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Next iPad Pro keyboard could feature scissor-switches and backlighting

Will the rumored iPad Pro keyboard redesign look more like a Brydge keyboard? (Source: Brydge)
Will the rumored iPad Pro keyboard redesign look more like a Brydge keyboard? (Source: Brydge)
Taiwanese publication Digitimes is reporting that Apple is developing a new keyboard for its iPad Pro line that will use a traditional scissor switch mechanism like the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. For the first time, Apple’s first-party keyboard accessory will also reportedly feature backlighting for the first time.

Apple has been selling a first-party keyboard accessory for the iPad for some time, but it wasn’t always the case. Until it released the Smart Keyboard in 2015 to accompany the first iPad Pro, iPad users were stuck with third-party alternatives. However, neither the Smart Keyboard Cover and the newer Smart Keyboard Folio are to everyone’s taste fitted as they are with a tough spill-resistant fabric coating.

Worse, they are also fitted with Apple’s disastrous butterfly keyboard mechanism which also sparked the introduction of an extended warranty replacement program that is less well known than the MacBook debacle.  Not only that, but the Smart Keyboard Cover, which continues to be sold, and the Smart Keyboard Folio don’t offer backlighting. For all of these reasons there is still a thriving third-party keyboard accessory market for Apple’s iPad and iPad Pro lineups.

Apple, however, looks like it might have called time on the current approach with a report coming out of the Taiwanese supply chain rag Digitimes suggesting that the butterfly mechanism in the iPad keyboard line will be replaced with a newer scissor-switch design borrowed from the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. This new iPad Pro keyboard will also feature backlighting, suggestive that Apple could be ditching the fabric coated approach for something more like the very popular Brydge keyboard designs.

The main advantages of Apple’s existing approach over a Brydge keyboard is that it is much thinner and lighter. However, if Apple could somehow develop a design that is a hybrid of the two approaches, it could prove to be very popular. The news is sure to grab the attention of Brydge, and other keyboard accessory makers out there that’s for sure. Whichever way Apple does go, it looks intent on killing off the butterfly mechanism once and for all.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 01 > Next iPad Pro keyboard could feature scissor-switches and backlighting
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-01-23 (Update: 2020-01-23)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.