affair than that of the Apple Keyboard. You can actually see the keys you might want to work with.
Finally, the keyboard actually has a great feel to the typing experience. The keys and their movement are as fine as any keyboard I’ve used on a dedicated laptop or notebook. Using the keyboard is a wonderful experience and increases your productivity and reduces fatigue thus enhancing input with lesser errors. Reducing fatigue simply means you can type longer than you can when using a less conducive keyboard.
The Logitech Keyboard is well worth the Additional Effort in Obtaining It
In actuality there may be no additional effort involved in obtaining this keyboard over the Apple one. It is very easy to acquire directly from Logitech or via Amazon or BestBuy. With the money saved and the increased satisfaction you will enjoy from its use, there is no question it is a worthwhile investment. In actuality, your iPad will feel far closer to that of a laptop or notebook possibly saving you additional money buying such a device for portability.
There are certainly other keyboards that will value add functionality such as the Zagg but I believe Logitech has this piece of the market tied up. I believe it is your best option for a quality typing experience on your iPad.