Belkin QODE Slim Style Keyboard Case for iPad Air Review

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Pros: Comes in five distinct colors; Stand moves into any position for just the right angle; Attractive design

Cons: Odd key placement; No status lights

Verdict: The Belkin QODE Slim Style Keyboard Case for the iPad Air offers good performance, but some keys are strangely positioned.

With an adjustable design and several different color options, the Belkin QODE Slim Style Keyboard Case for iPad Air offers a great amount of flexibility for consumers. At $79, it's relatively inexpensive, too. Should you make this Bluetooth keyboard case your productivity companion?

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Design

The Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Case is a sturdy, stylish case, with tiny watermark-style indents on the front cover that give it a little flair. Your iPad Air sits firmly in a pouch that doesn't block the upper and lower parts of the screen, which makes it easier to open the notifications and quick-settings menus. The case comes in distinct colors that verge away from the drab all-black cases of competitors: white/topaz, white/purple, white/sorbet and red/black. And yes, you can get it in black, too.

 

MORE: Apple iPad Buying Guide: Which One is Right for You?

 

To prop up your iPad Air, there's a small stand on the cover. While it doesn't extend the entire width of the case, it is wide enough to let you use your iPad on your lap, albeit somewhat tenuously. Still, that's better than many other cases, such as the M-Edge Universal Stealth Pro Keyboard Folio, which flop over when you try to use them anywhere but on a flat surface.

The Slim Style Keyboard Case measures 9.8 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches and weighs 17.2 ounces -- about average among keyboard cases we tested. It's about 4 ounces lighter than the 21.5-ounce Kensington KeyFolio Pro Plus, the heaviest of those we reviewed.

Performance

Typing on the Belkin, we achieved a rate of 63 words per minute with a 98 percent accuracy rating in the TapTyping test. We achieved a slightly better 64 wpm with M-Edge's keyboard.

The Belkin's keys are flat, which helped with accuracy, but they're a hair too small and spaced too close together. Unfortunately, the apostrophe is located below the question mark instead of in its usual spot above the question mark. Meanwhile, the Backspace key is located below the Bluetooth sync button, whereas usually, it is the top rightmost key.

There are no lights to indicate whether Caps Lock is enabled or for Bluetooth syncing, and there's no way to see how much battery life is left on the keyboard. For Function keys, you'll find the usual assortment for copy/paste, hiding an app and controlling volume. There's a large microphone button for accessing Siri.

 

MORE: Apple MacBook Air (11-inch) vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 2: Face-Off

 

Unlike the M-Edge Universal Stealth Pro Keyboard Folio and Kensington KeyFolio, you can't remove the keyboard from the Belkin case.

Battery Life

Like every other keyboard case we tested, the Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Cover uses a microUSB port for charging. The cover lasted for an entire four-day business trip. Belkin says the case will last for 60 hours of typing and 60 days on standby mode.

Verdict

With an attractive price of $79, several color options and a strong typing experience, the Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Case will appeal to those looking to get some work done on their iPad Airs. While it's $20 more, we slightly prefer the M-Edge keyboard case, as it works with multiple tablets and offers a better typing experience. However, those looking to save a few dollars won't go wrong with Belkin's offering.

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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Accessories Type Bluetooth Device
Accessories Type Apple Accessories
Battery Type/Life
Size 9.8 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches
Weight 17.2 ounces
Company Website http://www.belkin.com