Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard review: Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard

The YourType's keys are mushier than the ones on the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, but they are comfortable and work well. While the keys are a bit smaller than on your average laptop, the Enter, Backspace, Shift, and arrow keys are all similarly proportioned. Nothing's overly squished. Once I adjusted to the keyboard's layout over a half-hour, typing was fast and functional. The YourType is ideally used on a desk or flat surface; on my lap it felt a little floppy and unstable. A row of dedicated buttons above the number keys activate iPad-specific functions like cut, paste, volume/play/pause control, and rudimentary text-selecting shortcuts. The YourType keyboard charges via Micro-USB cable and has a built-in rechargeable battery; it pairs with the iPad the same way all Bluetooth keyboards do.

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The Velcro-detachable keyboard transforms the YourType into a true folio-style case with the keyboard removed, but there's a sacrifice in flexibility. With the keyboard centered in its natural position, the iPad tilts up too high for comfortable desk use. The keyboard can be shifted down -- or, even detached and placed anywhere you'd like -- and the iPad can be repositioned at any angle (the top edge of the case catches in narrow grooves on the bottom, relying on microfiber friction), but it defeats the idea of a keyboard case just a bit. The original Belkin keyboard case we loved so much folded up like a clever piece of origami.

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The YourType does offer basic folio protection similar to other microfiber sleeve cases; a third-gen iPad fits in the top slip-sleeve snugly, but it's hard to easily remove. An iPad 2 fits with less hassle. As a case, the YourType works better than most keyboard cases that double as protective folios, but it's still not the perfect experience. I preferred the simplicity of the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, although it afforded far less protection.

As for whether you'd truly appreciate the Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard, I'd advise you try to see one for yourself up-close, at an Apple store or elsewhere. It's a solid traveling keyboard case with flexibility, and it's one of the better, thinner folio keyboard cases I've seen. I just can't get over that it's essentially a mediocre folio case with a small Velcro Bluetooth keyboard included. Then again, that's what it's advertised to be: a folio case plus keyboard.

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