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The iPad Pro has an optional Smart Keyboard cover for $169

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Read next: The iPad Pro review.

Apple took the wraps off a new $169 keyboard accessory for the newly announced iPad Pro today, integrating into a cover that's a little like the soft keyboards Microsoft has offered for its Surface tablets. The Smart Keyboard uses key domes that Apple first developed for the new MacBook announced earlier this year and connects to the iPad Pro using a new connector type — the Smart Connector — which means that it's not connecting over Bluetooth. The entire keyboard is cloth, which won't likely be as easy to use as a traditional keyboard — even the limited-travel one on the MacBook — but it's still a step up from a virtual one. (Interestingly, this isn't the first keyboard accessory Apple has made for the iPad: the company made a "Keyboard Dock" with a 30-pin connector, but it wasn't particularly portable — and it certainly didn't double as a cover.)

ipad pro keyboard gif

The Smart Keyboard won't be bundled with the iPad Pro, but will be made available as an optional add-on like like the Smart Covers that Apple has long offered for iPads.

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