Price (RRP): $249.95
The genuine Microsoft Surface Pro Keyboard is good. The Brydge 12.3 keyboard for Microsoft Surface Pro is better.
Brydge solves the ‘proper’ keyboard issue via a slip on, metal keyboard that provides an excellent typing experience – just like the metal Microsoft Book keyboard.
Brydge 12.3 (website here) is a third-party Bluetooth, QWERTY keyboard for Surface Pro 3, 4 and the Pro 2017. It also acts as a screen protection cover when closed.
It makes it very “Book-like”. That solid feel, great keypresses, no key bounce, and just a little more stability.
Hinge travel is 0-160° (almost flat).
Connection is easy
- Slip the Surface Pro tablet into the two “hinge pressure ”
- Pair via Bluetooth – that is it, no app.
From that point onward, the keyboard will automatically wake once the Surface Pro is opened or turned on. Once joined you cannot use the Pro kickstand – it becomes a clamshell notebook a.k.a. Surface laptop. But it is easy to remove too.
Charging is via a micro-USB port. The supplied flat cable will connect to the Surface Pro USB-A port or a charger (not supplied). A full charge from 0-100% takes about an hour at 5V/2A or four hours at 5V/.5A.
A charge should last three months but that depends on the level of the backlight (there are three) and its use as a remote Bluetooth keyboard (not near the Surface Pro).
It uses Chiclet-style island keys. They are well spaced and provide reasonable tactile feedback. The 1.5mm throw and 65g actuation force are a little more than the 1.4mm on the Surface Pro keyboard – wonderful.
The Brydge 12.3 is a lovely keyboard to type on achieving 90% of my rated speed.
The trackpad is about 75% of the size of that of the Surface Pro. For example, you cannot swipe top left to bottom right and mouse across the screen in one go. While it is sensitive and accurate, it means slightly more finger action is required.
It does support two-finger gestures like pinch zoom as well as three-finger gestures to open Cortana or apps. It does not support four-finger gestures.
At 745g and 7.4mm thick, it is solid and well made.
You need to consider that if you want to add that to the 786g of the Surface Pro tablet which has a keyboard that is about 310g and 4.9mm thick.