Brydge Air Max+ review: The ultimate keyboard and trackpad for the iPad Air


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A large multi-touch trackpad has now made its way to the iPad Air thanks to the Brydge Air Max+. We put it to the test to see if it is worth adding to your setup.

Brydge’s Air Max+ is the latest from the keyboard maker. It includes a detachable slim-fit case for the iPad Air as well as a backlit keyboard and expansive trackpad. It comes on the heels of Byrgde’s other recent products for the iPad Pro line and its independent glass trackpad.

Who is the Brydge Air Max+ for?

There’s a stark difference in Brydge’s keyboard offerings, especially between the all-aluminum iPad Pro models and the plastic/rugged iPad and iPad Air options. So before we evaluate how this keyboard holds up, it is worth looking at who the iPad Air is targeted at.

In Apple’s lineup, iPad Air sits between the cheaper iPad and the powerful 11-inch iPad Pro. It is almost akin to a Goldilocks situation. The standard iPad loses many features, but the iPad Pro has a few that are very pro-focused. With iPad Air, Apple has the fun factor with several unique colors, USB-C for real productivity and expansion, an excellent edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display, and a beastly processor.

Multitasking with Brydge Air Max+

Multitasking with Brydge Air Max+

We’d categorize the typical iPad Air user as someone who wants a great tablet that can get stuff done but is still affordable.

We see Brydge target that use case explicitly with the Air Max+. It’s affordable to bundle the keyboard and case together, but still just as productive as the more expensive aluminum versions. It also allows users to protect their investment while on the go.

Brydge Air Max+ Build and quality

The device comes in two distinct pieces. There is a thin, protective shell case for iPad Air that covers all the edges, back, and adds a lip on the front. It even has a groove for Apple Pencil.

Brydge Air Max+ has a removable magnetic case

Brydge Air Max+ has a removable magnetic case

This case connects magnetically to a sizeable back panel attached to the keyboard. This is different than the original and well-known Brydge hinges. The magnets are excellent and make connecting and removing a breeze.

The buttons on the case are tactile, though they are slightly subdued versus pressing the physical buttons without a case. The case is also…