DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free in exchange for my fair and honest review.
I will start this review by saying that I am typing it on the Brydge keyboard itself. Brydge has done an excellent job replicating the look, feel, and quality of the MacBook experience with this aluminum Bluetooth keyboard for the 10.5” iPad Pro.
The keyboard comes packaged neatly in a box with design cues from Apple, and opens easily along the side via a magnetic closure. Inside the box is the Brydge keyboard, Quick Start user manual, and charging cable (micro USB).
Upon removing the keyboard from the box, you can instantly feel the quality of the material. It has an excellent weight to it, and the aluminum is anodized and textured nearly identically to that of a MacBook.
For those who are used to the MacBook keyboard “chiclet” keys, your fingers will feel right at home typing on this keyboard. It feels spacious, and the travel of each key is excellent. I can type much faster on the Brydge keyboard than I can on other “smart” keyboards intended for the iPad Pro thanks to the feel.
Some nice features include a backlit keyboard for easy typing in the dark, a battery indicator, and a row of function keys that perform various functions within iOS with a push of a button. The backlighting is bright and even, and includes four settings: low, medium, high, and off. The battery indicator is a button that you can hold down and the power button will flash a different color to indicate how much battery life is left. The function keys include play/pause, forward/backward, volume toggles, screen brightness toggles, a lock button, a home button, and a dedicated Siri button for easy one-touch access. All function buttons work well with iOS.
The Bluetooth connectivity seems strong and reliable. I did have a bit of a difficult time getting the Brydge to pair when I initially took it out of the box...but after reading the Quick Start guide, I was able to get it connected in less than 30 seconds.
The keyboard itself has some really great power saving features. It will automatically shut off the backlight, turn on sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity, or turn the keyboard (and iPad screen) off altogether when it is closed laptop style. The keyboard power resumes when the “lid” is opened again.
I have only two critiques of this keyboard. The first would be that it lacks protection for the iPad itself, as you cannot use this hinge style device with any protective covers for the back side of the iPad. Secondly, it is a little bit imbalanced as far as weight goes, making it easier to drop the devices if holding them away from a flat surface. The keyboard has heft to it, but it is simply not as heavy as the iPad itself, which makes it slightly top-heavy. This is a non-issue however, as long as you are primarily using the device on a flat surface.
Overall, this is an excellently crafted piece of equipment that fits the vein of Apple products well. In fact, two of my friends were shocked when they found out that this was not an Apple product. It is definitely of that quality, and it makes the perfect companion to the iPad Pro for those of you who want to use your tablet as a laptop.