Microsoft launches a new line of Surface accessories
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Along with the launch of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, Microsoft made some fairly significant improvements and additions to its line of Surface accessories.
The Touch Cover 2 is both thinner and lighter than the previous version. It is only 2.75 mm thick (0.11 inches) and is now backlit. It is also meant to be more rigid and more responsive.
The Type Cover 2 has also been slimmed down and backlit. The noise made by keystrokes has been reduced and the typing experience has apparently been made more comfortable. Unlike the original, it will also be offered in different colors including cyan, magenta, and purple along with the standard black.
The Power Cover is a new variant of Type cover with a built-in battery. In addition to all the new features of the Type Cover 2, this thicker and heavier model is meant to boost the battery life of a Surface tablet by up to 50% (not compatible with the old Surface RT).
A Wireless Adapter was also introduced for any of the keyboard-covers. It lets the keyboard function as a Bluetooth peripheral and remain active while separated from the tablet.
The Docking Station will be a welcome addition to those Surface Pro (2) owners who are using their tablet as a desktop replacement. It offers three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, and an Ethernet port.
Finally, the Arc Touch Mouse (Surface Edition) is a portable mouse that can be flattened when not in use. It also connects via Bluetooth so as not to block a Surface tablet's lone USB port.
The Touch Cover 2, Type Cover 2, Wireless Adapter, and Arc Touch Mouse will be available for pre-order on September 24th for US$119.99, US$129.99, US$59.99, and US$69.99 respectively. The Power Cover and Docking Station are expected to launch in early 2014, both priced at US$199.99.
Along with all these more standard offerings, Microsoft also introduced the limited edition Surface Music Cover for DJs as part of its Remix Project. Availability and pricing have not been announced.