Say Hello with Microsoft's Modern Keyboard


— 10:00 AM on June 16, 2017

If you can believe it, some people actually prefer the feel of a laptop keyboard to something beefier. Most likely, these folks enjoy the short throw and rapid response of the low-profile keys. Those aficionados can look forward to Microsoft's new "Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID." Nearly identical externally to the recently-released Surface Keyboard, the Modern keyboard adds an optional wired connection and—obviously—a fingerprint scanner.

The fingerprint sensor lives under the right-hand Windows key and provides an easy avenue for automated login via Windows Hello. Like the Surface Keyboard before it, the Modern keyboard is constructed almost entirely of aluminum. Thanks to that, it weighs just nearly a pound, and Microsoft says it's "virtually indestructible." The Modern keyboard includes two AAA rechargeable batteries that should be good for two month's usage on a full charge.

The Modern keyboard has a maximum range of up to 50' (15 meters). Microsoft does admit that this range will be shorter in an electrically-noisy environment like an office, and estimates a more realistic 23' (7 meters) under real-world conditions. In its wireless mode, the keyboard uses Bluetooth 4.0 and supports Android from version 4.4 on, macOS from version 10.10.5 and up, iOS from version 8.1, and of course Windows 8 and later. Alternatively, you can just hook a USB cable to the Modern keyboard.

Microsoft didn't elaborate on when the Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID will be available beyond a vague "coming soon" on the store page. When it becomes available, it'll run you up $130. If you don't need the wired functionality or the fingerprint scanner, the previous Surface Keyboard will get you to the same place for $30 cheaper. You could also hold out for Tesoro's RGB LED-equipped slim keyboard later this year.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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