Using a Mechanical/USB Keyboard with an iPad

Many people use an external keyboard with an iPad, however few know that you can use a USB keyboard, and more specifically, a mechanical keyboard with your iPad. You can use the keyboard you use for your desktop already, you just need one tool that lets you connect your keyboard to your iPad.

To set up your iPad with your keyboard, you’ll want the Lighting to USB 3 connection kit. Designed for photographers to easily import photos from your camera to your iPad and iPhone, the connection kit will also allow you to use external USB keyboards, USB microphones and other devices with your iPad.

You’ll want the connection kit I linked above for one main reason – it allows you to both charge your iPad, and supply power to the keyboard you will be using. The majority of USB keyboards draw too much power for the iPad alone to supply, however having the lighting cable plugged into the adapter allows you to use the keyboard as power is supplied to it via the lighting cable.

Now, to set up the keyboard with your iPad, simply connect the Lighting to USB 3 connection kit to your iPad, and plug in the keyboard to the USB 3 input. Then, plug your lighting cable into the charging area on the connection kit, and your keyboard will start-up and you can use it with your iPad.

If you want to use multiple devices with your iPad, you can buy a power USB hub along with the connection kit. This will allow you to plug the keyboard, microphone and whatever else you want to use into the powered USB hub, and then plug the USB hub into the connection kit. I use the Aukey CB-H18 powered hub, which you can get off Amazon here. You need a powered hub as it means that you can supply power to all the devices you are using with your iPad, and also charge your iPad off the powered hub.

And that’s it – it’s really simple to set up your iPad with your keyboard. Note that this isn’t a portable setup, and more intended for those who work off an iPad, and use it at a desk. I find it really useful to be able to use my mechanical keyboard with my iPad, as it’s a lot nicer than the keyboard I normally use when on the go.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment below.