We were there in Los Angeles when Microsoft revealed its new Surface tablet to the world, and although we got the briefest of hands-on time from which to form an initial, vague impression, there was no opportunity for the press to put the device’s Touch Covers to the test.
The Touch Covers incorporate a pressure-sensitive QWERTY keyboard and trackpad. While we were able to paw at the keyboards on display, none of them were connected to a tablet, so it was not possible to put them to the test in any meaningful way.
Touch Cover with touch-sensitive keys and trackpad
But Business Insider got word of a Citigroup analyst who had met with Windows executives, and had been given a chance to play with both the Surface tablet and its stylish and practical keyboard covers. What did they think?
It seems that they were impressed, although it sounds like the experience didn't quite match that of a ‘real’ keyboard. But there is an alternative ‘Type Cover’ available, as Microsoft puts it, “for those who prefer a more traditional keyboard”, although that cover is thicker than the 3mm profile of the Touch Cover.
Type Cover with 'traditional' keyboard
In an analyst’s note, Walter Pritchard said:
At the meeting with MSFT [Microsoft] execs, we were able to try the Surface touch keyboard (we weren’t at LA launch) and also use it conjunction [sic] with new Office (RT- version). All works well. The keyboard is responsive and natural (same size as laptop keyboard), with only downside being there is only slight raised delineation between keys, meaning you have to look at your fingers while you type. With short words, we were able to type accurately, although longer words were more error-prone.”
What do you think of the new Touch Covers? Are you looking forward to using one? Do you think you’d prefer a Type Cover instead? Or do you think that the best tablets should be able to get by without bolt-ons like a QWERTY keyboard? Tell us what you think below!
Source: Business Insider | Images via Microsoft