Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air

by Volker Weber

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Belkin has a new breed of keyboard cases for tablets and they are calling them QODE. I am testing the Ultimate version, which is the most expensive choice. There is one item on the marketing agenda I find pretty funny:

Made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case is lighter than the iPad itself.

It's just barely lighter. You could not tell the difference without a scale. Let's just say you double the weight of your iPad. With that in mind, you also get great protection. When you fold the keyboard on top of the iPad, it's safe. No need for any other case. Just throw it in the bag and it will stay closed. In fact, it almost looks like a very slim netbook when closed.

When you open the lid, you can pull the underside of the iPad towards you and stick it to the top of the keyboard in three positions, where it is held with strong magnets. This lets you adjust the angle. If you pull it all the way towards you, the keyboard rests against the back of the case, and you can use the iPad as a tablet. I would only do this briefly as needed. It's much easier to remove the iPad completely and use it without the case.

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When you buy a keyboard, you have to look into this corner. This is where they compromise the layout to make it fit. The Ä character is in the wrong row, and that will cause typos in German. In order to maintain the proper key size, the keyboard misses one column. Look at your own keyboard to see the difference. Belkin made some good choices with the right Shift key, the Enter key and the cursor keys, so I can live with that compromise.

The rest of the package is flawless. They keyboard switches on and off automatically as needed, it gives you the full five rows instead of compromising with the numbers row, battery life cannot be tested without going for half a year of usage. If you want to turn your iPad into a convertible netbook once in a while, this is it.

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I am waiting for the third QODE model to come out. I did not like the Slim Style because it needs a table with a lot of space. What I really want is the Thin Type. Not a lot of protection like the Ultimate, but minimum weight and only attached when needed.

Comments

Hi Volker,

how is this QODE keyboard from Belkin in comparison to the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover?

And thanks for you (not) blog.

Matthias Welling, 2014-01-04

I have the Logitech product for iPad 3/4 and like it a lot. I have not seen the product for the Air and do not know how Logitech handles the smaller size.

Volker Weber, 2014-01-04

Great review! Any update on the Thin Type? I can't find it anywhere. I am very close to buying the Ultimate Keyboard Case, how has it been holding up in the last weeks? Everything still functioning?

Patrick Neef, 2014-02-13

Yup, no complaints. And you are right. I need to check availability of the Thin Type. I expected it to be here by the end of January.

Volker Weber, 2014-02-13

Thank you, good to know that it is still working.

Patrick Neef, 2014-02-13

The Thin Type is still hard to find (even now in April).

Seems "notebooksbilliger" online or at their shops in Munich / Düsseldorf / Sarstedt is one of the few who have it in stock now. Belkin itself doesn't have them in their online store which is weired.

Unfortunately the above just has the white one available. So as I want the grey I have to continue searching :-(

Harald Gaerttner, 2014-04-15

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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