Do older Surface Pro Type Covers work with Surface Pro 8?

Surface Pro 8 Pen
Surface Pro 8 Pen (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Do older Surface Pro Type Covers work with Surface Pro 8?

Best answer: No! Unfortunately for current Surface Pro Type Cover owners, the Surface Pro 8 uses an all-new connector due to the new design and shape. It does, however, work with the newer Surface Pro X Type Cover. You'll have to grab the new $99 Surface Pro Type Cover if you want to hammer out some docs on this thing.

Why do I need a new Type Cover for the Surface Pro 8?

In the past, Microsoft has generally offered backwards and forwards compatibility with the Surface Type Cover line, letting you use previous-gen Type Covers on the Surface Pro 7, for example. This year's Surface Pro 8 revision is one of the biggest we've had in recent years, however, with a refreshed chassis and design profile.

The new size and shape of the Surface Pro 8 simply don't lend themselves to the current slate of Surface Pro Type Covers. However, it does work with the Surface Pro X Type Cover, which has a bay for the new Surface Slim Pen.

The Surface Pro 8 follows the design language of the Surface Pro X a little more closely than its previous incarnations, so it makes sense that Microsoft would fall back on the Pro X Type Cover instead. Although, it's a little frustrating too, given that the Pro X Type Cover is anywhere up to $40 more expensive than the previous-gen standard Surface Type Covers.

Can I buy a cheaper third-party Surface Pro X Type Cover?

The market for third-party Surface Pro X Type Covers right now is practically non-existent. The Surface Pro X wasn't the most popular incarnation of the Surface line, owing to its ARM-based architecture. In the right hands, the Surface Pro X is a truly great PC, but it potentially isn't ready to go fully mainstream yet. However, the arrival of the Surface Pro 8 and its Pro X Type Cover requirement means that manufacturers will be looking to adapt their designs for the new market. It's fair to assume that the Surface Pro 9 and 10 will also use this new connector style, so we can expect some third-party options to appear in the coming weeks and months ahead.

If you don't want to blow an additional $130 dollars on a Pro X Type Cover, you can just use a regular Bluetooth or standard USB-based keyboard with the Surface Pro 8, since it is, at the end of the day, just another Windows PC. Take a look at our best Bluetooth keyboards roundup for some options.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!