When I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 back in July, I didn’t hesitate to buy the Surface Type Cover too.

Why? I wanted a physical keyboard, something to protect the screen, and a mouse/touchpad.

While the Type Cover hits all this three marks, it doesn’t exactly hit each on the bull’s-eye. After using the Type Cover every day since I bought my Surface a few months ago, I have a few thoughts to share.

surface type cover 3

Of course I bought the purple cover.

 

Surface Type Cover: The Cost

The Surface 3 Type Cover lists at around $130. After using mine for the past few months, I don’t feel it is worth this price. A price tag around $60-$75 would be a better fit, I think.

Surface Type Cover: The Keyboard

Cramped is how I would describe the Type Cover’s keyboard, and small—but, it has to fit a 12-inch screen, so I cut it some slack there. I can type pretty fast on the keyboard, which is always a plus. But, my speed combined with the cramped keyboard means I hit Caps Lock, and other non-letter buttons, fairly often.

There aren’t any volume controls on the keyboard, other than Mute, which I miss (the volume rocker button on the Surface isn’t the greatest).

Also missing, which would be handy, are screen brightness buttons. You can hot-key this yourself, by using Fn+Backspace and Fn+Del, but dedicated buttons would be nice, as there is only one Fn key on the Type Cover.

Yes, there are keyboard back-light buttons, but I always have mine off, so who cares?

With the keyboard in its angled up position, it can feel kind of flimsy at times—bending and flexing a bit. Laying the keyboard flat helps with this, and in some cases feels much more comfortable.

Surface Type Cover: The Touchpad

The biggest weakness of the Surface Pro 3 Type Cover? The touchpad.

The Type Cover’s touchpad isn’t very consistent, ranging from too sensitive to not sensitive enough depending how and where I click, or swipe, or which way the wind is blowing. Sometimes it feels like a solid click, other times it feels like I’m pounding away on a piece cardboard.

In a pinch, yes, the touchpad works. At this point though, the Type Cover’s touchpad is not my preference.

My Solution: A Wireless Mouse

I ended up buying a Logitech M310 wireless mouse to use instead of the Type Cover’s touchpad.

wireless mouse

Red, because I didn’t want to look for a black mouse in my backpack.

I went with the Logitech M310 because I wanted to try a wireless mouse (and it was on sale). There were options though: either the M310’s USB nano receiver, or a Bluetooth mouse.

I wanted out of the box plug and play, so the nano receiver option won out (I didn’t want to deal with making sure my Surface and the mouse could ‘talk’ to each other via Bluetooth).

The M310 worked right out of the box: I plugged in the USB receiver, turned on the mouse, and everything worked. No software to install, no ‘finding’ a device. Just plug and play.

(Of course, the trick is remembering to turn off my mouse)

Should You Get the Surface Type Cover?

The thing is, there aren’t many options if you want protection, typing, and mousing with one device. Sure, you could buy separate items, but the Type Cover does hit all these areas.

Despite its quirks, I do find my Type Cover very handy–overpriced, sure–but it performs as advertised.

My advice: get a Type Cover on sale, if you can, and buy a wireless mouse (or just rely on the touch features and the Surface pen)

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geeky cartoonist and writer living in Michigan. Daniel is available for freelance writing and cartooning commissions (Contact Daniel). This post contains affiliate links, unless it doesn't.

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