Review: Belkin Ultimate iPad Keyboard Case

Your iPad can also now be used without taking the keyboard section off, as now the hinge-like section on the Belkin case can be folded in front of the keyboard, deactivating that typing surface and tucking it behind the screen as you hold both.

This is useful for playing games, web surfing, or just holding the tablet, but unlike the magnets that keep the screen and the keyboard locked into position, there’s nothing to hold them here, so you’re basically holding two sections together, though thanks to the material hinge, it won’t fall apart on you.

One thing that could do with some work, though, is the keyboard.

Sure, it’s very thin and does its best to push as much of a full-sized keyboard into a frame that’s marginally smaller than the compact 9.7 inch frame of the iPad, but that also seems to hamper the typing experience at the same time.

It’s not that the keys are poorly spaced – they’re not – nor that the keyboard is too thin or that there is no Caps Lock light. Rather, it’s that some of the keys we’re so used to using feel smaller than they should.

For instance, the delete key on the right – which also serves as backspace – is tiny and thin, as are the numbers. It’s probably not the ideal placement, especially since backspace keys are predominantly wide, and this key, well, isn’t, though that’s probably not why the keys feel cramped.

We think it might actually come from the extended placement of the screen magnets with the three positions taking up just over half of the room available for the keyboard. As a result, this seems to offer not as much room as other keyboards, shrinking the keys in comparison to other keyboard layouts.

Belkin’s use of magnets could be marginally improved, too. We like knowing there are three points where the screen can meet the case, essentially creating three specific screen angles.

Still, only one of the magnet sections seems truly stable, and if you plan to be on moving transport (like a bus or train), the angle and weight of the iPad seems to work best on the magnet position closest to the keyboard.

The first position on the keyboard dock isn't the most stable when you're moving, but works really well when you're stable.

For the other two, you’ll find that when the case is moved, even slightly, the iPad falls forward (middle position) or is pulled backwards (last position). As such, these other two positions only work well on a desk, or a stationary location where movement isn’t likely.

That said, to Belkin’s credit, while the case can fall backward, it doesn’t fall over and onto the floor thanks to Belkin making you store your iPad in a fully connected case, linked to the keyboard by a sort of hinge and the very stand that keeps the tablet upright at the back.

This one part goes a long way to show that inertia doesn’t always need to triumph over technology, which is a gripe we had with the fabric iPad keyboard cases which almost always inevitably fell over thanks to there being no weight or anchor holding them down.

Position three seems to work the best, providing stability in both moving and not-so-moving places.

Conclusion

The so-called “ultimate” of keyboard cases is certainly an improvement on others out there, and even though it has its own faults, is an easy recommendation for anyone after an iPad packing in both a tactile keyboard and some protection for their iPad.

Overall
Value for money
Ease of Use
Design
Reader Rating0 Votes
Hooray, a keyboard case where you don't have to remove the keyboard in order to use the iPad without the keyboard!; Acts as both a front and back cover for the iPad, protecting each side; Makes the back of the iPad more grippy; Magnetic lock means the screen switches off when closed just like with Apple's own Smart Covers;
Keyboard is smaller than we're used to and can be uncomfortable; Magnets don't hold the iPad well in top two screen positions; No Caps Lock light;
4.3