The Brydge keyboard for Microsoft Surface adds 'lapability' and optional storage

Turn your Surface Pro 4 into a Surface Book—sort of.

After making a name for itself with MacBook-like keyboard docks for iPads, Brydge is now taking on Microsoft’s Surface.

The Brydge 12.3 is a Bluetooth keyboard that clips to the tablet section of a Surface Pro 3 or 4 with a pair of sturdy silicone hinges. At 1.3 pounds, the base is hefty enough to hold the Surface upright without leaning on the tablet’s kickstand. In other words, it adds an element of “lapability”—Microsoft’s term, not ours—to the Surface Pro line, forming a sort of makeshift Surface Book.

brydge1233 Jared Newman

Optionally, buyers can also equip the keyboard with 128 GB of built-in solid state storage, which users can connect to the tablet via a USB cable.

The keyboard itself is meant to be an improvement over Microsoft’s own Type Covers, though my brief hands-on left me with mixed feelings. While the island-style keys aren’t as spongy as those of the Type Cover, the trackpad is smaller, and has a matte finish that feels tougher to manipulate than the Type Cover 4’s glass trackpad. (Owners of the Type Cover 3 might find the improvements more substantial.)

The other issue is Brydge’s use of wireless connectivity, rather than the physical connector that Microsoft’s Type Cover uses. This necessitates recharging the keyboard once every few months, and carrying around a USB cable for the SSD. It also rules out the possibility of a battery dock, which would be a godsend. (My Surface Pro 3 routinely dies within four to six hours of use.)

brydge123 Jared Newman

As Brydge CCO Toby Mander-Jones explains it, a physical connection would be tricky, as it would either require a fixed viewing angle for the screen, or some kind of narrow ribbon-shaped hinge that could lead to durability problems.

It’s worth noting that the Brydge 12.3 units on display at CES were pre-production samples. The real thing will be available this spring for $150, or $250 with the 128GB SSD built-in. The cheaper version is available for pre-order now at a $20 discount.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Surface Pro 4CES 2017

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?