Review: Belkin QODE Thin Type for iPad Air is the thinnest keyboard yet

Review: Belkin QODE Thin Type for iPad Air is the thinnest keyboard yet

Summary: Keyboard covers for the iPad Air are the thinnest types you can get. This new one from Belkin is the thinnest yet.

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TOPICS: Mobility, iPad, Reviews
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  • Hands on with the Belkin QODE Thin Type keyboard cover

    There are lots of keyboards for the iPad in several different styles. These include binders, portfolios, and covers. Covers are the thinnest and lightest of the bunch and Belkin has introduced one that is thinner and lighter than them all.

    The QODE Thin Type is only 4mm (0.157in) thick and weighs much less than the iPad Air. It is a sleek aluminum cover the attaches to the iPad with a magnetic hinge. When closed the whole package is barely bigger than the iPad alone.

    There are covers available for the iPad Air from Logitech, Kensington, and Anker. They all look similar and work much the same. The Thin Type from Belkin is a little bit different in a good way.

    The Belkin is a simple cover with a keyboard on one side. The metal cover is not flat like the competitors' models. There is a hump toward the back of the cover that gives the Belkin three advantages over the competition. The hump houses a large battery that Belkin claims gives six months of use on a charge. This is double that of other iPad keyboards. Having this hump on the cover provides an ergonomic tilt to the keyboard, perfect for typing. Last but not least, the protrusion provides a secure grip for handling the tablet in the cover.

    The Bluetooth Thin Type is paired with the iPad Air by tapping the pairing key on the keyboard. The keyboard is used by inserting the tablet in the slot above the keyboard. This action trips a switch in the keyboard that turns the unit on automatically. There is no on/off switch as a result, and no need to hit a key to wake the keyboard up. The unit is turned off by removing the iPad from the slot. It can then be attached to the hinge magnetically.

    The typing experience on the Thin Type is really good. The chiclet keys are as good as those found on most laptops. This is due to the spacing and tactile feel of the keys. Fast touch typing is easily supported by this keyboard.

    There is a dedicated row of number keys and one above that with control keys. The latter provides keyboard control of typical iPad functions. There are three keys on this row that interact with iTunes Radio, a nice touch.

    The Belkin QODE Thin Type is available from Belkin for $99.99. 

    Pros:

    • Thin and light
    • Good keyboard
    • Long battery life

    Cons:

    • Expensive
    • Cannot lift the unit while iPad Air is in the slot

    Reviewer's rating: 8.5 out of 10

    See related:

  • Comfortable viewing angle

    The Thin Type supports the iPad Air at an angle that is good for typing. The iPad Air is in the standard landscape orientation in this photo.

Topics: Mobility, iPad, Reviews

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5 comments
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  • Funny

    Funny how many variations there are on the iPad keyboard case theme, and yet Apple is so paranoid about cannibalizing Macbook Air sales that they won't release an official Apple branded solution.
    dsf3g
    • That's one way to analyze the differences between MBA and an iPad designs.

      Regarding Corporate policy, sometimes a company needs to "throw a bone" to their third party ecosystem support companies.

      Sure, Apple might have included a keyboard / case combo for their iPads just like they offered a keyboard docking station when the iPad was first introduced. But strategically, letting third parties have the option to fulfill a need to supply this accessory helps to grow a healthy ecosystem. I bet the benefits for Apple by following this practice far outweigh Apple's potential profit benefits of suppling their own keyboard / case combo for the iPad line of tablets.
      kenosha77a
  • Only 4mm thick - except where it's thicker.

    Only 4mm thick - you're kidding right? It has a hump.
    johnafish
  • The weight?

    Belkin QODE Thin Type Keyboard Case for iPad Air

    http://www.tuaw.com/2014/05/05/belkins-qode-thin-type-keyboard-case-for-ipad-air/

    This review gives the weight as "12.6 ounces (357.2 grams)". Presumably the author decided to weigh it, since Belkin omits this information.

    If this reviewer is correct then it's actually heavier than the Logitech model, which may explain the focus on thickness at the Belkin site
    craigkra
  • suprised by price

    looks pretty decent, but a little pricey I think.
    chichan31