Belkin’s education division, Belkin Education, took to this year’s ISTE 2018 event to take the wraps off of a forward-thinking solution for Chrome OS devices that don’t include a physical keyboard. There are a total of two variations on the concept and both will be available this summer. The Belkin Wired Tablet Keyboard for Chrome OS is, as its name implies, a wired keyboard designed specifically to cater to the Chromebook market. Meanwhile, the Belkin Wired Tablet Keyboard with Stand for Chrome OS is also self-explanatory, featuring the same style of keyboard with a built-in stand to support a more laptop-like experience. In fact, the stand is effectively the only differentiator between the two new keyboards.
The first of the two keyboards will sell directly from Belkin for $39.99 and is intended for use with any Chromebook where an external keyboard might be desirable. For instance, it might be used with one of the Chrome OS slates that will undoubtedly follow the release of Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10. Conversely, it would also be well-suited for use alongside a convertible Chromebook when setting up in tablet, tent, or stand configuration. The latter of the two is designed more exclusively with tabs in mind and is set to sell for $49.99. Aside from connecting to a Chromebook via USB Type-C, each also shares readiness for standardized tests with SBAC and PARCC testing compliance. Neither requires any kind of special software or drivers and a “Correct connect” indicator will ensure that users know they’re ready to start typing via the two devices’ full-size keys. Since these are designed for use with Chrome OS, the keys will be set in a layout that will be familiar to those already using the system. Moreover, some of the deeper keyboard functionality has been marked in blue to help students and teachers access the keyboard shortcuts more easily.
Meanwhile, neither requires batteries, allowing the weight to be kept to a minimum The overall design allows the keyboards to be stacked for easy storage within the limited space available in a classroom. Belkin's focus on durability, on the other hand, should ensure that they'll survive the vast majority of abuse that students can dish out.