Brydge’s newest keyboard brings a trackpad to 2018 iPad Pro

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The iPad Pro keyboard we've been waiting for.
Photo: Brydge

Brydge just dropped its first keyboard with a built-in trackpad for the 2018 iPad Pro. And it’s everything we’ve been waiting for.

The Pro+ Keyboard is one of the first to take full advantage of mouse support in iPadOS. It also offers handy shortcuts that make it easy to access system features like the Dock and App Exposé.

There’s also a standalone iPad Pro trackpad for those who don’t need the keyboard.

We’ve been waiting for iPad keyboards to adopt built-in trackpads since Apple previewed iPadOS for the first time last June. Brydge isn’t the first to confirm one, but it may be the first to actually deliver.

The company is expected to start taking pre-orders for the Pro+ Keyboard soon. Shipping starts in late February.

Brydge Pro+ Keyboard brings trackpad to iPad Pro

The Pro+ Keyboard is near identical to the Pro Keyboard already available for the 2018 iPad Pro. It’s made from super-sturdy aluminum and makes your tablet look like a MacBook.

You get a full keyboard with function keys — plus backlighting and up to three months of battery life in between charges. Bluetooth 4.1 is used for connectivity.

The advantage to the Pro+ is its built-in trackpad. It takes advantage of mouse support in iPadOS to let you control your tablet with a pointer, rather than your finger.

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Pre-orders start shipping in February.
Photo: Brydge

It has some useful gestures, too. You can tap with two fingers to access your iPad’s Dock, or tap with three to trigger App Exposé.

Everything we wanted

Brydge first teased the Pro+ Keyboard in November 2018, long before Apple confirmed mouse support for iPad. So we’ve been waiting for the Pro+ to drop since iPadOS was first unveiled.

Others tried to beat Brydge to the punch. Sentis announced an identical competitor last fall, which Cult of Mac reviewed in October. But that was quickly slapped down by a Brydge lawsuit.

The Sentis keyboard employed hinges identical to those used by Brydge keyboards. Those hinges are, of course, patent-protected, so anyone else who uses them is guilty of infringement.

Pro+ Keyboard starts shipping in February

Brydge hasn’t yet confirmed when it will start taking pre-orders. It invites fans to register their interest on its website, and it will send out email alerts as soon as the Pro+ is available.

Limited supplies will be available at first, so you’ll need to act fast. Just 500 units will ship in late February; the rest will start shipping in March. Prices start at $199.99.

That price applies to the 11-inch model. If you have a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you’ll need to cough up $229.99.

Brydge is also offering a new standalone trackpad with its own “Multi-Touch Engine” for iPad Pro users. We’ll have to wait for other details, including pricing and availability.