I recently received a sample of the latest iPad keyboard case from Belkin for review, and me generally being a so so fan of external keyboards for iPad or any other tablet for that matter, not to mention ones that also work as a case, bulking up the size of the otherwise slim iPad 4, my expectations were not necessarily that great. However, the Ultimate keyboard case from Belkin might just have turned me into a believer.
Belkin have clearly put some great consideration into this keyboard case, using material such as aircraft-grade aluminum alloy to provide protection at a minimum thickness, to the clever magnetic holding positions for the iPad screen itself, and the Trutype keyboard, where keys are spaced out well enough even for someone with slightly chunky fingers. In fact, i’m writing this post using the keyboard and it’s not much slower than when i’m writing on the macbook. The keyboard also have access keys, such as the equivalent to the home button on the iPad, language input selector, and quick access to Siri. Many other common functions, such as copy and paste, are also there utilizing a function button together with the top line of numbers. So far this the best and most comfortable bluetooth based keyboard that I have tried for the iPad.
As with any other case, the Ultimate keyboard case does add some bulk to the iPad, which I generally have issues with, hence I usually just use a magnetic cover. That being said, I can easily see myself using this more when out and about with the iPad and needing to have the ability to do more typing, as it is still a lot more compact than my MacBook Pro. With the keyboard able to operate up to 160 hours between charges, it also means that i can get more done between charges. Here it is in its natural habitat.
The case is designed so you still have access to all ports and buttons on your iPad, and the soundflow design Belkin have added to the case does bring more power to the iPad audio, although I can’t really tell if it is double as stated on the packaging. The case and keyboard itself does not require and on/off switch as it is all automatically managed in the same way as closing the case puts the iPad to sleep.
Overall I believe that Belkin at least have come close to delivering the Ultimate keyboard case for the iPad. There are plenty of positives, from the quality build, functional keyboard, to its portability. If you are amongst the many that don’t mind a bit extra bulk on your iPad to get the added functionality, then I believe you will love this one. Even if you are like me, you might find yourself getting a lot of use out if this keyboard case. On the negative side, the price point at £99 seems a bit steep, and personally, I wish it was just a little bit slimmer so that it would fit into my Pack & Smooch sleeve.
The Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case is compatible with the following iPad models; iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPad 4.