If you're not a fan of the Combo Touch's Surface-like kickstand, or you just prefer something that more closely resembles a traditional laptop, you should get Apple's Magic Keyboard. It's more expensive than the Combo Touch, and it doesn't offer as much protection, but it doesn't require an app for firmware updates and it's easier to rest in your lap.
The Magic Keyboard attaches to your iPad with an array of magnets on the back of the tablet's display, and the magnets hold the iPad in place securely. There's a hinge about two-thirds of the way down the Magic Keyboard's back panel, and though it doesn't offer as many viewing angles as a traditional laptop, there's still plenty of range for most positions.
Like the Combo Touch, the Magic Keyboard connects to the iPad Air and Pro using Apple's Smart Connector, which allows for keyboard and mouse input without requiring a Bluetooth connection (or an additional battery to keep charged). The Magic Keyboard has an additional perk, though. There's a USB-C port directly on the keyboard itself, which doesn't handle data transfer, but it does allow you to charge your iPad without taking up the iPad's actual USB-C port, which does allow for data transfer. It essentially turns your one-port device into a two-port device without a dongle or USB hub.
The actual keyboard feels as comfortable to type on as recent MacBooks. The keys aren't as spaced out as on a MacBook, but they're about as big, which makes the keys easy to hit despite being so close together. Unlike most other keyboards we tested, though, the Magic Keyboard doesn't have function keys, so you'll have to get acquainted with iPadOS's shortcuts for adjusting things like brightness and volume, though those shortcuts are nowhere near as convenient as having dedicated keys.
The story's better with the trackpad, which is consistently responsive and precise in both motion and selection, even when doing things like editing text and dragging files around. There's also gesture support for things like returning to the Home Screen and quickly switching between apps. Again, you can do this on the Combo Touch with both the trackpad and function keys, but at least the Magic Keyboard still offers a way to go back home without having to move your hand and touch the screen.
Three things keep the Magic Keyboard from claiming the top spot: It's expensive, it's heavy, and it isn't very protective as a case. The model for the 11-inch iPad Pro and 10.9-inch iPad Air costs a whopping $300, which is a hefty cost to tack onto an already expensive tablet (the cheapest iPad Air starts at $600, and we only recommend the pricier 256GB model). If you opt for the iPad Pro, the cheapest model starts at $750, so you're looking at a total of at least $1,150 ($150 more than the entry-level MacBook Air).
It's also quite heavy for an accessory. At about 1.3 pounds, the Magic Keyboard weighs more than the 11-inch iPad Pro, which weighs a little over a pound. While the Magic Keyboard only weighs a bit more than the Combo Touch (about 1.2 pounds), the Combo Touch can be separated into two parts depending on your needs, while the Magic Keyboard is a single piece.
Lastly, despite the high price tag, the Magic Keyboard won't protect your iPad from damage as much as the Combo Touch or Pro Keys with Trackpad, both of which serve as cases in addition to keyboards with trackpads. Since the Magic Keyboard attaches directly to the iPad via magnets, you can't use it with a case, so even when the keyboard is closed with the iPad attached, the edges of your device will still be left totally exposed in the event of a drop or fall.
Despite being a great keyboard with a precise trackpad and versatile hinge, the Magic Keyboard's high price tag is tough to justify given how great some other keyboards we tested were. If you can get over the hurdle of the cost, the Magic Keyboard won't disappoint as a way to turn your iPad into a laptop, but getting over that hurdle won't be worth it for most people when the Combo Touch and Pro Keys with Trackpad cost significantly less.