Gifts for Microsoft Surface Tablet Users

Peripherals and Accessories for Microsoft Surface Tablet Users

Nov 16 2015 - Microsoft's Surface tablets are some of the best Windows based options on the market but they really shine when you add some of the accessories onto the tablet. Here are some ideas of accessories and peripherals that help expand the features, keep it clean or just protect the devices. Be sure to check the descriptions to make sure it supports the appropriate version of the Surface Tablet as not all of these will work with each model.

The Type Cover from Microsoft has received refinements with the release of each new version of the Surface Pro. With the Surface Pro 4, the type cover gets a greatly improved trackpad area making it much more functional than part versions. They keys also offer a more substantial level of feedback making it very well designed for those that want to use the tablet almost like a laptop. Pricing remains unchanged at roughly $130 and is available in five colors. There is still the Type Cover available for the Surface Pro 3 around $120.

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Touch Cover

Microsoft Touch Cover 2
Microsoft Touch Cover 2. ©Microsoft

If you prefer a software cover for either the Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 tablets, there is the option of the Touch Cover 2. This folds over and covers the tablet and provides a laptop style laptop embedded within the interior of the soft cover for those that still would like to type on something other than a virtual keyboard. This does not fit the new Surface Pro 3. It appears to only be available in Black now and is priced around $120.

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Surface Power Cover

Surface Power Cover
Surface Power Cover. ©Microsoft

The powerful components within the Surface Pro tablets mean that they don't have the same battery life as a standard tablet. While they offer a nice long running time, it may not always last an entire work day. Microsoft introduced its Surface Power Cover that takes the basic design of the Type Cover but adds in a lithium polymer batter inside of it to provide it with an additional 70% power capacity to the Surface Pro 2 tablets. This can be a real life saver for those that need the extra running time. It does add a fair amount of bulk to the tablet. Priced at $200. Be warned that this only works with the Surface Pro 2.

The Windows operating systems and the base applications can take up a lot of storage space on the Surface Tablets and the high capacity models can get quite expensive. An inexpensive and easy way to expand your storage is through the use of a microSD card. The SanDisk Ultra 64GB MicroSDXC card offers a good amount of storage space and provides some very fast transfer speeds. The card is also sold with a standard sized SD card adapter to make it easy to use with regular PCs with flash card readers. Priced around $40.

Let's face it, sometimes you don't want to put fingerprints all over your screen or have to use that tiny trackpad found on the Type and Touch covers. Since all of the Surface tablets feature Bluetooth, it is easy to get an external mouse to use with them. The Microsoft Sculpt Comfort is a nice sized mouse that features an ergonomic design and an excellent blue laser for good precision on just about any surface. Priced around $30.

Pretty much all versions of the Surface tablet other than the Surface RT have Miracast support built into them. This is a form of wireless display technology that allows you to display the tablet video onto a larger screen. In order to use this, you need a Miracast compatible receiver on the display. This is where the upcoming Wireless Display Adapter comes in. It features a receiver that connects to any display with a HDMI port and is powered by a standard USB plug jack. It then can receive signals from the Surface Pro tablet or other Miracast compatible Android tablets. Priced around $40.

Over time and use, all the touching of the tablet tends to build up grease and oil that affect how well we can see the screen and just make it look dirty. A nice cleaning cloth can help keep that screen sparkling clean. The 3M microfiber cloth is design for use with electronics and has no trouble cleaning off the glass and surfaces of the tablet without damaging it. Priced between $5 and $15 depending upon the size.

The Surface Pro tablets offer as much performance as standard ultrabook computer such that they can actually be a primary computer. The only downside to this is the limited peripheral expansion when it is used in an office. The Surface Dock allows a Surface Pro 3 or 4 tablet to charge up, connect to up to four USB devices and use an external DisplayPort monitor. It even has an Ethernet port for connecting into a wired network. Priced at $200. It is also compatible with the Surface Book.

Netflix Streaming
Netflix Streaming. ©Netflix

Tablets are great portable media devices but you have to have access to the content. Netflix is currently the most popular of the streaming media services. In the past, the company allowed people to directly purchase gift subscriptions but they have stopped this in favor of a new gift card system. Now instead of buying someone a subscription, you purchase a card with a value amount that can be applied to someone's subscription balance. Netflix does not sell these direct and instead sells them through Best Buy and many other retailers that sell gift cards. More »