Microsoft is finally making a move to improve Surface Pro tablet battery life, and it doesn't involve the less power-hungry Haswell CPUs that we expect in the upcoming Surface Pro 2 tablets. Instead, on Thursday Neowin.net reported that Microsoft is working on a keyboard / cover for the device that will include a battery.
It's something other manufacturers have done. The Acer Iconia Tab W510, for example, has a tablet keyboard dock with a battery that extends battery life to up to 18 hours. That device, though, doesn't sport the power-hungry Ivy Bridge processor that the Surface Pro does. Still, months ago Microsoft teased the fact that the spine used to connect the Surface Pro to a keyboard case could carry power.
The new cover, dubbed the "Power Cover," could increase the battery life of the Surface Pro 2 to a full work day, according to the report. Already, earlier reports said that a fully-charged Haswell-based Surface Pro 2 would carry about seven hours of power, vs. the current generation's four to five hours -- and that was sans a juiced-up keyboard case.
Key to an upsurge in adoption for Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet will be pricing. So far, pricing for both the upgraded device and any accessories remain unknown. If Microsoft continues to market the device as one that -- decked out (no pun intended) with the keyboard dock that makes it truly functional -- costs upwards of $1,000, it may be a tough sell, vs. the iPad.
Microsoft has not yet announced the device, so a release date is also unknown.
As far as possible backwards compatibility goes, that is possible, but sources say that it will not work with the current generation of Surface RT tablets.