The Magic Keyboard and the Logitech Combo Touch are pretty evenly matched up but there are some very specific features that are gonna push your decision in one direction or another. If you do any amount of typing on an iPad, an actual keyboard is so much better than the on-screen one. You’re gonna be able to type faster. You’re gonna make less mistakes. You’ll be more productive.
And it’s also going to offer some additional protection.
Today, I’m gonna cover Apple’s Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro and the Logitech Combo Touch. I’m gonna talk about the good and the bad, cover all the new features and then we’ll see which one comes out on top. Let’s get the price out of the way so that we can put these features in perspective.
For the 11-inch models, the Magic Keyboard costs 300 bucks and the Logitech Combo Touch is 200. If we’re looking at the 12.9-inch size which is what I have right here, then the Magic Keyboard is 350 bucks. And the Combo Touch is 230. This is a fairly significant difference.
And if you get the Combo Touch, you could fund a second generation Apple Pencil, just by adding an extra 10 bucks. But you’re probably not shopping on price alone, or you would have already just bought the less expensive option.
So, let’s get to the important features. Starting on with typing experience, both are actually quite good. In terms of the size and the distance between each key, they’re virtually identical and both feature an inverted T layout for the arrow keys.
And because I’m using the larger iPad Pro, both are very comfortable to type on. But the feel and the sound of the keys are quite different.
The keys on both boards have one millimeter of travel but the Magic Keyboard keys seem more responsive and they bounce back more quickly. The Combo Touch almost feels like there’s a little too much dampening at the bottom. And I found myself pressing those keys harder which led to more fatigue.
As far as the sound, the Magic Keyboard keys have a more hollow sound to them. And the Combo Touch keys have a higher pitch which sounds more clicky. Personally, I know it’s strange, but I really like a clicky keyboard. And I know that this is a pretty divisive issue. So, here’s a sound test. (Apple Magic Keyboard clacking) (Logitech Combo Touch clacking) (Apple Magic Keyboard clacking) (Logitech Combo Touch clacking) Both boards have backlit keys. So, the keys are easy to see in the dark. And I’m going to give the Combo Touch the edge here because you can control the brightness level using dedicated function keys at the top, and more on these keys later. As I mentioned before, the width of the boards is virtually identical but where you’ll notice a difference is in the depth.
This might sound strange to you because when they’re closed, they have the same depth as well.
But take a look at where the iPad is positioned in relation to the keyboard. The Magic Keyboard has 2 1/2 inches of space at the top before we get to the top row of keys. The Combo Touch only has about 1 1/4 of space. And you can look at this as a pro or a con. The Magic Keyboard brings the iPad Pro closer to you.
So, it feels like a slightly more immersive user experience. The downside is that there’s a lot less space at the bottom of the board, there’s a lot less room for your hands to rest on. So, I find that when I type, my hands end up resting right on the edge of the keyboard, whereas on the Combo Touch, I’ve plenty of space to comfortably rest my hands. I use my iPad pro on my desk, when I’m sitting on the couch, or laying in bed. And in all those situations, I prefer a larger wrist rest.
Now, let’s talk about the ergonomics of the boards and take a closer look at the different modes and orientations that each keyboard supports. The Magic Keyboard is the more solid keyboard. There’s no question about that. The bottom of the board is actually slightly thinner than the Combo Touch, but it has less flex to it. And because of the floating design, the rear hinge is completely solid and it adds to the stability of the board.
The Combo Touch uses a kickstand on the back to support and control the angle of the iPad. So, there’s a lot more play at the rear joint. Now, when I’m typing on my desk, it doesn’t really matter because I’m on a flat surface.
But if I have the board on my lap, I would definitely prefer the more solid construction of the Magic Keyboard. This difference also has other implications.
So, the Magic Keyboard requires less space when you’re working at a desk because the footprint is essentially the same as the size of the iPad Pro. With the Combo Touch, depending on the angle that you want it at, you’ll need at least an additional few inches. This also makes it harder to use it on your lap because you really need to have it right up on your body to have room for the kickstand. And this wasn’t an issue for me with the Logitech Folio Touch and the iPad Air 4 because it’s a smaller iPad. But it’s definitely something that I noticed with the 12.
9-inch Combo Touch.
As far as the angle of the iPad, the Combo Touch offers more options. Now, when I’m typing, this isn’t really an advantage because the Magic Keyboard has a great range. It does get a little top heavy which means that it could be challenging to use on your lap at a downward angle, but it’s still way better than the Combo Touch for that particular use case. Now, as soon as you move beyond typing, the Combo Touch is clearly the more versatile option.
First, you can disconnect the keyboard and then use the iPad in tablet mode while still having protection on the back of the iPad. With the Magic Keyboard, you can easily remove the iPad but I don’t like putting my iPad on the desk without a case.
And if I walk away from the Magic Keyboard, then I need to either put a case on it or go back to the keyboard when I want to put it down. On the Combo Touch, I can also use the kickstand as a stand and then use the iPad Pro for viewing content. So, for example, when Christie and I are working out, we have a pretty small ledge where you can put the iPad Pro and then angle it up so that we can see it.
If you like using the Apple Pencil with the iPad on the desk, the Combo Touch lets you do that with either the iPad being completely flat or slightly raised. Now, one of my favorite features of the Combo Touch is that the keyboard can be flipped around and then reattached. In that way, when you fold it back, your hands aren’t touching the keys. With the Folio Touch, when you flip the keys back, your hands are actually resting right on the keys. It doesn’t really cause an issue but it’s just a much better design with the Combo Touch.
If you want better keys, a more stable keyboard, and you don’t mind using the iPad Pro without a case, then the Magic Keyboard is an excellent option. The iPad Pro is only being held in place by magnets. So, it’s much more convenient to remove and reattach it. I know myself. So, if I wanna use the iPad Pro without the Magic Keyboard, I’m always going to add a case. And if you wanna see some of my favorite accessories for the iPad Pro, I’ll link to that video at the end of this one. Now, let’s take a look at both of these in terms of protection. The Magic Keyboard protects the front, the back and one of the sides. But the other sides and the corners are completely exposed. The Combo Touch has a bumper that goes pretty much all the way around the iPad.
So, essentially all the sides and the corners are protected. It’s also slightly thicker which creates additional protection for the camera module.
I was really disappointed that Logitech didn’t include a magnetic strap to cover and secure the Apple Pencil. One of the issues that I run into with the Magic Keyboard is that the Apple Pencil easily gets knocked off and it always ends up loose in my bag. The Combo Touch does have a slight lip so it protects the Apple Pencil a little more and it’s less likely to come off. With the Folio Touch in my iPad Air 4, Logitech incorporated a strap which securely keeps the Apple Pencil in place.
I absolutely love the second generation Apple Pencil and you can pair and charge it wirelessly on the side of the iPad Pro. I use it for things like working with PDFs, sketching, taking notes, and for photo and video editing. I also created a video where I show you my favorite Apple Pencil, tips and tricks. So, I’ll link to that on my end screen.
Look, the iPad Pro’s an expensive tablet. So, if you want a keyboard case with the best protection that would be the Combo Touch. On next, let’s talk about the power source. So, both the Magic Keyboard and the Combo Touch use a smart connector and get their power from the iPad.
And because of that, there’s no need to charge or manually pair either one. The Magic Keyboard does have a significant advantage here with the USB-C pass-through on the bottom left of the board. And I really appreciate this feature because it allows me to have the charging cable flat on the desk rather than hanging from the side of the iPad Pro. It also means that when I use accessories like a USB-C hub or an external drive, I can still charge my iPad Pro via the Magic Keyboard. Now, we already covered the keys. So, now let’s talk about these trackpads.
Now, here Logitech has made big improvements and unlike the previous models, it has a click-anywhere design. It requires less force to actually click on it.
And it’s much larger than the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard. Having said that, the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard clicks perfectly everywhere and it feels slightly more responsive than the one on the Combo Touch. So, in my opinion, it’s still the best trackpad that I’ve used on any keyboard case but the margin is definitely closed up quite a bit.
Now, a quick tip, if you get the Combo Touch, head over to settings, general, trackpad and then change the tracking speed to the fastest setting. While I’m there, I also like to enable Tap to Click because that’s how I use my MacBooks and the Magic Trackpad. The two trackpads fully support gestures. So, you can maximize productivity. Both are accurate and responsive and both contribute to a laptop-like user experience.
Like I said, the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard is my favorite but it’s not only by a very slim margin. Next, let’s get to one of my favorite features of the Combo Touch, the shortcut/function keys. You’ll notice that each key on the top row has a dedicated function. We’ve got everything from a Home or Escape button, display brightness controls, a key to show and hide the on-screen keyboard, keyboard brightness controls, spotlight search, multimedia controls, volume controls, and a key to lock the iPad Pro.
I use these keys all the time. So, if I’m watching a video and taking notes, I can easily pause a video without having to move my hands from the board. If I’m listening to music and I get a phone call, I can quickly mute the iPad Pro and I can easily change the display brightness without having to bring up the control center. Now, not having this functionality on the Magic Keyboard isn’t a deal breaker for me. But for how I use the iPad Pro, having them definitely contributes to a more streamlined user experience. If you want a floating iPad, you want a sleek and minimalistic design, which is now available on white, you want less moving parts, a USB-C pass-through for charging, a better typing experience when the keyboard is on your lap, if you don’t mind using the iPad Pro without protection when it’s not attached to the keyboard, and you’ve got 350 bucks to spend, then the Magic Keyboard is an excellent option.
If, on the other hand, you prioritize various modes for typing, sketching, using the Apple Pencil, viewing content and reading, if you want more protection, a larger trackpad, and an incredibly convenient row of shortcuts/function keys, and you wanna save 120 bucks, then grab yourself a Logitech Combo Touch. I have links in the description to all the products that I talked about. Click on my face to subscribe and then watch one of these videos.
You know what I always say, buy it nice or buy it twice. Good luck and see you soon.