CNet’s Scott Stein likes the Surface’s keyboard cover and thinks Tuesday’s iPad announcements were a “missed opportunity”:
Apple used to have its own keyboard accessory when the iPad first debuted: it was a physical keyboard dock. So, obviously, Apple’s not opposed to keyboards and iPads. I don’t even necessarily need a trackpad on my keyboard. But I do want a smarter keyboard accessory that elevates the iPad to a new level. That’s what I hoped Apple would do for the iPad Air. It didn’t happen. But, hopefully, in the future, it will.
The problem with iPad keyboard covers is that even the full-size iPad isn’t wide enough to accommodate a full-sized keyboard. Microsoft gave the Surface a different aspect ratio, so it’s more than an inch wider than the iPad in landscape. That gave them the room to make a full-sized keyboard. Apple doesn’t have that luxury and they’re not the kind of company that’s going to make a crappy half-solution. Maybe they can solve that problem somehow, but I doubt they’d do it by cramming the same set of keys into a smaller space.