Surface Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers

Surface Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers

If you want it, here it is

Give Microsoft some credit: When it comes to outfitting its Surface devices with useful accessories, the firm has really risen to the challenge. But what's most interesting about the accessory lineup is the unexpectedness of some of them. No one, for example, saw the typing covers coming last year. And this year, while we got some accessories many had been clamoring for, Microsoft also delivered some truly inventive ones too. Case in point, the Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers.

The Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers has the same basic mission as the new dual-position kickstand on Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 (though this one works with all Surface models, past and present): It makes it easier to use a Surface device in different conditions.

When Microsoft introduced the original Surface models back in mid-2012, Panos Panay talked about his obsession with "perfect," in the sense that the goal was to engineer the devices as perfectly as possible. But as he said more recently, the typing position on the original Surface RT and Surface Pro is only "perfect" if you're a certain size and are using the device on a desktop. Bigger (or smaller) people, or those with other needs, may not find that single typing position to be quite perfect.

So Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 include a second kickstand position. This enables taller people to use the device more comfortably in normal, desk-based situations. And it enables anyone to use the devices more comfortably on their laps. (I have a theory, thus far untested, that the second position may help while watching movies on a plane, depending on windows glare and so on, as well.)

And then there's the Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers. This tubular adapter lets you separate a Type Cover, Type Cover 2, Touch Cover or Touch Cover 2 from the Surface device and use it from a distance of up to 30 feet. That means you can back off from the Surface a bit—not everyone wants to be right on top of it.

But it also means you can use a Surface in other interesting situations. For example, perhaps you are using a video-out adapter to watch a Surface-based movie or TV show on the HDTV in the living room. With a Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers, you can sit at the couch with the typing cover of your choice and control video playback in comfort; you won't need to walk up near the TV to tap on the device or the typing cover.

This isn't the reason to buy such an accessory, unless of course you're using a Surface pretty regularly as a media PC, but it's a nice bonus if you need it otherwise.

My only issue with the more typical set up that I'd use—a Surface 2 or Surface Pro with a Type Cover 2 and Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers—is that while I'd enjoy backing off from the tablets a bit, the Surface screens are of pretty small as it is. And the further away you get, the smaller they look.

Beyond that, this adapter is yet another thing to carry with you when you travel, a consideration, and another thing to charge. (You do so via an included USB cable. At least the connectivity is Bluetooth-based so there's no dongle.) And like all Surface accessories, it's on the expensive side for what you get: $60.

Still, I bet there's an audience for this. I don't see any huge point in reviewing it per se, but let me know if you have any questions.

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