Review: Belkin's Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case Offers Versatility and a Full Set of Keys

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In our ongoing iPad Air 2 keyboard review series, we've looked at the ClamCase Pro and the BrydgeAir. Today we've got a look at another popular iPad keyboard that MacRumors readers suggested we review, the Qode Ultimate Pro from Belkin.

The Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case is one of the more versatile keyboard cases we've looked at, because it's able to detach from the keyboard to serve as a standalone iPad case and it's usable in both portrait and landscape modes. Other standout features include backlit keys, a full keyboard layout, and auto on/off functionality.


What's in the Box and Setup

The box includes the two-piece keyboard, an accompanying micro-USB charger, and instructions on how to get it up and running. Setup is similar to any other Bluetooth device, with pairing done by pressing the Bluetooth button on the keyboard and selecting the keyboard in the Settings menu of the iPad.

We ran into some occasional difficulties with Bluetooth, where we had to remove the device completely from the list of known devices and re-pair, but for the most part, the Bluetooth connection was solid in our testing.


Design

The Qode Ultimate Pro comes in two separate pieces: a detachable keyboard and a plastic case that snaps on to the back of the iPad Air 2. The two pieces connect to one another using several magnets. There's a magnetic flap covered with a leather-like material on the keyboard that attaches to the back of the case to hold the pieces together, and then the case fits into one of two slots on the keyboard where it is held in place by additional magnets (these magnets also control the automatic connection between your iPad and the keyboard). The two different slots allow for slightly different viewing angles.


Using magnets to attach the two pieces of the case together allows the iPad to be used without the keyboard attached or with the keyboard folded back, providing several possible use cases not possible with other keyboard cases on the market.


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Article Link: Review: Belkin's Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case Offers Versatility and a Full Set of Keys
 

duervo

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
2,318
1,042
Interesting. I learned more than one new thing today, and the day isn't even over yet.
 

Macula

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2006
430
18
All over the place
This is the first time I'm intrigued by an iPad keyboard, the reason being that dedicated exposé key for multitasking.

But I am not yet ready to buy because, if I understand correctly, there is no keyboard for directly swiping from the current app to the one on the left or right (equivalently with a four-finger horizontal swipe).
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
I mentioned a few months ago, that I had bought the Kengsington keyboard case. That failed within a month and the vendor refused to do anything about it. As then, my opinion is to stay away from that company and its products.

Since then I bought a logitech which I have been using for a month or so. I have found it to be a good keyboard and case. The keys are soft, its not a full keyboard, and the bluetooth is not as reliable as I would like. I will need to check this Belkin out in a store and see how it feels compared to what I have now. The price certainly is an eye popper, but since I use my ipad for typing quite a bit, I am always looking for something that improves my experience.

Thanks for the article.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,920
14,606
Central U.S.
Surface pro copy

But the fans will claim a new revolution is here!
Fun fact: iPads and keyboard cases for iPads have existed long before the Surface Pro. As a matter of fact, Apple even filed for a patent on the technology in August 2011, nearly a year before Microsoft even showed off the Surface for the first time (link).

As a matter of fact, Apple has licensed the iPad design patents to Microsoft (link).

Many believe that Apple will introduce their own keyboard smart cover when the iPad Pro launches. I believe that it may somehow involve the new butterfly key mechanism found in the new MacBook. Either way, Apple is still innovating, much less copying Microsoft in any way.

As for this keyboard, the dealbreaker for me is that the magnet doesn't seem to hold it well. It's neat that the case comes apart. I'd love to have a keyboard case that I don't have to bring the keyboard part with me if I don't need it. It's too bad that the Clamcase doesn't have a release mechanism or come with a black back material. My wife likes hers but I don't always want a keyboard on my iPad.
 

mfonseca

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2015
1
0
The one negative when attempting to use it as an every day case is the fact that it leaves the left side of the iPad without protection because that's where the iPad slots into the keyboard when it is in use.
It's so you can use the Apple Smart Cover with it when it's away from the keyboard. It allows for a fully protected case when the keyboard isn't being used, although I freely admit that I don't tend to use it as often as one should, but it's nice to have as an option.
 

RoccoFan

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2008
101
22
Love it!!

I've had this case since day one and It is worth the money. The versatility it offers is unmatched. Being able to detach the iPad is a huge advantage over Clam and the others. The magnets are strong and the construction is pretty sturdy. One draw back on the build quality is the adhesive used for the rubber strips below the space bar could be better. I'm not sure if it's how I used it, but the stips have started coming loss recently. The strips holding the ipad to the keyboard are solid.

Yes, this is an expensive case, but if you use your iPad every single waking hour of every single day, then the case is relatively cheap. I recommend it.

----------

Since then I bought a logitech which I have been using for a month or so. I have found it to be a good keyboard and case. The price certainly is an eye popper, but since I use my ipad for typing quite a bit, I am always looking for something that improves my experience.

Thanks for the article.
I have friends that have he Logitech for their iPad minis and they are nice cases. They're not even close to he value you'll get from the belkin. I highly recommend it. Plus, I called Belkin and told them about the issue I was having with the rubber strips and my replacement will be here tomorrow.
 

ScottHammet

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2011
110
21
I've used four or five different keyboards for my iPad Air since it first came out. Currently using the ClamCase Pro. Best keyboard ever, in terms of the overall design...makes it feel like a mini MacBook Air. But doesn't have backlit keys. Not a big deal for me, as I actually know how to type (not look at the keys). For the two-finger-key-peckers out there, probably not the keyboard for you if you need to use it in the dark.
 

GrumpyDave

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2013
5
0
Sonoran Desert
Touch sensitivity affected?

I bought a Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro and an Anker Ultra for an Air 1 just a couple weeks ago. Both are nice to use, are quickly detached, and work in landscape or portrait.

The back lighting and the black keys on grey field are particularly nice on the Belkin. The Anker has a better key layout. In particular the tilde and back tick are in the wrong place on the Belkin and I use those a bit in ssh sessions.

BUT, both of them seem to affect the sensitivity of the touch screen to the point where using it is difficult. It's most noticeable on the Anker, I assume because of the much stronger magnet. I tried using the touchscreen while in and out of contact with the magnet and it made a big difference. The flexy touch screen on my iPad Air has never been as responsive and satisfying as my original iPad 1 and putting it in the Anker case make it nearly unusable. It's better in the Belkin but still noticeably degraded.

Strangely, I haven't seen any mention of this in any of the reviews here. Is mine the only one this happens to? Does anyone else notice an effect on the touchscreen when using one of these magnetically attached keyboards?
 

bluespark

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2009
1,951
2,135
Chicago
I own of these and recommend it, although with a strong caveat. On the positive side, the physical design is very good, the keyboard feels great, the iPad can be posiioned in landscape or portrait mode (very useful for viewing full pages of documents), and it beautifully accommodates an Apple Smart Cover when detached from the keyboard. That part is really nice.

The caveat, for me, is that the bluetooth sleeps after just a cople of minutes of non-use. This is clearly a decision designed to save battery life (which is listed at a year). For me, though, it's a terrible choice. If I am using it to take notes (for example), there will be many periods when I pause to listen. Every time, the bluetooth will go to sleep. As a result, I spend an inordinate amount of time every day waking this thing up. I'd happily trade half of the battery life or more for bluetooth that doesn't constantly time out.
 

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2011
3,050
1,429
This is the first time I'm intrigued by an iPad keyboard, the reason being that dedicated exposé key for multitasking.

But I am not yet ready to buy because, if I understand correctly, there is no keyboard for directly swiping from the current app to the one on the left or right (equivalently with a four-finger horizontal swipe).
The apple + tab feature works in iOS 9.0
 
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