A few months back we had an opportunity to test the newest Belkin’s keyboard, named QODE Keyboard Case. If you take a look at that review you’ll see that we were impressed by its design, but some functionality limitations prevented me from giving it my full recommendation. Today we’ll be taking a look at the newest QODE product, named QODE Ultimate, which promises to bring superior design and better functionality than before.
The first thing that I noticed about the Ultimate version is that it comes with a higher build quality. The keyboard is made of aircraft grade aluminum, so it’s very light and feels nice in hand. You can purchase it in black or silver. On the back side you’ll see a mechanism that operates as a stand. You’ll get to use two viewing angles, and both of them offer magnetic attachment which is very strong and firm.
The QODE Ultimate is compatible with the iPad Air. In order to install it, you’ll need to place your tablet into provided case. You’ll simply need to push your tablet into it, so the process of installation is very simple and effortless. Luckily, all the buttons and ports are left fully exposed so you can easily use them. What I need to pinpoint is the generous opening on the bottom side of your tablet, where the Lightning port is located. Thanks to this large opening you’ll be able to use 3rd party cables, which is something that many potential users are going to love. As I said earlier, the tablet is connected to the keyboard via somewhat strong faux leather hinge. Even though this will enable very strong connection and it will keep your tablet firmly in its place, I not sure if this hinge will serve you for a long time. After all, you’ll constantly fold it over and open/close it multiple times, so I am not sure if this material is strong enough to support that. This is still a brand new product, so only time will tell.
When it comes to the keyboard, it’s very nicely designed. My first impression was how cramped it was, even though this is something you can expect from majority of iPad keyboards. The biggest issue that I’ve had was somewhat complicated layout, and this is something that Belkin has done in the past. For example, you’ll get to use the colon/semi-colon key combined and displaced. Even after some time, I was unable to adapt to this situation, and this is something that made me frustrated after a while. The main goal of a keyboard layout is to create enjoyable and effortless typing, and this is where the QODE Ultimate failed.
Even though it was priced at $130 a few weeks back, you can find the QODE Ultimate at some resellers now at only $99. Perhaps this shows that many users were unable to adjust to its unusual layout, which is something that I fully understand. Even though Belkin has managed to create beautifully designed keyboard case, this company needs to put more work in enabling better functionality as well.