One of the key features of Microsoft’s Surface tablet is the keyboard and it could be super fast, thanks to gesture typing.
Microsoft’s Mysterious Event
Microsoft remained coy on exactly what gesture typing means, but it definitely sounds intriguing
Along with the Surface tablets yesterday, Microsoft unveiled two keyboards: the Touch and Type Covers. The press wasn’t able to type on them, so we don’t know for sure how they’ll perform, but Microsoft is definitely hyping them up and gained particular interest with the gesture-based Touch Cover.
The Touch Cover is the more interesting of the two, in my opinion, as it’s a trackpad and keyboard that’s built around gestures and not as a lighter keyboard than Apple’s. It does add 2mm of thickness to the tablet – inconsequential – and Microsoft said the the key touches are gestures and faster typing. Does that mean we’re going to be able to basically scan our fingers across the keyboard to type? That would be awesome, but at the same time could be unpredictable.
Five colors are available: blue, pink, black, red and white. As Joshua Topolsky, The Verge’s Editor-in-Chief, said it’s a move that most companies seemed afraid to make. Outside of Nokia, black and white devices are the norm. Remember how we all got so excited over the mythical white iPhone that Apple wanted to get just right? No, because I didn’t.
The New And Old, Together
The more traditional cover comes in the form of the Type Cover, which is a tactile keyboard with a clickable trackpad. It adds just 2mm of thickness to devices; it’s almost like the keyboard and tablet are one device, which was actually my first impression when I saw Surface. They’re so light, that Steven Sinofsky held the Type Cover in one hand and the tablet seemed to rest flat. That’s how thin we’re talking.
There’s no word on price or launch, probably because Microsoft is waiting until Windows 8 goes official so it doesn’t undermine all of its OEMs and their separate marketing strategies. We’re expecting around October, which is the ideal time to pitch Surface as the rival to the iPad. And the thing is, the tablet is different to the iPad: it has a bigger screen, a super-thin form factor and great connectivity options. For the productivity user, this is the way to go. And I’m excited: are you?
Check out the full specs of the Surface tablet
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