Surface's Touch Cover and Type Cover -- redefining smart

Posted by Rhuaridh Marr
June 18, 2012 11:07 PM |

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Microsoft followed up its Surface reveal with yet more goodness from its R&D department -- this time in the form of two covers for the new tablet: the Touch Cover and the Type Cover.

The Touch Cover is 3mm thin and pressure sensitive, providing a full multi-touch typing experience akin to that of an on-screen keyboard, albeit, Microsoft claims, with much greater accuracy and ease of use. Touch typing is possible, and an integrated trackpad is also included.

The Type Cover is 5mm thin, and features the same keyboard and trackpad as the Touch Cover, but instead offers actual physical keys to depress. With a vertical travel of 1.5mm, it won't replace the keyboard on your laptop or desktop, but should make typing lecture notes or editing documents on the go a cinch. Microsoft again assures us that touch typing is possible. It remains to be tested, though, as working demonstrations were not available to press in attendance.

Both covers contain accelerometers to detect when the keyboards are in use, come with palm rejection to reduce accidental keystrokes and offer a place to rest hands while using the tablet, and connect to the tablet with a simple yet sturdy magnetic lock.

Much like the Surface itself, pricing and availability are for the time being under wraps, but it's a safe bet that the Touch Cover will be available this fall with the launch of the Surface for Windows RT. The Type Cover is limited to just the Surface for Windows 8 Pro, so will likely launch alongside that, 90 days after the Surface for Windows RT/Touch Cover. The Touch Cover will work with both Surface models.

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