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Surface Touch Cover 2: Thinner and Sensitive Under Pressure

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

The new Touch Cover 2 for Microsoft's Surface tablets is much improved.

Besides the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, Microsoft also debuted new keyboard accessories. The new Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 are thinner than their predecessors and completely backlit. That's what one would expect from one generation to the next, but Microsoft has really innovated on the Touch Cover by going from 80 touch sensors in the first one to now 1092 sensors in Touch Cover 2. The sensors can also detect pressure, which means that the Touch Cover 2 is able to collect a lot more data than any traditional keyboard.

Best of all, the new keyboard covers are backwards compatible with the first generation of Surface tablets.

At the Surface even in New York, we got a demo from Steven Bathiche, director of Microsoft applied sciences, which we captured for your viewing pleasure below:

Microsoft Surface Touch Cover 2

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Display 17 Comments.
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  • 2 Hide
    pbrigido , September 25, 2013 8:22 AM
    I think they mean the Touch Cover, but either way...I've had my Touch Cover for 9 months now, and I am still on the fence. I do have to apply more pressure to the keys than I would like to, so this change will be a welcome addition.
  • -3 Hide
    Chipi , September 25, 2013 8:33 AM
    Poor camera skills
  • 3 Hide
    vmem , September 25, 2013 8:34 AM
    MS makes good hardware, I have little to no complaints about what goes into the Sufrace tablets and these touch covers. now their marketing and pricing? that can be worked on... a bunch of dancing college kids aren't gonna convince me to pay $130 on a tablet cover
  • -4 Hide
    warezme , September 25, 2013 8:57 AM
    I have a strong distaste for big radiused corners and huge bezels. To me it looks cheap and 90's. Even something like the MacAir with it's fine thin design when you open it up and look at that screen, your like, Ugh, what the heck. A surface pro with edge to edge screen at least the top part with very fine minimal corners would like much better.
  • 1 Hide
    ethanolson , September 25, 2013 9:07 AM
    I was fully "meh" about the Surface products but picked up an RT with Touch Cover anyway. It's pretty cool... but with Windows 8.1 having Outlook and it running Lync in snap mode, I have my main office with me on the Surface. I really like it now and am excited for gen 2 because my biggest gripe is the resolution. The new keyboards look awesome. I have a feeling this release is going to cost me.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 25, 2013 9:46 AM
    Warezme, without a bezel how would you eliminate touching the screen when holding it? Every tablet has a bezel and the MacAir is a laptop not a tablet
  • 0 Hide
    HoneyBadger , September 25, 2013 10:12 AM
    @Warezme... If you have any technical experience at all you would be aware that any significant torque on the actual inner screen frame will cause a crack. Until the flexible screens become more prevalent a bezel will be necessary to dissipate the force from handling it - laptop or tablet.
  • 1 Hide
    wittermark , September 25, 2013 10:39 AM
    @warezme
    are you freaking retarded? have you even used a surface?? besides the other functions of a bezel already mentioned, surface rt uses the bezel for many of the gestures such as closing an app(swipe from top bezel down), switching an app(swipe from left bezel right) etc, how else would you be able to complete these gestures without an bezel?
  • -1 Hide
    wittermark , September 25, 2013 10:40 AM
    @warezme
    are you freaking retarded? have you even used a surface?? besides the other functions of a bezel already mentioned, surface rt uses the bezel for many of the gestures such as closing an app(swipe from top bezel down), switching an app(swipe from left bezel right) etc, how else would you be able to complete these gestures without an bezel?
  • -1 Hide
    wittermark , September 25, 2013 10:44 AM
    @warezme
    are you freaking retarded? have you even used a surface?? besides the other functions of a bezel already mentioned, surface rt uses the bezel for many of the gestures such as closing an app(swipe from top bezel down), switching an app(swipe from left bezel right) etc, how else would you be able to complete these gestures without an bezel?
  • -1 Hide
    stevejnb , September 25, 2013 10:46 AM
    Got to confess, I was a little underwhelmed by the touch cover (if that's what this article is actually talking about). Without distinct keys, I found I couldn't type nearly as fast as on a normal keyboard. This is ultimately my problem, and I also recognize that the touch cover is a very versatile device because it's basically a big flat sensor, but I wouldn't want to use one as my primary typing device for a long period of time.

    The type cover on the other hand... Now we're talking. I still prefer a Bluetooth keyboard since I can move it around apart from the tablet itself - which is very handy for when I'm using the Surface in my arm chair - but if the pricing weren't so bloody high, I'd probably pick up a type cover for my RT. My hope now is that they fire-sale the old covers with the new generation of covers coming out...
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 25, 2013 11:16 AM
    Stevejnb, I understand there is going to be an accessory that clips to the Surface, then the keyboard, so they can be separated and used via Bluetooth, this may help the situation of always being attached being a drag
  • -1 Hide
    damianrobertjones , September 25, 2013 11:52 AM
    Wow! Thanks guys for some actual positive and friendly posts... I imagine that, in the next few hours, this will be followed by 425 negative posts. :( 

    Either way a pre-order for the Pro 2 has been made :) 
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 25, 2013 1:15 PM
    Quote:
    Wow! Thanks guys for some actual positive and friendly posts... I imagine that, in the next few hours, this will be followed by 425 negative posts. :( 

    Either way a pre-order for the Pro 2 has been made :) 


    A broken watch tells the right time, twice a day! :pt1cable: 
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , September 25, 2013 3:15 PM
    I like where this is going.
    Now we're talking innovation.
  • 0 Hide
    keats87 , September 25, 2013 3:48 PM
    A few people have mentioned reservations about the touch cover (i.e. no actual key to press), and I thought I'd give my .02...

    I picked up the Surface RT w/Touch for school (it was on sale and considerably discounted) and had the same reservations. My first week or so I found myself having troubles when I needed to backspace or type 'a' (buttons that I usually press with my pinkies). However, after a while I found myself adjusting and getting used to the location. I imagine that it is not something that most people can pick up right away, and can be a major turn off at first... but you eventually adapt to it. It's the same thing as when you buy a new keyboard that isn't quite the same layout as your old one.

    This might sound weird as well, but I actually really like the absence of the audible sound of the key press. I've suddenly noticed how distracting 'loud' typers can be during lecture.
  • 1 Hide
    Gary Brandon , September 25, 2013 4:06 PM
    @warezme:
    Despite the rudeness, wittermark does have a point. This is a Win8 device, and a number of the Win8 touch gestures do require a bezel to swipe from. Also, from a personal perspective, I have a Galaxy S4. It's a lovely phone; thin, with very little bezel. Unfortunately it often drives me nuts trying to type on as, unless I consciously keep my fingers behind the phone, sacrificing stability, they will often "overlap" the sides of the phone and hit the back key, or remove focus from the type window. A little bit *more* bezel might actually have been a good idea...