Touch and Type Covers

Microsoft announced its rumored first-party tablet today. It runs Windows 8. The most interesting part to me were the two accessories that Microsoft announced, the Touch Cover and the Type Cover.  Both attach magnetically to the tablet (similar to the iPad’s Smart Cover), both act as a cover for the tablet when folded over it, and both include keyboards and trackpads. The Type Cover includes a physical keyboard and trackpad with clickable keys. The Touch Cover includes a pressure sensitive capacitive touch keyboard and trackpad that can sense keystrokes and gestures and provides typing that is “twice as efficient as typing on glass”. They look pretty much like Smart Covers with a keyboard on the other side. Kind of cool. Why didn’t Apple think of that?

Hmmm. I thought about it for a moment.

  • In order to use it, you need to put the tablet on a table. I barely ever use my iPad on a table so the keyboard would be useless.
  • It would be nice to have a keyboard available all the time to type on, again, I don’t know if I’d use it.
  • It has a trackpad. Wait a minute. Oh right, the Microsoft Tablet runs Windows 8 which still thinks it can support both touch and a mouse at the same time. I don’t want a trackpad on my tablet. Ever.
To sum it up, I think that the two covers will work great in a corporate environment where people bring their tablets to meetings and need to type meeting notes. It’s easier than bringing a wireless keyboard with an iPad, but then again, there are a ton of keyboard cases out there if you really want to do it. The tablet might appeal to business users because it has the concept of a mouse and might integrate well with existing Windows machines. I don’t see the tablet or its accessories making much of a dent in the iPad’s market share though. Windows 8 is too complicated and not tablet-optimized enough. Neat idea though.

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