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Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air review: Ultimate iPad Air keyboard case, indeed

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The Good The Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air has multiple viewing angles, magnetic autoconnecting Bluetooth pairing, and a great keyboard. The keyboard folds underneath when you don't need it.

The Bad Thin plastic back case that the Air snaps into feels fragile.

The Bottom Line If you prefer your iPad Air keyboard bonded to a complete case, the Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case lives up to its name and delivers a great experience.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8

The first keyboard case I received for the iPad Air has turned out to be the best, even against competition from Logitech. The reason? Keyboard feel, versatility, and price.

The Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case was a great accessory for the last-gen iPad, and the new iPad Air version, the Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air (what a mouthful), has taken the opportunity to slim down and refine last year's design while keeping the same cost of $129.99. It's less expensive than the Logitech Fabricskin Keyboard Folio ($149.99), but more expensive than the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99.99). This is a case that bonds a very good keyboard to a plastic back cover, and creates a slim package that travels easily and unfolds quickly.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Why "ultimate"? The previous Belkin case earned the name with a smart autoconnecting keyboard that magnetically docked with the iPad, and had three different adjustable angles -- something rarely seen on any other keyboard case. It performed well, too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The three adjustable angles are back again, and they give this case a stand-out edge over the competition. Once the iPad Air is snapped into the case, the edge of the plastic magnetically snaps to one of the three positions marked with lines above the keyboard. It's a huge plus for lap and desk scenarios and cramped desks; that subtle difference in angle makes all the difference in my lap.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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