The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro started shipping a little earlier than the original May projection Apple gave at the announcement, and the first looks at the pricey accessory are mostly positive apart from one pretty hefty downside.
Portability isn't the only reason that you might go with the iPad Pro over a MacBook Air, but it's certainly a factor. At 2.98 pounds combined, the iPad Pro 12.9 and the Magic Keyboard are heavier than not only the MacBook Air but the majority of the best ultrabooks.
You can, of course, easily detach that Magic Keyboard and shed over half the weight from your iPad Pro (12.9-inch), which I don't recommend trying with your MacBook Air. So for those who are planning to frequently use their iPad Pro as a standalone tablet without the Magic Keyboard, this is less of a concern. Then again, at that point, you may find yourself weighing whether it's worth spending $349 on the accessory.
It's predominantly those who look at the iPad Pro as a true laptop replacement that may at least want to pause and consider these options. The base iPad Pro 12.9 with a Magic Keyboard is not only heavier, but the combo is $349 more expensive than the base model MacBook Air.
And while the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro adds an excellent trackpad and keyboard, neither matches the quality of the trackpad and keyboard found in the MacBook Air 2020.
With all that said, the iPad and iPad OS offer a touchscreen experience that the MacBook Air cannot challenge and with the powerful A12Z chip running the iPad Pro, it is also capable of 4K rendering that the MacBook Air struggles to achieve.
As always, this comes down to personal preference and your specific use case. Apple is delivering excellent experiences on both fronts, but this seems to prove that delivering the best of both worlds is still just out of reach.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.