Several new reports claim Microsoft will release a new “Power Cover” accessory later this year capable of charging the company’s lineup of Surface devices, excluding the existing RT version. Following up on Surface Pro 2 rumors that emerged this week, sources claim Microsoft’s new covers will take advantage of new connector technology that supports the battery-equipped keyboard. The new Power Cover will allegedly be around the same thickness as the current Type Cover.
With Surface Pro 2 rumors starting to crop up, we imagine the Power Cover will hit around that device’s release—hopefully it won’t cost an arm and a leg. Keyboard accessories that also charge their tablet companions are nothing new, though it’s an expected addition to Microsoft’s arsenal. At this point, however, it’s unclear how long the Power Cover would extend the Surface’s battery; a few hours would be a miracle given how thin Microsoft’s covers are.
Microsoft’s existing Surface covers are nice, and should be acknowledged as brilliant feats of engineering. But they’re a tough sell, especially at the price point they originally sold for. Adding the benefit of extended battery will be terrific marketing fodder to get Power Covers off store shelves. But that’s assuming people will buy, or currently own, or Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2.
When the Surface Pro 2 does hit later this year, we’re expecting the device to come equipped with a Haswell chip, Windows 8.1 and 8GB of RAM; Surface 2 may possibly hit with a Tegra 4 processor. With Windows 8.1’s Oct. 18 release fast approaching, perhaps we’ll see something around then.