Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop has been very controversial over the internet. While the device received near universal praise from tech bloggers and journalists, other users were much less impressed with the device. Issues like the high pricing, Windows 10 S, and the fabric material for the keyboard were called out as disadvantages. While we don’t know how the Surface Laptop will perform yet, and whether it’ll be worth the money on release, we can address the keyboard issue here and now.
As many may know, the Surface Laptop isn’t Microsoft’s first fabric keyboard – previous Surface Pros have featured fabric layered keyboards. My own Surface Pro has gone through three keyboards, all but one of them exhibiting minimal staining in over 3 years of use.
Microsoft has also released several Alcantara covered keyboards in the past, with the Surface Pro 3, 4, and Studio having optional Alcantara fabric keyboards.
While I haven’t been able to personally try them out, the Amazon and Microsoft Store reviews for the Alcantara-covered Surface Pro 4 Signature keyboard are glowing – with over 95% of users leaving positive reviews praising the look and feel of the fabric.
Similar reviews can be found for the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard – also coated in Alcantara – with reviewers praising the look and feel of the keyboard.
I would be remiss to not note that there was one review that raised the concerns others have had about the keyboard’s *ahem* surface. The reviewer described it as “very difficult to clean” and observed that the appearance “wears down within a couple of months”. Another complained about the wrist rest looking “gross” after a while, there was another but those were the only three reviewers that brought up the issue in the over 200 reviews I scoured with Microsoft themselves pointing out that this was an atypical experience.
While I was initially sceptical about the keyboard material, it’s clear that Microsoft isn’t taking an untested risk on its newest Surface. It’s been tested, over and over, and consumers have loved it for the most part.