Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Brydge brings keys to the 2021 Surface, more ports to Mac & PC

Thinking of getting one of those new Surface computers, or maybe something lacking in ports? Brydge may have a couple of options worth looking at.

A Surface is a pretty slick way to have a computer all encased in a touchscreen, and with the latest model, the Surface Pro 8, the screen appears bigger thanks to smaller bezels, while Microsoft has included some Type C USB and Thunderbolt 4 love.

That combination should make the tablet a force to reckoned with, but if you want to make into a proper laptop, you may need a keyboard. Microsoft of course makes its fabric-based Type Cover keyboard, but if you’re after a look and feel more like a laptop, you might want something to finish the look.

Brydge is ready with something for that purpose, announcing a version of its keyboards normally for the iPad, but this time for the Surface Pro 8.

Called the Brydge SP+, it’s built to match the new Surface design but won’t use the Surface connector to power the keys, instead opting to bring a keyboard and touchpad over Bluetooth, similar to how Brydge keyboards work on the iPad Pro.

Occasional charging would then be required, something Brydge says can provide up to six months of life on a two hour charge, complete with backlit keys, as well, with the keyboard made in aluminium to match the build of the Surface 8.

While that’s one way to turn the Surface Pro 8 into a more of a larger laptops experience, it’s not the only addition Brydge is introducing.

New to its lineup is the Stone Pro TB4, a docking station that can lie down or stand up, and offering 11 ports of connectivity for any computer with a Type C or Thunderbolt 4 port charging connection.

The device looks like an extension of the Henge docks Brydge bought earlier on, and brings three Type C Thunderbolt 4 ports for devices or HDMI converter plugs, one Thunderbolt 4 with 90 watts power delivery, one Gigabit Ethernet port, three USB 3.2 in the rectangular USB Type A connection, one USB 2.0 in the same rectangular Type A port, plus audio and an SD card slot, as well. Plug it into a tablet or laptop, and it could well expand the capability of a tablet with few ports, or even a laptop with a small amount, as well, and works across Windows, Mac, and even Chrome OS.

Pricing is where things get a little complex for either device, mind you, with the Brydge SP+ Surface Pro 8 keyboard only having a US price of $139.99 to start with, while the Brydge Stone Pro TB4 docking station is $349.99 USD. We’re checking with Brydge to find out what its Australian prices will be — it was founded by an Aussie, after all! — and will hopefully have news closer to their releases later in the year.

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