Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Go tablet options have been big sellers for them ever since they were first introduced and for good reason. They are compact and lightweight and powerful enough for most people to use all day long.
I started out with a Surface Pro 4 all those years ago, more recently purchasing a Surface Go 2 for mobile work. I use it fairly extensively, but I do have one issue with it – the flexing of the keyboard. The Surface keyboard is lightweight and decent enough but just doesn’t have that laptop feel of a solid keyboard.
For people who prefer a laptop feel to their keyboard rather than the sensation of using a flimsy piece of cardboard to type on there is a great option – Brydge keyboards.
We reviewed the Brydge keyboard for the Microsoft Surface Pro way back in 2017 but now they have evolved even more – plus I wanted a better keyboard for use with my Surface Go 2 so why not go out and buy one and share my opinion? Read on to hear our thoughts on the Brydge 10.5 Go+, designed for all models of the Microsoft Surface Go.
In the box is the keyboard, some basic instructions, and a USB-C charging cable. The Brydge 10.5 Go+ is a solid keyboard the same size as the Surface Go 2 tablet – except the keyboard is thinner. It has the same colour and texture as the tablet which adds to the premium feel and look of it.
It is just 481 grams and 7mm thick making it a great addition to your laptop instead of the stock Microsoft Surface Go keyboard but not adding much weight to the overall package – after all that is why most people love the Surface Go tablets, their portability.
The keyboard is super basic (it’s a compact productivity keyboard, what did you expect?) with all the usual Windows keys and the delete button doubling as the power button. The delete button also has an LED light to show when it is connected to your tablet (via Bluetooth). The keys themselves are also backlit with three different levels of brightness allowing for your own personal preference.
The Brydge 10.5 Go+ has its own built-in battery which powers its Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and also the LED backlight of the keyboard. The battery is enough to power the keyboard, while connected for up to 20 hours “when running constant backlight.” I used it for several days without having to recharge it – you’ll have to charge the Surface Go tablet long before you have to charge the keyboard so you could always top the keyboard up when you charge the tablet to be sure.
The size of the keys is interesting with Brydge increasing the size and spacing of the keys on their keyboard compared to that of the Microsoft Surface Go keyboard. Of course, something had to give when doing this and the touchpad is hence smaller on the Brydge keyboard.
The touchpad on the Brydge 10.5 Go+ supports all your usual Windows touchpad gestures. Given the size of the Brydge keyboard (and Surface Go 2) it is no surprise that the touchpad is not exactly large, but I prefer the way Brydge has prioritised the size of the keys cover the touchpad so I’m not going to complain about its size. Most people would use the keys a lot more than they would the touch pad.
You do get used to the size of the touchpad – you just need to alter the way you use the touchpad although it may restrict some things you may want to do with it. I dare say if you are requiring more accuracy and room on your touchpad than this Brydge keyboard provides, the Surface Go will not be enough for your requirements anyway. The more I used the touchpad the less mistakes I made so the small touchpad is a long way from being a deal breaker.
The Surface Go tablet is held upright in the hinges of the Brydge keyboard. These hinges are extremely sturdy and feel like they’ll last a long time. At the same time, the hinges do not make it difficult to open the keyboard and tablet combo. The hinges are padded with rubber around them, creating an extremely solid fit without any possibility of scratching the Surface tablet. The fit is so snug that I had to remove the screen protector I had installed on the tablet for it to fit in the hinges.
The hinges travel from fully closed to 180 degrees open – or flat on the bench. No matter the angle in between these two, the hinges are able to hold the tablet steady.
As you would expect I have typed this entire review on the Brydge 10.5 Go+ keyboard. It is comfortable to type on, even though it is a long way from being a full-sized keyboard – but then I am used to typing on a Surface Go keyboard. The keyboard is solid with the keys having a decent amount of travel but very little wobble. The typing accuracy isn’t the same as that on a normal keyboard but not far from it once you get used to its size after a while.
It was a toss up between buying a new Surface Laptop Go 2 or giving my Surface Go 2 a new lease on life with a new and improved keyboard. Being the cheap bugger I am I went for the Brydge 10.5 Go+ keyboard and I’m glad I did.
At just over $100 it was a thousand dollars or so cheaper than a new Surface Laptop Go and I have everything I could ask for. It’s not perfect but the only thing holding it back is its size – and that is not Brydge’s fault but instead just part of the Surface Go ecosystem and if you already have a Surface Go then you know and are used to what I mean.
If you have a Surface Go 1, 2 or 3 then I can highly recommend the Brydge 10.5 Go+ keyboard to improve your Surface Go experience. The typing experience is far and away better than that delivered by the Surface keyboard with the keyboard not just being more solid but the keys also spaced out more.
You can get a Brydge 10.5 Go+ keyboard from all good retailers for $139 – although stock seems to be limited, mine took six weeks to arrive. For more information head on over to the Brydge Australian website.