Brydge made its name creating high-end keyboards for iPads, but the company just announced that it’s branching out to Microsoft’s Surface Pro models. We went hands-on with the Brydge 12.3 at CES 2017.
Design and Build
The prototype of the 12.3-inch version we tried out at this trade show looks much like the Brydge 12.9 we recently reviewed: it attaches to one side of the computer with a pair of clips that do double duty as hinges.
This converts Microsoft’s tablet into a 2-in-1 laptop. It is compatible with both the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Pro 3. This add-on is 0.3 in. thick and weighs in a 1.3 lbs. We found it feels surprisingly light when held in the hand, but still solidly constructed, as its chassis is solid aluminum.
Microsoft dominates the market for Surface Pro add-on keyboards with its Type Cover, even though this accessory isn’t sold bundled with the computer. This means Brydge has offer a product superior to Microsoft’s to have a hope of succeeding.
One of the ways it is attempting to stand out is by removing the need for the tablet’s kickstand, instead going with a more traditional clamshell design with 180-degree screen rotation. Beyond that, there will be a version of the Brydge 12.3 with a built-in 128GB SSD, bringing additional storage that can be used as a back-up drive.