Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Backlit keyboard and more joys of using the Magic Keyboard - an accessory that makes the iPad Pro true to itself


When I bought my first Mac - it was the first generation MacBook Air, it had a backlit keyboard. I wrote about it back in the day (December 2008). I loved it. Even though I touch-type and don’t really look at it much, it was just so a nice to have it there. Now it’s back with the Magic Keyboard and it’s glorious. Plus there are other cool things about this new accessory which I didn’t mention in my video review and today I’ll try to dive deeper into all of them:

Backlit keyboard and more joys of using the Magic Keyboard - an accessory that makes the iPad Pro true to itself

Backlit keyboard is just elegant

It’s like a jewel. It’s just nice to look at… and it makes the feel of the Magic Keyboard more “premium”. I’m sure it draws much more power from the iPad, but it’s totally worth it. As you could see in my video review my previous main iPad Pro keyboard was the Smart Keyboard Folio and it was completely used… because I write a lot on this thing.

Between this blog, iMagazine, iPadOnly boo - recently published free, NoOffice book - writing currently and my regular day-job writing stuff up for Nozbe - there’s lots of writing that I’m doing.

And now with the pandemic I’m writing even more in the evenings, when a backlit keyboard is much appreciated. You can also adjust the strength of the keyboard brightness in Settings/General/Keyboard/Hardware Keyboard. I keep it in the middle and it’s perfect.

What else do I dig about the new Magic Keyboard?

After a few days with it, I can say that there are more things I love about this product:

For more of my thoughts on the iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard and why I choose the 11” iPad Pro - check out my video review posted two days ago.

Bonus - a way to draw on the iPad

This is completely unexpected. I’ve been complaining before that with the Smart Keyboard Folio as a cover that there’s no way to draw on the iPad - you have to put it flat on the table surface. There’s nothing to elevate it to be able to draw on it… and I really like taking notes in the Linea app.

Turns out that by watching iJustine’s Q&A video I realized that you can just turn the iPad with the Magic Keyboard on it’s head and it’s perfect for drawing, check it out!

Backlit keyboard and more joys of using the Magic Keyboard - an accessory that makes the iPad Pro true to itself 2

Yes, I know it looks a little weird but it works perfectly, is not wobbly at all… and the keyboard is an additional protection from the prying eyes of people passing by.

How about the weight?

As I mentioned in my video, this new keyboard is substantially heavier than the previous one, but now that I’ve had it for a few days, when I carry the iPad around I don’t notice the weight difference that much.

Maybe it’s because the overall size and bulk of these two accessories is very similar. The whole package doesn’t feel that much different in day-to-day.

Using the iPad the correct way - as a laptop for writing and as a tablet for reading and interacting.

As noticed by Federico Viticci, the biggest advantage of the new accessory is that it makes the iPad more true to itself. Previously you could just flip around the folio and read with the iPad and folio attached to it.

Now you can’t and that’s a good thing.

This way you type on Magic Keyboard with an iPad “docked”… but when you want to read you just take it out effortlessly (it’s being attached only with magnets) and use it as an iPad… and because the design of the iPad is so great, the “naked” iPad Pro just feels great in my hands.

With this new Magic Keyboard Apple managed to enforce new habits on people - it’s a laptop when you need to type stuff… but it’s a tablet when you want to read stuff… and by making attaching and detaching the Magic Keyboard so easy… it brings the iPad back to its roots. For an #iPadOnly guy like me this is a perfect combination. I have a great writing device which is an iPad with all its iPadOS powerful features and versatility.

We’re getting back to the chapter 9 of the #iPadOnly book - they keyboard is optional, but when you need it, it’s just great.

Yes, this accessory is expensive, but when you’re writing as much as I do, it’s a no-brainer and over a course of a next year or two it’ll easily have paid for itself.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 /backlit/