Called the Universal Mobile Keyboard, the $80 piece of kit includes an OS button allowing you to easily switch between platforms, and even lets you pair with one device from each platform at the same time, saving your from having to start over if you want to quickly change devices.
The new keyboard comes with a detachable cover that flips over to protect the keys once your typing session’s over. While working, you can stand your device up by placing it in the cover’s slot, which rests your tablet or handset at an angle of about 50 degrees.
Microsoft says the keyboard’s internal battery will last for six months on a single charge, while a single 10-minute burst will be enough to keep it running for a full day.
Microsoft describes its Universal Mobile Keyboard as “one keyboard for your tablet and smartphone,” though declines to mention that you’re out of luck if your handset happens to be a Windows Phone. That’s right, folks, it’s not quite as universal as you might’ve first thought, as Windows Phone doesn’t currently support the Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) keyboard protocol.
To be clear, the new keyboard is good for devices running Windows 8 and above, Windows RT, iOS 6 and above, and Android 4 and above.
Of course, there’s plenty of choice out there for most people on the hunt for a Bluetooth keyboard for their mobile device/s, though the solid-looking design of Microsoft’s offering, together with its cross-platform capability, may make it attractive to some users.
The Universal Mobile Keyboard will be available from the Microsoft Store, as well as various retailers, from October.