Top critical review
190 people found this helpful
Works pretty well, for the most part....
on February 24, 2014
Microsoft Type Cover 2
1. Comfortable and accurate typing.
2. Slim design that is compatible with many cases.
3. Backlit keyboard is very useful.
1. Very overpriced.
2. Feels cheap.
3. Trackpad is inferior to most other laptops.
4. A couple of bugs.
I bought my Microsoft Surface Pro 2 laptop at the beginning of this year. The local Best Buy where I bought it did not have the keyboard in stock. After a week I finally managed to get my hands on it. A month and a half of using the keyboard I can’t help but feel mixed emotions. For the most part the experience has been very good and the keyboard serves its purpose really well. However, I have experienced a few frustrating bugs and a feeling of not getting my money’s worth at times. I will elaborate more on the pros and cons of the device in the hope that it helps you make an informed purchasing decision.
1. The main function of any keyboard is obviously to type and make the experience as efficient as possible. The Type Cover 2 does just that. It is very easy, comfortable and efficient to type with it. As a matter of fact I am typing this review with it at the moment. Even though the keyboard is more compact than the standard size you would use on a desktop, the layout is very well organized and I have not experienced the cramped feeling I had while using other small netbooks. The keyboard is pretty sturdy on your lap. The part that attaches to the laptop is somewhat flexible. This is good because it allows you to adjust the keyboard accordingly when you have it on your lap. It makes up for the lack of mobility on the back stand of the laptop. I have tried both the Type cover and the Touch cover. If you are planning to do regular typing then without question the Type cover is the one for you. It is much, much better than the Touch cover in this aspect. The Touch cover feels like you are typing on a touch screen, the Type cover feels like a real keyboard. I am used to typing without looking at my hands and I had to constantly look down while using the Touch cover because it does not provide any tactile feedback when you press the keys. I have not encountered any problems with the Type Cover keyboard while typing. It really delivers in this area.
2. One of the reasons that people buy the Surface Pro 2 is because of its portability. Fortunately, the Type Cover does not hinder this in any way. The keyboard itself is very light and only about a quarter inch thick. It is very easy to remove it and store it somewhere else if desired. If you do decide to take the laptop on the road you will be glad to know that the keyboard is compatible with pretty much every case on Amazon. There are some cases that will even have a strap on the end that will help you keep the whole laptop and the keyboard close together like a book.
3. One of the main differences between the original Type Cover and the Type Cover 2 is the fact that the latter one contains a back lit keyboard. I never thought I was going to use it nearly as much as I do. Sometimes I find myself using the computer in my room where there is not enough light and it is so good to be able to see clearly where the keys are. In this aspect I am very glad that I did not go with the first generation Type Cover. It is one of those underrated features that you think you don’t need but will end up using at some point or another.
1. I am a firm believer that the Type Cover is not really an accessory like Microsoft advertises it, it is a necessity if you want to get real work done on the laptop. With that said I find it really absurd and greedy that Microsoft is not including the keyboard with the laptop. At a cost of $130 dollars I find the keyboard itself to be overpriced. I have seen decent Android tablets cost that. I don’t know if Microsoft is losing money on the Surface Pro but they are really trying to make up for it with the accessories.
2. One of the disadvantage of making the keyboard so light is the fact that the keyboard is not going to have that “premium” feel to it. The keyboard is not made of metal like the ones on premium laptops. It is not made of plastic either. It is some kind of rubber/leathery material (not sure what to call it). After only a month and a half of use I have seen some discoloration on the trackpad area. It is noticeable and I really don’t like it one bit. I have also seen some mild stains around that same trackpad area. Pretty frustrating to see signs of wear and tear so soon into a product’s life cycle. I am not a destructive user by any means. It really should not be this way after so little time. Long term durability is a clear question mark on this keyboard.
3. I have owned two laptops in the past. One of them was an HP laptop and the other was a MacBook Air(2013) model. Both had very good trackpads. The trackpad on the Type Cover 2 feels small and uncomfortable in comparison. It is below average to say the least. The one on the MacBook air is not only much bigger but much more responsive. The swipe feature on the trackpad don’t work very well. I often have to swipe a few time for it to detect the swipe actions. The actual mouse scrolling does work pretty well though. But like I said the actual physical area of the trackpad is small and will take some getting used to.
4. I have experienced a couple of bugs throughout my experience using the Type Cover 2 that I feel you should be aware before buying. On a few occasions I had the trackpad on the keyboard lose control completely. The mouse just simply stops working. I have had to detach it and reattach it to get it working properly. Another problem I had is that it sometimes doesn’t detect that the keyboard is attached. Then if you touch any part of the screen the laptop think that you want to type and it will automatically display the touchscreen keyboard. It is very irritating because this takes away half of the screen. This should not be happening when the keyboard is attached. I hope that can be fixed in future updates.
In conclusion, do I recommend purchasing this keyboard? I do, simply because you cannot use the Surface Pro to its full potential without it. It is not like there are much better alternatives out there. At least none that will fit so well with the Microsoft Surface. The keyboard does its primary function pretty well but it is far from perfect. I experienced a few annoying bugs along the way. When you couple that with the questionable build quality it just makes you wonder why Microsoft is charging so much money for it. I am not going to lie, I am worried about he long term durability of the keyboard. I have seen quite a few first generation Type Cover start peeling on one of the sides within the first year. So far mine has already started to show wear and tear after only a few weeks of use. I guess only time will tell. I don’t want you to think that I completely hate the keyboard. I like it for the most part, I just don’t want you to feel like it is sunshine and roses with it. You will have to adapt somewhat to the small trackpad and the different bugs. I hope this review helped you get a better idea of how the experience is with the Type Cover 2. Good luck on your search for a new keyboard.