iPad Pro case rocks backlit keys in a rainbow of color combos [Review]

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Inateck Stellarie KB02006 review
The Inateck Stellarie KB02006 is very useful with a touch of whimsy.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you want to stand out in a darkened classroom, Inateck has the iPad keyboard case for you. The outside is professional-looking, and there’s an Apple Pencil slot. But the standout feature is the keyboard backlights, which can be set to more than 100 color combinations.

This affordable case believes in business on the outside and party on the inside. Is it right for you? Find out in our Inateck Stellarie KB02006 review.

Inateck Stellarie KB02006 review

The exterior of this keyboard case is black thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with a texture that gives it some grip. This makes for a professional look, if a touch industrial.

The Stellarie KB02006 comes in two parts: a case that wraps around and protects the latest iPad Pro, plus a detachable keyboard.

There are also versions of Inateck’s keyboard case for other iPad models. The KB02005 is for the 11-inch iPad Pro, while the KB02008 works with the 9.7-inch iPad models released in 2017 and 2018. Naturally, these are smaller than the KB02006, which is only for the third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

A keyboard case with a kickstand

Inateck makes no specific claims about drop protection for this case, but there are bumpers on all four corners so an iPad Pro held within is surely more likely to survive a drop.

The Stellarie KB02006 includes a kickstand that can prop the tablet’s screen up at three different angles: 115 degrees, 125 degrees and 135 degrees. This two-piece stand holds the iPad quite securely — tapping on the display doesn’t make the tablet shake, as happens with some clip-on keyboards.

The stand built into the Stellarie KB02006 holds it quite firmly
The stand built into the Stellarie KB02006 holds it quite firmly.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

On the other hand, it’s not easy to use this keyboard case in one’s lap. The stand isn’t very wide, so legs don’t hold it up very well. And it’s so long that, with the keyboard added on, most laps aren’t big enough.

There’s a slot to securely hold the Apple Pencil below the screen. And there’s an opening along the top to allow the stylus to connect directly to the iPad Pro and charge.

Speaking of openings, the KB02006 has them for all four speakers, the rear-facing camera, the microphone and the USB-C port. The buttons have covers that keep them usable, if slightly harder to press.

The opening for the USB-C port is large enough for charging/data cables but not some other accessories, like the HyperDrive multi-port adapter. But that’s also true for virtually all protective cases.

The case that wraps around the iPad Pro weighs 0.9 pounds; adding the keyboard flap increases the total by 0.75 pounds. The tablet on its own comes in at 1.4 pounds, so Inateck’s product more than doubles the weight. Still, the combination weighs just a hair over 3 pounds. That’s not very bulky for a fairly rugged laptop alternative.

The outside of the Inateck Stellarie KB02006 keyboard case gives no hint of how colorful the inside can be
The outside of this Inateck keyboard case gives no hint of how colorful the inside can be.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Keyboard flap

The keyboard is set into a slim flap that connects firmly to the back of the Stellarie KB02006 case and wraps around the bottom. The two are held together quite securely, but the keyboard flap is still removable with a couple of firm tugs at the right angle.

The keyboard itself measures 10.25 inches wide and 3.6 inches tall, just a hair smaller than typical desktop keyboards. Most keys are 0.6 inches square, with about 0.1 inches of separation. All that makes the typing experience comparable to many laptops.

And it’s actually better in one way: The first inch of the keyboard flap can stay magnetically connected to the iPad Pro, which holds the keyboard up at a 15-degree angle.

Above the usual QWERTY layout you will find a row of iOS function keys. These allow you to change the iPad’s screen backlight level, start or stop music playing in the background, and more.

Like so many clip-on iPad Pro keyboards, Inateck’s depends on Bluetooth. It’s activated with a power switch above the key area, and an internal battery is charged up with a micro-USB port on the right side.

Keyboard backlights

This is just one of dozens of possible backlight combinations possible with the Inateck Stellarie KB02006
This is just one of dozens of possible backlight combinations possible with the Inateck Stellarie KB02006.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The keyboard backlights are the real stars of the KB02006. They are different from anything I’ve ever seen on any laptop or keyboard case. They come in three groups, and each can have a different color.

The left side of the keyboard can light up yellow, the middle purple and the right green, for instance. Or any combination of those, as well as blue, white and red. At the push of a button, the keyboard backlights can pulse through a random selection of these colors.

Although solid red or white lighting for keys is useful, there’s no way to pretend most of these effects are in any way practical. But it is kind of fun. If you’re in a dimly lit lecture hall with a bunch other other students on computers, a Stellarie KB02006 with an unusual color combination will really stand out.

Just be aware, heavy use of the backlights drains the battery. Get in the habit of recharging this case.

Inateck Stellarie KB02006 final thoughts

The very customizable keyboard backlights are the highlight of the Stellarie KB02006. Beyond that, it’s a good but average iPad Pro keyboard case that offers a reasonable amount of protection to the very expensive Apple tablet.

Inateck’s accessory, on the other hand, is not expensive. It’s a deal compared to similar products made by better-known companies.

Pricing

Inateck’s price for this product is $69.99. It’s also available from Amazon:

Buy from: Amazon — $69.99

Comparable products

The rival Zagg Slim Book Go is another keyboard case that comes in two parts: keyboard flap and protective case. There’s also a kickstand and a slot to hold the Apple Pencil. It retails for $129.99.

The Logitech Slim Folio Pro is somewhat similar, except that the keyboard is permanently attached to the protective case. It’s also $129.99.

For more options, check out our list of the best iPad Pro keyboard cases for people on the go.

Inateck provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.