If you love your iPad but are sometimes envious of seeing Microsoft Surface users flip down their sleek keyboard covers, don’t fret – Belkin have just launched a keyboard and case that has it beat. The Belkin Ultimate Keyboard ($129 CDN from Belkin.com) is an incredible piece of engineering, doubling as a cool cover and laptop-like keyboard while adding limited bulk to iPad’s slim profile.
While I am perfectly comfortable using the touchscreen keyboard on the iPad for most activities, I do find that for lengthier typing tasks such as composing emails (or writing this review) that a physical keyboard would be huge help, both in providing a tactile experience as well as freeing up the entire screen as a writing space. One of the great things about the Ultimate Keyboard is that it allows you to transition from doing keyboard and touch screen tasks seamlessly without having to remove the iPad from the case. Belkin’s new offering also incorporates the auto shut off and turn on feature that we love from the Apple Smart Cover, so you may never need to remove your iPad from this protective case. They keyboard itself connects via BlueTooth 2.0, so if you did need to pop it out it is a snap.
Part of the genius of the Belkin Ultimate Keyboard is its use of magnets which provide not only the ability to adjust the viewing angle of the iPad screen, but also function to turn the keyboard on and off. Given the impressive lifespan (160 hours while in use, and up to 1,900 hours over 6 months while in standby mode) that the built in rechargeable battery provides, this would ensure that running out of juice on the keyboard should seldom occur.
The build quality is very impressive as well, having somehow packed a smooth, laptop-like typing experience into a very thin package without having to compromise for the relatively small amount of real estate to include all of they required keys. As an added bonus they even threw in a Siri button, allowing you to access the iPad’s built in voice guided assistant right at the click of a keyboard button. The case also includes a simple feature that will ensure any audio coming from the iPad will be directed at you while also enhancing the sound quality at the same time.
If you find yourself performing more of the tasks you would have normally done on your desktop computer on your iPad, the Ultimate Keyboard case is built for you. It is an incredible add-on that is so well thought out you will be surprised that Apple didn’t come up with this one first. Highly recommended.