On September 16th, Microsoft introduced us to a cross-platform Universal Mobile Keyboard, which works with major mobile operating systems available in the market today, including iOS, Android, and Windows. It's not just tablets, the new accessory gives users the ability to even use smartphones with the keyboard and boost their productivity.
On that same day, Microsoft unveiled the Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse, a modern take on Microsoft's Arc Touch Mouse first introduced in 2008. This particular mouse uses Bluetooth, rather than a USB nano transceiver. The mouse keeps its modern, sculpted look and ergonomic feel.
Both devices have arrived on our doorstep today and I'd like to offer you my quick first-impressions on both devices, before I begin our rigorous hands-on review process.
Let's start off with the Universal Mobile Keyboard. This keyboard connects to devices via Bluetooth, and works on devices with an operating system older than Windows 8, Windows RT, Apple iOS 6, and Android 4. Unfortunately, at this time, Windows Phone is not supported.
A few things are immediately noticeable about the Universal Mobile Keyboard. First, it is small and not lightweight. It reminds me of my Surface RT, but not as heavy. Second, it features a protective cover that can easily get dusty. As you can clearly see in the photos we have embedded in this article, the keyboard can get quite dusty in no time.
The keyboard is super small. In fact, it is close to half the size of a standard desktop keyboard. All you have to do is lift open the protective cover and select which operating system you are running, whether it be Windows, Android, or iPad/iPhone. You can connect via Bluetooth or use the USB connector that comes with the keyboard to plug into your device.
In my opinion, it seems like this keyboard is targeted towards small screen Android tablet or iPad users. I don't see myself using this keyboard with my Surface RT, since the touch cover is larger and a bit more spacious and comfortable to use. But, this is just my first impression of the device, we'll see how I feel about it after a through review.
Next up we have the Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse from Microsoft. This mouse is a modern take on Microsoft's Arc Touch Mouse, which I never really paid any attention to. So this will be my first time using the Arc Touch series.
My immediate first impression? I like it. It is compact, it feels comfortable under my hand, and it is somewhat adjustable so your comfort zone. The mouse features two AAA batteries and connects to your device via Bluetooth. This mouse seems like the perfect on-the-go accessory for those of you who love to travel with your tablet or laptop.
You can take a look at some photos of both the Universal Mobile Keyboard ($79.95) as well as the Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse ($69.95) below. We'll have an in-depth review of both devices soon, so stay tuned.