Microsoft one ups other tablet 'smart' covers with Surface's Touch Cover and Type Cover

What's 3mm thick, crafted from the finest Polartec and attaches to a tablet magnetically? If you guessed an iPad smart cover you might be right, but right now we're pretty enamored with Microsoft's Touch Cover for the newly announced Surface. See, it works almost exactly like that other "smart" tablet shield, but this one actually earns it's smart moniker. When you peel the plastic shroud back it turns into a fully functional keyboard and touchpad. Obviously, being a thin plastic sheet, the cover is relying on touch for key presses, not the actual depression of mechanical switches. So, while that means it's theoretically possible to touchtype on this bad boy, it remains to be seen just how pleasant of an experience it actually is. Our guess -- it'll be fine for quick emails and Google Bing searches, but we probably wouldn't have to write the Surface review on one.

Now, the Type Cover on the other hand, perhaps we'd consider drafting lengthy posts on. It's safe to assume this one is thicker and heavier, turning your tablet into something more closely resembling an Ultrabook. But, it does have a traditional keyboard with solid plastic, separated keys as opposed to a pressure sensitive pad. Perhaps one of the more interesting features though, is their ability to force Win 8 to color coordinate with your chosen shade of folio. Click the blue Touch Cover on to the Surface and the background switches to a soothing shade azure. There's even an accelerometer inside those 3mm-thin softer covers -- which is an impressive feat of engineering. The Touch Covers can easily distinguish between you simply resting your hands on the keyboard and actually typing, which should help minimize accidental key presses. We'll be back as soon as possible with some hands-on.

Microsoft Surface Covers

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Surface Touch Cover

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Microsoft one ups other tablet 'smart' covers with Surface's Touch Cover and Type Cover