Tablet

Brydge Pro 12.9: Sturdy keyboard that doubles as screen cover for Apple iPad Pro

The hinged clips of the Brydge Pro 12.9 allow the tablet to be tilted at a comfortable angle while you type.
The hinged clips of the Brydge Pro 12.9 allow the tablet to be tilted at a comfortable angle while you type.

The Brydge Pro 12.9 is a Bluetooth keyboard designed for the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2018).

This keyboard, which doubles as a screen cover, is made of aluminium and feels sturdy and well-built. It is slim at only 6.8mm thick, but quite heavy at 690g.

It comes in silver and space grey, complementing the two iPad Pro colours.

At the top of the keyboard is a row of dedicated function keys, such as brightness for the keyboard backlight, and the home and lock keys. Below all of the keys is a spacious wrist rest.

Under the keyboard are four round rubber stoppers to prevent slippage when typing.

There is a USB-C port - for connectivity and charging - on one side of the keyboard.

You attach your iPad via two hinged clips at the top corners of the keyboard. This can get finicky as both clips need to be aligned at the same angle for attachment.

  • FOR

  • • Sleek and well-built

    • Makes the iPad Pro feel like a laptop

    • Tiltable viewing angle from zero to 180 degrees

    • Comes with a back cover for the iPad Pro

    AGAINST

    • Heavy

    • Keys need more force to register

    • Expensive

    SPECS

    PRICE: $299

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, USB-C

    WEIGHT: 690g

    RATINGS

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY: 4.5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3.5/5

Tip: Push the clips down to almost horizontal and insert the iPad.

Once attached, your iPad Pro will look like a MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar and trackpad.

The keyboard covers the iPad Pro's screen to protect it when not in use, while the hinged clips allow the tablet to be tilted at a comfortable angle (it goes from zero to 180 degrees) for typing.

The package also includes a snap-on magnetic cover to protect the rear of the iPad.

Thus, not only does the Brydge Pro 12.9 turn the iPad Pro into a laptop, it also protects the front and back of the tablet.

I find the keys well spaced out. There is also no weird key placement and I was able to type as fast as I do on conventional keyboards.

However, my fingers would constantly reach out to use the non-existent trackpad during typing and I had to remind myself to use the touchscreen of the tablet instead.

Plus, the keys require much more force to register compared with Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio.

Having been using the Folio for a while, I find myself having to type much harder, like I do on a laptop.

You would usually think third-party keyboards are cheaper than Apple's own offering. But the Brydge Pro is as expensive as Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Battery life is rated at a year, if you use the keyboard daily for about two hours without backlight.

But it is rated at only 20 hours on a full charge if the backlight is switched on continuously. I have been using it for two weeks, albeit not daily, and the battery level fell by 14 per cent.

Plus, you can easily use the iPad Pro to charge the keyboard via the included USB-C cable.

It took only 10 minutes to charge the keyboard fully from 86 per cent using this method and the iPad Pro suffered only a 1 per cent drop in battery level.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'Tablet Sturdy keyboard doubles as screen cover for Apple iPad Pro'. Print Edition | Subscribe