The new 12.9 inch iPad Pro doesn’t look dramatically different from its predecessor, but there’s a new Brydge wireless keyboard case all the same.
If you’re looking at the M1-powered Apple iPad 12.9 and thinking “how can I get this iPad with the chip from a MacBook Pro to be more like a MacBook Pro with a touchscreen?”, you may not be the only one. Brydge has been working on a new generation of its keyboard cases that may answer that question before the iPad even comes out.
It’s worth noting that the real answer to that question would be to try to run macOS on an iPad, but since we don’t think Apple will ever let that happen, best move on, or maybe use Parallels on the iPad to access a remote Mac. That’s not exactly the same, but it’s an option.
Otherwise, there’s the whole effort of turning an iPad into a MacBook Pro style of machine, with a keyboard case designed to match. Apple makes its own keyboard cases, for sure, but Brydge’s are design to look much like the computers Apple makes, with a metal body, backlit keys, and a trackpad.
The latest of these is Brydge’s 12.9 Max+, a variation that pushes past the standard clinging rubberised teeth we’ve seen on Brydge models in the past, and instead opts for a magnetic case that fits on the back of the iPad Pro. That’s different from Brydge’s previous approach, which used the rubberised teeth and a plastic back to make it all fit. In this new generation, the keyboard case is an all-in-one thing, and the iPad Pro fits into place in the case itself.
Granted, Brydge isn’t using the Apple Smart Keyboard connector, and is instead relying on a Bluetooth connection for the keyboard to talk to the iPad, and for the mouse, as well. The mouse is handled by a large trackpad, support multi-touch gestures much like a MacBook Pro would, except in a keyboard case.
In essence, Brydge is bringing the keyboard and mouse experience from a MacBook Pro together with a 12.9 inch iPad Pro, complete with backlighting for the keys and up to three months worth of battery life.
Of course, no one has a clue as to whether we’ll ever seen an official touchscreen MacBook Pro, but this case at least appears to get close.
“When combined with the groundbreaking power, speed and connectivity of the new iPad Pro (5th generation), the Brydge 12.9 Max+ redefines the iPad keyboard category by creating a breakthrough all-in-one device for users – whether on the road, in the office or at home,” said Nick Smith, Founder of Brydge.
The Brydge 12.9 Max+ looks set for release in June this year, with an Australian RRP of $399.99. Meanwhile, last year’s option in the Brydge Pro+ will drop to $169.99 for the 12.9 inch and $149.99 for the 11 inch.