Targus VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case
Targus VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case offers very good protection in a heavy case that ends up begging the question; does the iPad Pro really need a keyboard case, or is a mobile keyboard and mouse enough? The answer will always come down to weight versus features. This case weighs over a half-a-pound more than the iPad Pro. Some may want input options and protection, and for that, it will serve. The heavy case, however, transforms the iPad in ways that take away many of its core advantages.
Targus VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case Review
The major Apple accessory makers, and Apple itself, agree that the iPad Pro wants to be a notebook computer. I’m not so sure. It certainly deserves a variety of inputs, from pen to keyboard to mouse, but I’m not sure that means the iPad Pro needs a solid enclosure case that often more than doubles its weight.
Targus has, since early in the retail life of the iPad, offered various keyboard options for the venerable tablet. Targus’s trade marking of the VersaType moniker for their tablet cases with keyboards demonstrates their commitment to the market. Unfortunately, the increasing size of the iPad Pro results in bigger, heavier cases that start to erode much of the tablet’s appeal. Targus VersaType for iPad Pro Keyboard Case will certainly protect an iPad Pro investment, but it may also crimp its style.
Targus VersaType for iPad Pro Keyboard Case will certainly protect an iPad Pro investment, but it may also crimp its style.
Targus VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case Specifications
- Item Weight: 2 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.95 x 1.9 inches
- Connection: BlueTooth®
- Works with: iPad Pro® 12.9-inch 5th Gen (2021), 4th Gen (2020), and 3rd Gen (2018)
- Warranty: 2 years
What we like
Protection is probably the big selling point for the $144.99 VersaType™; even though protection isn’t in its name, “type” is. The heavy bezels, solid hinge and good materials make for a very protective case. A dropped iPad in a VeraType™ case will likely survive a moderate encounter with the floor.
What I’m supposed to like is the keyboard, the “type” part of the name. Versa means that it converts into various configurations from a tablet with the keyboard folded under, to a display position, or to a presentation orientation. And that’s all great, but the keyboard doesn’t work well enough to compensate for other issues, like weight and a captive use case.
As with most iPad keyboards, the shallow keys capture keystrokes, but they don’t offer a great typing experience. Backlighting is a bit annoying, again, as with many of these keyboards, because it bleeds around the edges of the key more than it does the top, making the entire keyboard glow rather than making the key’s function more visible. That said, the three illumination levels prove one of the more subtle iPad keyboard case backlighting implementations.
Nice touches like protection for the Apple Pencil 2 and a cutout for the Apple logo add appeal. The keyboard also includes several useful function keys for controlling media, iPad brightness, and iPadOS features, like a return home button.
The Targus VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case charges via an included USB-C cable for up to a reported 180 hours of use. Close the case and the iPad and the case go to sleep, conserving power.
Protection is great, but a heavy case that removes much of the iPad Pro’s spontaneity may not be the right choice for most users.
What could be improved
Many of the Targus competitors combine the keyboard with some scheme for easily removing the iPad from heavy keyboard cases. Targus doesn’t do this. This allows for a flip, a fold, or a rotation, but Targus doesn’t support removing the iPad for use as a keyboardless device, save removing it completely, which isn’t convenient or routine. Buyers need to consider if they want to use their iPad in a case all of the time; if the answer is yes, then this may be the right keyboard case. If it isn’t, they may want to seek out more versatile case designs.
Zagg, for instance, separates the basic iPad case from the keyboard. While Zagg’s keyboard case is less than elegant, the magnetic case is brilliant and useful even without the keyboard case. The Targus solution doesn’t offer any flexibility. The iPad Pro either lives in the case with all its weight and awkwardness, or it’s out of the case, naked.
While the keyboard and trackpad combo sounds ideal, the trackpad isn’t the same level of sophistication as found on good laptops. I often looked for the cursor after a cursory movement across the keyboard. The trackpad also features a decidedly clicky tap experience, which might annoy some users.
Targus VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case: The Bottom Line
The Targus VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case is a very protective case for those who want to leave their iPad in a convertible laptop package. The keyboard’s weight makes the case less than ideal for drawing in a club chair, with feet up, thinking about a product design or sketching a landscape.
If all the keyboard cases, including Apple’s, add so much weight to a slim and elegant product, we have to ask if an iPad Pro needs a keyboard case. My answer is no. I’ve started migrating back to an external keyboard with a cursor control built-in or just a keyboard accompanied by a mouse (like this Targus alternative). I find those solutions work just well, weigh less despite multiple components, and function more fluidly than using a compact keyboard with a cramped sense of too many things happening in too small a space. Ultimately, I can put the keyboard mouse away, leaving the iPad Pro in a lightweight case that doesn’t impede its primary mission of being a great tablet.
Targus provided the VersaType™ for iPad Pro Keyboard Case for review. Images courtesy of Targus.
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