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on November 10, 2012
The Touch Cover is really part and parcel of the Microsoft Surface RT experience, so if you're interested in how everything comes together, you should see the review I left on the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT 32 GB (Tablet only) page. This cover is really something else though, and hats off to Microsoft for an excellent idea.

+ The part you actually care about: will it type? The answer is yes, it will-- but you are going to have to give it a bit of time and effort. I've found that the less I treat it as something "different," the better the Touch Cover responds. Since I touch type anyway, I'm never really looking down at the keyboard, and if I let my fingers fall where they would on a laptop with flat keys, hey presto, you're looking at 70 - 90 wpm after about two weeks (Microsoft says the adjustment period is about four to five days; it took me around three to get up to speed, but that's a question of how much you use it). However, holding down the [Shift] key (and striking [A], for some reason) will definitely take some real getting used to. There are, thankfully, two indentations on the [F] and [J] keys to signal the home row. Much appreciated, Microsoft.
+ The mouse input and two-finger scroll work surprisingly well, although in Windows RT the scroll orientation is locked to "reverse" (or in Apple-speak, "natural") scrolling, which can be frustrating for some. I'd suggest using tap to click instead of trying to wrestle with the two pressure-sensitive buttons.
+ Touch recognition works great. If you're just resting your fingers on the cover, there won't be any input onto the screen-- a light to firm tap will do the trick.
+ It's a good cover. The material feels good in the hand, and it protects every part of the screen. While some people have reported trouble with the edges fraying, I'm several weeks in now and with constant usage haven't seen any problems.
+ You get a spacious, well-sized keyboard. Each key is a comfortable distance from its neighbors, and the raised surfaces make it easy to find where one ends and the next begins. The keys themselves are of a similar size to those on a laptop, so you won't have too much difficulty striking them -- once you get used to the learning curve.
+ Insanely portable. This is, for me, the main differentiating factor between the Surface RT with a Touch Cover, and the ASUS Transformer TF300 T-B1-BL 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Blue). The keyboard dock on the TF300T adds a substantial amount of bulk and alters the form factor of the device; you're either carrying a netbook or a tablet. The nature of the Touch Cover means that you're carrying a tablet at all times, that happens to be able to grow a keyboard whenever convenient. Naturally, you're not getting physical keys, additional ports, or a backup battery, but the Surface does well enough on these fronts anyway.
+ Strong, firm connection. The iPad's Smart Cover also attaches via magnets, but it can skate around a bit on the tablet before locking in. With a Touch Cover, you know when you're good to go by the loud, sharp snap when it attaches. This connection is strong enough (if you hear the snap) to support the tablet, even if you wave the cover around a bit (I'd swing your new Surface over a bed though; accidents happen).
+ Excellent software integration. Microsoft threw in some smart touches that polish up the experience: attaching a Touch Cover to a Surface changes the background color of the start screen to match (this can be easily overriden), and the software keyboard will appear and disappear depending on the position of the Touch Cover. For example, when the cover's flipped to the back of the tablet, it's disabled so you don't press any keys by mistake, and tapping on an input field will bring up the onscreen keyboard.
+ Sturdy material with thoughtful use-cases. The idea is that when you're not using the keyboard, you can flip around to the back of the device to hold (which isn't noticeable, since the cover is so thin), or prop the kickstand up on it to keep everything compact and out of the way.
+ Super convenient. I really can't stress how much having a flip-out, decent keyboard changes how you interact with a tablet; web addresses are easier to get in, writing and shooting off e-mails becomes feasible (without wrestling with an on screen keyboard), and if you ever wind up using a remote desktop connection, having this and a mouse is perfect. Also, Office. Hello, mobile homework!

- No magnetic closure. Microsoft's design team said they wanted the Surface to be like a book, easy to open at any time with no resistance. That's great in theory, especially if the tablet is lying around the house, but the iPad's Smart Cover has magnetic closure, and no one's complained yet. The big issue with the cover is that it's prone to flopping open at times, such as in your bag (where you don't want the screen to be on), or when you're just moving the tablet around. Since the cover's not feather-light, don't think it's going to go flapping around in a mild breeze, but I do wish there were at least a weak magnet to hold the thing shut.
- Lousy, lousy, lousy touchpad. I don't think this is a huge dealbreaker given the beautiful screen on the Surface RT, but using the touchpad, while precise and tolerable for some tasks, is just silly over the long term. Use that USB port for a proper wireless mouse-- again, while the built in one is quite alright for occasional use, any significant Office work will beg a real mouse.
- There are some places where Microsoft didn't go far enough. Thoughtfully, the design team placed extra sensors below the space bar in case people strike below the raised key, but if anything those sensors should have extended further down; I often miss spaces because my thumbs are hitting below the target.
- Nothing will change the fact that the Touch Cover makes using modifier keys, like [SHIFT] or [CTRL] downright awkward. You're holding down one finger on a button that doesn't actually exist, so if the Surface doesn't register you're holding [SHIFT] you have no tactile way of knowing that and will wind up with a typo.
- Some weird input lag. This is frustrating, because I can't tell if it's a hardware limitation or a software one, but when you're typing you'll occasionally find the device lagging hard, to the point where you can watch as individual letters march out onto the screen. It's bizarre, and what keeps me from embracing the Surface as a 100% productivity machine.
- It's hard to use on a non-flat surface. I haven't had too much issue using my Surface on my lap, but because the keyboard weighs nothing the tablet will be tempted to rock back a little (shifting the viewing angles, though as they're quite fantastic this isn't a big problem). More importantly though, if the cover's not on a flat surface it will "bounce" a bit on each keystroke, making it hard to type accurately.

On the whole though, I really do like the Touch Cover, and if you're going for a Surface RT I really cannot recommend it enough. It completes the experience, and vastly elevates the Surface from a tablet that's (in my opinion; you can read my reviews on the ASUS Transformer TF300 T-B1-BL 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Blue) or the HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 16 GB 9.7-Inch Tablet Computer (with the HP TouchPad Wireless Keyboard) as comparison points, along with other tablets I own such as the Asus Google Nexus 7 Tablet (8 GB) - Quad-core Tegra 3 Processor, Android 4.1,Apple iPad MC705LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black), or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1) very, very good compared against its competitors, to a mobile productivity machine with enormous potential.

Of course, the Type Cover may be worth looking at if you intend to, well, type a lot, as well as two other options. First, Microsoft will be licensing the specification for the magnetic port the Touch Cover uses, so expect to see third party accessories, keyboards, and cases in short order. Second, and let me reiterate again: the Surface has a USB 2.0 port! Use it! If you have a USB wireless (or wired) keyboard, feel free to stick it in when the mood strikes you-- they behave flawlessly.

I'd also recommend buying direct from Microsoft, as you'll get the cover for less, in a selection of colors, and have the option of looking at a type cover if you'd like. Sellers on Amazon are price gouging right now to take advantage of limited availability.

As with my other reviews, I will update and respond to comments and questions as necessary. Good luck!
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on August 31, 2013
this keyboard isn't the best and most comfortable keyboard you've ever used, but it's a must purchase with any surface. It's extremely convenient to have, looks great and protects the surface screen all in one.

don't give up on it right away, you'll get used to it as you use it more. In fact I feel like I sometimes type faster on it than a regular keyboard.

Just in case people don't know, this is not a regular keyboard with keys that depress when you push on them. It's more like a touchpad that senses pressure that you put on the surface.
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on March 7, 2013
This is the exact touch cover you would get from Microsoft. If you are looking for something lightweight and colorful to protect your Surface screen then this will do. It works fine if you intend to use it as an accessory for typing mostly for looks and protection. If you are looking for a regular keyboard and intend to do alot of typing then go with the Type cover, "Keys" are very responsive with little pressure, and it easily integrates with the Surface. Only problem is that sometimes the surface thinks the keyboard is still attached when it is not, but a simple reboot or to reattach the keyboard and remove it again fixes this problem. I like it, but I only use it for protection of screen and occasional typing since I use the tablet more like a tablet than a computer.
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on March 10, 2013
I've had about three weeks to get used to the Touch Cover and see if it acts as a suitable alternative to the Black Type Cover for Microsoft Surface. The magnetic force holding the cover to the Surface is strong, and it takes quite a bit of pull to separate the two. Even when dangling the Surface freely by the cover, cover and tablet stay firmly attached. Flipping the cover over the screen puts the Surface in standby. When flipping the cover back past 180 degrees, key and touchpad input is disabled, allowing you to hold it against the back of the Surface or use it as a flat kickstand Surface without registering any unwanted keystrokes or clicks.

In general, the Type Cover is much better for typing, but if you allow yourself time to get used to it, the Touch Cover's keyboard is still very capable. After about 3 weeks of using it, I manage about 80-100 words per minute, compared to about 100-110 with the Type Cover. Both share the same layout with full-size keys. The slight indentations separating the keys actually help with touch typing more than one might think. As opposed to the Type Cover, the Touch Cover's keyboard works reliably on any surface, and the touchpad actually feels much more responsive, especially with two-finger scrolling. One common complaint that I have with both keyboards is that the top row is used for volume/playback control, charms, and navigation, and that the Fn button on the bottom row has to be held down to input the function keys (F1, F2, etc.). A Fn lock would've been nice to have. Unlike the Type Cover, none of the F-keys are labeled, which adds to the frustration.

I purchased the white Touch Cover, which looks really classy with the Surface. Unfortunately, the material stains very easily, and after three weeks the back of the cover is starting to look dirty.

The Touch Cover retails for $120, just $10 below the price for the Type Cover. However, at the time of the review, Amazon's seller currently has it marked down by $30 while the Type Cover is actually marked UP by a staggering $70. Purely for the better typing experience, I would recommend Type over Touch, though I would certainly try finding it at another retailer. Either solution is preferable to using the on-screen keyboard.
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on February 14, 2013
This is a very nice looking touchcover. The color compliments the surface very well, especially if you use matching colors as your backgrounds, but it gets dirty way too easily and I found myself constantly wiping it down every time I used it. Almost every time I used it at work, I would close it and notice the back of the keyboard looking very dirty. I ended up returning it and getting the black type cover as it is muuuuch better.
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on June 22, 2013
It's both a smart cover and a keyboard of sorts. It's all pressure sensitive so while it works, and works well, it's not as fast as typing with a real keyboard. It is far faster than the on screen keyboard though. Perfect companion for a Surface.
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on June 11, 2013
I had the opportunity to try the touch cover out when at Best Buy and I can say it didn't feel quite right for me. The touch cover uses touch-based typing input meaning the keys don't move up and down and you have to pay particular attention to what you are typing, Like the type cover, this serves as a protective case when you fold the Surface up like a laptop. Also like the type cover, if you fold the keyboard back, it stops accepting input allowing the Surface to be used like a tablet without having to remove it. In that case, you can't use the kickstand though.

Colors to choose from
Snaps on the Surface or Surface Pro with ease
Some people might like this better
Nicely built for what it does
A little thinner than the type cover, but hardly noticeable

Too expensive for what it's worth
Keys aren't tactile (Like Type Cover)
Users may get finger fatigue for typing for long periods on this

Overall: If you don't mind the cons, perhaps the touch cover is the one for you. But for me personally, the type cover should be the choice for anyone.
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on January 28, 2014
I read the reviews and they said this keypad takes time getting used to it. Well apparently I have not spent enough time. This keyboard is a big FAIL. Sure it does an adequate job providing a cover to my surface RT, it has a great connector that snaps on easily and holds fast. But as a keyboard is just too flat -- I need raised keys to keep my place on the keyboard. Also it only works on a supported surface like a desk so I can't use it when working from my lap. I went ahead and spent the $129 for the second generation keyboard and it is worth the extra expense. However I think microsoft is doing a disservice in making the better key board so expensive. Offer the new keyboard to existing users at cost. It really irked me to have to buy a second keyboard and if amazon gets rid of their ribbon interface I think our next devices will be a kindle.
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on April 4, 2013
The keyboard is slim and works great. Takes a little bit of getting used to. I am able to type just as fast as I was on a traditional keyboard.

Very satisfied with this product and would definitely recommend it!
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on March 29, 2014
The color and function is fine, but I have a serious problem with mishitting keys or typing nothing when I wanted something. This is possibly due to the fact that my fingers are wide (fine, they're FAT, ok?) and I don't actually look at the keyboard when I'm typing, just the result on the screen.

Because I can't consistently hit the right key, and don't always get the auditory or tactile sensory feedback (I can't hear anything outside of my fingers pounding the board and can't feel when I've used enough pressure) I miss a lot of letters and have to go back and fix my typing, which really impairs my ability to be productive. It's also excruciatingly annoying.

If you have small, thin fingers (or think you do, at any rate), aren't bothered by the lack of feedback when typing, then you might like this product. If you like typing with the force of a thousand angry bears to get your angry internet point across, then this cover is totally for you. Alternatively, if you like the challenge of learning a new way to type, you might also want to consider this cover.

If you're used to hearing when you've clacked a key, and don't want to be bothered with learning how hard/soft to smack a static board with letters on it, then consider the Type Cover (red is available, I believe, as well as purple, which was my choice) or Type Cover 2.
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