Brydge Pro+ firmware update a good start, but trackpad issues remain

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Brydge-Pro-iPad-3
Other improvements are on the way.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Brydge on Wednesday rolled out the first firmware update for its Pro+ keyboard for iPad Pro. It’s designed to fix some of the issues users and reviewers have been experiencing with the built-in trackpad — and it’s certainly a good start.

But there are some things you should be aware of before you rush off to buy a Pro+ for your iPad Pro.

Brydge Pro+ keyboard with trackpad misses the most important mark [Review]

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Brydge-Pro-iPad
Almost perfect.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

One of the best keyboards money can buy for iPad Pro now comes with a built-in trackpad. The Brydge Pro+ is one of the first to truly embrace mouse support in iPadOS. And it costs a lot less than Apple’s official Magic Keyboard, which won’t debut until May.

Like almost every other Brydge keyboard I’ve used, this one delivers a terrific typing experience that you can rely on every day. It feels superbly comfortable, and it’s brilliantly designed. It makes your iPad feel like a MacBook in the most elegant way possible.

Despite all that — and my appreciation for Brydge as a company — it’s really hard for me to recommend the Pro+. It gets so many things right, but completely misses the mark where it really matters. Here’s my full Brydge Pro+ review after several weeks of use.

Forget the MacBook Air. Roll your own Apple ‘laptop’ for less than $600.

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The Brydge Keyboard on the 10.2 iPad
An iPad with a Brydge keyboard is a pretty good replacement for a Mac!
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

A year ago, when Apple introduced the latest iPad Pro models, I called the tablet the computer for everywhere. To this day, I still think the 2018 iPad Pro, complete with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio, is an incredible setup for tons of situations. At the same time, it’s anything but cheap, starting at $1,107 for an 11-inch model with keyboard and Pencil.

Then there’s the Mac laptop lineup. Apple’s current cheapest offering is the MacBook Air, also starting at $1,100. Fortunately, you don’t have to drop over a grand to get an incredibly versatile, powerful, and portable budget laptop made by Apple.

You might never get to buy this amazing iPad keyboard [Review]

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Sentis Libra iPad keyboard with trackpad
An iPad Pro with Sentis Libra attached could be mistaken for a MacBook.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Sentis Libra gives an iPad Pro a keyboard and trackpad, allowing it to act as both a tablet and a laptop — something no MacBook can do.

However, rival keyboard maker Brydge accuses Sentis of using its patented design. Cult of Mac has both a Libra prototype and the most recent Brydge Pro, and we compare the two and let everyone judge whether the accusations made against this device stand up.

The Libra is undoubtedly great, including a highly-functional trackpad. So the real question is, who deserves credit for the design?