Belkin was quick off the blocks in launching the YourType Folio + Keyboard for the new iPad. It announced the product on the same day the new iPad was officially revealed by Apple. Less than a week after the iPad officially went on sale in Australia, we have the YourType Folio + Keyboard in our hands for review.
The Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard for iPad is a foldable iPad case that includes a built-in keyboard. Unlike some other iPad keyboard cases, the keyboard on this case is detachable: Belkin uses velcro to secure it to the bottom of the case, making it easily removable.
The case itself is made from a soft feeling, synthetic material which makes it easy to grip, though it does tend to show dust and marks quite easily. The case includes all the necessary cut outs for the iPad's headphone jack, volume buttons, front and rear cameras and the dock connector and fits the new iPad snugly.
The folio style case means it can sit at various angles, though with the keyboard attached the angle is almost 90 degrees. Better viewing angles can be achieved when the keyboard is removed, though this makes it tough to use on your lap. Even with the keyboard attached to the case, we found the YourType Folio wouldn't sit properly on our lap unless our legs were almost dead straight.
Connecting the Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad is a simple process. Simply turn it on, press the "pair" key in the top left corner of the keyboard and go to the Bluetooth settings menu on your iPad to connect it. The iPad will prompt you to enter a four digit code using the keyboard to finalise the connection. The keyboard charges via USB and Belkin includes a USB to micro-USB charging cable in the box.
The keyboard itself is obviously the most important factor here. The keys themselves are spring loaded and reasonably well spaced, though if you're coming from a full sized keyboard, it will take a while to get used to the more cramped layout on the YourType Folio.
The keys on the YourType Folio keyboard are well raised and provide good tactility, but the keyboard itself is constructed from rather flimsy feeling plastic. The model we reviewed bowed noticeably in the middle, which resulted in the base of the keyboard slightly bouncing up and down every time we typed. This is a real annoyance and detracts from the overall appeal of the case.
A row of iOS function keys sit on the top row of the keyboard and include functions like hiding and showing the on-screen keyboard, selecting text (all, left and right) and copy and paste, but you'll still have to use the iPad's touchscreen on a regular basis.
The YourType Folio cases uses a handy magnetic flap to securely close the case when not in use and it neatly attaches to the rear of the case when it is opened. The case protects the iPad fairly well, though if you apply pressure to it when closed, the keyboard appears to come into contact with the iPad's screen, leaving visible marks.