On August 17th, Brydge will begin selling a new line of surface accessories bearing the “Designed for Surface” badge, which means they are made in partnership with Microsoft. The range includes keyboards for Surface Pro and Surface Go. However, the most intriguing product in the group is the standalone W-Touch trackpad for $ 99.99. It appears to be the first standalone wireless trackpad for Windows 10.
The W-Touch is like a Magic Trackpad 2, which was instead developed for Windows 10 and is coated in a striking black with an aluminum construction. It has Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and supports precision drivers and multi-touch gestures like pinch to zoom and multi-finger swipe to switch desktops. This trackpad has a large glass surface that is easy to move around. It is 5.5 inches in diameter and 3.3 inches in depth. So it̵
The W-Touch should have a battery life of one month and be charged via USB-C. A hundred dollars isn’t cheap for a trackpad, but as the only standalone wireless option made in partnership with Microsoft, Brydge can set the price. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but it could be a great accessory if a mouse doesn’t go with your workflow.
Brydge also publishes the W-Type to complement the W-Touch. It is a full size wireless keyboard with aluminum details and a full set of function keys. Right off the bat, it appears to be excellent value at $ 59.99. The overall design, and even the printing on the keys, make it look like an accessory Microsoft might make – and potentially grossly overwhelmed. The keys use a scissor mechanism and each have a spring travel of 2 mm. Brydge claims this is the “perfect” key stroke. If it has something to do with what the Surface Laptop 3 has built in, there are plenty of reasons to be excited.
This model has Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity with support for up to four devices, so you can easily switch the computer it is connected to. Brydge claims it could take up to a month for a fee. If it fails, you can charge it via USB-C.
The range is rounded off by the new keyboards Brydge 12.3 Pro Plus and 10.5 Go Plus. The $ 149.99 Pro Plus model works with Surface Pro 4, 5, 6, and 7, while the $ 129.99 Go Plus works with Surface Go and Go 2. Both models have Bluetooth 5.0, illuminated buttons, Windows Precision trackpads with full support for multi-touch gestures. USB-C ports for charging and an antimicrobial coating on the deck. Brydge has had a keyboard for the Surface Pro for a while – this new model has a redesigned hinge, a 70 percent larger trackpad, native multi-touch controls on Windows, updated Bluetooth connectivity, and a plastic deck unlike aluminum. (The bottom of the keyboard is still made of metal.) It also weighs 70 grams less.
Like the Brydge Pro Plus keyboard for iPad Pro, these transform your Surface into a more traditional clamshell laptop that can be easily balanced on your lap or closed and tossed into a pocket. If you want to use the surface as a tablet, you can simply remove it from the Brydge’s hinge and get started.
Compared to Microsoft’s Surface keyboards, the Brydge offers a more stable typing experience and longer key movements. It does need to be charged roughly every three months, however, and Bluetooth isn’t as reliable to connect as the pogo pins that the Surface keyboards use. It also makes the interface noticeably thicker and heavier, but it’s still a pretty portable package.
All of these products will go on sale on August 17th. Aside from 10.5 Go Plus, which ships in the week of September 7th, the others ship in the week of August 31st.