Comparing Surface keyboards
The Surface has been around for a while now. Initial reviews and impressions on the attachable keyboards were varied - there seemed to be consensus on the type cover being a decent notebook-style Keyboard with a trackpad that's usable but very small. The touch cover did not seem to impress all reviewers - some found it too hard to get used to, some felt they could never get used to it, and others loved it from the first day.
Now I think it's time to make our final judgements, based on half a year of experience. Here are my impressions - please add yours in the comment sections!
TOUCH COVER great peace of Hardware, but in the Long term i found it impossible to really get used to in a way that I can be as productive with it as i can with a traditional Keyboard. You definitely Need to adjust your typing method to the pressure sensitive keys - i found that the most accurate and fastest way of typing on it is to Keep your finger tips on the surface of the touch cover all the time and sliding from key to key, slightly pressing down on the keys to type. That way you get the best tactile Feedback (you feel the edges of the keys) and not taking your fingers off the Keyboard makes typing very fast. Theres a few Problems with this though: It's very hard to type without looking at the Keyboard, it's very tiring to the Hand muscles, and it's simply very hard to really get used to. So even after months of using the touch cover I kept making lots of typos. Another Problem is that it's very hard and uncomfortable to use on your lap (you Need to apply even more pressure, which is really tiring). And finally, the Audio Feedback slightly lags behind, which is more distracting than it is helpful.
TYPE COVER I recently baught a type cover - and I love it. The additional thickness and weight is barely noticable. I got used to it after five minutes. No typos, no staring at the Keyboard while typing. Absolutely usable on the lap. Only downside to me: I hate the noise that moving keys make - i love how silent the touch cover is once you turn off the Audio Feedback.
ONSCREEN KEYBOARD I used the surface without any physical Keyboard for a Long time, and it works very well. It's much slower than with the type cover, but you barely make any typos due to the excellent layout, responsiveness and visual Feedback. It has some Advantages compared to the type and touch covers: Audio Feedback is excellent (no lag), you dont really have to look at it while typing because it's so Close to the text you are typing, caps lock is indicated (no indicator on touch or type cover), changing Keyboard language also changes the layout (thats a huge Problem with the physical keyboards - if you Change the language, the Keyboard layout does not match the language; if you dont Change the language, autocorrect will not adapt to the language you write in. that's why there are so many weird typos in this post). Biggest disadvantage to me is having to open/Close the Keyboard manually in Desktop mode. Also there are no up and down arrow keys, which makes navigating the Cursor harder.
WRAP UP I would recommend the type cover to anyone who types a lot, the onscreen Keyboard to those who don't, and the touch cover... well I don't know who i would recommend it to. It's very well made (and very pretty) but not very practical.