You don't need to spend $350 to get a Surface Pro 11 keyboard

When Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 11, the tech giant showed off a flagship 2-in-1 with a Snapdragon X processor and an OLED display. But it wasn't just the tablet portion of the Surface Pro 11 that got an upgrade, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro Flex Keyboard alongside the convertible. While that accessory is impressive, it also costs $349.99 on its own (449.98 with a Slim Pen).

Luckily, it is not the only option for a Surface Pro 11 keyboard. The Surface Pro Signature Keyboard is a more budget friendly option any day of the week, and it's also on sale right now for $30 off if you opt for the Forest Green or Poppy Red colors. Even if you go for a color that's not on sale, it will cost much less than a Surface Pro Flex Keyboard.

Surface Pro Signature Keyboard | $179.99 now $149.99 at Best Buy

Surface Pro Signature Keyboard | was $179.99 now $149.99 at Best Buy

This keyboard is a must-have accessory for the Surface Pro. It's compatible with devices as old as the Surface Pro 8, but it is perhaps most notable for working with the newer Surface Pro 11. It serves as a more budget friendly option while still having a slot for a Slim Pen (sold separately).

Right now, the Forest Green and Poppy Red versions of the keyboard are on sale.

First introduced with the Surface Pro 8, the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard has been the premium keyboard accessory for the Surface Pro lineup for years. It provides an excellent typing experience, is available in several colors, and has an Alcantara finish. That finish is a bit of what people in the UK would call a "marmite situation," meaning you love it or hate it. Alcantara certainly feels different than the rubbery texture of cheaper Surface keyboards or the metal keyboard base of many laptops.

Assuming you like the Alcantara finish of the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard, the accessory is an excellent add-on to the Surface Pro 11 or older supported models. It lets you convert your Surface Pro into a laptop and even has a slot for the Surface Slim Pen (sold separately).

Honestly, I can't imagine having a Surface Pro without a keyboard. Many complain that the keyboard is not included in the box. But since the keyboard is not included when you buy a Surface Pro, you can choose a keyboard that fits your budget or preference.

Surface Pro Signature Keyboard vs Surface Pro Flex Keyboard

Surface Pro 11

The Surface Pro Flex Keyboard can be used wirelessly and is more durable than more affordable options. (Image credit: Windows Central)

So, you may be asking "what makes the Surface Pro Flex Keyboard worth $349.99?" The keyboard is expensive, but the additional cost brings several improvements and more functionality. The Surface Pro Flex Keyboard can connect to the Surface Pro 11 wirelessly or when connected physically. That makes it a much more versatile accessory than a keyboard that needs to be attached.

Microsoft also reinforced the Surface Pro Flex Keyboard with extra layers of carbon fiber for durability. The trackpad of the Surface Pro Flex Keyboard is a haptic trackpad powered by Sensel tech.

While it doesn't relate to cost directly, the Surface Pro Flex Keyboard comes in colors that align with the Surface Pro 11. If you've preordered a Surface Pro 11 in blue or dune, you may want to get a keyboard that color matches. I wouldn't recommend spending an extra $200 just to match your PC and keyboard colors, but it's a factor to consider.

If the Surface Pro Flex Keyboard performs as expected when put through real-world testing, it will be a solid option for Surface Pro owners. But even if the keyboard is as nice as it looks, a $349.99 price tag will be a non-starter for many. That makes the discount on the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard an even better option.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

  • bradavon
    "Marmite situation" 🤣. You have to try marmite to get this, a black salty yeast extract you spread on toast for breakfast. As many British (and Irish) people hate it as love it. I'm in that camp.

    The alcantara however is plain awful. This yucky fabric that's impossible to keep clean. Have disliked it on both my Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro X.

    I'm pleased Microsoft has finally binned that terrible idea.
  • Mapplesoft
    For $350, it should come in at least ten colors. Remember the original Surface keyboard came in five colors or so. One of the options was white. It was so cool. I hope they add a white option in the future, perhaps when the LTE version goes up for sale later in the year.