So as not to leave consumers in any doubt that it’s the Touch Cover that makes the Surface special, Microsoft has posted a video on the Web telling us a little bit about how it came together.
The 100-second production features a bunch of Microsoft developers sitting around a table in a workshop, fiddling about with old Touch Cover models and prototypes while poring over notes and diagrams scrawled on a whiteboard
“We spent months and months with our designers and engineers to perfect how this attachment works,” one of the video’s participants says, adding, “We’ve been able to create a pressure sensitive keyboard 3mm in thickness that has the performance of a laptop keyboard, and that’s incredible.” The first coming-together-of-tablet-and-Touch-Cover occurs at the 30-second mark, producing that now familiar ‘click’ sound. Yes, familiar – that’s pretty amazing considering the Surface and Touch Cover haven’t even launched yet, but hey, that’s marketing for you.
In fact, Microsoft is singing the praises of the Touch Cover to such an extent that you could be forgiven for thinking it’s the tablet part which is the add-on.
In a recent interview with Microsoft’s Next blog, company co-founder and chairman Bill Gates was beside himself with unbridled joy when it came to the subject of the Touch Cover. “When you show people that hinge….you can’t appreciate it without seeing it,” he enthused, before insisting that people “get to a store and play around with this thing….the way you put that keyboard on and off…”
Despite Microsoft doing its best to get consumers excited about the Touch Cover, the purchase page for the Surface RT, which launches this Friday, appears to indicate that at this stage consumers are going for the $499 32GB tablet-only option, with shipping time listed at three weeks. The $599 32GB version with the Touch Cover, and the $699 64GB version also with the Touch Cover, currently have shipping times listed at between one and two weeks.
If you purchase a Surface without the Touch Cover, and the Microsoft marketing machine later works its magic, you can pick one up for $120. Alternatively, you can also get a Type Cover, offering a slightly more conventional typing experience, for $130.