In addition to the revamped Surface Pro 3 tablet, Microsoft announced high-end accessories to complete and complement the laptop-replacing tablet experience. Most notably, the new Type Cover 3 keyboard, starting at $130, rocks a major performance and design facelift.
The Type Cover 3 keyboard is the slimmest yet and its 68 percent bigger touchpad features 78 percent less friction than the previous model. The Surface Pro 2's Type Cover was already one of the best keyboard/cover options around, so the noticeable improvement shows that Microsoft is definitely listening to what consumers want. The new Type Cover 3 also attaches to the tablet more securely, and, thanks to the improved adjustable built-in stand, it provides a more comfortably stable typing experience if placed on your lap -- lapability, according to Microsoft.
With a spiffy new design geared toward productivity, the Surface Pro 3 also includes a stylus with a pressure-sensitive screen for optimal usage. The stylus is designed to feel more like pen, instead of the skinny little stick we're used to. It's thicker than most stylus found on tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, and it's also heavier, for a more natural and comfortable writing experience.
The design modifications address many of the previous Surface tablet shortcomings and will appeal to productivity-geared customers, but the lack of apps still plagues the OS. The addition of a better keyboard cover, stylus, and built-in stand are great steps towards a true laptop-replacement-worthy tablet, but until the Windows 8 ecosystem steps up its app game, Android and iOS tablets will remain the most popular option for more casual users.