Say Hello with Microsoft’s Modern Keyboard

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.

Comments closed
    • Pettytheft
    • 2 years ago

    I love these types of keyboards. Simply because they are easy to clean.

    • TEAMSWITCHER
    • 2 years ago

    I don’t get the purpose of a fingerprint reader on a desktop keyboard. If someone is inside your house … or has physical access to your computer … you have a much bigger security problem.

      • Hinton
      • 2 years ago

      You probably don’t understand why phones have fingerprint readers either.

      Enjoy typing your pincode each time you unlock it. “rolls eyes”.

        • Ryu Connor
        • 2 years ago

        Biometric as an authentication factor are terrible.

        Typing that password every time is, generally speaking, a better choice.

        [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXC21g2bYFY[/url<] [url<]https://arstechnica.com/security/2014/12/politicians-fingerprint-reproduced-using-photos-of-her-hands/[/url<] [url<]https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/10/virginia-judge-police-can-demand-a-suspect-unlock-a-phone-with-a-fingerprint/[/url<]

          • cphite
          • 2 years ago

          Sure, there are vulnerabilities with biometric authentication… but there are also vulnerabilities to passwords. No security method is absolute.

          And given that neither method is foolproof, some folks prefer the one that is faster and easier.

            • Ryu Connor
            • 2 years ago

            Nope.

            This is not an issue of both having equal issues.

            Something you are is objective worse than something you know.

        • Waco
        • 2 years ago

        …because people are lazy and don’t understand security?

        Biometrics are great to *add* to passwords as a form of authentication, but they are not a replacement.

    • odizzido
    • 2 years ago

    Seems like it would be harder to pop out the Windows keys on this. I do like laptop style keys though. Too bad it’s wireless.

      • Flying Fox
      • 2 years ago

      Please read more carefully.
      [quote<]Alternatively, you can just hook a USB cable to the Modern keyboard.[/quote<]

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      I have a gaming keyboard with a windows key that can be disabled.

      But I got to thinking, since the WASD rows are the most used in gaming, if you want people to avoid accidentally hitting the Win key in games, why don’t manufacturers just move the windows key to the right side and swap it with the Menu/Option key?

        • curtisb
        • 2 years ago

        A lot of keyboards have the Windows Key on both sides of the keyboard. I personally like that because I use Win+L to lock my machine, and having it on that side makes it easy to do one handed as I’m getting up from my desk.

        I’m fairly certain most games ignore the Windows key these days…or is that something with Windows 10 when it detects a game running? I’ve never really had an issue hitting it accidentally so I haven’t really noticed if it’s just modern games or something Windows is doing now. There are times when I may want to leave a game running in the background while I do something else real quick. Most times I have to Ctrl+Alt+Del and open Task Manager or Alt+Tab out. Ctrl+Shift+Esc (Task Manager shortcut keys) will sometimes work, too.

    • End User
    • 2 years ago

    I am fucking pissed off at M$. I bought the original Surface Keyboard 3 months ago. I love it but for fuxks sakes I would have preferred they would have waited to release it with the fingerprint scanner.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 2 years ago

    but where are the large tiles instead of small keys? not Modern enough, sorry

    • floodo1
    • 2 years ago

    Lol just because Apple made a keyboard like this doesn’t mean MS should!

    • Laykun
    • 2 years ago

    Modern = functionality compromises.

    • maxxcool
    • 2 years ago

    huh .. a MAC keyboard ..

      • End User
      • 2 years ago

      Mac

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Well that’s not bad, I don’t know why my first thought was a keyboard with dedicated dabbing and fidget spinner buttons

    • adisor19
    • 2 years ago

    Damn, once again MS is doing first what Apple should have done already. We live in interesting times..

    Adi

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      Seriously — Apple should have done this years ago.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      Just wait until Apple does it too and tells you they did it more amazingly first.

        • UberGerbil
        • 2 years ago

        These days it’s less Apple doing it than their fans who insist we’ve always been at war with Eastasia

        • LeoScott
        • 2 years ago

        And charges you 2x the price.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Seriously, where the heck is TouchID on desktops? $5000 (starting) iMac Pro doesn’t have what the 13″ touchbar does.

      • bandannaman
      • 2 years ago

      Agreed. Such courage!

      • End User
      • 2 years ago

      Did M$ release it with a touch bar? No, so both M$ and Apple have failed at the same fuxking time.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    No Alcantara? Pffft.

      • Growler
      • 2 years ago

      Seriously! What are we, poors? Alcantara or sayonara.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 2 years ago

      No kidding, needs moar alcantara.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 2 years ago

    TR, have mercy on me:
    [quote<]some people actually prefer the feel of a laptop keyboard to something beefier[/quote<] I am guilty. I like the shorter ~2mm throw and spacing of not-Macbook chiclets. Also, the noise... At work, the entire big data team went through a mechanical keyboard phase, and even the "quiet" ones with O-rings make it sound like typewriter central over there. I like tactile response as much as anyone else, but to me the only thing worse than a [i<]visually[/i<] loud keyboard is an ACTUALLY LOUD KEYBOARD... THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS USING. One of my coworkers had to stop using his MX blue keyboard because his neighbor complained of his late night programming. That said, I've always wanted a solid chiclet keyboard with on-the-fly macro recording. I never considered a fingerprint reader, and now I'm conflicted.

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      Not possible in every office but that’s what headphones are for. Back when I was doing on-site contract work my bag included my own personal Model M and [i<]two[/i<] sets of headphones -- one for me, and one for a potential office partner that might want to borrow it.

        • Major-Failure
        • 2 years ago

        I worked in a company like this for a while and if anything, having to use headphones at work to be able to concentrate is a clear sign that too many people are working in the same space (which of course isn’t the employee’s fault per se).

        Also, depending on what type of headphone you use, it’s an additional strain for your neck extensors, a muscle group that is already under heavy fire among office workers. The resulting forward head posture and potential shoulder issues will increase risk of labral tears or more unspecific chronic shoulder (or neck) pain with overhead or throwing movements.

        hashtag, speaking from experience :-/

          • kvndoom
          • 2 years ago

          When I have to use headphones at work, it’s usually because, contrary to company policy, people just will not shut the hell up about religion and politics.

          • Flying Fox
          • 2 years ago

          So which type is bad?

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      My regular workhorse is actually a Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop. It’s served me well for the last ~3 years but I’m going to have to ditch it because a couple keys are getting “mushy” and it’s impossible to clean. Why MS made this thing “impossible” to open I’ll never know.

      And no, I don’t have patience to remove, clean, and re-attach every single key separately.

        • Flying Fox
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]Why MS made this thing "impossible" to open I'll never know.[/quote<] Because they are copying Apple with unserviceable stuff?

    • christos_thski
    • 2 years ago

    I love the fingerprint functionality but low profile keys are a deal breaker for me. Hope they get to releasing a normal wired keyboard with fingerprint ID.

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      If they were smart they’d re-release their “classic” ergo keyboard with that functionality — there’s a small but vocal group that passionately hoards the old ones.

      And yeah, a normal wired mechanical with that feature would make a lot of sense.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Have all of my upvotes!
        [i<]- member of a small but vocal group with hoarding tendencies.[/i<]

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]Microsoft does admit that this range will be shorter an an electrically-noisy environment like an office, and estimates a more realistic 23' (7 meters) under real-world conditions. [/quote<] I'm not ordering until they can certify it for use around my Tesla coil. -- Kane

      • BoilerGamer
      • 2 years ago

      >I’m not ordering until they can certify it for use around my Tesla coil.
      — Kane

      Kane/NOD doesn’t get Tesla Coil(exclusive to Soviets in RA series), they get Obelisk of Light so you are mixing up your CnC lore across the Tiberium and the RA series, you should have signed that

      I’m not ordering until they can certify it for use around my Tesla coil.
      — Stalin

        • Beahmont
        • 2 years ago

        Not really. Kane shots Stalin in the proper and official ending to Red Alert that leads to the CnC 1 future.

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