Microsoft introduced Alcantara-covered Type Covers for the Surface Pro 4 last year. With the Surface Laptop, Microsoft incorporated the Alcantara fabric right into the keyboard. Unlike the Surface Pro 4, you can’t actually replace the keyboard on the Surface Laptop when and if you manage to make the fabric dirty. In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft’s General Manager of Surface Engineering, Pete Kyriacou was asked about how the fabric will hold up. Kyriacou simply responded that customers should take care of the device just like they would take care of an expensive car, or a luxury handbag.
Kyriacou revealed in the interview that the Surface Laptop’s Alcantara-covered keyboard is has a polyurethane coating on top, which will help prevent spills stain the fabric and make your beautiful Surface Laptop look ugly. Even if customers stain the fabric, Kyriacou suggests that they should wipe it away as soon as they can — they don’t need to use any special chemical for that, but a wiping it away using a microfibre with soap and water should do the job:
Just like anything luxury that you buy, like great handbags or a pair of shoes or even expensive cars, there is a care that’s needed for the device. And so from the materials perspective, we will ask customers — specifically customers who might stain it or drop something on it — to go ahead and wipe that right away. There’s a simple way of doing that with a microfiber with a soap and water solution on it. You don’t need any special chemical and you can wipe it off. Then just care [for it in the same way] that would go into anything that luxurious. That’s more of a periodical thing, not super frequent, something you might look at doing every six months or something. And so if you think of the livelihood of this laptop, somewhere between four and five years, it’s not that often you have to do it in terms of taking care of it.
It will be interesting to see how the Alcantara-covered keyboard on the Surface Laptop performs once the device starts shipping next month, which is when users will actually be able to put it through its paces.