aNewDomain.net – The keyboard on the Microsoft Surface should be included with the price and not sold as an option. Surface customers have a choice of two keyboards: the spill-proof Touch Cover keyboard and the more traditional Type Cover keyboard. The difference is $10, a few millimeters and dramatically-improved performance. In fact the difference is so stark that the touch keyboard shouldn’t be an option at all. Here’s why.
With some perspective we can see that the Surface is not Microsoft’s attempt to siphon market share from the iPad/tablet market, but more of a way to adapt to the changing ways people use PCs as well as retain its current user base. The iPad is a lean back or consumption device and most users who have connected a keyboard to an iPad soon discover the limitations of document production. Unless you are a perfect typist, you’re touching the screen far too much. The result is gorilla arms.
The Surface is not an iPad with a keyboard and trackpad. It’s a netbook/tablet that best leverages Microsoft’s other flagship product: Office. In those moments when you don’t need to produce a big document, the keyboard can be pulled off, but make no mistake it’s a netbook/notebook first. Look at the marketing. Surfaces always feature the keyboard. It’s hardly an afterthought.
Yet they’re sold separately. The $499 list price for the Surface is for the tablet only. Add another $119 for the spill-proof keyboard. But the keyboard is not workable for anyone who produces or edits documents on a regular basis.
I’ve typed on both the Touch and Type keyboards and while the Touch is surprising responsive it still comes up short for regular document production. The Touch is missing that necessary spring action that the Type keyboard provides. This makes all the difference.
Users who have purchased the Surface have told me that after owning the Surface for two weeks, they were able to use the Touch Keyboard at 80 percent the speed of a regular keyboard.
The Touch Keyboard is $119 and the Type Keyboard is $129. Both are available here. It’s the best $10 upgrade you’ll ever make.
Based in New York, Dino Londis is a senior commentator at aNewDomain.net, IT Pro alum National Lampoon and teamBYTE. Email him at Dino@aNewDomain.net.