The tablet game has come a long way since 2010 (feels like it was longer ago, doesn’t it?). And, as the market sees more competition, it gets harder and harder for each player to stand out from the crowd. The Microsoft Surface did that by offering users possibly the best fusion of a notebook and tablet in one device. Now, with the release of the Surface 2, Microsoft is doing it again by offering one of the most robust line of branded accessories for any tablet. And branded accessories are nice to have – it beats filling up your desk with a Frankenstein’s monster pastiche of odds and ends that don’t quite mesh together aesthetically (or sometimes, electronically). So, it’s nice to see a company offer a full range of accessories for their tablet, so you can get the most out of it in any setting.
When it comes to input, your accessories need to be just as portable as the Surface. That’s why Microsoft has the Wedge Touch Mouse and the Arc Touch Mouse – Surface Edition. The $70 Wedge Touch Mouse can connect wirelessly to the Surface, and fits in your pocket once it’s time to pack up. Microsoft’s classic Arc Touch Mouse, which can be pushed flat for packing, fits well in your hand and is now optimized for the Surface, also for $70. The $30 Surface Pro Pen is the perfect stylus to use for anything from handwritten notes to new works of art on Fresh Paint.
Keep your Surface Pro 2 well-equipped at home or on the go. When your wheels have finally been put to rest, you can take your Surface and put it in the $200 docking station. It’s not just a charging station – on the back, you’ll find one USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports, a Mini DisplayPort, an ethernet jack, and microphone and headphone jacks.
You can use all of your peripherals with Surface, bringing it one step closer to being your all-in-one computer. When it’s time to head out, you can safely tuck your Surface away in a Rebecca or Ben Minkoff designer sleeve, all of which come in at under $60.
But, when we’re talking about the Surface, the covers are where it’s at. The Touch and Type Covers hardly need introduction – Surface’s now-iconic colorful keyboard covers are now 1 mm thinner than before, and are available for between $80 and $120. The Touch Cover 2 now features 1,092 sensors, uniform backlighting, predictive text, and can automatically shut down when not in use to save power. But, for the Surface 2, Microsoft is getting creative when it comes to what’s possible with those ultra-thin, ultra-light covers.
The upcoming $200 Power Cover combines a keyboard with an extra battery to keep the Surface going for even longer when you’re on the road.
But, the Surface Music Kit is what should really be getting you excited about what’s in store for Surface in the years to come. Looking deceptively like a keyboard cover, the Music Kit instead features touch DJ controls that make it simple for anyone to create remixes and mashups of their favorite songs on the fly. Even if you’re not into the DJ scene, you have to be intrigued by the Music Kit – it’s surely a sign of things to come, considering all the software you can find native on Windows 8. And, that’s just scratching the surface (incidentally, if you do fear scratching the Surface, the $20 Incipio PLEX Self-Healing Screen Protector will set your mind at ease). There are plenty of other accessories made just for Surface that help to make Microsoft’s tablet one of the top contenders in the tablet market. Check them out and see for yourself!