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Brydge - 12.3 Wireless Keyboard for Microsoft Surface Pro - Silver

Replace the keyboard of your Microsoft Surface Pro, Pro 3 or Pro 4 with this silver Brydge keyboard. It conveniently lets you open the screen at your preferred viewing angle without a kickstand, and its backlit keys increase visibility in low light working environments. This Brydge keyboard is lightweight, so it doesn't add extra bulk to your device.

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$129.99

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    Overview

    What's Included


    • Brydge 12.3 Wireless Keyboard for Microsoft Surface Pro
    • Owner's manual
    • USB power cable

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    86% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (186 out of 217)

    Features


    LED backlit keys

    Provide a consistent and confident typing experience in low to no light conditions. Three levels of light to meet your visibility needs, and allowing you to control your workspace.

    Lightweight design

    Forged out of solid aluminum, the Brydge 12.3 bring a unique combination of strength and protection, all within a precision engineered lightweight body.

    Perfect angle from 0-160 degrees

    Lets you open the screen at your preferred viewing angle without a kickstand.

    Bluetooth interface

    Enables a simple wireless connection to your computer.

    Compatible with Microsoft Surface Pro, Pro 4 and Pro 3

    For use with your existing model.

    *Microsoft Surface Pro sold separately.


    Customer rating

    Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 217 reviews

    86%
    would recommend to a friend

    Pros

    Cons

    Most relevant reviews

    See all customer reviews
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A perfect way to turn your tablet into a laptop!

      Posted
      TheTechNugget
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      Suppose you want to turn your Surface Pro 3 or 4 into a laptop, but the likes of Microsoft’s specially designed keyboards isn’t meeting your needs. There are plenty of options out there, but as far as this review is concerned, we will take a deeper dive into the Brydge 12.3 Wireless Keyboard for the Surface Pro 3. The device came to me with no charge—but after a short time connected to a USB charger using the provided Micro-USB cable, all was right again in the world and I was ready to get started with pairing and attaching it to my SP3. The pairing process was smooth and simple, a standard 6-digit entry code provided by my Surface and we were off to the races. The physical connection, though, was a bit more involved. The Byrdge 12.3 uses a pair of independently-hinged channels that hug (very snugly) the edge of the Surface. Out of the box, the keyboard comes with extra-thick rubber padding installed on the channels to accommodate the thinner body of the SP4—but included in the box is an alternate pair of rubber pads that can be swapped out with the pre-installed ones. It took a little bit of concentration to ensure the pads were properly seated—but once installed I was able to slide my Surface right into the channels and start it up. Annoyingly—upon startup, there was a small light-bleed effect on the edge of the screen near where the channels were obviously pinching too tight on the device. Now, I’ll admit, the dbrand skin installed on the back of my Surface could have impacted the thickness of the whole device in a way to cause said pinching—but I had to manually “stretch” the channels to accommodate a little more thickness while preventing the light-bleed effect. A minor setback, and one that you only have to tolerate once—but still it would be nice if the included feet accounted for an appropriately sized device. dbrand skins are pretty thin so I wouldn’t think that the change would be that impactful. A few more comments about form factor. If you’re a Surface user, you know these things aren’t all that light—I mean sure, they’re compact and easy to carry in a bag, but turning it into a true laptop would require a base that offsets the weight of the “screen” component, in order to prevent tipping when using the touchschreen. And, in order to do that effectively, the weight of the base (if it occupies the same overall footprint) would have to be slightly greater than the weight of the Surface without it. The net effect here is a doubling of your current device’s weight, which is something to consider if you already carry around a bunch of stuff. I’d guess that the hinge design of the channels that hold the Surface is partly to credit for the execution of a base that isn’t overtly heavy—pushing some of the weight shift to the bottom of the keyboard, and raising the back level slightly in order for a minimally more ergonomic feel. It’s a very nice design overall, albeit a bit of a heavy one. And finally, to cover the hinge itself—from a durability standpoint I have no immediate concerns, as it seems these hinges are strong enough to take some abuse from opening/closing frequently and also capturing additional impacts from using the touch screen while in this “laptop” form factor. I think it’s an interesting design choice to make the hinges independent from one another—which may or may not be a decision around durability. In either case, the hinge is solid-feeling and while opening the “laptop” requires two hands, very few manufacturers have mastered that to begin with. On to the feel of the keyboard and the corresponding trackpad. In general I like the “clackiness” of the keys, in their chiclet style, and the spacing is perfect for my hands. One of the biggest downfalls to tablet keyboards is often in the size arena, and I’m happy to report that this keyboard has good key spacing, enough to make it comfortable for long periods of typing (writing reviews, perhaps…). I will admit, during my initial use I was a bit turned off from the keyboard because of how hard I found I had to press on the keys—but this is largely in part due to regularly using and typing on the new MacBook Pro keyboards with the second-gen butterfly hinges. The Brydge 12.3 is certainly not in the same category, but key travel is still reasonable and comfortable once you spend some time with it. The keyboard is also a backlit one, with 3 levels of backlighting based upon your needs. Personally, I’m not a huge backlit keyboard fan in general, but I understand the appeal and the importance of providing the option—so kudos to Brydge for that. Otherwise, the key set is relatively standard, with function keys that double as multimedia keys—an option that can be toggled with a function-lock shortcut. The trackpad seems to be glass and is extremely responsive and sensitive to the touch. I’ve been jaded over the years by the amazing trackpads that Apple puts out on its laptops—and I find this one a suitable competitor, if only a bit on the small side. It’s still totally usable, and the Windows 10 gestures are fully functional as well. And while I know this is totally a matter of personal preference, I really don’t like trackpads that have a physical click. I understand that there are certain things, like click-drag and drop, that are very hard to do without a physical click, but it’s just not my style. The physical click on this trackpad is one you really have to work for, and it seems that the right side of the trackpad is devoted to a right-click when physically pressed, although not with 100% accuracy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; it’s probably just a matter of getting used to it. But, all the negative aside—it is a very good trackpad that requires very little adjustment to make it truly great. So in general, the input experience—both with the keyboard and the trackpad—is very good. The build quality is good, the keys are responsive and clacky with the right amount of travel. But what about the “laptop” experience? Too often, add-on keyboards for tablets make for a not-so-great design that sits awkward in the lap, if it even can. Take for instance the Surface Type covers—or the Surface Pro in general—it is just not ideal for use in your lap. The same can be said for the iPad Pro keyboard covers which make for an acceptable, certainly not ideal, lap experience; and in general, if you don’t have a table or desk to work on, it’s not a great time. The same cannot be said for the Brydge 12.3, at least not initially. Due to the keyboard’s heft, it makes lap use reasonably comfortable. The size of the keyboard makes it usable for someone with larger legs (if that sentence doesn’t make sense to you—move on; the people who understand will appreciate the sentiment). On the surface (**wink**), it’s a relatively good experience. Where that experience starts to break down, though, is on extended use: the hinged channels protrude downward from the bottom of the keyboard, which has two results: First, on a flat surface, it slightly raises the back of the keyboard for a more ergonomic experience (mentioned that before); but second, during lap use, the protrusion digs into your legs a little bit and can get uncomfortable over time. This is easily remedied with a binder under the device during lap use, or if you want to get one of those fancy lap-boards, or if you’re like me you can use your MacBook Pro. It’s also worth mentioning that, since the computer component of the laptop is all in the screen, there is zero temperature impact to your legs while using this on your lap, something that can’t be said for most laptops. The only other complaint—and I’m fishing here—is the inclusion of two rubber feet on the top of the keyboard surface, in the lower left and right corners, that serve as a cushion for the Surface’s screen when the device is in the closed position. It’s a minor thing, but recognizing that including them is more good than bad, sometimes when typing your wrists slide across the feet and can be a little bit uncomfortable. Again, not a huge deal, but still worth mentioning. Based upon my recent experience with just how good a machine the Surface Pro 3 is, even a few years old, even refurbished, I think the ideal user is someone who already has one of these tablets that really wants that true laptop experience. No, when closed it doesn’t sit completely flat—but it does a good enough job transforming your tablet into a laptop screen. And as I’ve mentioned, Microsoft’s Type Covers don’t always help you in all scenarios—specifically, during lap use. They are a little bit cheaper than the Brydge 12.3, but not enough to justify the loss in adaptability. And from a durability perspective, I wouldn’t expect them to outlast Brydge’s product. Other than that, there aren’t a ton of competitors that offer a similar product. Brydge also offers an upgraded model with an SSD, which you can consider if you went after the base model Surface like I did. If you already have a keyboard for your surface, and you’re relatively satisfied with it—this may not be the route you go for now. At the price point it delivers, and you might consider it to upgrade it and give it a new look—or even to provide some additional performance while on a business trip, or any other time you’d lean more toward long stretches of keyboard or mouse use with your Surface. If you’re in the market for a tablet and have limited funds—I’d encourage you again to see my previous review on the refurb SP3 unit and consider that as an entry-level option; adding the Brydge 12.3 keeps your investment under $500, a

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Best surface keyboard I've used, hands down!

      Posted
      Batlacit
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Much of the review could be summed up with one sentence: "This thing is absolutely awesome." I have been using Surface and Surface-like form factors as my primary portable computer for about five years now. And I've been very happy with the experience for the most part. The first one I got was motivated more by the fact that it was the best one to use with a pen than anything else, and while I was satisfied with the snap-on keyboard and kickstand support, "satisfied' is really about as far as I would go with it. As anyone who has used a kickstand based machine on a train or airplane can attest, it's often a pain to work with. The shallow travel of the keys isn't particularly satisfying to use, and the less said about the knuckle-punishing fabric keyboards that came with the first generation surface the better. And there are just an abundance of places where there isn't a good place to use the kickstand. Well, this keyboard pretty much fixes all of that. I hadn't realized just how much I had missed being able to just set my computer on my actual lap and type anywhere until I stuck my computer into this wonderful little accessory and started working. The thing improved my productivity simply because I no longer have a lingering reluctance to pull out the computer when I don't have an optimal surface to set it up on. Looking beyond the concept, the product itself is just as impressive. It's got a bit of heft to it that makes it just a little heavier than the Surface itself, much of which goes to an oversized battery they advertise will work for 3 months of heavy use. Usually I feel compelled to stress test battery life claims to see what they actually are, but in this one case I'm willing to let that number stand simply for logistical reasons. The milled aluminum case is sturdy and pleasant to work with, the glass touchpad is wonderfully smooth and responsive, and the keyboard itself has great action on all the keys. It's also got plenty of nice extras including illuminated keys, dedicated function buttons, multi-touch support, and a button to quickly check that massive never-ending battery. Now that said, there are a couple of things that could count as downsides. For a start, the fact that this thing needs an internal battery. Unlike the official Surface keyboards, this thing works on a bluetooth connection. I'm not entirely sure that's a bad thing in all cases, since it does mean you can use the keyboard in a non-laptop configuration and even with other Surface-like tablets if you want (which I confirmed do work, though they look amazingly silly.) But the downside is that you do get all the problems that typically come with bluetooth keyboards, like a slight amount of input lag at higher typing speeds (so long as you stay under 100wpm you're probably fine.) The version with an integrated SSD also has a somewhat awkward workaround for this lack of a direct connection in the form of a dangling USB cable running from the Surface USB port to the keyboard. You might also find it takes a little practice before you're able to get the thing correctly lined up with the clips that grip the Surface. And of course there's the fact that this does double the weight of the Surface, but that's pretty much a necessity in creating a stable product. I can't say that I really feel these detract from the experience for me, but they were deal breakers for a few of the other Surface users who checked out the keyboard. But if you're like me and want the traditional laptop option but don't want to spring for a Surface Book, I'd say this is probably the keyboard for you regardless of the trade-offs.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Bravo Brydge!

      Posted
      Technopackrat
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      I purchased my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 a couple of years ago and also picked up the pricey keyboard. While the Microsoft SP3 keyboard is convenient I didn't care too much for the flex while typing. When the Brydge 12.3 keyboard for the Surface Pro 3 & 4 became available I was extremely interested in an upgrade. The Brydge keyboard's aluminum case has a solid feel. The back-lit keys have sufficient tactile feedback and travel to make typing much more pleasant than the Microsoft Surface Pro keyboard. Four rubber feet on the bottom of the keyboard keep it secure in place while typing. The hinge mechanism has rubber spacers that snugly hold the Surface Pro to the keyboard without fear of the two accidentally coming apart. Out of the box the spacers are for a slightly thinner Surface Pro 4 but they do include the silicone spacers for a Surface Pro 3. Swapping was easy but make sure you have everything installed completely. I did have minor issues sliding the Surface Pro into the hinges but that was due to operator error while installing the spacers. Once positioned properly the Surface Pro and Brydge keyboard looked like it a solid laptop. With the Surface Pro up and ready for use the keyboard hinge gives you a slight angle and has silicone feet (actually part of the spacer) that provide non-slip grip while typing. Setup was a fast and easy Bluetooth connection. Brydge also offers the same keyboard with 128GB of memory to provide additional storage for your Surface Pro. For that solid feeling you do pay for it in weight as it is on the heavy side coming in at almost 3 lbs. Most of that weight comes from it's on-board battery which is charged through a micro-USB port. Personally I love this keyboard. While not as thin and lightweight as the Microsoft keyboard it does add stability, no flex and great key response. I've had a few Bluetooth keyboards but none are as solid or integrate easily to the Surface Pro. I having to deal with a stand-alone keyboard for tablets. They only thing I might have done different is add a way to tether the Surface Pro to the keyboard to use the keyboard's battery for emergency power for the tablet if needed (maybe a short cable with Surface Pro charging tip). Brydge keyboards are also available for the iPad Pro 12.9" and 9.7", the new 9.7" iPad, the iPad Air 2, the iPad Air and the iPad Mini 4. I'm definitely picking one up for my 9.7" iPad. All are comparably priced to other alternatives making these a better solution if you don't mind the weight. Pros: + solid feel + looks integrated with the Surface Pro + great key response + back-lit keys + comparable pricing Cons: - relatively heavy - must remember to charge it - hinges are not 360° so you must remove Surface Pro from keyboard if you want to use it as a tablet

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Solid construction but with quirks

      Posted
      CraigB
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
      • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

      Pros Solid all metal construction Similar design qualities to Surface Pro 3 and 4 Good keyboard size Includes trackpad Changeable pads for Pro 3 and 4 tablet Backlit keys Long battery life Automatic Sleep/Wake function Can open to nearly 180 degrees Stays confidently at the set angle Charges via micro USB Automatically installs and configures on pairing Cons Color isn’t an exact match Shape makes it look more like another Surface instead of a base Inserts for Pro 3 do not stay in place as well as Pro 4 Keyboard requires excessive force Trackpad not configurable Keyboard sometimes takes a while to work resuming from hibernation Bottom bumpers have a sharp edge increasing chances of snagging Finger slot of opening too small making opening awkward Hinge resistance excessive for easy opening The Brydge 12.3 keyboard answers a request some Surface Pro owners have been asking for since the beginning, a solid keyboard option. It is compatible with the Surface Pro 3 and 4. It comes with rubber inserts for the Pro 4 and if you have the Pro 3 you need to switch out for the slightly thinner ones since the Pro 3 is just slightly thicker. You could possible leave in the Pro 4 spacers it is not advisable as it puts excessive pressure on the bezel as it holds the tablet and makes insertion and removal difficult. The design attempts to mimic the angular design and metal construction of the tablet and it mostly succeeds. The Brydge feels solid and well built, almost stronger than the tablet itself. While the Brydge attempts to compliment the Surface design and mostly succeeds, the attempt does have some flaws. First, the base uses the same angle as the tablet instead of being straight. Regular laptops have the base design different to make a distinction between base and screen making knowing which side is top or bottom immediately apparent. With Brydge, you must pause and look for clues if you have it oriented correctly. The easiest clues are the large, almost clunky, rubber feet on the bottom. Of course, laptops often have rubber feet on them but, with Brydge looking create a more elegant design they missed a key element of higher end laptops. Normally, the rubber feet are slightly recessed into the base to create a smooth transition. Some even use sleek bumper strips that look more like styling lines. With Brydge, the feet literally feel like they are just stuck to the bottom. Although the adhesive feels solid, this often creates a problem over time as that distinct line of the rubber catches bags and other materials and either is torn or ripped off. Along the lines of complimenting the Surface design, Brydge attempted to mimic the color and texture of the tablet. Overall, the finish is very nice and high quality but fails at mimicking the Surface color and texture. The Brydge uses a slightly darker gray color instead of the light gray/silver color of the Surface. This of course is a small item and does not affect the functionality of the device in any way. However; if you are looking for an exact match and want it to look like it was made by the Surface team it’s not quite there. Most people wouldn’t even notice and be perfectly happy but for those wanting a perfect match it’s not there. The brackets that hold the tablet in place, understandably, stand out. If you are looking to purchase this, functionality is more important than a perfectly sleek compliment. Brydge has done a commendable job as a third-party manufacturer. Aesthetics aside, the most important aspect of the Brydge is functionality. This is where some shortcomings can hinder and overall decent experience. If you have a Surface Pro 3, you will have to change the rubber inserts that hold the tablet. This on it’s own would be ok. The problem is the smaller inserts just didn’t hold in the bracket quite as well. Insertion and removal the tablet required more carful effort as the edges of the rubber would often catch the tablet and try to curl in as the tablet is inserted. Removal also attempts to pull the rubber insert out slightly. The instructions say when changing inserts, adhesive still on the bracket does not affect the replacement but it seems this may not be the case. The brackets also serve as the hinges. The hinges are very strong and hold the tablet confidently at the angle you set. Tension is tighter than traditional laptops. Although this means the combination holds the angle you set confidently it presents a problem. The tension is so great that, combined with the extremely small finger insert, opening the hybrid laptop is difficult. Those with fingernails might have an easier time but opening takes more effort than it should. A nice feature of the Brydge is sleep/wake support. When you close the combination of Brydge and Surface, the keyboard detects the tablet shutting off and goes to sleep as well. Opening also wakes the keyboard. This means no fussing with a power button but you can also conserve battery life. Battery life is estimated to last and average of 3 months, depending on backlight usage, before needing a recharge. The backlight keyboard has three levels of brightness to suite your needs. The keys are space well and even for larger hands don’t feel as cramped as one would think. The keys have a large space between them so you can detect each key distinctly. Key travel is medium compared to other modern laptops but sensitivity is poor. Typing is imprecise requiring very hard presses to register a keypress. If you are a fast typist with a light touch, be prepared to press a lot harder. All but the hardest typist will find the amount of required force excessive and possibly even tiresome. If you are happy with the force required to type on the fabric keyboard of the Surface, you will find the Brydge a test of strength. Hopefully, Brydge will improve this in the future as typing force varied between keys. The I, O, and E key presses were often the ones missed even with strong force. The Brydge also includes a touchpad just like a traditional laptop. On pairing, the keyboard worked almost immediately. Strangely, the mouse took approximately 20 minutes to show up even though the Brydge was said to be fully installed. If you are the type who likes to customize the touchpad tracking speed or you like the speed and sensitivity of the stock fabric keyboard, you are out of luck. Although the touchpad does an acceptable job it not as smooth, fast, or precise as the OEM touchpad. The Brydge 12.3 is a strong effort at providing an option of a hard keyboard and laptop type experience to the Surface Pro 3 and 4 family. If you are happy with your currently Surface fabric keyboard or are just curious about a hard keyboard, you are best sticking with the OEM fabric one. The good thing is that the keyboard doesn’t cost much more than the stock keyboard so if you don’t mind spending the money or just must have a solid base for your Surface, Brydge can be a viable alternative. Just be prepared to strengthen your hands and possibly slow down your typing.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A great alternative that could have been a phenom

      Posted
      TheTruQ
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Sitting here typing this review on the new Brydge 12.3 keyboard, and my first thoughts are, man, these chicklet keys feel great! Brydge has brought their keyboard technology to the Surface Pro series, in an attempt at offering a more flexible and feature rich option for users. Extending the functionality of the iPad is one thing (adding a keyboard for use in email and office related apps), but the Surface presents its own challenges. The operating system offers much more functionality, and that functionality must be accounted for in the best possible experience. Heck, Microsoft already has a keyboard peripheral that is normally sold/purchased on a 1 to 1 basis. I view it as a tall task. The first thing I noticed about this device was the packaging itself. Premium packaging, period. Definitely on par with the Surface device packaging, magnetic box and all – excellent. There is a short but concise instruction sheet, a charging cable, and additional shims (used to attach the tablet to the keyboard). Once I pulled the device out, I immediately could feel the tremendous build quality of the Brydge. It just has that feeling of pristine sturdiness. It is very well built. It feels almost like the magnesium alloy on the Surface – close, but not quite. One thing I noticed, the edges can be a bit sharp, especially the front edge in my case. Not sure if that is consistent across devices, but it’s worth noting. The Brydge 12.3 is a wireless keyboard, using Bluetooth. To get up and running, you must pair the device. It was very easy to put the device in pair mode, but it didn’t initially show in the list as stated in the instructions. I found a generic keyboard in the list, tapped it, and was asked to enter a code on the device. It was a little weird doing so, as the Brydge doesn’t have its own visual interface, but it is clearly noted in the instructions. It worked like a charm, and I was ready to start using the keyboard, or was I? The Brydge uses rubber shims in a stiff hinge to attach to the Surface Pro. The default shims (installed) are designed for the Surface Pro 4. If you are a Surface Pro 3 owner, like me, you will have to remove these shims and replace them with the thinner version. They are provided in the box. After pulling the shims off, it left paper covered glue on the hinges, but the instructions even cover that, encouraging the user to not even worry about the residue. I would say, overall, the setup process was straight forward and fairly easy. Well, how does it perform. Very well, I must say. A very responsive and comfortable keyboard with decent key travel. This thing is nice to type on, with snappy keys, great feedback, and well spaced chicklets, it really feels great. Granted, I have the Type Cover 2, not the newest one, but I loved the experience on it. This though, feels a little Mac Air'ish. I like the layout as well, which is pretty standard, and there isn't an overuse of dual function keys - that can at times be irritating. It has a decent trackpad as well, albeit small. It is very responsive, and functions accurately. Has a decent feel as well. I would love to see adjustments to allow a larger one. Using it in lap is very easy as the hinge radius matches that of the Surface kickstand, and it is heavy enough to prevent easy tipping. About that weight... This thing is heavy, and it adds considerable weight to the Surface Pro experience - thickness too. For lack of a better word, I would call it a necessary evil. You need the weight to give more of that laptop feel and prevent tipping, but when you are accustomed to your device weighing about half of the new total weight, it is a bit of a shock. Well, you know a device is good when I am still carrying the weight, at least for now. Some will be turned off by this, but if you look at the purpose behind the device, you buy one or you don't, not test the purpose itself. That's my thinking. I was close to not giving 5 stars, not because the functionality didn't measure up to the intent, but because of what I feel could have been. For instance, because there is so much weight in the base, why not leverage the compartment for additional battery to extend the battery life of the Surface Pro? I feel Brydge could have leveraged the magnetic expansion port on the tablet to not only provided extended use, but power the device as well. There could be licensing issues, but couldn't this have been worked out? I can tell you from my experience, at home and definitely at work (international company that is handing these out daily as device of issue), that would have caused these things to sell like hot cakes. After using this for nearly a work week, I must say that I can't ding it for those things. It is an excellent option that performs admirably, and is a worthy alternative to the Type Cover. There is also a version with a 128GB hard drive included - hopefully, that is a sign of things to come. For all you laptop lovers that have a Surface Pro 3 or 4, and you are looking for that old "loving feeling, ohhhh that loving feeling", this thing is for you. Even if you really like the type cover, the Brydge 12.3 offers quite a bit of flexibility in comparison. I think it is well worth the purchase.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      My Surface is now a premium laptop!

      Posted
      DrWMJ
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Let me cut to the chase: I love this keyboard! However, as it is even with wonderful devices, there are limitations that could lead to frustrations depending on your needs and habits. My main laptop is a HP Spectre X360 15 inch, and that is the basis for my comparison with this keyboard. I use a Surface Pro 3 for “light duty”, and I have never tried to write a long document on the type cover. I have found the Surface type cover touch pad to be barely serviceable, and not spectacular like the Spectre’s. That being said, let’s get back to the Brydge… The Brydge is a solid device, well-made out of aluminum. It has sufficient heft to be able to balance the Surface when docked, even when the tablet is extended to the maximum of about 170 degrees. There is no flex, rattle or creak in this device at all! The Brydge does roughly double the weight of the Surface when both are carried together, so that is a factor to consider if you must carry a device around all the time. Still, both units together are only around 4 lbs. The Brydge comes with shims for the hinges that will readily accept a Surface Pro 2017 or Pro 4. Since I have a Pro 3, I used the slimmer shims that were provided with the keyboard that are specific for the Pro 3. My Surface easily goes in and out of the hinges without any fear on my part that the tablet will be damaged. I did have to read the instructions to learn to turn the keyboard on and pair it with the Surface. All very simple and straightforward. The keyboard came fully charged, and the manufacturer claims recharging is needed infrequently (every few weeks or months depending on use!). Charging is by micro USB. My keyboard does not have a separate storage capacity, but evidently there is a model with an SSD that can be used as an accessory hard drive. Cool. As a computer keyboard, the Brydge functions astonishingly well. The keys are slightly concave, with sufficient travel and détente to provide a very satisfying and confident sensation while typing. I would say this keyboard is every bit as good as the one on the Spectre. The only difference is size, of course, and switching from one to the other requires I adjust my muscle memory slightly, so that my typing speed on the Brydge is not quite as fast as on the Spectre. I love that the Brydge keys are absolutely quiet, and there is no lag or delay in the appearance of the text after input. I could type all day on this device, and indeed, I am creating this review on the Brydge right now… Backlight is great, with 3 levels of intensity. The black keys with light letters allow for me to see them even in low light, so that backlight is rarely needed. Since it connects with the Surface via Bluetooth, one can type on the Brydge with the Surface undocked and placed several feet away if desired. This is a great advantage over the Type Cover, during those times when I am using both pen and keyboard input into my projects. The touch pad on the Brydge is good, but a little finicky. It is glassy smooth and has easy right and left clicks. However, tap to click requires a solid tap in the middle of the pad, and any variance from this approach results in a non-response. Multi-finger gestures work well. Two-finger scrolling on websites is jerky, but I suspect this is due to the Bluetooth connection. So, to sum up: the Brydge has transformed my Surface Pro into a premium mini-laptop. The typing experience on the Brydge is far better than the Type Cover, and is as good as the best laptops in the market. The added weight is not a problem for me. I would choose to use another device, however, if I had a task that involved a great deal of touch pad use; or I would use my Arc Touch mouse. I highly recommend this accessory for the Surface Pro for the person who does extensive keyboard input. Consider getting the model with the additional data storage as well.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Nice keyboard replacement but not perfect

      Posted
      JungleLand
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I too am late on my review for the Brydge 12.3 keyboard for the Surface Pro 3 and 4. I use a Surface Pro 4 daily as my primary computing device. I use it at work, on the couch, on planes, in bed, etc – and found the normal Surface kickstand awkward and difficult to use. You can imagine how excited I was to see this new option for the Surface! My story goes like this. I purchased the Brydge 12.3 directly from Brydge a week before I was to fly to a technical conference – so I was eager to test it both on the plane and on my lap during the conference sessions. Unfortunately, Brydge’s order processing and shipping is NOT like AMAZON, and the day before I left for my trip I ran to Best Buy to purchase one in the store. BBY saves the day! It should be noted that the ordered keyboard did show up about 10 days after I ordered and I promptly returned it and was out only the return shipping costs. OK – so I finally have one in my possession! I took it out of the box and slid my Surface Pro 4 device into the holders and paired it via Bluetooth in minutes – and I was off! Let’s start off with the good things I’ve accumulated over 60 days of daily use: 1. I like the feel of the keys more than the standard Surface keyboard 2. The 3 level background lighting for the keyboard is a nice touch – see picture 3. All functions (volume control, brightness control, etc) worked immediately. 4. Love the ability to position the screen a nearly any angle from 90 to about 170 degrees!! 5. Battery life is great. 6. The option to add an SSD drive is cool – the USB dongle to connect the two devices isn’t. I don’t have the SSD enhanced keyboard, but I read about it. C’mon Brydge, you can do better than that! Now, let’s talk about the not-so-good things: 1. First and foremost, the keyboard lags. It misses keystrokes. A lot. I write technical documents for a living as well as review products, and I was surprised to read through some of the other reviews without somebody mentioning it. Unless I have a faulty device, it is quite annoying. I’ll admit I’m still using the keyboard because of the screen positioning functionality, and I’ve contacted Brydge regarding the missing keystrokes and they’ve had me try a few things, but the issue still persists. 2. Somebody else mentioned the weight/size. Per my picture, it doubles the size of the Surface Pro4. It is just as thick if not thicker than the Surface device itself. And to me – seems to about double the weight. Yes, I know – it has to so it doesn’t flip over when you have the screen at a 45 degree angle – but I’m telling you – it’s noticeable. 3. Most of you know that when you change keyboard, you sometimes get a different keyboard layout. That can be a real pain in the a$$ – and this is no exception. For example, you have to use the Fn key to use the commands “Home, End, PgUp, PgDn”. That sucks for people that used them and are familiar with their locations. Also, the Ctrl key is out of place – I think the Fn key was inserted in the so if you are use to use Ctrl functions like Copy and Paste, you are going to miss alot. 4. The trackpad works OK, but could be refined. I find myself adjusting the zoom in Chrome by mistake on that trackpad that I like to admit. Overall – I’m still using the keyboard despite the shortcomings listed above. It worked well on the plane and on my lap – where I couldn’t really use the original Surface with the kickstand. I‘m hopefully that the next product iteration will remedy the flaws – or perhaps I’ll get another one just to see if this one is defective. I would recommend this to a friend but they need to know about the issues before hand.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      The BEST Non-Microsoft Surface Pro Keyboard

      Posted
      Panther68
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      First off, Brydge is somewhat of a ‘newcomer’ to the 3rd-party keyboard market having been founded in Park City, Utah, in 2014 (ok, so, technically, they started earlier, via a Kickstarter campaign (for an iPad keyboard), but the company, as it’s currently known, became “real” in April 2014). In that relatively short period of time, they’ve created some excellent keyboards, mostly for iOS & Android devices, but also for the Microsoft Surface. Their latest, for the Surface Pro 4 (also compatible with the Surface Pro 3 & 2017 Surface Pro), is the Brydge 12.3 (which is also available as the Brydge 12.3 Pro, with either 128GB or 256GB of built-in storage). This clever Bluetooth keyboard effectively turns the Surface Pro into the equivalent of a Surface Book, without the higher price of a Surface Book…yet, at the same time, retains everything people prefer about the Surface Pro. UNBOXING, INITIAL IMPRESSIONS, & BUILD QUALITY: The packaging is very nicely designed, with the flap opening held in place by magnets. Upon opening, you are greeted with a keyboard constructed out of aluminum, which gives it somewhat of a MacBook Pro-esque appearance. The only included accessories are a USB charging cable, and an extra pair of hinge buffer-grips (more on these, below). While removing the keyboard from the box is simple enough, the “compartment” where the accessories are located is a different story. Unless you want to tear the cardboard (which is glued in place) away from the box, removing the accessories requires a bit of finesse. This could be considered, both, a good & bad thing – good, because the package design holds everything securely in place; bad, because removing items is on the somewhat difficult side. Getting back to that MacBook Pro-esque appearance, it carries over to the bottom, right down to the round, black rubber feet at each corner, and even the way the information is printed/etched into the bottom of the keyboard. It might even lead to the assumption that the designer(s) previously worked for Apple (to be honest, I have no clue). At the same time, unlike the curved features of Apple’s products, the Brydge 12.3 Keyboard retains the angular appearance, right down to the same degrees of bend, of the Surface Pro. While the mousepad is on the smallish side, it really doesn’t affect me, as I prefer to use the Surface Mouse (to be completely honest, I’ve never cared for the mousepads on laptops, almost-always preferring to use an actual mouse). As for the keyboard’s build quality, it appears to be as good as (possibly better?) than anything manufactured by Apple. As much as I dislike Apple products, it has nothing to do with their build quality. This appears to be about as solid as could be. As far as I can tell, the keyboard’s top plate is a single piece of aluminum, while the remainder (bottom & sides) is a second piece, with the top plate held in place through 11 screws along the bottom edges. The keys, themselves, are plastic (as opposed to the rubber keys found on a MacBook), but they have a flat (as opposed to glossy) surface, which provides a better, as well as solid, feel. SETUP: Setup couldn’t be any easier. First, you want to “attach” (ie. insert) the Surface Pro to the keyboard, which is as simple as sliding the Surface Pro into the hinged tabs on the keyboard. Once the Surface Pro is inserted into the keyboard’s hinge, you might need to slide the Surface Pro left/right, to align the tablet & keyboard edges. If using a Surface Pro 4, or 2017 Surface Pro, use the pre-installed grips; if using a Surface Pro 3, use the grips included in the “accessory pack”. Next, charge the keyboard (you can use the included USB cable, but any USB-to-microUSB cable can be used). Finally, after charging the keyboard, you simply power on the keyboard (Fn + Delete), set the Surface Pro to search for a new Bluetooth device, and then press/hold the keyboard’s Bluetooth button until the power LED (on the Delete key) flashes blue. Once the Surface Pro detects the keyboard, it asks you to enter the 6-digit pairing code, followed by the key, and the keyboard should be paired. USE: Compared to most laptop keyboards (Windows & Mac), I really like the keys on the Brydge keyboard. They are responsive, provide just the right amount of travel (for chicklet-style keys), and…before I forget to mention it…are backlit. The backlighting is controlled by the Fn + Ctrl buttons, with off, low, med & high settings. As for the mousepad, while I will always prefer using an actual mouse, I must admit that the trackpad is extremely responsive, as are the left/right buttons, and the “tap” function. Compared to the Microsoft Surface keyboard (which I also have), the keys are more responsive, and plain feel better. If I were to say this could, quite possibly, be the best laptop keyboard I’ve ever had the pleasure of typing on, it wouldn’t be far from the truth. Typically, I type reviews on my desktop computer, which has a mechanical keyboard…however, for this review, I am typing the entire thing on my Surface Pro, using the Brydge 12.3 Keyboard. That, alone, should tell you enough about its usability. ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS: As with all but a few products, there’s going to be something at the opposite end of the spectrum. For the most horrible of products, it’s sure to have at least one good thing…likewise for really good (and even great) products, such as this, where there’s bound to be something not-so-good. In the case of the Brydge 12.3 keyboard, the first thing that comes to mind is the weight. One of the primary reasons I chose a Surface Pro was its incredibly light weight. I was tired of carrying around a laptop, and, since obtaining my new desktop, there was no longer a reason to have a gaming laptop (my desktop, needless to say, is quite powerful). Sure, I could have gone with an ultrabook, but they are quite costly. There are also several “2-in-1” hybrid laptop/tablets, but, while less expensive than most ultrabooks, they are also heavier. What I wanted/needed was something with the lightweight-ness of an ultrabook, with the dual-functionality of a hybrid…thus the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro, alone, weighs 1.73lbs. Add the Surface Pro Type Cover (0.68lbs), and that increases to 2.41lbs, which is still incredibly light (by comparison, the Surface Laptop weighs 2.8lbs, and the Surface Book 3.5lbs). the Brydge 12.3 Keyboard weighs a fairly hefty 1.63lbs, thus, when combined with the Surface Pro, a total of 3.36lbs…anything but “lightweight”. The combination is almost as heavy at the Surface Book…although it’s still considerably less expensive (by $350, when comparing a Core i5 model with 4GB RAM & 128GB storage). THE GOOD: Ease of setting up Ease of configuring Very-well built Excellent material choice Relatively affordable THE BAD: Heavy (almost doubles the weight you’re carrying) THE UGLY: Nothing…honestly, there’s really nothing I “hate” about the Brydge 12.3 Keyboard FINAL VERDICT: Is the Brydge 12.3 Keyboard right for you? Would I recommend it? The answer to both questions is simple, yet complex. Starting with the reason why I wouldn’t recommend this keyboard, the weight…and only the weight…is the one, and only, reason why I wouldn’t recommend it. There are several ultrabooks that are approximately the same weight (some even lighter), which are more powerful, and have more ports (the Surface Pro only has a single USB 3.0 port). Of course, they also cost more, which leads to the advantage of a Surface Pro…as well as why I would recommend the Brydge 12.3 Keyboard……….versatility. Now, what I’m going to suggest/recommend might seem a bit excessive (cost-wise), but bear with me. If you already have a Surface Pro (3, 4, or 2017) & Surface Pro Type Cover, then the “cost” will be considerably less…so this is aimed more at those who don’t already have these. Having a Surface Pro, a Surface Pro Type Cover, AND a Brydge 12.3 Keyboard is, quite possibly, the BEST combination you could have. Without any key board attached, you have one of the best (possibly THE best) Windows 10 tablets available. Next, sdd the Surface Pro Type Cover, and you’ve created an ultrabook with touch display (which most ultrabooks don’t have), which is lighter than any other ultrabook. Finally, swap the Type Cover for the Brydge 12.3 Keyboard, and you’ve just converted your 2-in-1 hybrid into a true ultrabook (albeit, one with only a single USB 3.0 port…although this can easily be corrected with a portable USB hub). With this collection, you will effectively create a 3-in-1 hybrid, which NONE of the Surface Pro competitors can compete with. In sort, it’s a win-win-win situation.

      I would recommend this to a friend




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