Belkin's Ultra-Slim QODE Thin Type Keyboard Now Available for iPad Air

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 8, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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 QODE Thin Type keyboard for iPad Air is available now for $99.99 at and will land soon at select retailers worldwide.

    Article Link: Belkin's Ultra-Slim QODE Thin Type Keyboard Now Available for iPad Air
  2. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
  3. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
  4. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    $100 for a keyboard for iPad? I'll pass.

    Even the $70 one from Apple is too much money. It's a freakin basic keyboard.
  5. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    Looks really freaking thin, I'll definitely consider picking one up! :)
  6. c0ppo macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2013
    Nice keyboard. But 100$ is way to much. By the time this thing hits EU countries, it will cost about 150€. For that kinda of money I can pay someone to write things for me :D
  7. bpcookson macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2012
    This actually looks surprisingly good. You have to go to the Belkin website to see any useful photos.
  8. shareef777 macrumors 68020


    Jul 26, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hmm, didn't think the R&D for KEYBOARDS still warranted prices this high.
  9. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Aug 6, 2008
    Decent looking, but there's no adjustability with the screen angle.

    And as others have chimed, $100 is way too much. It should be in around $69 max.
  10. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    It seems to me that an iPad + keyboard would weigh about as much as a Macbook Air 11", would be about as thick, if not thicker in some cases, than a Macbook Air, and would cost about as much total as a Macbook Air. Yet, it won't be able to run 2 or more apps side by side.

    I like iPads; but I don't understand why anyone would prefer this keyboard + iPad route over a proper laptop.
  11. ProVideo macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    Are all the keys laid out like regular Mac keyboards where keys are where they should be? Logitech and other iPad keyboard manufacturers have a tendency to re-arrange or combine keys in order to save space. This is extremely frustrating when typing quickly because I am used to Mac keyboards. Putting the Tab key or some other regularly used key in a different position just increases typos and waste time. I returned a Logitech keyboard case for this reason. It's bad enough switching between a Mac and PC using the Command & Control keys. Having to switch between three different designs is completely counterproductive.
  12. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Hope it's as sturdy as it looks! That was my only gripe with the Air variety of the Logitch Ultrathin cover.

    And Logitech has a new tilt-adjust Ultrathin that just came out and might (?) be sturdier than their first Air model.

    One of these two new units might be the keyboard I've been waiting for.

    As for price, a well-made, somewhat niche product may be expensive; but hopefully with a good $20 off on Amazon at least.

    "Well made" being the key question!

    Logitech's Ultrathin keyboards for Air (not Mini) have a standard layout, don't they? What keys are different?
  13. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    It doesn't? This isn't a knockoff product aiming to be the cheapest on the market - it's aiming to be the best and to charge a price that reflects its status as the best. Their target market is willing to pay for it. If you don't think the price is worth it, you probably aren't the target market.
  14. ProVideo macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    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.
  15. nagromme, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014

    nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I love my 11" MB Air, but an iPad keyboard is worth the money to me too:

    - 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!
  16. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    I'm going to guess that you have never had an iPad before. Battery life is excellent and workflow interruptions are minimal (at least in my case where the OS is accessible and small issues are likely to distract me).

    That being said, a MBA starts at £749 and the bottom-tier iPad Air starts at £399. Even with the keyboard it is still a 50% difference in price and likely to be found for slightly cheaper anyways.

    Though, I tend to prefer the touchscreen keyboard anyways. If not for any other reason, it's support of different languages are much better. A pity there isn't an IPA keyboard, though (not that 99.99% of people would even know what it was).
  17. osofast240sx macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
    Because the iPad is somewhat simpler for people who do not need a laptop.
  18. SmileyBlast! macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    This product looks pretty awesome. I like the key layout on this one more than the belkin folio (which I recently bought :( ).

    I wonder if there will be a stress crack in bezel where the iPad Air is rested into the keyboard over time.

    The obvious downside is that you can't use it with a cover on the iPad.

    And it's a double whammy if you drop it. Too precious and expensive things hit the floor. :eek:
  19. AppleInLVX macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2010

    I speak from experience. I have been writing in cafes using the Logitech version of this and my iPad Air (and iPad 3rd gen before that) for a long, long time. I can attest that the keyboard is much more cramped, and less comfortable to use.

    The reason I do this, however, is that I essentially get an 11" MBA out of it, but with a Retina screen, which for writing is much preferable. In order for me to get the same experience with a proper laptop, I'd need to step up to the 13" rMBP, which is way more computer than my needs dictate.

    That said, it's exactly what I'm planning on doing whenever the next bump happens. Writing using one of these keyboards isn't as nice. I was not-so-secretly hoping for a retina screen when the MBAs updated last week, but that didn't happen. Le sigh.
  20. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    You bring up a good point I didn't consider: detach-ability. It does give you options, which is nice. However, I would dispute that "way lighter" point. An MBA is pretty darn light, and an iPad + the average keyboard combo is about the same weight; and almost always thicker together.

    I have used an iPad actually :p. I had an iPad4 for about a year before I sold it (on this forum actually). Battery life of iPad and MBA are about the same (9 hours versus 10 hours). I totally agree that iOS is very accessible, minimal, and easy to use; but the fact that one can't run two apps side by side is the one thing that really ruined it for me. Viewing a PDF while typing an email, discussing said PDF. Chatting with my gf while browsing amazon. Viewing a website while writing paper citing to that website. These are all basic things that iOS struggles at; and these are the things which typically require a keyboard as well. My point wasn't that the iPad is bad; it's that tasks that necessitate a physical keyboard are tasks that are better done on a laptop.

    As for price, you're about right; though its a smaller difference for us US shoppers.
  21. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    This isn't for any sort of argument, but your reply made me curious to try something.

    (In landscape mode) the individual letter keys on the iPad Air have exactly the same measurements as the Apple keyboard. The return key is very slightly shorter (smaller than the distance between keys).

    And now back to actually doing something productive today.


    I hadn't realized how much the battery's life improved. Last MBA I had got about 4 hours (which at the time trumped my spouse's 2 hours) so that may negate my point a bit. ;)
  22. BrentD macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
    Nope. I bought the QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case ( for my new iPad Air last year *specifically* because I love the one on my Retina iPad that I have at work...and specifically because that keyboard on the one at work didn't move the keys around like all the others I'd seen. When I bought the one for the Air they didn't have tons of photos of it because it was a preorder. When I got it I was hugely disappointed because they moved the apostrophe/quote key TWO ROWS DOWN so it's next to the space bar where the right command key is on a normal Mac keyboard. This is insanely annoying because where you'd usually reach over for quotes or an apostrophe you now hit the enter key, which submits MANY forms on the web and other areas you might be typing. A major annoyance. Not to mention the fact that the Ultimate Keyboard Case for the Air does not magnetically put your iPad to sleep like the previous version did. The magnets are still there, but apparently they moved them in the Air, so they don't put it to sleep.
  23. furi0usbee macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    You know how I add a keyboard to my iPad Air? It's called a MacBook Air. You know what I was thinking, I'll take my iPod Touch, and build this simple unit I can attach to it, and then it will give the iPod phone capabilities. I think it would sell well for just $150.00 or so. But you need to bring your own iPod Touch.

    EDIT: I will make one small correction, if I could drop in a mouse to the equation of the iPad, then maybe this would be cool for small jobs where I don't even need a real computer. iPad 99% of the time, computer 1%.
  24. nagromme, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014

    nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Ugh! And the question mark and slash are moved too. You can tell by looking close at the article photo.

    Not acceptable. How can Belkin not learn from past mistakes? (If you want to move the vertical bar or tilde or something I might live with it. But common punctuation??)

    Logitech's just-announced redesigned Ultrathin cover sounds like the best bet then... IF it turns out to be durable. (The new mounting mechanism looks like it could break.)

    A little part of me hopes that Belkin has actually changed the key layout for the better, and that this is an old photo. Because Belkin was showing this same picture last year--and they showed a full-on view too (shows the problems clearly). Now they no longer show a full-on view... maybe because they are waiting for new photography that shows the new layout?

    I know... wishful thinking...

    A modern keyboard cover isn't like those awful bulky folios you may be thinking of. (I hate those.) I just checked the weight and footprint difference between an MBA and an iPad + Logitech Ultrathin, and it's significant! You really feel it. 2.38 lbs. for 11" Air, vs. 1.71 lbs. for iPad + Ultrathin keyboard; and less footprint taken up on my crowded little sofa tray-table. (Thickness is less, too--a little.)

    Plus the iPad in portrait even gives me more work space: vertical space shows me more lines of my content; whereas when typing text on my MacBook Air, I am more cramped vertically, while a lot of that horizontal space is simply going to waste. Typing on an iOS "portrait laptop" feels terrific sometimes.

    Price-wise, there are really two cases:

    1. You already have a nice thin, light, fast, modern laptop. Using a laptop is then "free" in a sense, and makes the most sense for lots of typing situations. (But I still prefer the iPad often—subjective preference.)

    2. You don't have a nice laptop (maybe just an old beast), only an iPad. Using a laptop is then around $1000, vs. at most $100 to add a keyboard to your iPad.

    True for some tasks, but not for lots of common tasks. I do a ton of typing (even on my laptop) that doesn't call for multiple windows.

    Aside: I actually do multi-app work sometimes on the iPad: the multitasking gestures (or double-tap Home key) are sufficient. And although I can't see multiple windows at the SAME exact moment, each "window" is larger than the MacBook Air allows. Example: a reference document on one portrait-sized iPad screen, my work on another, and a browser on another. I can snap between them very fast, and the total work area is much wider AND taller than a MacBook Air. It's not the ideal tool always, but it can be great.

    (My biggest gripe with iPad multi-app workflows is not being able to organize files by PROJECT. I believe Mavericks tags tell us Apple's future iOS solution to that. Just a guess.)
  25. iMcLovin macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    not so bad, but its what everyone else does, rip off apple but doesn´t quite understand design and simplicity...I find that strange that manufacturers doesnt see this... Visually its an apple keyboard with too much unnecessary bumps and holes and shape variations.
    I look forward to Apple redesign their keyboard, not that it needs it, its the best keyboard on the market IMO, simple, beautiful, the buttons have the perfect depth and hardness to type fast....But, I think Apple are the only ones that can make something even better if they want to.

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