iPad Pro Tablet With Smart Keyboard Works Well as Laptop Replacement
REVIEW: The iPad Pro with its detachable keyboard is trying mightily to break your laptop habit. But the Apple Pencil seems less effective as a mobile work accessory.When I got the iPad Pro I was delighted with the bigger screen, the higher resolution, and the ability of the tablet to display two full-sized images side by side. Unfortunately, at that point I was unable to get my hands on the iPad Smart Keyboard or the Apple Pencil. But because the larger screen of the iPad Pro makes the on-screen keyboard easier to use, this wasn't as big a disadvantage as it might seem. Eventually the folks at Apple media relations offered to help, and arranged a loan of the currently impossible-to-buy input devices, so I was able to use the iPad as Apple intended, as a laptop replacement. Let me say right up front that I did not expect to be impressed with these items because in my view, flatter-than-a-pancake keyboards are rarely usable. But in this case I was wrong. The Smart Keyboard is in fact more usable than I expected it to be. The Pencil also worked well as the folks at Apple demonstrated in the iPad announcement earlier this year. But I have some questions as to the Pencil's usefulness for some applications.
The Smart Keyboard has two aspects that I find particularly attractive. First it's a miracle of engineering consisting of three layers, one of which is a conductive layer that passes power to the keyboard and data back to the iPad. Over that is a fabric cover that is a one-piece answer to keyboard design. That fabric cover is water resistant and stain resistant, and it manages to provide exceptional tactile feedback for typing.