Belkin QODE Thin Type Keyboard Cover for iPad Air review

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Despite being almost a year old, there aren't many keyboards for the iPad Air. Belkin's is one of the thinnest around. Here's our QODE Thin Type Keyboard review. See also: Brydge+ with speakers iPad keyboard review

Available in white or grey to match the two current iPad Air colours, the QODE is just a few millimetres thick. It has a magnetic hinge so it can act as a cover for the iPad, but there's nothing to hold  it shut - the idea is that you put the whole thing into a sleeve or pouch in a backpack.

 Belkin Thin Type Keyboard for ipad Air reviewPairing the Thin Type Keyboard is amazingly simple: tap the Pair button and then select the keyboard from the list of Bluetooth devices on the iPad. No need for a manual, and no pairing codes needed.

When you want to use it as a keyboard, just pull the two apart and slot the iPad into the groove in the keyboard. A pressure switch turns on the keyboard and Bluetooth automatically, but this works best on a desk; it's somewhat hit and miss when using the keyboard on your lap.

Belkin says the 35-degree fixed angle is the 'ideal' one, and we're inclined to agree when using it on a desk. However, keyboards which allow you to change the tilt angle are better, if you can live with the extra bulk and weight.

The battery is at the back of the keyboard underneath, and gives a slight angle for more comfortable typing. It should last months between recharges, unless you're using it all day' every day, as Belkin claims 79 hours of use or 3,100 hours in standby (that's over four months).

Belkin Thin Type Keyboard for iPad Air review

The keys have enough travel and are large enough (and well spaced) to make typing as good as it can be at this size. There's no noticeable delay when typing, so you can touch type as fast as normal - or you would be able to if it weren't for the annoying placement of the apostrophe key to the right of the space bar.

Belkin Thin Type Keyboard for iPad Air review

Quite why this frequently used key should be displaced is a mystery, and it would have been far better to have dropped the less-frequently used colon key. Other than that and the usual switch around of the " and @ keys - when compared to a PC keyboard - the layout is good. You can use the command key for shortcuts such as cut, copy and paste, and the top row is full of useful shortcuts for media playback, volume, switching between apps, a home button and even a dedicated printscreeen key.

 If you don't touch type, you might get on better with the QODE Thin Type Keyboard but with no way to change the character that each key produces, the out-of-place apostrophe key is a bit of a deal breaker. Plus, of course, there's the issue of the price. It's steep at £90, despite the excellent build quality.

OUR VERDICT

If you don't touch type, you might get on better with the QODE Thin Type Keyboard but with no way to change the character that each key produces, the out-of-place apostrophe key is a bit of a deal breaker. Plus, of course, there's the issue of the price. It's steep at £90, despite the excellent build quality.