Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case review: Luxurious keys for iPad Pro

Durable and detachable, this backlit keyboard offers a desktop-class typing experience.

Soon after the iPad Pro’s debut last fall, I reviewed Logitech Create ($128 on Amazon), the first third-party keyboard case to take advantage of Apple’s Smart Connector. As much as I adored the MacBook-style backlit keys, the overall bulk kept me from using it on a daily basis. (At the time, I referred to it as “The Incredible Hulk” of iPad cases.)

At 3.25 pounds with the super-sized tablet—nearly as much as a 13-inch MacBook Pro!—I assumed there was nowhere to go but down in terms of weight and girth for future keyboard cases. As it turns out, I was wrong.

razer ipad mechanical 02 Razer

If you don’t mind MacBook-style weight and girth in an iPad Pro case, Razer’s keyboard and detachable design are a winning combination.

Clicky keys

Weighing 3.75 pounds with tablet (2.25 pounds alone), the Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case ($70 on Amazon) is the new heavyweight champion of iPad Pro cases, but it does offer a few compelling advantages over the competition.

As the name implies, Razer’s case utilizes ultra-low-profile mechanical switches for its chiclet-style keys, delivering the same performance and feel as a dedicated full-sized keyboard. It’s downright luxurious.

Of course, mechanical switches tend to make more noise when typing. That’s never bothered me. I prefer to hear the satisfying click-click-click as I write, but neighbors in the next cubicle or adjacent Starbuck’s table might not appreciate the increased decibels.

The backlit keys offer a whopping 20 levels of illumination compared to only two with Logitech’s case, so you’re sure to find a setting comfortable enough for any low-light situation. With the keys at maximum brightness, the case stays powered for about 10 hours on a single charge, but is capable of nearly 600 hours with backlighting turned off.

razer ipad mechanical 14 Razer

Chiclet-style mechanical switch keys are a highlight of the new Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case for iPad Pro.

At just over a foot wide and nearly nine inches deep, typing is quite comfortable, although the keys are slightly small (especially Command) and less ergonomic, recessed into an otherwise flat base.

While Logitech appealed to MacBook users with Create, Razer has gone its own way, shifting the arrow keys to fit a rectangular form factor and printing tiny modifiers below each key’s function, rather the more universally-accepted method.

Kick back

Razer is a company with a reputation for jet-black hardware, and the Mechanical Keyboard Case is no exception. The polycarbonate case has a great look and feel with all-over protection, but I wouldn’t recommend using it for typing on your lap. It’s quite easy to pop the tablet in and out as needed, a procedure I found overly difficult with the Logitech case.

Unlike Create, Razer’s case does not include a Smart Connector, instead pairing over Bluetooth. I was initially disappointed after being spoiled by the convenience of having one less accessory to charge, but there’s a good reason for it: The bottom of the case features a magnetic hinge so the tablet can be detached from the base. For those with a larger desk or tabletop, the iPad Pro can be placed further away from the keyboard.

razer ipad mechanical 01 Razer

The Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case features a unique metal kickstand that allows an iPad Pro to be displayed at almost any viewing angle.

This is made possible by a rigid metal kickstand that adjusts to almost any viewing angle. When detached, the kickstand folds flat against the back of the case, slimming the overall weight to under 2.5 pounds for a more comfortable experience when the keyboard isn’t required, such as reading or web browsing.

I used the Razer keyboard to write this entire review on my iPad Pro, and aside from the usual iOS limitations with text selection and editing, typing skill and accuracy was on par with what I’m accustomed to on the desktop.

It’s worth noting Razer’s case is strictly for the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro, although presumably a 9.7-inch model will follow.

razer ipad mechanical 09 Razer

Despite this promotional image, the Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case isn’t very comfortable for use on your lap.

Bottom line

The mechanical keys and detachable design of the Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case are a winning combination, but only for iPad Pro owners willing to put up with the extra bulk.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPad Pro

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

J.R. Bookwalter

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?