Logitech, Belkin unveil new keyboard accessories for Apple's iPad AirThe two 800-pound gorillas in the Apple accessory ecosystem have taken the wraps off of their new collections of keyboard cases designed to complement Apple's forthcoming thinner, lighter iPad Air.
Logitech brings threw new Bluetooth typing devices to the iPad Air party with the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, and the Ultrathin Keyboard Folio.
The company says the FabricSkin folio features a water-resistant fabric design featuring a "wipe clean" keyboard, while magnets in the folio itself will hold the iPad at two different typing angles. The FabricSkin Folio measures up at 0.9 pounds in weight and 0.7 inches thick — nearly as heavy as the iPad Air itself and more than twice as thick — and will come with a suggested retail price of $99.99 in November.
Logitech's other wraparound keyboard case, the plastic Ultrathin Keyboard Folio, will hold the iPad upright for typing or flat for browsing, according to the company. The folio weighs the same as its fabric-covered sibling, but is slightly thicker at 0.79 inches, and will carry the same $99.99 price tag and November release date.
The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover does not wrap around the iPad Air, instead acting as a stiff cover that attaches with Apple's integrated Smart Cover magnets, similar to the Microsoft Surface's Type Cover. For use, the iPad Air must be separated from the cover and inserted into a small groove above the keyboard. Made from aluminum, the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover weighs 0.73 pounds and matches the iPad Air in thickness at 0.29 inches. Logitech says it, too, will be available in November for $49.99.
All three keyboards can be recharged via micro-USB, and Logitech says they can go up to three months — based on two hours of use per day — between recharges.
Belkin teased three new Bluetooth keyboard models from its QODE family, the Ultimate Keyboard Case, Thin Type Keyboard Case, and Slim Style Keyboard Case.
The Ultimate Keyboard Case is made from what Belkin calls an "aircraft-grade aluminum alloy," and magnetically secures the iPad at the user's choice of three angles for typing. The keyboard can be folded behind the iPad Air for one-handed use and completely ensconces the tablet when closed, while Belkin says the keyboard's battery is good for 264 hours of use. There is no word on availability, though the company notes the cover will be available in both black and silver for $129.99.
The Thin Type Keyboard Case functions similarly to Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, attaching to the iPad Air with its Smart Cover magnets, and featuring a small groove to insert the iPad Air into for typing. The keyboard features 79 hours of active battery life, and Belkin says the aluminum accessory will be available only an anodized silver color for $99.99.
Belkin's Slim Style Keyboard Case features a single-hinge design with a three-position kickstand at the rear. The iPad Air is held in place by fabric "wings" that wrap around the tablet's top and bottom bezels, and the built-in battery is said to provide up to 60 hours of active use. The keyboard case can be had in five colors, which Belkin says are Black, Red, Topaz, Sorbet and Purple, and will set buyers back $79.99.
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