The first bluetooth keyboard case to convert me was the Belkin Ultimate Keyboard case for iPad 4, so when I upgraded to the new iPad Air I started looking for an alternative that would provide me with the same functionality and portability. Where did I land? The Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard case for iPad Air.
Review of Belkin QODE Ultimate for iPad Air
While getting the new iPad Air within the first month of release, it took me a good few weeks to decide on which keyboard case to match it up with. I looked at the Logitech solutions and a couple of lesser known suppliers, but in the end I decided to go for the Belkin QODE Ultimate because of my positive experience of using the one for the previous iPad version, and because, to be frank, I actually found it to be the best looking solution with proper raised keys on the keyboard (not the greatest fan of the slimmer touch based keyboards out there).
While there are no massive differences in size and weight between the different bluetooth keyboards cases out there, the implementation and functionality can differ quite a lot. As someone that uses the iPad Air pretty much daily for note taking and productivity on the go, having a physical keyboard attached to the iPad just makes me more productive. When it comes to the iPad Air, I love the fact that it’s so light and comfortable to hold in the hand for reading etc. so it did worry me a bit to add too much bulk to it, which is why I have always steered clear of most traditional cases. While the Belkin QODE Ultimate does pretty much double the thickness of the iPad Air and adds a fair amount of weight, the folding mechanism still makes it fairly comfortable to use for non-typing activity. Plus, where the previous version for then iPad 4 was a bit clunky for removing the iPad from tha case, the new one seems to offer a simpler pop in and out functionality. Some say that the back case feels a bit more vulnerable because of it, but so far I have had no issues. It’s however recommended that you keep following the Belkin instructions for how to input and output the iPad Air from the case.
The functionality and layout of the keyboard is second to none. For those accustomed to a Macbook keyboard, you will find many of the same control actions. The equivalent to the home button of the iPad always comes in handy, and the same goes for the copy/paste function and the easy select tools. For the multi-linguals, you can easy switch between keyboards, although a bit of searching is required to match up with the keyboard keys. The keys are responsive and it feels pretty much like writing on a normal laptop keyboard.
Another great feature is the tripple viewing angles offered up by the magnetic placeholders, allowing for a comfortable viewing angle dependent on the surface you have your iPad Air on. The magnets are quite strong as well, so you don’t have to worry about the screen slipping. I have even carried it on one hand without the screen slipping away from the magnetic surface, although it’s not recommended (or necessary).
While I’m yet to test some of the biggest rivals for the Belkin QODE Ultimate, I’m very happy with this one. As someone that does a lot of typing, having a physical keyboard with the iPad Air just allows me to travel a lot lighter, not having to bring both a macbook and the iPad when out and about. Good functionality, splim profile, responsive keyboard, and great battery life (used for a month and yet to charge) makes the Belkin QODE Ultimate for iPad Air a winner in my book.
- Fairly slim profile that does not add too much bulk to your iPad Air
- Great functional keyboard with easy access to many commonly used functions
- Magnetic multi viewing angles with auto sleep and autoconnect for battery saving
- Great battery operating time
- Easy to snap the iPad Air into the case, and equally important, out of the case as well
- It would have been great if it was just a little bit lighter in weight
If you are someone that types a lot on your iPad Air, adding the Belkin QODE Ultimate will likely be a revelation in productivity and ease of use.