CNET First Look
Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air earns its nameMultiple angles. auto-connecting magnetic design and a comfy keyboard make Belkin's iPad Air accessory a winner.
Hi. I'm Scott Stein, and once again, looking at iPad Air accessories keyboard-oriented, to be specific. You don't need a keyboard for your iPad. Now, the Belkin Qode, or QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for the iPad Air costs $130, so that's not cheap. But what it does is provide a combination of a case and the Bluetooth keyboard and a few extra really nice features that set it over the top. The Ultimate Keyboard Case for the last-gen iPads was one of my favorite accessories in the iPad landscape. This one is thinner, it's more compact, and it also has the same set of features that I like before-- namely, the keyboard feels good, and it also has not just a magnetic auto-on pairing system, but it also has three different adjustable angles, which is extremely rare to find and comes in handy if you're lap-typing or working at any cramped angles on an airplane-- which you often do working on an iPad. This actually folds flat, and you can carry it around. It's okay, although real in-- significantly increased the thickness and weight of your iPad. It's almost a pound, this accessory. Considering that iPad Air is a pound, you are talking about something making this kind of a 2-pound device. But considering the last iPad was 1.4 pounds, and an accessory will push it well over 2 pounds, you're certainly gaining some savings there. And it feels a little more reasonable than carrying a keyboard case before. There's a nice solid metal base. This part is a plastic case that snaps on your iPad. Probably the most fragile feeling part of this equation. But look at this. You snap it here, right there, and then automatically, now, it is connected, it is paired wise and important well because once you un-pair it and put it down here in the tablet mode, you will not be accidentally pressing the keys underneath. They no longer function once this is unpaired. That only happens when it's connected right up here. And you've got three different modes-- slightly subtle there. And again, you go from that elevation all the way up to that elevation, which can make the difference when you're typing here-- oh. Some-- like it's a little bit better or from cramped and leaning over. Maybe you want a little more versatility than saying that's subtle, but I found over time that that makes a difference. And the fact that this case is pretty compact and has one of the better-- kinda netbook-like keyboards out there that does not compress keys that much. Unlike the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio that I looked at recently, which does. This is not splash-resistant, but it feels great. And if you want a protective backside to your case, then this is probably one of the best that's out there. I'm Scott Stein, and that's a look at the Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for the iPad Air.