Apple has announced that its new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro is available to pre-order now and will start shipping next week, ahead of the original May schedule.
It’s rare for an Apple product to ship ahead of schedule and it’s particularly notable here given the coronavirus pandemic.
The keyboard is compatible with both the new 2020 iPad Pro and the 2018 models, but not for any other iPad Pro. It has a cantilever design that suspends the iPad above the keyboard in a floating design, with a hinge that makes it far more adjustable than the two-position Smart Keyboard Folio.
The keys are also backlit for the first time on an official Apple iPad keyboard and are separate plastic caps with more travel than the fabric-coated keys on the Folio. It should hopefully prove a more laptop-esque kind of typing experience that previously you could only get through various third-party keyboards on iPad.
The Magic Keyboard also adds a trackpad to go with iOS 13.4’s integrated cursor support. It also adds USB-C passthrough in the design for charging, meaning the iPad’s USB-C port is free for accessories such as hard drives and monitors.
The Magic Keyboard is, predictably, expensive. The 11in version costs $299 while the 12.9in is £349/$349 – for just £60/$50 more you can buy the new iPhone SE.