Belkin today announced the availability of the QODE Thin Type for iPad Air, adding an ultra-slim keyboard option to its popular QODE line of tablet keyboards. QODE Thin Type for iPad Air features an anodized aluminum design, 79 hours of battery life and iOS specific keys that pair nicely with the iPad. The keyboard's main selling point is its 4mm thin profile that barely adds any heft to the already slender iPad Air.
An early review of the device from ZDNet's James Kendrick is favorable, noting that the keyboard is "different in a good way" from competing iPad tablets from Logitech, Kensington and Annker.
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 QODE Thin Type keyboard for iPad Air is available now for $99.99 at Belkin.com and will land soon at select retailers worldwide.
Top Rated Comments
I like iPads; but I don't understand why anyone would prefer this keyboard + iPad route over a proper laptop.
Even the $70 one from Apple is too much money. It's a freakin basic keyboard.
A new video from Belkin shows the keys are indeed re-arranged badly, including number-row keys being just a bit narrow, placing the "1" and "=" keys a little oddly. But mainly the punctuation keys are all messed up. Too bad.
Logitech's new unit's layout still looks fully standardand now with full-height number keys that earlier Ultrathins lacked..
- It is WAY thinner, lighter, and smaller in both flat dimensions than the MBA. I don't need that--I could survive with a bulky MB Pro even--but I very much like it. Plus, I can draw on the iPad (when keyboard is detached) better than on the laptop. And I'm a fan of touch gaming (though I haven't abandoned AAA Mac shooters).
- Not a factor for me, clearly, but an iPad plus keyboard usually comes to much less cost than a low-end MBA.
- MacBooks don't currently have an internal, nothing-to-carry cell modem. A niche option maybe, but one available on iPad for cheaper (pay only you when you need) than I can get tethering.
- OS X has many strengths, and multiple-app workflows are one, as you say (for those like you and I who need that). But iOS has other strengths. It's quicker, easier, simpler, and even downright fun to do a lot of very common and useful computing functions. My Mac and my iPad are usually both in reach, but it's the iPad I find myself grabbing much of the time. For many people, the difference is even more stark: Windows/OS X was never the best tool for them, and iOS opens up more computing and productivity--including text creation--than traditional laptops ever did.
- The top reason: the keyboard detaches. Most of the time I do NOT want it, and it just makes a handy video stand next to my couch. The Air alone is super light and has direct touch, and this style of keyboard doesn't clamp on annoyingly: one hand can grab the tablet and go. But when I do want to type a long email or an endless droning forum post or a text document, the keyboard is there to make an "iOS laptop" at the times I want that.
Keyboards are not for everyone, but they have their place.
I see--I only looked at the Ultrathin Cover which is akin to this Belkin. I had forgotten Logitech even used the Ultrathin brand for their folios. Those folios also have different/worse key feel than the cover does, apparently. I'd have returned it too.
To clarify, then: Logitech's Ultrathin Cover for iPad Air (old Ultrathin models and the new one just coming out) appears to use a fully standard layout with a real Tab key, similar to this Belkin. I had one of the 2013 Air Ultrathin Keyboard Covers and although the construction was flawed, the keys were great!
The Tab and Q key are combined on the Ultrathin Folio case for the iPad Air. So to use the tab key you have to do Fn+Tab. I use the tab key a lot and it's a PITA when switching between a desktop/laptop and the iPad. A piece of the case also broke off, but I was happy to return it for the keyboard issue alone.