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Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 Review
      #47615 - 01/23/15 08:19 PM

Belkin offers two new keyboard cases for the iPad Air 2, the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case and the QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case. The non-Pro keyboard case is $20 cheaper but missing the backlighting and the detachable tablet case features. What you'll have with the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case though is one of the best typing experiences on a portable keyboard that fits a 9.7" tablet. The Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case comes in space gray and silver.



Design

The Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case is compact and sturdy. The keyboard case opens like a portfolio and holds the tablet in a hard shell plastic holder. The keyboard cover uses sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum alloy to provide strong protection for the keyboard and, when the case is close, it protects the iPad Air 2's display. The premium material does add some weight and the keyboard case weighs 15 ounces. The tablet shell is a little too form fitting and as a result, it takes some effort to take it off. The shell connects to the keyboard via fabric and the interior has soft lining. The tablet sits in the shell almost flush, and the shell has two long rubber feet that separate the iPad Air 2's screen from the keys on the keyboard when the QODE is closed.



The QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case only has a micro USB charging port on the side and an LED light next to it. It doesn't have power button as the keyboard automatically turns on and turns off. The keyboard has an Fn key that handles Bluetooth Pairing. As with the QODE keyboard case for the previous iPad Air, the iPad Air 2 case also has magnetic strips on the keyboard deck that can position your tablet in three viewing angles. The magnets are strong enough to keep the tablet standing steadily.

Features

Half of the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case is a case, though it can't be separated from the keyboard like the one on the Pro version, it's quite functional. The case has a long cutout on the bottom for the audio port, the Lightning port and the mic and speakers. On the side, the case has a perfect cutout for the volume buttons and a small mic hole. The case offers two cutouts on the top, for the tablet's power button and the 3.5mm audio jack. The rear cutout for the camera/flash and rear mic is also large enough and perfectly positioned.



The keyboard deck on the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case is 9.5" wide and the island style keys are slightly textured and flat. Though the slim keyboard doesn't have long travel it feels nice to type on it. The slight texture on the key's surface prevents slipping when you're speed typing, and the spacing is perfect. The key's size should work for most people, and the normal layout of the keys and the double-sized Shift keys mean that it shouldn't take you any time to get used to the keyboard and start speed typing quickly. Though this is a small keyboard, but by portable keyboard standards, the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case is a dream to type on.

As with most portable keyboards, the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case offers keyboard controls for the tablet. The control keys work in conjunction with the Fn key and include Home key, Spotlight launcher, on-screen keyboard launcher, media controls, volume controls and Bluetooth Pair key. The keyboard also has Cut/Copy/Paste with the Command key. Four directional keys live on the right bottom corner.



Bluetooth and Battery

The Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case has built-in Bluetooth and it goes into pairing automatically the first time you pair it with an iPad Air 2. For future pairing, press and hold Fn and the Bluetooth Pairing key on the keyboard to put it into pairing mode. The keyboard paired and connected with our iPad Air 2 consistently in our tests.

The keyboard goes to sleep automatically after a period of inactivity, and you can wake it up by pressing any key. The keyboard reconnects with the tablet instantaneously. The keyboard has a built-in rechargeable battery and it offers up to 264 hours of active use and 6 months of standby. The keyboard case comes with a USB charging cable.



Conclusion

The Belkin QODE for the iPad Air was an excellent keyboard case, and the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for the iPad Air 2 continues that tradition. The keyboard offers durable body, excellent spacing, normal key layout and an overall great typing experience. The built-in tablet stand comes in very handy and the tablet control keys on the keyboard ensure that you don't have to constantly lift your hand to touch the tablet's screen. We like the auto pairing, auto wake and sleep features and the long battery life. The tablet shell is a bit too tight for easy de-installation and the keyboard doesn't have backlighting.

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Sturdy build, excellent typing experience, easy to use.
What's Not: Adds considerable weight to the light tablet, no backlighting.
Price: $129.99
Web site: Belkin

Reviewed by: Tong Zhang









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Check out our iPhone Case, bag, battery and keyboard Reviews at:
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