One of the many stories of last month's Surface Pro 4 launch was the new keyboard, which is not only easier to use but available with an embedded fingerprint scanner that'll let you login using the new Windows Hello authentication feature in Windows 10.
The new Surface Pro 4 keyboard has thicker keys that are more responsive and more widely spaced, making it much easier to type than the previous version. The wider trackpad is also much easier to use. Having used one in place of the original keyboard offered with the Surface Pro 3, it clearly is much easier to type on.
Just as useful is the built-in fingerprint scanner that lets me log into Windows by touching it rather than inputting my password. Not only does it dispense with the tedious effort of typing in a password to get into Windows but it's more secure. Right now the scanner, which implements Windows Hello, is limited in that you still must use your password for other systems and sites but it was worth the $30 premium for the keyboard.
Perhaps you're wondering why Microsoft didn't put the fingerprint scanner on all the new keyboards for the Surface Pro 4? The reason seems to be support for earlier Surface models. The new Surface Pro 4's camera can enable Windows Hello using facial recognition. Older Surface systems don't have that camera, and those users may still want the fingerprint scanner option.
Even if you purchased a Surface Pro 3 when it was released in June of last year, you'd be hard-pressed to replace it at this point with the new system unless you have a real need for more storage or the new processor. But swapping out the new keyboard can go a long way to make it feel new and improved.
Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 11/09/2015 at 12:49 PM
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