Surface tablet’s battery-boosting Power Cover to ship March 19

Microsoft announced the Power Cover keyboard attachment last September at the same time that it unveiled updated versions of its Surface slates.

While the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 hit stores the following month, the Power Cover has been noticeable by its absence – until now.

As reported by ZD Net on Monday, the Power Cover is set to start shipping March 19 with a $200 price tag. the device is available for pre-order now.

If the pre-publicity passed you by, and you didn’t already guess from the name, the Power Cover is essentially a Type Cover with a built-in battery that should keep your Surface running for up to 70 percent longer.

There are a few notable differences between the Power Cover and the Type 2 and Touch 2 covers. For starters, the Power Cover has no back-lit keys, and at 0.55 pounds (255g) it’s a little heavier than the Touch Cover 2 (0.42 pounds / 190g), though, according to Microsoft’s “tech specs” on the device’s webpage, equal in weight to the Type Cover 2.

Thickness-wise, the Power Cover comes in at a decent enough 9mm, while the Type 2 cover is slightly thinner at 5mm. At 2.55mm, the Touch Cover 2 is the thinnest of the bunch.

And, as you’d expect, the new Power Cover – which is compatible with the Surface Pro, Pro 2 and Surface 2 machines – is the least wallet-friendly, costing $70 more than the Type 2 and $80 more than the Touch 2.

Still, if longer battery life for your Surface is a priority – and the hefty price tag doesn’t put you off – the Power Cover should sort you out. Initial availability includes the US, Canada and Japan, though in time it should be rolled out to other locations, too.

[Power Cover]

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