Brydge announced in January that it was releasing a keyboard with a trackpad for iPads. We got support for trackpads with iPadOS 13.4 released in March. The first wave of reviews for the Brydge Pro+ trackpad were largely negative. Since then, the company released an app to continually update the keyboard’s firmware. Based on my experience compared to others, it sounds like the trackpad experience has improved.
Brydge Pro+ Review: Keyboard
First, I think the keyboard itself looks great. It’s made of Space Gray aluminum and it matches my iPad Pro almost perfectly. Brydge keyboards are known for their design. Many iPad keyboards come with a case that adds bulk to your set up. Brydge keyboards have hinges and nothing else, so it feels more like a traditional laptop. These are tight hinges with a rubberized interior. You’ll have to carefully slide the iPad into them, and they grip tight so it won’t easily fall out.
The keyboard is roughly the same thickness and weight as the newer iPad Pros. When you add them together it does feel a bit heavy, so this may not be an ideal travel keyboard. It also comes with a magnetic cover for the back of your iPad, but I personally like to keep mine off.
It’s a backlit keyboard, which is a feature I missed having when I used Apple’s Smart Keyboard. A function row at the top gives you keys to control volume, brightness, a toggle for the backlighting, a globe key, a key to activate the onscreen keyboard, a home button, and buttons for Bluetooth and power.
I love typing on the keyboard, and in my opinion it’s really close to the experience you get with a MacBook. My MacBook Pro is from 2014 so I haven’t used Apple’s new Magic Keyboard. But I can tell you that it has good travel and my fingers don’t get fatigued with the amount of typing I do every day.
Brydge says the keyboard battery can last up to three months. I use it every day for hours, and right now the keyboard is at 66%. It had a full charge last Saturday. So assume that the battery life projection is for casual use and not full-time writer use. But 66% after a whole week isn’t terrible.
Brydge Pro+ Review: Trackpad
The trackpad is about the size of a business card. It’s small for those of us spoiled by Apple’s big trackpads on MacBooks. I’m also using the 11-inch iPad Pro, so small is to be expected (But typing on the keyboard doesn’t feel cramped).
You can go into accessibility settings (AssistiveTouch) to create different trackpad options. For example, you can tap on it with three fingers to bring up the iPad’s App Switcher. A two-finger tap is automatically set as a right-click.
It may also be helpful for you to disable cursor animations as I found out in May. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Pointer Control for that and turn off Pointer Animations.
Now, the part that you were searching for. I don’t think the trackpad is terrible, but scrolling on it isn’t the best it could be. I’m not sure what the official term for this is, but there is no “infinite scroll.” When you use your finger to scroll content, the content keeps moving for a while before it stops. With the trackpad, the content quickly comes to a stop when you lift your fingers, especially when you scroll up. Unlike early reviews I haven’t noticed any “stuttering” or situations where it just stopped working.
There is a setting to improve this a bit by going to Settings > Accessibility > Motion. Toggle the Reduce Motion feature off. This increases the scrolling speed, but not the infinite scrolling part. For me it made the experience weird because certain animations like opening and closing an app are gone, so I leave that toggle off.
However, as I mentioned Brydge now has an app to update the keyboard firmware. I’m betting that the trackpad experience can be improved in the future so this isn’t a major annoyance, just a slight one. I’m happy with the keyboard in every other way, and with the culmination of this Brydge Pro+ review I say that this is a product I recommend.
You can get the Brydge Pro+ keyboard for US$199.99 if you have an iPad Pro 11-inch. It costs US$229.99 for the iPad Pro 1.29-inch. It’s currently backordered though, but new orders start shipping the week of June 15.
Bonus: Here’s a link to the wallpaper I used.