Brydge has been making keyboards for Apple’s iPads for years now, and the newest model, the Brydge 12.9 MAX+, is compatible with the third, fourth, and fifth-generation iPad Pro models, so it works even with the new mini-LED iPad Pro.
In our latest YouTube video, we checked out the new Brydge 12.9 MAX+ to see if it’s a viable alternative to Apple’s own Magic Keyboard. Note that we have a preproduction unit and haven’t had a lot of time with it, so is more of an overview than an in-depth review.
Shipping out in June, the Brydge 12.9 MAX+ is priced at $250, which is quite expensive, but it is a full $100 cheaper than Apple’s Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Like the Magic Keyboard, it offers a full keyboard and a trackpad that’s compatible with the iPad Pro models, turning an iPad touch experience into a more laptop-like experience.
The Brydge 12.9 MAX+ is a keyboard case that connects to the back of the iPad Pro magnetically similar to the Magic Keyboard, but it does not have the same elevated angling, instead using a flatter, more typical laptop design.
The keys, which are arguably one of the most important aspects of any keyboard, feel great under the fingers and have a good amount of travel. There’s a row of shortcut keys above the number row for controlling screen brightness, accessing media controls and emoji, and more.
The trackpad is huge, much larger than the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard and comparable to the trackpad on the MacBook Pro. The trackpad works well, and there are no dead zones. You can tap anywhere on the trackpad (and click in most areas minus the edges), and it’s a major improvement over the trackpad on Brydge keyboards that we tested last year. You’re not going to feel a lot of difference with this trackpad and the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard.
Since this is a Bluetooth keyboard, it does not connect to the Smart Connector like the Magic Keyboard, which is not as convenient because it does need to be charged at times. There are some other minor downsides. The keyboard is a bit wobbly when you touch the iPad’s screen while using it, and the hinge is tight and it takes some force to adjust the position of the iPad, but overall, it’s a solid keyboard and looks like it will be a good alternative to the Magic Keyboard.
Make sure to take a look at our full video to get a look at the keyboard in action.