Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by Greg0
Type Away With Belkin’s iPad Ultimate Keyboard Case
iPad cases and covers are available in so many forms that it can be impossible to keep track. Most people simply purchase the decent first-party accessory from Apple, their Smart Cover. It gets the job done, but offers no additional features really- no back or side protection, very limited angle options as a stand, and nothing else. That has left plenty of room for other companies to design other models, whether you’re looking for something waterproof, need a mounting option (they usually require custom cases), or even want to turn your iPad into a recording studio with brackets and mounting spots.
But most folks want decent protection and one of a few additional needs- better audio, like from the excellent Belkin Thunderstorm we reviewed earlier this year, or a keyboard, like that on the ZAGG PROfolio Plus. Today, we’ve got one of the best keyboard cases that we’ve seen yet- the svelte, sleek Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case. Compatible with any second-generation iPad or beyond, it’s available in black or a brushed aluminum (at a slightly higher price). The claim is that it’s “the thinnest, lightest, smartest” iPad keyboard case, and they certainly seem to have nailed the first part, even if it is actually heavier than some other options.
The keyboard is only 6.4mm thin, so were were a bit worried about durability. At 17 ounces, it’s light, but we have seen others that weigh less. As with most all similar models, it uses Bluetooth wireless to connect to your tablet, and an internal USB-rechargeable battery for power. This one is pretty impressive, offering a rated 160 hours of use with one charge. We used it for our tests and never needed to recharge it after our initial overnight plug-in.
Nothing is as important to a keyboard as typing tests though- otherwise, what’s the point? This one sticks to a fairly standard layout- if you’ve tried others like the Logitech Ultra Thin, you’ll be familiar with this one, and it’s easy to pickup even if you’re coming from a full-size keyboard. It’s so much easier than trying to type on an iPad screen. This one offers a fairly nice, tactile sensation, and the keys are raised just enough that you can touch-type with few issues after the first couple of hours. There are built-in shortcut keys as well, and the included stand sets your iPad at a good angle for typing, with three angle options thanks to nifty magnets. Of course, if you want to watch movies or use the iPad in landscape mode, it’s a bit awkward with this (and most) keyboard cases, though it does fold impressively flat for handheld use.
Overall, this is a keyboard you’ll love using, and a case that is quite decent. It’s incredibly thin, and quite attractive, with plenty of battery life. In fact, we’d say it’s the best keyboard case that we’ve seen yet- worthy of the name. The Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case for either $100 or $130 depending on finish.