A few users have been reporting increased battery drain when using the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. Compared to the Smart Keyboard, the battery drain is much higher - as high as 3% every 10 minutes during normal usage.
Many users have taken to Twitter to share their experience of massive battery drain with both 11-inch and 12-inch variants of the Magic Keyboard. Normal usage in many scenarios has been defined as typing something while listening to music, not including any gaming or videos. A few prominent Twitter users such as Jon Rettinger and Mark Gurman have shared their concerns with the issue.
Absolutely seeing this as well https://t.co/CQjJIZCIKB
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 13, 2020
It is understandable that the battery power draw with Magic Keyboard will be higher, specially when you have key backlight brightness turned all the way up, and also use the trackpad. However, the drain is impacting normal usage for many users.
YouTuber iPhonedo shared his experience in a video, after one week of usage. While using the Magic Keyboard to type a script while listening to music, he noticed 3% battery drain in 10 minutes. When he switched to the Smart Keyboard Folio, with the same iPad Pro, the battery drain was less than 2% in 10 minutes.
Check out the time-stamped video below:
At the same time, there are many users who have reported no issues with rapid battery drain. I have spoken to a few users personally and received contradicting reports. Some users have reported normal usage with the keyboard, with key backlights turned on throughout the day.
On Twitter, user iPad Insight responded to Jon Rettinger's tweet that he saw a 50% battery drop in just 1.5 hours of typing with backlight on. However, he got his Magic Keyboard replaced and found that battery dropped only 14% in 1 hour and 15 minutes of similar usage. This is not a scientific comparison by any means, but it shows that the issue might be related to certain models of the keyboard.
I dropped almost 50% in an hour and a half of typing with backlight once with the one I’m returning. I only dropped 14% typing 1300 words with backlight in 1 hr and 15 mins yesterday with the new one. It seems like the battery drain issues are not consistent between keyboards.
— iPad Insight (@iPadInsightBlog) May 14, 2020
iPad Insight has detailed coverage here regarding the battery drain issue. The article recommends that if you are facing the battery drain issue with your Magic Keyboard, make sure to take screenshots of Settings > Battery on your iPad and show it to Apple, in case they ask questions regarding the replacement. If you ask for a replacement within 14 days of purchase, Apple most likely will not ask anything,
As this seems to be an issue with some hardware units, it is not guaranteed that the replacement will be free from the issue.
We will reach out to Apple for a comment and update this post if we hear back.