Power Cover: Microsoft's keyboard cover for the Surface with a built-in battery

It was only yesterday that Neowin was able to pull back the covers on the Surface Pro 2 and highlight some of the features of Microsoft’s upcoming tablet.  While the specs are looking like a modest upgrade to the Surface Pro, Microsoft is about to introduce a new cover for the tablet that will include a built-in battery.

Microsoft is working on a new cover that will attach to the Surface and extend the battery life of the device. The optional add-on, known as the "Power Cover," will include an external battery that will help increase the longevity of the device. The combination of a Power Cover and the upcoming Surface Pro 2 should for an all-day computing device, given the tablet's Haswell chip that will already extend battery life.

Seeing as the cover will have a battery in it, we will be curious to see if it is more rigid than the Type Cover. Currently, even the Type Cover is a bit flexible for our taste when using the Surface Pro. While it works well on hard surfaces, using the Type Cover on your lap results in just enough flexing that leaves room for improvement.

While we don’t have a release date for the Power Cover, we have heard whispers that it may not launch with the Surface Pro 2 and could come at a later, unspecified date. No pricing details were revealed to Neowin.

The Power Cover might be backwards compatible, meaning it may work with the current Surface Pro, but we are hearing that it will definitely not work with existing Surface RT devices.

The dock on the current Surface Pro/RT is highly underused, and we hope that Microsoft will some day license out the port to expand the Surface accessory options. It is good to see that Microsoft is working to expand upon the current ports functionality, as we feel it is a unique offering Microsoft should extrapolate upon with peripherals.

As for now, the Power Cover is looking to be a solid companion to the Surface lineup and we will be quite curious to see how much additional life it will add to the tablet.

Additionally, Paul Thurrott has confirmed everything we said above and posted a few more tidbits worth checking out too.

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The problem with not going hybrid is fairly similar to going hybrid. Lets say MS split the OS, how would that work exactly?

I think what your talking about is splitting the UI, not the OS itself. So on tablets, its only the Metro UI and on desktops its only the desktop. You remove the desktop ui from tablets and remove the Metro UI from desktops. Trying to create two core os platforms would be a waste in my opinion. You would still be starting from scratch to create an app eco system for tablets.

Its as if the idea is that adding Metro to Windows 8 took away the desktop, but the reality is that it didn't. If it did fundamentally break the desktop ui, then why is it so easy for 3rd party apps to restore the small list of features some people miss?

No the problem is not the hybrid approach, its the execution. Basically, MS mixed the UIs too much for many people on the desktop side. If MS had treated the metro UI like Windows Media Center, then I have my doubts that anyone would be complaining about having both UIs built into one OS. Windows Media Center is basically the father of Metro, it was an alternative UI for windows, but it was completely optional and could be enabled if you wanted to use it. If MS had stuck to that for Metro, no complaints. But they felt they needed to show it off, even if it was just in form of the Start Screen.

Unfortunately, that has angered many in the tech media and in the internet community, which has filtered down to the general users. So MS is walking that back with 8.1, making it easier to opt out of using Metro. There is a happy medium in this argument and I think MS will get there. I just don't think the right choice is to scrap it and try to create two OSes. Just as WP is moving towards Windows 8, this isn't the time to be stating from scratch again.

Mordkanin said,
Haswell in the SP2 should give dramatic battery life improvements.

But still nowhere near the 8-10 hours battery life the Surface RT gets. Intel can't create a low power processor without the ARM architecture and they know it so I'm not sure why you all go on about Haswell like it'll be the second coming, it won't!!!

I think lots of people say this being made at some point, no surprise here. Just wonder how thick it will be in the end and how much extra battery time do you get?

Sl@yer said,
yawn, Asus did this on their now discontinued VIVOTab RT product.

and dell, but they were too expensive imho

I love the Type Cover! This Power Cover sounds awesome, I hope they are able to make it a bit more rugged while keeping it very light like the Type Cover, but I'm sure it'll be heavier with the battery unfortunately.

"The Power Cover might be backwards compatible, meaning it may work with the current Surface Pro, but we are hearing that it will definitely not work with existing Surface RT devices."

Doesn't matter, nobody bought one anyway LOL

CygnusOrion said,
1.5 million people beg to differ.

seriously 1.5 million? I honestly thought it was way more than that! damn that's really bad

glen8 said,
seriously 1.5 million? I honestly thought it was way more than that! damn that's really bad

I suppose sales of the Surface Pro with its pathetic 4-5 hour battery life and $899 price tag are better, are they?

neo158 said,

I suppose sales of the Surface Pro with its pathetic 4-5 hour battery life and $899 price tag are better, are they?

I'm not sure how many pros have been sold to be honest

This announcement truly is a welcome addition to Surface line. I won't mind going with cheaper Surface Pro (not Haswell one) when price go down to make room for 4th generation Intel.

They really should stop this staggered delivery of devices and accessories. All devices and all accessories available simultaneously gives the consumer maximum choice and certainty.

I hope this time around they will release it worldwide.. When will Microsoft learn its not a zoo out there, people do live outside of US

gebs said,
I hope this time around they will release it worldwide.. When will Microsoft learn its not a zoo out there, people do live outside of US

Not much they can do about it. Exporting takes time.

Hope this is backwards compatible. It would be a failure to not make it so, especially since they said it was possible with the original surface to make this accessory. Can't wait for leaks to show up for this product.

Kind of scared what the pricing will look like though. I think I could handle $100-$150, $300 and I will throw a fit.

But The Surface is meant to be a tablet? Can the cover be folded back behind the surface so it can be used like a real tablet with the extra battery still engaged?

The new powered cover must add weight and bulk, thats no good.

If its got own power, it should have backlight, otherwise not interesting, Chiclet style, Yoga/Revolve/similar...

If they DONT release this "Power Cover" alongside the Surface (Pro) 2's release, it will be a mistake.
People (new adopters) will be upset that they will have to by one of the 2 other covers, only to have to shell out more $$ down the line to get this. Here's to hoping Microsoft gets this right.

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