I recently made the switch from the iPad Pro 10.5 to the iPad Pro 11 (2018). With that switch I needed to pick up new accessories thanks to Apple updating the form factor of the iPad Pro to a more modern, industrial design.
The first item I picked up was the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. The second thing I picked up was a Paperlike Screen Protector to help with drawing and note-taking. My next consideration was a keyboard case.
I used to use the official Apple Keyboard case with the iPad Pro 10.5. I liked the Apple Smart Keyboard a lot, but dropping $180 for a keyboard case is a hard pill to swallow. I decided to give a look at some of the lower cost options available on Amazon.
The Arteck Keyboard Case for the iPad Pro 11 is made of hard plastic. It does not have a premium feel, but it also does not come at a premium price. The case provides decent protection and has a nice area to keep your Apple Pencil safe. The keyboard is bluetooth and turns on automatically when the iPad is positioned for typing. The magnets built into the keyboard case feel solid.
One thing that I liked about the iPad Smart Keyboard was how thin and light it was. I like having a minimal, light set up. I have been working on finding ways to lighten my EDC (Everyday Carry) over the last year.
The iPad Pro Keyboard Folio weighs around 297 grams or a little over half a pound. The Arteck iPad Pro 11 inch Keyboard Folio weighs 522 grams, so just over a pound. The Arteck Keyboard adds a little bit of weight and bulk, but it is not all that noticeable when packed in your bag.
The Arteck Keyboard brings a host of features that are not provided by the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard Folio. These features include a row of function keys that allow for play, pause and fast forward of media, raising and lowering of volume, and adjusting of screen brightness among other things.
These are productivity adds that I wish were included in the $180 Smart Keyboard Folio and are inexplicably missing from the upcoming $299 Magic Keyboard.
This is where the Arteck HB219 falls apart. The typing experience leaves much to be desired. The key travel is decent, but the responsiveness of the keys are frustrating to say the least. I find myself having to hit harder on the keys than I would on other keyboards. Keyboard shortcuts are especially frustrating since you’re expecting a certain result whether it be copy/pasting or going home, but it takes you 2 or 3 times for this to happen. At first I thought the issues I was experiencing was due to connectivity issues, but it wasn’t. I was connected the entire time.
Overall, I find the Arteck Keyboard Case for the iPad Pro 11 to provide decent protection and find it useful for short stints of typing like responding to emails, but I feel people should look elsewhere if they are looking to produce more long form content.
The Arteck Keyboard Case for the iPad Pro 11 can be found on Amazon for $29.99 at the time of this writing.