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CNET First Look
The skinny on Belkin's iPad Mini keyboard caseThis $70 keyboard case is good, but its tiny size requires some trade-offs.
-Hi. I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm here with the Belkin iPad Mini Keyboard Case. You can get this case for around $70 online and it's a pretty good case. It's got a nice, thin form factor for a keyboard case. It folds up. It has a magnetic back and you fold it back. There's kind of a little rubberized clasp that you detach the iPad from and then you fold back the cover, and that's how you get it to fold into a stand. This does weigh around 11 ounces so it does double the weight of your iPad Mini. That is one of the drawbacks to this case, but that's what you expect from a keyboard case. The other drawback is that it's a little bit crimped. I did like the keys. They're pretty tactile. They're hard keys. They're not those kind of rubberized, soft buttons. So, you can use this as a keyboard, but is a little bit crimped. It's not a full-sized iPad keyboard. In order to do that, you'd have to sort of have a butterfly style keyboard. The other drawback is the keyboard layout. For instance, there is no apostrophe key. The apostrophe key also has the quotes key and there is no dedicated key for that and you have to hit the function button to get an apostrophe, and that's a little bit irritating. So, there have been some compromises made to get this keyboard as small as it is. As a result, this is one of those funny products that is a good product, but it does have enough drawbacks that would give you pause to get one especially because it costs $70. So, what I would recommend is that you only get this case if you really think you're gonna use the keyboard a lot. The keyboard isn't removable from the case so you have to keep the keyboard in there and that makes it a little bit cumbersome to carry around all the time with you. To be clear, this is a Bluetooth keyboard. So, you pair it with your iPad and you get a wireless connection to that keyboard. It charges via USB and it does get long battery life. You do get around 155 hours of battery life according to Belkin. It is also worth mentioning that there is a cutout for the camera on the backside of the case which is nice. So, it really is for someone who wants to do a ton of email, even some word processing. And then, again, it is a little bit crimped. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Belkin iPad Mini Keyboard Case. Thanks for watching.