Hands On: Surface Pro Type Cover with fingerprint ID

(Image: Microsoft)



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5 April 2016 | 0

A key feature of the current builds of Windows 10 is the authentication capabilities bound up in Windows Hello.

While the Surface Pro 4 has the 3D and infrared camera ability to do facial recognition and iris scans to allow for a biometric log-in, older devices, such as the Surface Pro 3 range, are not so equipped.

The new Surface Type keyboard not only boasts a far better keyboard, with well-spaced keys that also feature a more positive action, and a larger, more sensitive trackpad, but now there is a version equipped with a fingerprint sensor too.

The fingerprint sensor is not the swipe type still seen on many high-end devices, but rather more like the kind seen on smart phones, it is a touch sensor that sits to the right of the trackpad, below the keys.

On attaching the cover in the usual manner, Windows 10 detects the sensor and adds in a new option under All Settings, Accounts, [Current user], Sign-in Options. There a fingerprint option is now available and enrolment simply means verifying your identity and then touching your finger to the sensor a few times to build up an accurate picture. Multiple fingers can be enrolled and it is recommended that at least one additional finger is enrolled for the option, just in case.

The fingerprint authentication option can be used on conjunction with the others, such as password, PIN, picture password and facial recognition, and none are mutually exclusive.

For the Surface Pro 4, this is a worthy addition to its already strong set of sign-in options, but for the older, but still perfectly serviceable Pro 3, this is a very worthwhile feature.

When combined with the significantly improved keyboard and trackpad, the new generation 4 Type covers are a must have upgrade for a Surface Pro 3.

The Type Cover with fingerprint reader is available direct from Microsoft for €184.90, comes in a range of colours. Weighing just 285g and being less than 5mm thick, the new cover will not add greatly to an already ultraportable machine.




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