The Brydge 10.2 Max+ turns your iPad into a tough book

The iPad 10.2 is one of the cheapest tablets you can buy. There’s a lot that this versatile device can do, but it’s missing one vital part that would make it a productivity machine. You probably already know I’m talking about a keyboard. Brydge has a long history of detachable keyboards that lock onto your iPad and make it much more convenient. In the past, I’ve called Brydge one of the best keyboard experiences I’ve ever come across.

But Brydge keyboards had some problems. In particular, the clamping system Brydge used to secure the keyboard wasn’t the easiest to get off. Once the keyboard was on, it was pretty much there to stay. And while the clamshell worked to protect the screen, the back of the tablet was exposed. Finally, I had a problem with some scratches on the back of my iPad from the clamping mechanism. Fortunately, Brydge solved all three of those problems with the Brydge 10.2 Max+.

Bridging the gap

Adam Doud/Custom Hour

In the box you not only get a keyboard for your iPad 10.2 but also a case for the iPad itself. It’s a black TPU case that Brydge says can withstand a drop of up to four feet. The keyboard uses a clamp and magnet mechanism to attach to the iPad and the cover, which when you close everything, turns your iPad into some sort of tough book or rugged laptop.

Before I go any further, though, it’s important to convey that this is nowhere near a rugged laptop. There’s no water or dust resistance here, and it’s worth reiterating that the iPad can only survive a drop of up to four feet. But the combination of keyboard and case helps your iPad withstand harsher conditions than an iPad can endure on its own.

The keyboard is similar to previous Brydge keyboards, meaning the typing experience is quite good. Like previous keyboards, it connects to your iPad via Bluetooth. Battery life is still a question mark at this point as I haven’t used the device long enough to charge, but it’s been lightly used for two weeks so far.

Some Brydge keyboards in the past were made of aluminum, and this one is made of polycarbonate, so you lose some of the premium feel you might get from other keyboards. The keys feel a little looser than I’ve gotten on previous keyboards, but I really like the travel and the pitch.

great typing

Adam Doud/Custom Hour

Keep in mind that this keyboard is the same size as the iPad itself, which is quite small in terms of keyboards. I don’t mind that at all. Even my fat sausage fingers can navigate the keys with ease, as far as this feature is written with the Brydge 10.2 Max+ keyboard itself.

The keyboard also has a trackpad for using a mouse on your iPad, as is. Apple has done a good job integrating the mouse pointer into iPadOS, but the software still isn’t quite sure what to do with the pointer once it’s on the screen. The Apple Pencil is a much better tool for the iPad.

Speaking of the Apple Pencil, the Brydge 10.2 Max+ comes with a nylon loop on the top to keep the Apple Pencil in place. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it works. On my review unit there is a row of stitching that doesn’t look great on the loop. When I turned the loop so that the stitching was in the cover with the iPad, the cover bulged out a bit in that area.

Double charged

Adam Doud/Custom Hour

Another notable downside to this case is for left-handers out there. When the iPad is in the case, the TouchID button is on the right side of the screen, which is super handy for 90% of the world; not so much for the other 10%. It would be nice to see an arrangement where the iPad can work both ways.

Another thing that can be positive or negative is that the keyboard charges with USB-C. That’s a good thing, because that’s quickly becoming the norm. Meanwhile, the iPad charges with a lightning port. This isn’t really Brydge’s fault, of course. The iPad should have a USB-C port, and this is just another opportunity for me to get into that.

Pricing, availability and the competition

The Brydge Brydge 10.2 Max+ is available online at: Amazon or from Brydge .’s website† It sells for $100.

In my search for the best keyboard companion for the iPad, I’ve tried a few, two of which really stand out. The first is from Apple iPad Smart Keyboard† This keyboard attaches magnetically to the pogo pins on the bottom of your iPad (in landscape), and through a series of almost origami-esque flips, it can prop up your iPad while providing a good typing experience. Folding the cover to make it stand up takes some practice, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.

The other is the Zagg Pro Keys Keyboard which is a close second favorite for me. The typing experience is great. Like the Brydge keyboard, the keyboard comes with a TPU iPad case with a molded slot for the Apple Pencil. The keyboard attaches magnetically to the case and also closes to protect the iPad. However, none of these options feels as sturdy or durable as the Brydge keyboard.

Overall, this is a great addition to one of the best tablets you can buy today. Thanks to Apple, this keyboard and case work with any of the last three generations of iPad, which is pretty good. I like the extra durability you get out of the case, and Brydge solved all three of my pain points with the original keyboard, so I give this high marks.

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