New Microsoft Surface accessories 'Brydge' the gap between tablet and laptop
Brydge brings Precision trackpads to its unique range of Surface keyboards and accessories.
What you need to know
- Brydge unveils several accessories that are "Designed for Surface."
- The accessories include a standalone Precision trackpad, a standalone keyboard, and keyboards that turn the Surface Pro and Surface Go into laptops.
- The W-Touch trackpad costs $100 and the W-Type keyboard costs $60.
- The Brydge 12.3 Pro+ and 10.5 Go+ keyboards cost $150 and $130 respectively.
Brydge has a range of new accessories coming out that make Microsoft's Surface devices more versatile. The company unveiled the W-Touch standalone Precision trackpad, the W-Type keyboard, the Brydge 12.3 Pro+ keyboard, and the 10.5 Go+ keyboard (via The Verge). The W-Touch trackpad ($100), W-Touch keyboard ($60), and Brydge 12.3 Pro+ ($150), and the 10.5 Go+ ($130) go on sale August 17, though they won't ship until a bit after that. All of the accessories will ship the week of August 31 except that 10.5 Go+ which will ship the week of September 7.
The W-Touch trackpad is a unique accessory because it is the "first ever standalone Wireless Windows Precision Trackpad," according to Brydge. The W-Touch trackpad seems similar to the Magic Trackpad 2 that's popular for macOS devices, though the W-Touch is built for Windows 10.
The W-Touch connects with Bluetooth 4.2. It supports the gestures you'd expect in a Precision trackpad, including pinch to zoom, multitouch swiping to switch desktops, and swiping to show the multitask view on Windows 10. The W-Touch is made in partnership with Microsoft.
The W-Type is a full-size keyboard with a number pad. It Also has a full row of function keys. It connects with Bluetooth 5.1 and features an Aluminum body. It has 2mm of travel on its keys, which should feel comfortable.
The Brydge 12.3 Pro+ and 10.5 Go+ will be more familiar to people who have used Brydge products before. Brydge is known for its iPad keyboards that perform a similar function, allowing you to slot a tablet into a keyboard to make a laptop-like device while having the option to remove the tablet to use on its own.
The Brydge 12.3 Pro+ works with the Surface Pro 4, 5, 6, and 7 while the 10.5 Go+ works with the Surface Go and Surface Go 2. The 12.3 Pro+ has a 70 percent larger touchpad than the original Brydge 12.3. Both of the keyboards have the "world's first Bluetooth precision touchpad for Windows," according to Brydge.
The Brydge 12.3 Pro+ does not work with the Surface Pro X, which makes sense considering the Surface Pro X has different physical dimensions than any Surface Pro. When Engadget first covered these keyboards from Brydge, it reported that a Surface Pro X version would be available in the second half of 2020.
The Surface Pro 7 already made our list of Best Windows laptops as the best convertible device. With the new Brydge keyboard, you now have more options to convert the Surface Pro 7.
The Brydge 12.3 Pro+ and 10.5 Go+ keyboards charge with USB-C, have backlit keys, and support multitouch gestures. These keyboards connect with Bluetooth rather than the pogo pins that Microsoft's Surface Type Covers use.
This standalone Precision trackpad supports multitouch gestures and connects with Bluetooth 4.2. It's the first standalone Precision trackpad built for Windows.
This Bluetooth keyboard has a full number pad, a full row of function keys, and connects with Bluetooth 5.1. Its keys have 2mm of travel for a comfortable typing experience.
This keyboard lets you convert your Surface Pro 4, 5, 6, or 7 into a laptop. It connects with Bluetooth 5.0 and features a Precision trackpad.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
Here is a perfect illustration of what I have said for years. That the surface was just Microsoft un-inventing the hinge. Hinge classic is back. Surface was Microsoft pretending they sell tablets while they tried to catch up the software. Then they gave up on making tablet friendly windows software. So they just sold useless Laptops with no hinge or touch interface for a decade.
Yeah but those hingeless laptops with a bad touch interface are popular. They're great for anyone who needs to take notes, for artists, for anyone who wants a superlight ultrabook, and for people who use their laptops for media consumption (including reading and PDF markup) like they would with a mobile OS tablet. I'm on my third one. I'm all for MS making their touch interface better than terrible, but despite that I see Surface devices everywhere I go.
I've had my own Surface 3, Surface Pro (2017) and Surface Go and now I have a Surface Pro 7 for work. I bought a Brydge keyboard for my own Surface Pro, primarily for my partner to use. She liked it but I've never used it. The fact that you've been saying something for years does not make it so. As you have apparently not noticed, different people like different things and at different times so what you like is only so relevant. Could Microsoft have provided a better tablet experience in Windows 10? Absolutely. Maybe we'll get that, not that Panos Panay has more control over the software to be used on his hardware.
Brydge 12.3 Pro+ looks interesting.
What happened to the Surface Pro X version?