Microsoft beats Apple to fingerprint-scanning wireless keyboard


It's compatible with Mac ... but not as good.
It's compatible with Mac ... but not as good.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft has beaten Apple to delivering a wireless keyboard with biometric security.

Its new Modern Keyboard is built out of aluminum to be slim and strong and features a hidden fingerprint scanner that makes login passwords a thing of the past. It’s also compatible with your Mac.

Following the introduction of Touch ID to the MacBook Pro, we expected Apple to open the feature up to more Macs by integrating it into its next-generation keyboards. But the new model delivered in early June is missing this functionality.

The wait is over for Windows users, however. Microsoft’s new Modern Keyboard carries a fingerprint scanner that lets you login to Windows 10 PCs and compatible websites with just a tap. It’s blended into the keyboard like any other key so it’s not immediately obvious.

Sporting an attractive aluminum frame, the Modern Keyboard looks a lot like Apple’s offering, and is “virtually indestructible,” Microsoft says. It can be connected to your machine with a cable, or wirelessly over Bluetooth, and pairing happens automatically when you plug it in.

Microsoft says the Bluetooth range is up to 50 feet in open air, or up to 23 feet in a typical office environment. The device is powered by two AAA batteries — rechargeable cells are included — and lasts up to two months in between charges.

The Modern Keyboard is compatible with Windows 8, Windows RT, OS X 10.11.1, iOS 8, Android 4.2 and above. However, to take advantage of its fingerprint scanner, you will need a machine running Windows 10, which boasts Windows Hello.

The Modern Keyboard is priced at $129.99 and is “coming soon” to the Microsoft Store.


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