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Microsoft Surface Power Cover: Keyboard Add-on Extends Your Battery Life

Microsoft Surface Power Cover: Keyboard Add-on Extends Your Battery Life
The Power Cover is compatible with both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. / Credit: Microsoft

Want to squeeze a few more hours of productivity out of Microsoft's Surface tablet? A new snap-on keyboard accessory dubbed the Power Cover, which doubles as an extended battery, hits shelves March 19. It's compatible with both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets.

Even without an extended battery, the second-generation Surface Pro tablet already features relativelylong battery life for a business tablet: about eight hours on a single charge. That's roughly 30 minutes longer than the average tablet in this category. And Microsoft says the Power Cover accessory will increase the battery life of the Surface by about 60 percent, so you can stay productive all day long — even when you're away from the office.

The Power Cover snaps magnetically to the edge of the Surface and, as the name implies, the cover folds over the tablet's display for an extra layer of protection. When using the Power Cover, Surface owners can take advantage of the tablet's built-in kickstand to get a good viewing angle while typing.

At $199, the Power Cover comes at a premium over other keyboard add-ons. A similar keyboard cover called the Type Cover, for example, costs $140. It launched with the new Surface tablets last year but doesn't extend your battery life. The Power Cover is also a bit thicker and heavier than the Type Cover.

Overall, the 10.6-inch Surface Pro 2 is one of the best business tablets around, though it comes with a steep, $899 sticker price. It features fast performance, a super-sharp display and a baked-in digitizer for smoother writing using the included stylus.

Brett Nuckles

A former Ohio newspaper man, Brett Nuckles fled the Midwest in 2013. He now lives in Seattle, where he spends his days tinkering with smartphones, tablets and computers. He loves to think about the intersection of technology and productivity, and how to get the most out of new gadgets and apps. He's also a big fan of vegetarian food and digital painting. In his off hours he spends most of his time drawing and painting sci-fi/fantasy scenes on his PC with his trusty Wacom stylus in hand.