Apple made the large screen 12.9-inch iPad Pro to travel. It may not be as portable as the 9.7 or 10.5-inch iPads, but the bigger display makes up for that. It is fast becoming an alternative to a laptop.
The 12.9-inch screen on the second generation iPad Pro is tough. Even so, there is no point taking chances. What is the best way to keep it from damage?
Apple’s NZ$269 Smart Keyboard Cover is the obvious first option. It is light; only 340g. The 12.9-inch iPad is 723g. Together they weigh a shade over a kilogram. That’s a little more than the MacBook which weighs in at 920g.
Smart Keyboard cover
The Smart Keyboard Cover turns the iPad Pro into an effective laptop replacement. It is good to type on. Not perfect, but good. One advantage is that it is as wide as normal laptop keyboard.
It is more comfortable for touch typing than the Surface Pro 4 keyboard. It compares with many modern laptop keyboards. This isn’t so true of the 9.7 or 10.5 inch Smart Keyboard Cover where the keys are almost too close together for comfort.
The larger keyboard is one reason why the larger iPad Pro can work as a laptop replacement.
The Smart Keyboard Cover provides enough protection at home. It also works in a briefcase or backpack to travel to a meeting or work in a client’s office. The downside is that it doesn’t accommodate the Apple Pencil.
More protection for 12.9-inch iPad Pro
You can walk about town with no more protection than the Smart Keyboard Cover. Apple's first generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro Silicon case is helpful for guarding against knocks and drops. There is also an Apple-made leather shell for the first generation model iPad Prp. Neither of these are still available on Apple’s New Zealand site. There are third-party shells.
Apple’s new protective case is the NZ$269 Leather Sleeve. As the name says it slips over the computer. There’s enough room inside to accommodate the Smart KeyBoard Cover as well. Apple has added a space to take the Pencil.
Although it is expansive, in practice it works better than the Silicon shell case. It is lighter and takes up less room. It works great on airplanes, if you’re a regular flyer, it is a good investment.
Snugg Leather Sleeve
If the price of the Apple Leather Sleeve is too much, Snugg has a solid alternative. I first reviewed and used the Snugg MacBook Air 13 Wallet Case with my MacBook Air. It is ideal for protecting my 12.9-inch iPad Pro. After all, 12.9-inches is not a long way from 13-inches, so it fits well.
You don’t get the dinky Apple Pencil holder, although there is more than enough space in the Snugg case to take that.
The Snugg case is chunkier, or if you like, more rugged. It can take more punishment than the Apple Leather Sleeve. There are plenty of colour options, including a soft pink if you feel the rugged look is not for you.
Price is the best thing about the Snugg. At US$25 plus postage, it works out at around a quarter of the price of Apple's cover. The problem is that Snugg product is out of stock, although you can still find some on sale online.
You might also be interested in the Logitech Slim Combo iPad Pro keyboard.