Brydge Max+ Keyboard VS iPad Magic Keyboard

Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Ameer Ashraf and Ernests Embutnieks

Keyboards for iPads are an essential accessory that totally transforms it into a tablet-laptop hybrid. The latest and greatest iPads have formidable hardware that can, in a way, replace a laptop.

But with so many options out there, you’re bound to be stuck wondering which one to buy.

Today, we’re taking a look at the two most popular options for the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air to find the best keyboard for iPad. The two in question are the Brydge Max+ keyboard and the Apple iPad Magic Keyboard

We’ll take a look at multiple aspects of both keyboards to highlight their differences. Both keyboards are equally capable, it’s just a matter of what you need and what you don’t

Let’s start with the most fundamental aspect – the design and keyboard layout. 

Apple iPad Magic KeyboardBrydge Max+ Keyboard
Price – $349Price – $249
Backlit Keys – YesBacklit Keys – Yes 
Material – Rubberized Polyurethane Material – Anodized Aluminum & Plastic
Function Keys – NoFunction Keys – Yes
Compatibility – iPad Pro 12.9” (3rd – 6th Gen), iPad Pro 11” (1st – 4th Gen), iPad Air (4th-5th Gen)Compatibility –  iPad Pro 12.9” (3rd – 6th Gen), iPad Pro 11” (1st – 4th Gen), iPad Air (4th – 5th Gen)
Colors – White, BlackColors – Space Grey, Silver, White
Weight – 1.6lbsWeight – 2.1lbs

Design & Build Quality

ipad magic keyboard

The two keyboards opt for a magnetic snap-on design which is convenient and easy to use. The difference is the iPad Magic Keyboard has a slight float and is not connected at the bottom like on the Brydge Max+. 

Both feel sturdy and secure so it’s a matter of preference. But the Brydge Max+ has more leeway on the hinge and can reach further back. It can be useful for a wider viewing angle that’s missing on the iPad Magic Keyboard. 

In terms of build material, the iPad Magic Keyboard is made of a rubberized polyurethane which feels nice and grippy. It looks a little basic like conventional iPad cases, but it does feel nice in hand.

On the other hand, the Brydge Max+ has a plastic material for the case but the keyboard itself is made of anodized aluminum. The keyboard looks and feels much more premium than the rubber material on the iPad Magic Keyboard. 

Since it’s actually aluminum, it’s a much closer feel to a laptop than the Magic Keyboard. Personally, we prefer this to Apple’s own Magic Keyboard since it looks and feels so good. 

One thing to note is the weight. The Brydge Max+ feels significantly heavier when it’s on the iPad. It’s roughly half a pound heavier, which doesn’t seem like much, but you do notice it if it’s held side by side with the iPad Magic Keyboard. 

You’ll probably get used to it over time, but it’s something to note. If how heavy your iPad matters to you, the iPad Magic Keyboard might be a better fit.

In terms of design and build quality, it’s really hard to say which of the two is better. It’s mostly up to your personal taste. Do you want a stylish, aluminum, and laptop-esque design? Then the Brydge Max+ is for you. 

Want the thin & sleek, rubbery floating case? Then the iPad Magic Keyboard suits you better. Both have their own merits but personally, we prefer how the Brydge Max+ feels and looks since it closely imitates a laptop build. 

Keyboard Layout & Trackpad Gestures

brydge max+ keyboard layout

There are a few differences between the Brydge Max+ and iPad Magic Keyboard in terms of the keyboard layout and trackpad. 

The Brydge Max+ has a bigger keyboard layout that feels comfortable to type on. Keys are more spaced out and aren’t clumped together. If you’ve used small keyboards before, you’ll know that it can be uncomfortable typing if the keyboard is too compact.

The Brydge Max+’s keys are tactile and satisfying to type on. They have more travel than the Magic Keyboard which can be a big determiner for some.

The iPad Magic Keyboard mimics the latest MacBook keyboards. They’re soft and silent to type on but don’t feel as satisfying. This again is mostly up to personal preference. It’s still very usable, just not as tactile as we’d like.

Additionally, the Brydge Max+ has a function key row at the top of the keyboard. These function keys provide quick shortcuts to lock your iPad, volume/brightness rocker, media controls, etc. It truly transforms your iPad into a laptop.

This is missing on the iPad Magic Keyboard. 

But in terms of the trackpad, the iPad Magic Keyboard’s trackpad feels premium and extremely similar to the MacBook’s trackpad. It’s nice and clicky all around the trackpad which isn’t the case on the Brydge Max+.

But the size of the trackpad on the iPad Magic Keyboard is significantly smaller than the Brydge Max+. The Brydge Max+ has a huge trackpad that truly feels and looks like a laptop trackpad

However, one area where the Brydge Max+ can’t keep up is the trackpad gestures. Since the iPad Magic Keyboard is Apple’s own keyboard case, trackpad gestures work perfectly. There’s no discernable input lag and it’s incredibly smooth.

The Brydge Max+ on the other hand does feel a little lackluster at times. We noticed it can lag/bug out with certain gestures like pinch to zoom and isn’t as smooth when switching between apps

This could be fixed in a software update but overall, the iPad Magic Keyboard’s trackpad is far more reliable and robust. 

Again, the keyboard and trackpad are pretty neck and neck. While the Brydge Max+’s keyboard feels better with a function key row and tactile keys, the iPad Magic Keyboard’s trackpad and smooth gesture support can’t be beaten.

Connectivity & Battery Life 

Connectivity and battery life are where the biggest differences lie between the Brydge Max+ and iPad Magic Keyboard. 

The Brydge Max+’s keyboard has a built-in battery that powers it while connecting to the iPad via Bluetooth. Brydge claims it can last 40 hours with the backlit on and up to 3 months without backlight if used 2 hours every day.

This is pretty substantial and will last a long time without needing a charge.

But the iPad Magic Keyboard does not have a battery. It uses a hardwire connection directly to the iPad with the Smart Connector on the back of the iPad and Magic Keyboard. It directly connects to your iPad without Bluetooth.

So the iPad Magic Keyboard already has a slight advantage since it’s so instantaneous and easy to use. You just put your iPad into the case and it’s connected and will work as long as your iPad has enough battery.

Both cases have a USB-C port. The Brydge Max+’s USB-C port is used to charge the internal battery, while the iPad Magic Keyboard’s USB-C port charges the iPad via the Smart Connector. 

In terms of connectivity and ‘battery’, the iPad Magic Keyboard is a clear winner. It instantly pairs with your iPad without any additional setup, and you don’t have to charge it. 


The last consideration between the iPad Magic Keyboard and Brydge Max+ is the price

The iPad Magic Keyboard is available in two colors; Black and White and will cost you $349

The Brydge Max+ is available in three colors; Space Grey, Silver, and White and costs $249

The Brydge Max+ is $100 cheaper than Apple’s iPad Magic Keyboard which is a pretty substantial discount for what it offers. It depends on if you really need to save the extra $100 in lieu of Apple’s built-in compatibility vs. a 3rd-party accessory.

In our experience, Apple’s devices will always work better with Apple accessories. 


Now that we’ve gone over what both the iPad Magic Keyboard & Brydge Max+ offers, we need to ‘declare’ a winner. But in all honesty, it’s a tough decision since both keyboards are equally attractive. 

Personally, we find the Brydge Max+ has a much more attractive design & build. We also love the big trackpad and function keys included. The biggest downside is you have an extra battery to charge, and Bluetooth connectivity can be finicky. 

The iPad Magic Keyboard works much more seamlessly with the iPad. You don’t need to charge it, gestures work perfectly, and it’s lightweight. It’s also made by Apple. The material may or may not be a deal breaker, but we found it to be grippy and durable

So it’s really a matter of choosing what matters more to you. They’re both incredibly attractive and capable keyboards to transform your iPad into a MacBook. You just need to know what you can live with and what you can’t live without. 

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iPad Cases That Works With Magic Keyboard
Reasons Why iPad Magic Keyboard Is Worth It

Ameer Ashraf
Writer | + posts

Freelance writer with a passion for all things tech & pop culture. When he's not writing, he's reading and watching videos on the latest gadgets, smartphones, and video games.

+ posts

I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.