New Microsoft Surface video is all about the Touch Cover

Microsoft has been releasing a number of videos that focus on the features of its upcoming Windows RT version of the Surface tablet, including how tough the tablet is. Today, Microsoft released a new Surface video that concentrates on the Touch Cover add-on.

The video, posted on the Surface YouTube channel, reveals that Microsoft was working on a thin pressure sensitive keyboard design as early as 2003 but couldn't get it to work correctly. When the time came to develop the Surface, the team decided to revisit that keyboard project and came up with the Touch Cover concept.

Microsoft claims in the video that even though the Surface Touch Cover is just 3 mm thick, its keys have been designed to give the person using them the feeling that they are in fact using a full featured keyboard. It also shows off the magnetic links that bind the Touch Cover to the Surface. For people who still want an even more physical experience, Microsoft also offers the 6 mm Type Cover keyboard for the Surface.

Overall, there's not a lot of new information in this video, but it does effectively show how the Touch Cover makes the Surface a bit different than your normal tablet.

Source: Surface on YouTube

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This is something MS really needs to work on. After the iPad, people just think tablets are cut-down computers that can play games and do fairly simple tasks. You'd never use an iPad to write a novel, you can't use an iPad to develop software. The surface changes the game in this regard in that it is a full computer that does let you develop software, that does let you use Photoshop but you can't do those things just with a touchscreen and that's why you need the keyboard, and what a great keyboard.

Surface (and the other Win 8 Pro tablets) let you do so much more than any other tablet lets you do so to do that, here's the hardware tool that helps you. Surface runs fine without it but if you want to use the full features of it as a PC, a keyboard will make it so much easier.

I wouldn't say the Surface needs the keyboard. In fact, it's completely usable without one. The reason MS emphasizes it so much is because it's a pretty damn cool keyboard that is also a cover. You don't need the thing to use the Surface.

If a tablet NEEDS a keyboard then it's not really a tablet. If the software can't be used properly without a keyboard then it's not really a tablet

If a tablet NEEDS a keyboard then it's not really a tablet. If the software can't be used properly without a keyboard then it's not really a tablet

derekaw said,
If a tablet NEEDS a keyboard then it's not really a tablet. If the software can't be used properly without a keyboard then it's not really a tablet

i know your just trolling but I'm biting......it does not need a keyboard, the touch cover is focused on because its a very good design.

derekaw said,
So why do people want a surface when It seems a keyboard is necessary for best use? What is the point?

Such a loaded quote!!! but for the simpletons among us.... Having a proper keyboard with built in mouse/trackpad makes the Surface into a productive/creative device... something that many other tablets are not, The iPad is marketed as creative and productive however in reality people are finding that it is a consumption device that has limited productive scenarios.
I cant wait to get one and use it to create content rich powerpoint slide decks for work... something that cant be done on other devices.!!!

derekaw said,
So why do people want a surface when It seems a keyboard is necessary for best use? What is the point?

what a stupid thing to say, so because MS have made a really nice touch cover which is also a keyboard you make the leap and say that its necessary for best use? Its a full touch device with on screen keyboard so in that respect its the same as iPad. Just like surface iPad can be used with a keyboard BUT unlike surface its a messier experience. So both work fine without keyboard, but surface integrates a keyboard really well for those that wish to use it.

So if you need a keyboard it's not really a tablet. Interesting. I have to wonder how well the surface works without a keyboard. If there are things you can't do or things that don't work well with touch then Surface has missed an important mark.

derekaw said,
So if you need a keyboard it's not really a tablet. Interesting. I have to wonder how well the surface works without a keyboard. If there are things you can't do or things that don't work well with touch then Surface has missed an important mark.

If one needs a keyboard, a laptop or desktop is a much better choice.

It's a tablet! If the main selling point is a keyboard then this device has no reason to exist because you really need a lap top with a proper keyboard.

derekaw said,
It's a tablet! If the main selling point is a keyboard then this device has no reason to exist because you really need a lap top with a proper keyboard.

i have a laptop with a proper keyboard, i want something lighter with the same functionality plus touch screen input

Why so much focus on the keyboard when the device is a tablet. It's like MS want you to have a keyboard because without a keyboard the device will be less usable.

derekaw said,
Why so much focus on the keyboard when the device is a tablet. It's like MS want you to have a keyboard because without a keyboard the device will be less usable.

its the surface's main selling point, the thing that makes it different from other tablets (including other win8 tablets)

derekaw said,
Why so much focus on the keyboard when the device is a tablet. It's like MS want you to have a keyboard because without a keyboard the device will be less usable.

They are probably focussing on it because it is a rather unique and one of a kind accessory that sets the Surface apart from other tablets

Sraf said,

They are probably focussing on it because it is a rather unique and one of a kind accessory that sets the Surface apart from other tablets

mulligan2k said,

its the surface's main selling point, the thing that makes it different from other tablets (including other win8 tablets)

snap

derekaw said,
Why so much focus on the keyboard when the device is a tablet. It's like MS want you to have a keyboard because without a keyboard the device will be less usable.

Without a usable keyboard, the Surface is just an expensive toy. Without any kind of tactile feedback, i.e., key caps (something other than a glass-like surface) typing/data entry will hardly be accurate. It is obvious that touch-typists were not consulted during the design process.