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?