Typing on One of the Thinnest Keyboards in the World

Typing on One of the Thinnest Keyboards in the World

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A full size keyboard equipped with pressure sensing technology that is so lightweight it’s known as one of the thinnest keyboards in the world, that’s what we wanted to create for you. We were sitting in a room all asking ourselves the same question, “How do we create the thinnest possible full size keyboard to help people have something that’s beautiful and personable, but also give them the ability to be productive while they’re on the go?” The end result as you now know is the Touch Coverfor Microsoft Surface.

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This is the inside of our early pressure sensitive full keyboards prototypes.

The pressure sensing input technology used in the Touch Covers allows you to type more fluidly and faster than you would be able to on an on screen keyboard. A technology that’s never been used like this before, these keyboards can sense weighted pressure as keys are selected. Simply align your fingers on the keys as you would on any other keyboard and apply pressure with your fingers to the letters or symbols you desire. See those letters and icons appear immediately on your Surface screen.

Did you know that the Touch Cover, in addition to being a full size keyboard, can serve as a protective cover for your Surface too? We have included a really cool spill resistant feature to the Touch Cover, where if your three year old daughter accidentally spills her juice on your Touch Cover you can quickly wipe it up without having to replace your keyboard. We knew that integrating a protective element to the Touch Covers was important for you, ensuring that your Surface’s screen is protected.

In the spirit of keeping things as straightforward as possible, including a trackpad was a key element in the design of these Touch Covers. Navigate your Surface with ease simply by moving your finger and clicking. You can switch between programs, right click to a new browser tab, and copy and paste with ease.

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An early prototype of Touch Cover featuring tactile surface material.

Our Touch Covers are available in five colors, cyan, red, magenta, black, and white (check your local retailers). In selecting these colors we went back to our original question, wanting to provide you with something that could help you feel stylish with something that is personable and fun. We knew including black and white would be helpful for those who wanted to keep it simple and straightforward. For the bright and colorful personality, we included our fun colors of red, magenta and cyan. All of these brightly colored Touch Covers are interchangeable and can be used on both Surface RT and Pro.

The end result of our initial question is the Touch Cover that you see here, a full size keyboard with a track pad that all together weighs less than half a pound. Simply click in your Touch Cover to your Surface and you’ll be ready to achieve more with something that’s fun and beautiful.

P.S. Take a look at our current Limited Edition Touch Covers and get the story behind the designs we used. There are still a few of these one of a kind designs available, get them while you can!

19 Comments
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  • Barry
    1 Posts

    I'm not a typest, I'm slow, but I can type very quickly on the touch keyboard I think it's just great.

  • Ian Dixon
    7 Posts

    It would be nice to see a coloured Type Cover. The type is such a great keyboard and thin enough not to need to use the Touch Cover

    Here is my video review

    thedigitallifestyle.com/.../video-the-microsoft-surface-type-cover

  • jason wun
    6 Posts

    Touch Cover still need upgrades.

    1. Fingers, such as ring finger and little finger, could not provide enough pressure to be sensed by Touch Cover because ring finger and little finger always "press" the keyboard but not “knocking“, which is needed when typing on Touch Cover, in the daily keyboarding. Surface Team need to do some research to know the users‘ Typing habits.

    2. Touch Cover need to switch to a new material that have a higher hardness than Polartec while is still waterproof.

    3. Touch Cover/ Type Cover could not wakes up, stands up, and brightens up Surface.  

  • o0MattE0o
    34 Posts

    www.engadget.com/.../lenovo-thinkpad-helix-slated-for-april-release-in-the-us

    Looks like Microsoft and Lenovo don't give 2 **it's about the rest of the world can some one from Microsoft please please give us a real answer on why it takes over 6 weeks to ship a product to out side of the USA?

    I'm sorry but I can not see any business sense in holding out, please please do not make this into another ZUNE...

    My go at using Fresh Paint (Mouse) wish I had a Surface pro to draw on :(

    o0matte0o.deviantart.com/.../TombRaider-360964427

  • BJM
    1 Posts

    Just which they released a Surface w/ Type Cover Combo. But I know the reason why they don't. Because they know EVERYONE would buy that combo and not even look at the Touch Cover.

  • NHUK
    7 Posts

    Actually, looking around at the alternatives (which are becoming more availblae by the minute, has anybody got any opionions on equivalent devices? I was thinking Asus Transformer, XPS12, yoga 13, thinkpad twist?

    NHUK
    7 Posts

    Not to mention Razor Edge, but that only has a 1 hour battery life :)

    o0MattE0o
    7 Posts

    Apart from EDGE or HELIX the others are not tablets...

    And none of these are out in the UK.

    nigel
    7 Posts

    The Helix looks really good, although it's likely to be more expensive than the Surface Pro. It's so disgraceful that the SP has still not been released in the UK!  As it's nearly a month and a half old, it won't be worth buying soon.

    Maybe it's a marketing ploy to increase other companies' sales!

    o0MattE0o
    7 Posts

    I cant see how holding out will increase sales no one knows about the surface pro and the ones that do know about the RT and say its sluggish :(

    the longer Microsoft holds out on the Surface Pro the more its going to hurt them, most people keep Laptop/Tablets for 2/3 years and PC's for about 5 years, and most companies have a 3 year turnaround on computer equipment so if they leave it too long they will need to wait 3 years before sales pick up again....

    I don't work in marketing but I can see that holding out is only a bad thing, unless Microsoft are holding out for Haswell but that has a June release date :( 3 months away...

    o0MattE0o
    7 Posts

    Hold on

    blog.surface.com/.../broadening-the-availability-of-surface-rt-and-surface-pro.aspx

    :Quote:

    We are happy to be able to tell you that Surface Pro will be heading to Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the coming months

    Months normally means three so are Microsoft holding out on the Haswell, and get first back of them from intel?

    NHUK
    7 Posts

    Well, it depends what you've read. I have seen supposed quotes from senior MS employee Ben Reed contradicting what you read on this very blog:

    "Microsoft hasn't provided a specific release date for the countries. However Ben Reed, Senior Manager of the Surface team, confirmed to Pocket-lint that we should see further details of the UK release in the coming weeks, rather than months" - www.pocket-lint.com/.../microsoft-surface-pro-uk-launch-date

    o0MattE0o
    7 Posts

    That can still put it well into May or early April! before we can get our hands or ordering it...

    And it still might depending on how fast Intel can get the new chips out...

  • NHUK
    7 Posts

    I agree, 3 weeks since the last update, which wasnt even an update is very poor indeed......

  • o0MattE0o
    34 Posts

    Are we going to get any update soon about when this will be coming to outside of Alcatraz, sorry America?

  • punataro
    1 Posts

    There should really really be a setting menu for how "sensitive" the user wants the Touch Cover to be.

  • o0MattE0o
    34 Posts

    Went into Curry's/PCWorld  today to look at the Surface RT and ....

    ... Nothing ....

    ... Microsoft what are you doing, if you want to sell stuff you need to force it on to the end user... I looked on the website for Collection and they have them in stock but none on display?

  • grantpank
    1 Posts

    I can't wait to try this out!

    o0MattE0o
    1 Posts

    Surface Pro got released over a month ago :( still no word on when coming outside the USA?

  • msmcg1
    1 Posts

    The keyboards for the Surface Pro all have the function keys reversed from traditional keyboards. There appears to be no way to lock the function keys so when you press them, they actually act as a traditional F1 or F5 key, for example. Instead, you have to press and awkward combination of two keys to achieve what one key press did before. This is a business use killer. For a machine that claims to be a great business machine that can run existing applications like a desktop, tell that to the users whose applications require the function keys. This is a huge mistake on Microsoft's part, and the main reason why my company will NOT be buying the Surface Pro.

    MSMCG, you are correct. I chatted with an answer tech and there is no fix for this problem.

    Unbelievable, right? Apparently, the designers don't actually use their own products, empirically shown by the prioritization of the volume control over the object-editing and action keys of the ENTIRE OFFICE SUITE. Further, the media folks aren't monitoring this, or else we'd see an answer indicating that 1) the problem has been acknowledged, and 2) an app had been released with an on/off switch (a la some of the other mouse/keyboard functionality) for the media keys.

    Hint: no one cares about the media keys or charms. The volume switch is on the side of the surface. The other stuff is accessible elsewhere. Give me F2 and F4 in excel and powerpoint, and soon, too. Can't believe this one passed QA/QC and testing unnoticed and unremedied, and that it's thus far unfixed.

    Heeyyy, wow, look at this: user feedback on the same issue: answers.microsoft.com/.../ae662eef-33f8-4acd-812c-9001a1ed6e59

    And check out the non-helpful, autogenerated support reply in this thread of irate Office users:

    answers.microsoft.com/.../9915965c-80cd-4160-a7ba-2a20109925ea

    That last one was posted in December of last year. Still no fix for this issue, months later. Really, MSFT? I mean, I love you guys. Your products are pretty useful, and the surface pro is a fine piece of hardware, but this is gross negligence and abuse of the customer.

    Quote from the last thread which sums it up:

    "If not, the Windows Surface seems pretty worthless for financial and consulting professionals.  I want the Surface to succeed - please tell me that Microsoft didn't overlook this issue."

    Another surface forums question on the same issue:

    www.surfaceforums.net/.../3337-function-keys.html

    I sense  a trend here...

    I'm waiting for some response from the surface team.

    Really, all I need is:

    1) acknowledgement of the issue

    2) information about the concrete steps being taken to address it.

    thanks guys. you do good work. keep it up.  

    And to be clear, I wasn't being snarky in that last. The surface pro is great, and I look forward to using it to its fullest capacity. Just need some help on the user side.

    Sooo, it's been a week and a half and still no answer from the team. Thanks, fellas, for ignoring this issue.

    Meanwhile, i wanted to see if it's possible to write a script or python program or something to take care of this issue, and apparently it's not possible. Why? The function key provides no output to the computer device; it instead re-maps the keyboard as a keyboard-hardware-internal process, and the keyboard provides the modified output to the computer. The computer itself never even knows the FN key is being pressed.

    Bottom line is that not only did Microsoft rob everyone of functionality and increase the pain-in-the-butt factor, but also made it impossible to fix the issue without buying a new keyboard with the needed functionality, which doesn't currently exist. (unless there's a way to reprogram the keyboard internal instructions, which I'm not aware of.

    Still waiting for some answers, team.

  • MST
    1 Posts

    Just bought the Pro yesterday. Absolutely fantastic device. Pity the guys who cannot buy surface pro. Its like hanging a roast chicken in front of a locked up hungry guy :).

  • moostveen
    1 Posts

    I have been so eager to buy a surface pro ever since it was shown in June. But I live in the netherlands and no indication when it is going to come here... So I order one in the use shipped it through a forwarding agency and got my it here in 8 days. Love it. And probably cost me only €40 more. Suggestion to all, try it this way

    cumars
    1 Posts

    You probably forgot to pay import taxes, right? It cannot be that cheap with the taxes added.

    nigel
    1 Posts

    That's why I didn't do it in the UK.  Have been stung by that one before.