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Apple announces a smaller Smart Keyboard to fit the 9.7-inch iPad Pro

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Apple just announced a new, 9.7-inch version of the iPad Pro, which means the company also announced a new accessory: a smaller Smart Keyboard. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, announced the news during Apple's event this afternoon in Cupertino, CA. The new keyboard will be available for pre-order on the same day as the iPad, March 24th, for $149.

The Verge liked the Smart Keyboard that was released alongside the first iPad Pro, especially because it added some utility to the rather unwieldy tablet. But it did make the 12-inch iPad feel much bulkier — the keyboard bulged out from the tablet instead of just lying flat. It was one of a number of curious (and, honestly, bad) design decisions that were announced in 2015. Microsoft's Surface tablets haven't had this problem, and they've been around for years, so here's hoping the smaller Smart Keyboard cuts down on this problem.

The new version does look more trim, but we'll have to get our hands on it first to be sure. Be sure to tuned to The Verge for all our post-event coverage.

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Update March 21st, 8:10PM ET: Pricing and availabilty have been added to this post.