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• iPad Pro 12.9 released in 2021 is 0.5 mm thicker than the 2020 model.
• You may be able to use the Magic Keyboard, but it can’t be fully closed.
Apple’s iPad Pro tablets are now available, and many users ask themselves whether their current accessories will still be compatible if they decide to upgrade their tablets.
There is no problem with the 11-inch variant, but iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) comes with a new mini-LED touchscreen that forced Apple to increase the depth – and this creates compatibility issues. Read on the details below.
iPad Pro 12.9 Magic Keyboard compatibility – things to know
▸ The 12.9-inch iPad Pro released in 2021 is by 0.5 mm thicker than the 2020 model. Both height and weight, as well as the shape of the iPad are the same as in the earlier model.
▸ The difference in depth makes official accessories (Magic Keyboard, Smart Folio, Smart Folio Keyboard) bought for 2018 and 2020 models not fully compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 (2021).
▸ When you visit Apple online store, you will see that the Magic Keyboard is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 from 2021, 2020, and 2018. You may wrongly assume that your old case will fit the 2021 model.
▸ In fact, Apple introduced an improved Magic Keyboard (including the White variant) that looks identically but resolves the thickness problem, therefore offering backward compatibility. The webpage with that particular variant appeared on Apple website on April 25, 2021 – I have checked it in Wayback Machine.
▸ So, Apple decided not to offer a separate Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9 2021, but to replace the old keyboard with the one that fits all three generations. It may confuse many users as to which Magic Keyboard is compatible with which iPad Pro 12.9 generation.
iPad Pro 12.9 Magic Keyboard compatibility rules
▸ The Magic Keyboard bought in the official Apple Store since late April 2021 is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 2021 and older 12.9-inch models from 2020 and 2018.
▸ The Magic Keyboard bought before late April 2021 is not fully compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) – you can use it, but with some problems. Read on to learn more.
Is my current Magic Keyboard compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 2021?
▸ Magic Keyboard bought for 2020 model would be functioning with the 2021 iPad Pro 12.9 just fine. Smart Connector works without any problem, the case is fully operational when opened.
▸ The problem appears when you want to close the case: the keyboard will not fully lay flat on the screen. It’s because of the 0.5 mm thicker design of the 2021 model.
▸ The problem is amplified if you have a screen protector on your new iPad Pro 12.9 2021.
▸ The problem is not only with the aesthetic. When you carry the iPad with the Magic Keyboard on, the top-row keys are being constantly pressed against the screen. It may eventually end up in marks and scratches on the display. In this case, adding a screen protector would not make things better.
▸ The top-row keys being constantly pressed against the display when the case is closed may wear faster and even start to malfunction.
▸ The best way would be to sell the old Magic Keyboard or replace it with the 2021 one. If you are going to buy it in the Apple store or on Apple website, you can be sure you will get the Magic Keyboard that’s fully compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 2021 and backwards.
▸ If you are going to buy the Magic Keyboard elsewhere, for instance on Amazon to save $50-100, double-check the release date. If the product was added before April 2021, it means it’s the old Magic Keyboard that’s not compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 released in 2021.
▸ Magic Keyboard is now available in White. It’s the new color variant released together with iPad Pro 2021 models. And it means that the white Magic Keyboard is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 2021, no matter when and where you buy it. For instance, it has been already added to the Apple Store on Amazon.
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