Apple’s new Magic Keyboard is a new accessory for the latest iPad Pro, which includes a responsive multi-touch trackpad and a backlit keyboard that may be great for making this tablet, the ultimate portable productivity tool. However, it seems that it’s also starting to cause problems among its users. A number of these have reported their frustration about how this Magic Keyboard drains the battery of its device too fast, and it’s even worse if the battery drain problems affect the iPad Pro when not in use.
There hasn’t been a real explanation for this issue, but the iPad Insight blog has been aware of this problem, and it seems that you could get your Magic Keyboard replaced under warranty if it’s affecting your battery life.
The second is pretty obvious- backlight vs no backlight. I expected better battery life with the backlight of the Magic Keyboard off, but it still wasn’t nearly as much of a reduction as I anticipating. During my last test, I still dropped over 25% during two hours of writing. For comparison, using the iPad Pro by itself this weekend, I burned 45% during 5 straight hours of watching streaming video with audio playing though the iPad’s speakers. I expect that sort of usage with a bigger demand on power, but it’s still reasonable. This battery drain lines right up with the overall 10 hour rated battery life of the Pro. In comparison, losing a quarter of my battery capacity simply by typing with no backlight for two hours is NOT reasonable.
The only way to finish testing my theory was to get another one and see if it yielded better results. I did that late last week and I have been testing it while finishing up this article and doing some other work over the last two days. I started off by typing with the key backlight off and using the trackpad as I go through and edit this and another article. It appears that my battery life with this Magic Keyboard is far better than my first. I only dropped only 6% in an hour of solid use. While this isn’t the same performance as the Smart Keyboard Folio, it still fits in the 10 hour battery window we expect from the iPad Pro.
The guys over at 9to5Mac have also started a poll to see how many users are experiencing these issues. At the time of this post, 33 percent of its users have reported problems; another 32 percent say they haven’t, but 34 % of users are unsure or just voted to see the poll’s result. How about you? Are you having issues with your battery life because of the Magic Keyboard?