Apple's Magic Keyboard for iPad drops to $250 at Amazon

New discounts bring the accessory down to the lowest prices we've seen.

Chris Velazco / Engadget

The iPads that Apple released this year are its most viable laptop replacements yet, and the company’s Magic Keyboard is arguably the best accessory to get if you plan on using your tablet as such. But with the keyboard’s eye-watering price tag, it’s often hard to recommend it when other affordable options exist. But now Amazon has the Magic Keyboard at the best price we’ve seen it: the 11-inch model, which works with the same sized iPad Pro and new iPad Air, has been discounted to $249.99, while the 12.9-inch model is down to $299.99. Both of these discounts come from on-page coupons (for $39.01 and $29.01, respectively) that will be automatically applied at checkout.

Buy 11-inch Magic Keyboard at Amazon - $249.99 Buy 12.9-inch Magic Keyboard at Amazon - $299.99

The Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically to your iPad and provides a typing experience that’s very similar to that of the latest MacBook Air and Pro. Instead of the old-school (and frustrating) butterfly keys, this uses Apple’s new scissor-switch keys that are much easier and more comfortable to type with. The keyboard area itself is only a bit narrower than that of the MacBook Pro, so it won’t take much getting used to if you’re already familiar with Apple-style keyboards. While more wide than tall, the built-in glass trackpad is precise and more intuitive to use than a touchscreen when you’re using an iPad as a laptop.

Engadget’s Chris Velazco also found that the entire accessory is quiet sturdy and easy to use in your lap. Many keyboard cases are wobbly (to say the least) when using them propped up on your lap and that can put a damper on the experience of using a tablet as a laptop replacement. But the Magic Keyboard holds on to the iPad well and the whole package feels more stable than many other accessories like it.

But even when you’re spending $300 or more on a tablet keyboard, you’ll still have to make some sacrifices. For one, the USB-C port on the Magic Keyboard can be used to charge the iPad but it can’t take an USB-C accessories. Also, the Magic Keyboard has a limited range of motion compared to an actual laptop, so you may not always get the viewing angles you want.

Ultimately, the Magic Keyboard remains best for those that want a superior typing experience and the slickness that comes with Apple’s first-party accessory. Both models are a better buy now that they are more affordable — but if you’re looking to spend even less, we recommend something like Logitech’s Folio Touch keyboard case, which comes it at $160 and is more versatile than Apple’s own offering.

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