Original $350 Apple Magic Keyboard is ‘functionally compatible with’ 2021 iPad Pro [Updated]

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Original Apple Magic Keyboard might not work with 2021 iPad Pro
Seems there’s might not be quite enough room in the original Apple Magic Keyboard for an iPad Pro that’s 0.5 mm thicker.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Pro unveiled April 20 is slightly thicker than its predecessor. And that’s enough to prevent the latest tablet from being a good fit with the Apple Magic Keyboard released last year. But apparently the fit is just close enough.

Update April 29, 2021: Apple added a paragraph to its support document for this keyboard that says:

“The first generation of the Magic Keyboard (A1998) is functionally compatible with the new iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation) with Liquid Retina XDR display. Due to the slightly thicker dimensions of this new iPad Pro, it’s possible that the Magic Keyboard may not precisely fit when closed, especially when screen protectors are applied.”

The 2020 and 2021 version both fit

The 12.9-inch version of the 2021 model measures a mere 0.5 mm thicker than its predecessor. But that’s enough to prevent the older version of the keyboard case from fitting the new tablet very well. That’s why Apple released an updated version.

“The Magic Keyboard of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has been updated to fit the new dimensions of the new 12.9-inch model,” an Apple spokesperson told Cult of Mac. They went on to confirm, “The new iPad Pro 12.9 has a new Magic Keyboard 12.9 to fit the new dimensions.”

Luckily, the 11-inch version of the 2021 iPad Pro — which doesn’t come with the bigger version’s slightly thicker mini-LED screen — didn’t change sizes.

“The 11-inch iPad Pro remains the same dimensions as before though so the current 11-inch Magic Keyboard will still fit,” said the Apple rep.

Apple Magic Keyboard in two versions

The online Apple Store sells this accessory, and the version listed now is the “Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (5th generation).” It is not yet available in either black or white.

That version provides a better fit for the new, thicker model. And works with its predecessors, too. It’s currently unavailable and will likely debut at the same time as the 2021 iPad Pro, which is scheduled to launch in May.

Those who bought the Apple Magic Keyboard in the year since it debuted, who were hoping their $350 purchase would be usable with future iPad Pro models, should be pleased.

Update: This article was updated when Cult of Mac heard from Apple’s press team confirming that the original Magic Keyboard doesn’t work with the new tablet size. And it was updated again on April 29 with info from the support document.