When Microsoft unveiled two Surface tablets a couple of weeks back, it also revealed that its super stylish Touch Cover accessory which not only protect the Windows 8 tablets, but provides a full touch keyboard and trackpad. Nobody at the launch event got to play with one — but recently Citi analyst Walter Pritchard did.
In a note to clients (picked up by SAI), the analyst said that he was able to play with Microsoft’s Touch Cover at a meeting with Microsoft Windows executives, testing the keyboard functionality with the new Office suite on a Windows RT tablet.
The takeaway from it was that the touch keyboard “works well” but with only a “slight raised delineation,” you may find yourself looking at the keys more often as you type.
The note in full:
At the meeting with MSFT Windows execs, we were able to try the Surface touch keyboard (we weren’t at LA launch) and also use it conjunction 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.
The Touch Cover has an integrated trackpad, as well as a keyboard, and only adds 3mm to the Surface’s overall profile, so you can’t expect it to operate exactly like a traditional keyboard — especially when it detects keystrokes as gestures, making typing faster.
There’s still no word on when the Surface and the Touch Cover will make an appearance but we believe it will be available in the fall, almost certainly launching as the flagship Windows 8 tablet when the operating system is finally released.