Apple's iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro are unquestionably the rulers of the tablet market. As of Q1 2021, Apple dominates the tablet market with 31.7% market share.
All the iPads offer a variety of sizes and features, but no touch screen can replace a keyboard for writing and revising lengthy documents. Fortunately, whether you're at home, at work, or at school, these Bluetooth keyboards can make your iPad feel like a laptop. As a bonus, many of them work with iPhones as well.
Note that some companies haven't confirmed that their keyboard cases are compatible with the newest iPads. Any case that fits a 2020 iPad should fit the 2021 iPad as well, but the 2021 iPad mini is a different size from the previous minis. Make sure the case you get fits the model you have. Any standalone Bluetooth keyboard without a case will be compatible with all iPads.
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Here's our complete list of the best iPad keyboards of 2021.
Apple All the Way
Apple Magic Keyboard
Works With: iPad Air (2020), iPad Pro (11- or 12.9-inch)
If you're a die-hard Apple fan, there isn't much point to reading beyond our first entry in this list. Do not pass Go, and get ready to spend a lot more than $200 on the Apple Magic Keyboard ($349).
The Magic Keyboard is the ideal companion for the iPad Pro and the most recent iPad Air. The backlit keys feature scissor switches with 1mm of travel for great feedback. The built-in trackpad is compatible with iPadOS and delivers exceptional multi-touch gesture recognition and accurate cursor movement.
The keyboard folds into a case to provide protection for the front and back of your iPad, and the magnetic floating cantilever design allows you to adjust the position of the iPad for the optimum viewing angle.
Apple also has less-expensive keyboard options, including the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio ($179) and the Apple Smart Keyboard ($159), but the Magic Keyboard is the most fully featured and well worth its higher price.
Apple Magic Keyboard Review
Everything in One Place
Apple Smart Folio
Works With: iPad Air (2020), iPad Pro (11- and 12.9-inch)
Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio (starting at $179.99) is a combination keyboard and case that protects your iPad Air or Pro in addition to making typing easy. Set the tablet into the case, adjust the viewing angle, and type; that's all there is to it. There's even a cut-out on the back for the camera stack. Opening the cover wakes your iPad, and closing it puts the tablet to sleep.
There's no trackpad or number pad on the keyboard, and the keys are pretty flat, but it works fine for short bursts of typing. The edge of the iPad is uncovered, so you can magnetically attach your second-generation Pencil; however, if you want to toss your iPad in your bag, you might want to invest in a more secure Pencil clip.
Small and Capable
Fintie Keyboard Case for iPad Mini 6th Generation
Works With: iPad mini (2021)
The 2021 iPad mini is a little larger than previous generations, which means you'll need a case specifically designed to fit it. Enter the Fintie Keyboard Case for iPad Mini 6th Generation ($32.99), a slim and straightforward keyboard case.
As you might expect from a product that fits an 8.3-inch iPad mini, the keyboard is very small. The keys are flat to keep from bulking up the case, and there's no backlighting. Still, it's better to type on than a screen, especially if you want to free up the iPad mini's limited screen space for displaying a document or a presentation.
Bonus: A handy slot in the frame holds your second-generation Apple Pencil securely against your iPad so it can charge while you type.
Style and Substance
iClever BK10 Bluetooth Keyboard
Works With: all iPad models
The iClever BK10 Bluetooth Keyboard ($36.99), made of stainless steel and ABS plastic, will please any fan of Apple's design esthetic. The integrated slope is wrist-friendly, and the rechargeable battery lasts for days.
As a bonus, the BK10 allows for a multi-device connection, pairing with up to three devices and letting you switch between them. The low-profile keys have satisfying scissor switches with moderate feedback. Thanks to the large footprint, there's room for a numeric keypad and dedicated media keys. This might not be a keyboard you throw in your backpack, but you'll be happy to come home to it.
Switch With Ease
Works With: all iPad models
Among the many inexpensive Bluetooth keyboards on the market, the Logitech K380 ($29.99) stands out. It looks and feels similar to a standard laptop keyboard, with exceptional tactile feedback and a pleasing layout.
Any device running Android, iPadOS, MacOS, or Windows can connect to this keyboard, and Logitech's easy-switch feature lets you connect up to three devices and switch among them by pressing a button. The best use of this feature is copying text on one device and pasting it onto another for ease of transferring notes and links.
Takes a Beating
Logitech Rugged Folio
Works With: iPad (2019 and 2020)
If you've ever spilled a coffee on a keyboard or needed to shake crumbs out from between keys, then the spill-proof and dirt-resistant keys on the Logitech Rugged Folio ($139.99) were made for you.
The Logitech Rugged Folio features a durable membrane-sealed Bluetooth keyboard that includes a strong magnet to connect to the included iPad case and adjustable kickstand.A convenient slot in the magnetic latch holds an optional Logitech Crayon, first-generation Apple Pencil, or other digital pencil.
Take It Anywhere
Logitech Slim Folio
Works With: iPad (2017–2020), iPad Air (2019)
Looking for a slimmer, less rugged, and less expensive version of the Logitech Rugged Folio? Consider the Logitech Slim Folio ($95.99). This folio solution delivers a laptop-style typing experience with basic iPadOS shortcut keys.
The front and back of the folio case are padded for additional protection from bumps and scratches, but it's still light and thin. Like the Rugged Folio, the Slim Folio includes an integrated holder for a Logitech Crayon or first-generation Apple Pencil, keeping your writing utensil firmly in place until you're ready to use it.
New Trent iPad Case With Keyboard
Works With: iPad (2019–2021)
If you've spent most of your budget on a new iPad and need an affordable case and keyboard combination, the New Trent iPad Case With Keyboard ($41.95) is worth a closer look.
This detachable iPad case and keyboard is made from polycarbonate and soft TPU materials. The case portion allows full access to the iPad's cameras, microphones, ports, and speakers, and the keyboard's locking hinge holds the tablet firmly in place.
The keyboard is not backlit. The individual key travel is adequate, with a depth similar to a budget laptop keyboard.
Zagg ProKeys Wireless Keyboard and Detachable Case
Works With: iPad (2019–2021), iPad Air (2020), iPad Pro (12.9-inch)
Zagg's ProKeys Wireless Keyboard and Detachable Case (starting at $99.99) is flexible to meet your needs. It's available in a variety of sizes to accommodate different iPad models, and the iPad and iPad Air versions can be found with or without trackpads, depending on whether you want to use your tablet as an ersatz laptop or just type more comfortably for short periods. The iPad Pro version is keyboard-only.
The case has its own battery, which powers the backlit, laptop-style keys. You can even change the color of the backlighting. Zagg claims the battery will last for up to a year without charging, as long as you close the case to put it to sleep when your iPad isn't in use.
There are two parts to the case: a frame that holds your iPad, and a flap that holds the keyboard. If you don't need the keyboard, you can detach the iPad and still enjoy the protection of the durable frame. When you want to type, the two halves of the case connect magnetically. The keyboard can also connect to another tablet, a phone, or a computer via Bluetooth for copying and pasting between devices.
As a bonus, the magnetic closure flap for the case holds your second-generation Apple Pencil in place. However, the magnet isn't very strong, so you may still lose your Pencil in the bottom of your bag every now and then.
Looking for a New Tablet?
If you know you want an iPad but you're not sure which one, check out our guide to picking the perfect iPad for you. And while you're shopping, our list of the best tablets will help you sort through the many alternatives out there.