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Surface Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 hands-on

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Gallery Photo: Surface 2 touch and type cover hands on photos
Gallery Photo: Surface 2 touch and type cover hands on photos

Along with the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, Microsoft announced new versions of its Touch and Type snap-in keyboard covers. The Type Cover 2 is very similar to last year's edition, though Microsoft claims that travel is reduced and the typing experience is improved over the previous model. In our quick tests, the keys felt clicky and responsive, though not quite a match for a top-of-the-line laptop keyboard.

The bigger change is coming to the new Touch Cover 2, which is one millimeter thinner than before and has over one thousand touch-sensitiive zones (last year's only had just over 80 zones). Microsoft claims that this makes the Touch Cover much more responsive and accurate when typing. In our tests, the Touch cover more or less felt the same as before, though it will take some extensive use with it to really put Microsoft's claims to the test. Microsoft did add backlighting to the new Touch and Type covers, which is a much needed feature when typing in dim lighting.

Microsoft also unveiled the Power Cover, which is a Type Cover 2 with a 30 watt-hour battery included. It extends the Pro 2's battery life by up to 2.5x that of last year's Pro, and it features a fabric finish. It's heavy and noticeably thick — there's no getting around that when you have a large battery inside of it — but for those that want the most battery life they can get from their Surface, it's a good option to have.