Although this specific deal including Microsoft's Touch Cover, Touch Cover (Limited Edition) and Type Cover is limited to North America, certain countries in the EU have been enjoying a similar promo -- just with a less diverse selection of covers. Microsoft claims its Surface Type Cover is the thinnest mechanical keyboard available and retails for a hefty $129.99 -- or free, for now, with the purchase of an RT. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Although Microsoft is primarily involved in the software business, the company has had an active hardware division ever since 1982 that focused on input devices for its software ecosystem. However the playing field has forever changed when Microsoft announced in 18 June 2012 that it would be building its own PC computing hardware via two tablets under the brand name Surface, thus catching some of its manufacturing partners off-guard. In terms of availability, the Surface with Windows RT has been available for purchase since 26th October 2012 at all Microsoft Store locations in the U.S and Canada. Given the limited availability of both tablet devices, we were fortunate to have one of our colleagues who recently purchased the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT device from overseas, thus making this review article a possibility.
Nonetheless, the Surface is a beautiful piece of hardware that stands shoulder to shoulder with the Apple iPad and ASUS Transformer Pad Prime, two of the best tablets around.
While we've seen vendors experiment with sliding mechanisms on the ASUS Eee Pad Slider and Sony Vaio Duo 11 notebook, the concept of an integrated kickstand hasn't been implemented before on any tablet. Popping out the kickstand is simple via the groove on the right profile(when the tablet is on its back) or via the two tabs on each side of the tablet. The front of the Surface with Windows RT has a 10.6-inch display (1366 x 768 pixels resolution) on the front, with a 1-megapixel front-facing camera at the top center and a touch-sensitive Windows home button at the bottom center.
Judging by the location of the front facing camera and Start button, it's obvious that the Surface tablet is designed for landscape usage. The concept of a keyboard dock accessory is not new as ASUS is famously known for introducing it in 2011 with the Eee Pad Transformer.
The Type Cover not only scores points in the design department, it also won us over with its functionality.
Overall, the Type Cover is as good, if not better than the bulky Keyboard Folio Case of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. Note that both covers do not have an integrated battery to boost battery life as it did for the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer series. Both of these keyboard accessories are compatible with Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro.
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The Microsoft Surface is an awesome new tablet being put out by Microsoft to step up their game in the tablet market. Another amazing feature that this tablet comes with a keyboard that is usable from the get go with the tablet. The tablet’s overall display is extremely bright and brings the vibrant colors found in movies and games to life.


The tablet is also extremely mobile due to a rather average to small size as far as tablets go and with the attachable keyboard it can even function as a decent substitute for a standard laptop or netbook. Redmond says the promo will end on June 30 for the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Type Cover packs a laptop-like QWERTY keyboard and capacitive touchpad in a 6mm-thin device which weighs just over half a pound. Is the Surface with Windows RT a worthy competitor to the other ARM tablets in the market and against the numerous Android tablets? Well, the hardware plays a critical role in shaping consumers' first impressions of the product and Microsoft certainly spent a great deal of effort to ensure its Surface tablets exude excellent build quality.
For that, we feel Microsoft's design and engineering teams deserve some credit for coming up with something functional, seamless and appreciable. Although the kickstand is thin, it seems sturdy enough to withstand daily usage conditions.
With just one button for navigation, how do one go about using the Windows interface on the Surface?
The Touch Cover is a dual-purpose pressure-sensitive keyboard and tablet cover that is spill-resistant and comes in five different colors (black, white, cyan, magenta, red). Since then, the Taiwanese company has followed up with several tablet devices such as the Transformer Pad Prime, Transformer Pad TF300 and Transformer Pad Infinity TF700.
It has a full row of function keys and Windows shortcut keys, which mimics the typing experience on a traditional laptop or desktop keyboard.
If you are looking forward to get some serious work done on the Surface, the US$129.99 Type Cover will not disappoint and we highly recommend it. It is a fantastic piece of work that can really change the user’s life because of the numerous features it has such as its keyboard which allows for speedy typing even with it being a tablet. This tablet takes its features seriously by making sure that each and every one is not only useful to have but also that they do what they do well. While this may not seem a huge advantage to a typical tablet user it can be a great aid when creating a document on the tablet or browsing the internet searching for larger items that are often fairly difficult to type out on a tablet’s general touch screen.
While there are many other tablets that can manage to browse the internet and do the number of other basic tablet tasks that this one can manage, this one does it all with a better look, feel, and sound behind it as well as enhanced speed. It is ideal for doing work on and then moving this work from one location to another with or without internet because of the way it functions overall and even long distance traveling and storage is easy due to the ability to separate the keyboard and screen from one another. It is a powerful device that allows for many different functions that most tablets don’t and it manages these functions at high speeds and excellent qualities as well.
The deal is for a "limited time only", although details regarding its official end haven't been announced. Meanwhile, the Touch Cover forgoes mechanical switches for a "pressure sensing input technology" which provides a truly thin (3.22mm thick) keyboard, even if it is only $10 cheaper.
However, it wasn't until the Xbox arrived in 2001 that Microsoft was involved in the hardware business in a big way that it affected an ecosystem - in effect, the video games industry. The Surface tablet uses a magnesium alloy called VaporMg, which Microsoft touts it being three time lighter than aluminum.


For those interested, you can read up more to find out some of the design and thought processes that were put in place in creating the Surface tablet, including the creation of hundreds of custom parts such as the kickstand mechanism. Well, we detail more in the next section as we touch upon Windows RT OS, navigation and app matters. Thus if you intend to read a lot eBooks, the Surface isn't an ideal one-handed tablet for this purpose. The Type Cover, on the other hand, is one of the slimmest mechanical keyboards we've come across.
Lenovo also equips its Android-powered ThinkPad Tablet with the optional Keyboard Folio Case.
Hence, we had no problems typing on the Type Cover as the keys provide excellent tactile feedback. On the other hand, do give the US$119 Touch Cover a miss due to its poor typing experience and issues of its durability that have been reported to-date.
That's not all as both these Surface accessories have an integrated circuit at its folding seam that can either shut down the screen to save power (when the cover is folded over the screen) or power up the screen for immediate interaction without reaching out to fiddle with the power button. It is going to be a huge seller with its fair price and will certainly be named as one of the best tablets of 2014.
This shouldn't be too much of a concern since most Android tablets are designed for landscape use as well. The Touch Cover's only advantage is its ultra thin 3.25mm profile and light weight, but given that the keyboard cannot be relied upon, you could have gotten a tablet cover that's at a fraction of the cost. All of this combined makes for a fast and great tablet that is a great buy for any customer based on specs alone. There are rear facing and front facing cameras that allow for a simple point and click style of usage for taking picture. However, compared to the Apple iPad whose size lends it well for both portrait and landscape usage, the Surface is at a slight disadvantage. The cameras are extremely high quality and excellent for taking video or simple pictures with the push of a button. Furthermore, the screen is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 2, which while adding some heft, makes the screen really tough and durable. Most tablets generally only feature the front facing camera which when compared to having both is a massive disadvantage. With the kind of materials used, the Microsoft Surface is one of the hardier tablets around.




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