New "Power Cover" to be released for Microsoft's Surface tablets

Surface Power Cover

If you’ve been loving your Microsoft Surface, but looking for battery life expansion – get excited. The long awaited Power Cover for the company’s line of tablet PCs is right around the corner. According to Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite, the new accessory will be available “after the launch of [Microsoft’s] second-generation tablets”.

The new Power Cover will be compatible with the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface 2 – the unit will not be compatible with the Surface RT.

The unit itself will charge while attached to the Surface and will have the same keyboard feel as the existing Type Cover (it will not be a flat Touch Cover style keyboard).

There is no word yet on the battery life that the new accessory will bring, but sources of Thurrott’s say that it “significantly” expands the battery life of the Surface devices it is attached to.

The Cover will be thicker and heavier than the Type Cover: .38 inches compared to .21 inches and 1.1 pounds compared to .55 pounds. In essence – be prepared to add some heft to your tablet PC.

Who has been waiting for this announcement and can’t wait to run out and purchase a Power Cover as soon as it’s available?

Source: WinSuperSite



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Tahiti Bob says:

That means next gen will have exact same form factor, awkward in Portrait.

TofuDelight says:

I don't find portrait so awkward. It's very useful for reading long forum threads

Xsled says:

I enjoy portrait as well. Well, I don't dislike it.....

DiabloBlanco says:

But perfect for media consumption and productivity with multiple apps/windows open next to each other

Yes, but the wide screen thing on Surface makes it look really modern compared to iPad. The iPad looks really outdated design-wise.

WinFan1 says:

my boy called it! :p

DJCBS says:

I imagine this will be useful for people with the Pro that has an abysmally low autonomy. I'm good. My RT last me around 4 days with the use I give it so I won't really need this.

Rug says:

Exactly... I love the RT. This is another MS product I love that will probably be left for dead, this is what happens when I really like something from MS. I had both from TechEd, sold the Pro, kept the rt.

ahmadcrofton says:

When does the second generation tablets come out?

freshfelicio says:

Leaks say "later this year", some say in about  a month, and I would say together with Windows 8.1

Cleavitt76 says:

This sounds awesome.  I can't wait to see it in detail.  It would be cool if it had a USB port or two as well, but I'm not sure if the hardware interface would support data like that.

simphf says:

Is the cover even thick enough?

Cleavitt76 says:

Yeah, 0.38" is thick enough for full size USB ports. 
Personally I would like to see something that resembles the bottom half of an ultrabook similar to some of the other hybrids.  In other words, it could support the Surface without using the kickstand for times when the kickstand is not ideal (like resting on your lap).  However, I suspect it will be more like a thick typecover which is still good, but not my dream accessory.

Rug says:

USB ports out the back would be awesome. Video would be nice too. I would replace my PC with the new Surface if they have those.

Too thick. Not knocking the product, battery physics are what they are, but I'll pass on this.

MacDaMachine says:

Too thick and heavy as well. The cover will weigh almost as much as the Surface. (assuming the Surface 2 will weigh less than 1.3 pounds)

MA83 says:

That's not really much heavier than an ASUS transformer with the dock (which I love my first gen of). So, I think they did a good job shooting on weight and thickness specs. 

gibbage says:

And you know this how?

pulkit10 says:

Meant for people on the go. Not really for the average folk with easy access charging port.

Of course, thinner would have been great but still, nice to have the option.

wetworker says:

My Surface RT batter is a beast, It last pretty mush all day. I want those limited edition Touch cover in Canada.

onysi says:

i thought about being disappointed because RT will not get it, but the battery life is pretty good for the RT, so I wont bitch. 
How many hours do yours last and what do you do on it occassionally?

wetworker says:

I would say on average 6-7 hours. I use it back and forth to work. as well as some streaming  and browsing at work.
It pretty much sites next to me at work streaming Street Fighter streams on TwitchTV or TwitTV.
I make sure it's complety dead b4 I give it a charge.

numetheus says:

You know the whole better charge when dead thing is only for NiCad batteries right? Draining your battery every time lowers its life.

fpostrow says:

Awesome news but I'm really looking forward to the non pro 2. A little more oomph with awesome battery life built in. We'll see if the reveal changes my mind.

pbankey says:

I can't wait to see the market reaction to a surface pro 2 that is just as thick with a now battery housed type cover that will be even thicker. Good luck on that one, MS.

No one says you have to have the cover comboed with it. If Apple made a keyboard to cover the same issues with portable devices, it would be the same. But I guess Apple gets a pass for not even attempting this. Some of the crap you guys bash Microsoft for, Apple has neither done or done ten times worse.

ymcpa says:

it's an optional accessory. No one makes you buy it. How much thickness and weight do those battery casesfor the iphone add? I bet it is proportional to this cover. 

Skie77 says:

Are people mocking the Asus Transformer for having a thick and heavy keyboard dock?

Robert Grant says:

We mostly mock it by not buying it.

Jf.Vigor says:

I'm one of the few with little complaint about the surface pro battery lif but I tend to not complain about much anyway (friends call me the beta tester because I enjoy trying products despite the cons/risks). Regardless ill be asking for this cover for Xmas. It would be nice to not have my surface pro tethered all the time to the wall

theefman says:

Whole combo is going over 3lbs, going to negate the portability to some extent.

Rishicash says:

Agreed. I'd rather have an Ultraportable like the new Lenovo Yoga at that point.

Kros says:

Then don't buy the power cover and, tada, you are back at 1.3lb.  Yea.

redsox2416 says:

Yeah, because 3 lbs is really that heavy.

Exactly, it sounds like a whole bunch of people need to hit the gym if that can't manage 3 lbs in two hands.

stephen_az says:

As someone who had a couple vertebrae fused recently, and has a cervical bone spur limiting strength in one handl, I would appreciate it you would check the assinine comments at the door. I am sure others would as well. There are undoubtedly people who fly who would also prefer (or are obliged) to minimize weight. Leaving all other issues aside, a battery solution that makes the netbook size tablet weigh within the same range of a Lenovo Yoga, or Dell XPS 12, and more than Sony's carbon fiber laptops, does question the point of Surface Pro. If you are going to lug around a heavy tablet size device, why not just buy a thinner, more full featured,  hybrid in the same weight range?

I'm sorry to hear about all of your physical ailments, but you are not the majority. I'm getting tired of reading the comment sections related to any computing device where people just complain that the device in question is too heavy and too expensive. People want an engineering marvel made just for them, but then they complain about the purchase price regardless of the true value it delivers to them.
I bought a Surface Pro when they were first launched and I have since bought them for all my staff. The value in increased productivity my organization receives from deploying these devices FAR exceeds the purchase price. We can engineer software, run virtual machines, and execute database queries on a tablet!! I could refresh them every year and it would still be a bargain for my company. Also, we don't have an issue with the battery life because we're never in an area without a power outlet for over 5 hours.
With respect to your comment questioning the point of the Surface Pro over a Yoga or Dell XPS 12, it comes down to personal preference of the form factor and the build quality for most people. To me the Surface Pro is a solid device, I've even accidently dropped it onto a concrete floor and it only sustained a minor scuff mark. If I did that to a Yoga or XPS I know for a fact keyboard keys would be flying and the case and perhaps even the screen would be cracked.  I also like the versatilty of having a true tablet form factor when I want it - like on an airplane for example. Bottom line is that when we're talking about any of these devices the difference in weight is ounces not pounds. I'm just impressed that they were able to pack that much performance into a tablet form factor and deliver it at the price they did.

My RT lasts around 3 days.

blackhawk556 says:

Mine did too, as long as I hardly used it.

onysi says:

One thing that needs clarification, is the power cover going to be a touchkeyboard or type keyboard?

onysi says:

The unit itself will charge while attached to the Surface and will have the same keyboard feel as the existing Type Cover (it will not be a flat Touch Cover style keyboard).

LOL i skimmed like any other article.  I guess theyll still continue to make touch cover. 
Now I wonder if 1st generation touch cover will be compatible with next gen surfaces?

Kros says:

Yes, they will.

the article says it will not be a touch cover.

MA83 says:

Reading comprehension is strong with this one.

onysi says:

yea I skimmed. now are the first gen touch covers will be compatible with 2nd gen surfaces?

wpguy says:

Yes, because they all use the same connectors. The reason why the battery cover won't work* with the Surface RT is because it is missing the power contacts in the oval holes where the little nubs fit in, located on either side of the keyboard port.

* Won't work, as in won't use the battery part of the battery cover.

onysi says:

thats good to know.  at least first gen touch covers will still be put to use.

Hackthebone says:

If the battery life it grants is good I will definitely be picking one up for my pro. Now it will easily be more useful to me than my old MacBook Pro.

I know most wont care, but I wish these covers had a clasp or magnet to make it stay securely shut.

mutant 9 says:

I am now looking for a deal on remanufactured pros, just like the eBay deal for the RT. This cover may make it viable for travel if it gets over 8 hours. Would love to see 10.

CJ Thunder says:

My design was better. In the forum, 10 months ago.

prlundberg says:

I take this to mean they are probably not improving battery life much in the next version. 

Cleavitt76 says:

Rumor has it that battery life for the Pro 2 will be about 50% longer. So from ~5 to ~7.5 hours. It still doesn't hurt to have this optional battery capacity for those that need more and it also helps those that have a first gen Surface Pro.

OSean says:

Will be saving for this...

John20212 says:

About damn time, this should have come out months ago.
Who wants to bet it will be $200+ and that would make it a no-buy for many.

Jazmac says:

That would be a sucker bet.

toddpart says:

This is cool and all, but I've got no issues with my Pro battery today. What I was really hoping would come for the Pro's additional connectors was a nice docking station I could plop my Pro into for charging and connectivity :-)

schlubadub says:

So it's a pre-charged batter type thing, or uses solar or light power?

WilliamC1972 says:

This keyboard should come standard with the, Surface Pro 2. But knowing, Microsoft, I'm sure its going to be an expensive add on.

Lenn Liggins says:

I glad that Microsoft is listening to the people's complaints about the Surface Pro and it's battery life.

This is turning out to be awesome! We're getting there!

nizzon says:

This is great. Defenitely useful.
I'l flirt with my boss and see if I can replace my desktop with a Surface Pro 2. :) We are trying out Win 8 in our office avyway.

phasar says:

Will it have expandable memory, LTE, and GPS, or still WiFi only?

nizzon says:

I seriously can't wait for the SP2, if Microsoft fucks up the European release again Im going freakin berzerk. I want to see it in Sweden before 2014.

TwinBitz says:

I'll get one to go with my Surface Pro!!

joecatskill says:

I love my RT. I guess more than Microsoft. Thanks for the support for early adopters. :'(

Effectively, you have one user-exchangable battery with that, too. I hope they provide type covers in color this time.