Turn Your Surface Pro Into The Surface Book Mini - Brydge 12.3 Pro
Do you own a Surface Pro device and miss the stability of a laptop? Well continue reading because this keyboard MIGHT be what you are looking for!
Many Surface Pro 3 & 4 users have been wanting an premium alternative keyboard for their device. Unlike third party manufactures such as: Logitech and Zagg who are making plastic cases with inbuilt keyboards - Brydge decided to take another approach.
Brydge created the 12.3" Pro - a unique keyboard that transforms your Surface Pro into a Surface Book like device. The 12.3" Pro uses aluminium for the casing of the keyboard with solidly built island style key caps. The trackpad also uses frosted glass, making many Apple Mac users feel right at home when navigating and scrolling.
The Surface Pro mounts onto the Brydge 12.3" Pro via two clamps on the keyboard. The clamps on each side of the keyboard firmly attaches to your Surface device. With the amount of pressure the clamps provide, you can leave your mind at rest knowing the keyboard will not randomly let go of the device. HOWEVER! There may be some draw backs to this clamp design - will get to that in a second.
Brydge designed the 12.3" Pro with backward compatibility in mind, including 2 rubber shims to ensure perfect fit with the Surface Pro 3 & 4. According to Brydge Reps, this keyboard is also compatible with the upcoming Surface Pro 2017 - future proofing is the way to go right?!
After 1 whole month with this keyboard - I would like to provide my opinions for this keyboard; summarising into a review like write up for you. To keep this post as simple as possible, I will go straight to the Pros and Cons of this premium accessory. So lets get started!
This premium keyboard is built really well! Really sturdy and well weighted for one finger opening. Brydge designed the 12.3 Pro to fit your Surface device perfectly, making the keyboard feel like it was destined to replace your Type Covers. The rubber feet on the bottom performs magnificently, preventing the Surface device from sliding during operation. Each of the hinges on the keyboard is sturdy and will not tilt while using touch screen functionality. Brydge has rated the battery life up 3 months with the back-lit keys on, even though I have only used this keyboard for a month - I have left the back lit LEDs on with the brightest setting available with no problems. The keyboard layout remains similar to the Microsoft Type covers - thankfully! The enter and shift keys remain a comfortable size without requiring any memory readjusting. Brydge had also integrated some useful F Number key shortcuts to improve productivity and usability.
With many pros does not mean this keyboard is flawless in the way it performs and function. The Trackpad on this keyboard is small. When I mean small, it is tiny - it really reminds me of budget friendly notebooks that you purchase for around $100-300. Out of the box, the trackpad is not very responsive nor is it optimised for a high resoluton display like on the Surface Pro. To overcome this problem, I had to find the sensitivity settings for my computer and enabled "Enhance Precision" achieve a better experience. Draw back of enhancing the precision of the trackpad is the added acceleration - causing the pointer to be inconsistent with tracking your finger position.
Since this keyboard communicates with your device using Bluetooth 3.0, users may run into some response lag or key spam which had happened to me once. The lag is not terrible, however it is noticeable after spending large period of time using physical connected peripherals.
Lastly I am unsure if I have a bad copy of this keyboard, but I am experiencing inconsistency while typing - mostly with the letter 'I'. I tend to type swiftly and prefer not to smack my fingers on the keys - quick story short, I am a light typer. This style of typing works really well with this keyboard, however the letter 'i' does not register really well unless I type on that key harder than the others.
At the end of the day, this keyboard is well built and definitely very enjoyable to type on. For some, this keyboard may be a deal breaker because of the slight delay while typing, inaccurate tracking and small track-pad. However for people who mainly use an external mouse for accurate tracking and use their Surface Pro on their lap - this keyboard may be the one you are looking for!