Lumia 920

Undeterred by Microsoft’s foray into the hardware arena, Nokia has a trick up its sleeve for its own Windows RT tablet: a battery-equipped keyboard cover.

The cover will snap into place just like the Surface’s keyboard covers (and the iPad’s Smart Covers), and it will also sport a kickstand, reports the Verge. Nokia’s tablet, which is expected in early 2013, will feature a 10.1-inch screen, as well as HDMI and USB ports. (I’m just hoping it’s less unwieldy than the Surface’s wide display.)

Nokia seems to be paying particular attention to battery life: The tablet itself will sport a 10-hour battery life, as well as a fast charging capability that can bring it up to 50 percent charge quickly. The keyboard cover’s battery will kick in once the tablet’s battery runs low. In my testing, I found the Surface RT’s battery life lasted around eight hours (a bit less than the iPad 3’s). It sounds like Nokia’s tablet could best the Surface in battery life, which could be a major advantage.

Earlier this year, we heard that Nokia may have been planning this tablet¬†for the end of the year. But that was before the unveiling of Microsoft’s Surface. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nokia had to spend a bit more time developing some new standout tablet features.