Microsoft's new tablet keyboard cover is bigger, thinner and more functional. The updated Type Cover, set to launch alongside the new Surface Pro 3 this summer, isn't included with the slate. Instead, you'll have to shell out an extra $130 to pick it up. But for business users who need to do real work on their tablets, the accessory should prove to be an invaluable tool. Here are three features that make the new Type Cover even better than the last version.
A tablet's touch screen works well for mobile apps, but you'll need more precise pointing for serious productivity tasks such as editing documents or spreadsheets. That's why the improved trackpad on the new Surface Pro 3 Type Cover is such a boon for business users. The trackpad is 68 percent larger than the one on the Surface Pro 2 Type Cover, giving you more room to navigate apps and Web pages. It's also more responsive; Microsoft says it reduced the friction on the trackpad by about 80 percent for smoother pointing and scrolling.
The new Type Cover actually makes the Surface Pro 3 more stable when it's resting on your lap. That's because the new version includes a magnetic hinge that snaps more securely to the front of the tablet, so it moves around less when sitting on your knees. The tablet also has a versatile new kickstand, which can be positioned at any angle, compared to just two angles in the Surface Pro 2. With those new features, the updated Type Cover makes it much easier to use the Surface Pro 3 like a laptop when you're away from your desk.
Sporting a huge, 12-inch display, the Surface Pro 3 is the biggest Surface device yet. That means the Type Cover also saw a size increase. But while it's longer and wider, the keyboard accessory is actually thinner than its processor. That helps keep the Surface Pro 3 extremely thin, making it a highly portable device for commuters and frequent travelers.