Belkin Qode Thin Type Keyboard Case for iPad Air review: Turn your iPad into a laptop...almost

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0

The Good The Belkin Qode Thin Type Keyboard Case has a sturdy aluminum design, autopairs via Bluetooth once an iPad is dropped in, and has a lot of iOS-specific shortcut keys.

The Bad Doesn't fully protect the iPad; rear end is a little thicker than you'd expect for a thin keyboard; keys good but not the best for responsiveness.

The Bottom Line If you want a sturdy, easy-to-use keyboard accessory that looks nearly as good as the iPad itself, the Belkin Qode Thin Type is one of the best.

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There are tablets that double as actual laptops, but if you're an iPad user there are ways to get by, too. A ton of impressive keyboard accessories offer a way to write on the go that, although lacking a trackpad, can get the job done surprisingly well.

My favorite was always the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, a sleek, flat keyboard that latches onto the iPad's magnetic side and works wonderfully at small tables and counters. (That case has a design update I'm currently using and writing a review for; it now has an adjustable iPad angle but feels similar) Now, Belkin may have made me switch preferences with its Qode Thin Type Keyboard for iPad Air, which costs the same ($100) but feels even nicer...with one small exception. (Pricing in the UK starts at £76.34, while Australians can purchase one for $110 AU.) I wrote this whole review on it, and I have warm feelings about the Thin Type. I want to take it with me everywhere.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Belkin has made a bunch of iPad keyboard cases, and they're quite good, but the Thin Type isn't really a case: it's a flat keyboard that can latch and rest flat on top of the iPad Air's screen for travel, like a cover.

The Thin Type has a sturdy aluminum construction and comes in two colors to match the iPad's color schemes. It's less than 4mm thick, according to Belkin. Just know that it's essentially as thin and light as the Logitech Ultrathin. But, the back of the Belkin Qode Thin Type is a little thicker, housing a battery along with a bit of a keyboard riser. The Thin Type charges via Micro-USB (a cable is included). Belkin claims six months of use on a single charge. I've only used it for a few weeks, but so far so good: I haven't even charged it out of the box.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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Where to Buy See all prices

Belkin QODE Thin Type Keyboard Cover for iPad Air (White)

Part Number: F5L155ttWHT
MSRP: $99.99 Low Price: $99.99 See all prices