Sometimes, you can apparently have your cake and eat it, too. At least that’s the case for folks looking for a case as well as a more physical typing solution for their iPad. With its YourType Folio + Keyboard for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2, Belkin is once again eyeing Apple tablet owners who are looking to kill two birds with one stone. Is this solution the best of both worlds or a master of none? Let’s go ahead and take a closer look.
First, let’s start with the included iPad case. The cover I tried out sports a suede-like feel and non-glossy look. The case also comes with the requisite holes for accessing controls such as the home, power and volume buttons. In addition, it has openings for the front and rear cameras as well as the rear speaker. There’s also a magnetic flap on the side to help secure the case when it’s closed. The flap can be magnetically folded outward as well when the case is open, which is a nice touch. Like many cases, this cover can double as a horizontal stand for your iPad. Sadly, it doesn’t have an option for propping up your iPad vertically. It also doesn’t have a magnetic cover function that automatically puts your iPad to sleep when the case is closed.
The surface texture tends to attract more dust compared to a smoother glossy surface. Unlike glossy cases, however, it also seems more resistant to smudges from oily fingers, so that’s a plus. The opening for the iPad itself is located on the inside, which is a positive since it reduces the risk of the tablet falling out when the case is closed. The fit, though, is super tight so it can be a bit tough to get your iPad in and out of the case. You’ll also notice four velcro pads one on of the inner flaps. Those are for securing the second part of this product — a wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
The keyboard itself is nice and thin but also feels solid. The buttons have excellent feedback and is one of the nicer-feeling physical keyboards I’ve tried for the iPad. In addition to your standard keys, the keyboard comes with control shortcuts for various functions. These include volume and playback as well as screen lock and slide show options. Syncing is quite easy so setting up the keyboard with your iPad goes pretty quickly. The keyboard also has a built in rechargeable battery, which means you don’t have to fuss with batteries. Charging is done via an included USB cable.
Although you can use all four velcro patches to secure the keyboard, doing so makes the angle of the iPad a bit too steep for comfortable viewing. Instead, I find it better to connect the top part of the keyboard to the two bottom velcro patches to get a more comfortable viewing angle. The case itself has no mechanism for storing the keyboard when not in use. Although this makes the case thinner, it also means you’ll need to store the keyboard separately when, say, traveling, which affects convenience somewhat.
Overall, I think both elements of the YourType Folio + Keyboard are solid despite having their share of niggles. The case covers up your iPad and basically gets the job done. The keyboard is even better and would be much welcome for folks who still have problems typing on a touchscreen. If you’re looking for a case and keyboard combo for yourself or as a present to someone, the YourType Folio + Keyboard is certainly worth a look.
- Platform: iPad 2 and New iPad
- Cost: $99
- Final rating: 4 stars out of 5