Gallery: 10 great accessories for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4
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A tablet PC that really works
Microsoft has arguably struck gold with the Surface Pro series. They’re more and more popular with graphic designers and others who rely on Wacom technology for their jobs, and even people who don’t digitally design find them to be great portable PCs.
Surface fans are waiting anxiously for news of a Surface Pro 5 release, but there’s no word on when it will come. For now you’ll have to stick with your Surface Pro 4, so here are some accessories you can pick up to make it even more useful.
65W power supply
Tired of long charging times from that 36W charger that came with your SP4? Upgrade to a 65W charger to minimize your charge time. Faster charges equals more time spent unplugged and on the move.
Surface Pen Tip Kit
Some Surface Pen users have complained about the “stickiness” of the stock pen tip, so Microsoft released a set of four different tips with varying hardnesses. The tips use the HB graphite scale, which denotes the hardness of different kinds of pencil lead.
The tips, from hardest to softest, are 2H, H, HB, and B. The Surface Pen comes with an HB tip out of the box, so in reality you only have three options to play with if you buy this kit.
A spare Surface Pen
Sure, the SP4 comes with a Surface Pen, but it’s the size of a pen, which makes it prone to disappearing just like its cheaper analog cousins. It’s not a bad idea to have a spare lying around, and to make things better a new Surface Pen comes with a tip kit as well.
Speaking of input devices, the Surface Dial can really expand your SP4’s capabilities. It can be used to change colors on brushes, manipulate 3D objects, and even turn the volume on your music up and down.
The Surface Dial isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it if you find yourself wishing you had quicker access to often use shortcuts.
Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID
The type cover was one of the Surface’s coolest innovations, and the new series that’s compatible with the SP3 and SP4 goes even further: It has physical keys instead of a touch surface, and there’s even a version that comes with a fingerprint sensor. Now you can save yourself those precious seconds spent typing your password!
Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition
If using a mouse is more your style you’ll find a good match for your SP4 with the Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition. This neat little mouse collapses down to fit into a bag or case and can pop right back up for use. I’ve used an older version of the Arc Touch and I quite liked it.
Microsoft also says this one works from 30 feet away, so if you frequently find yourself controlling your surface from across a large room this is a mouse worth having.
If your SP4 spends a lot of time in one place you should consider a Surface Dock. This small unit adds two Mini DisplayPorts, four USB 3.0 ports, an audio out, and a gigabit ethernet port to your Surface Pro, giving you the freedom to turn that portable machine into a hub of desktop creativity.
Microsoft offers three different adapters for the SP4: Mini DisplayPort to HDMI, Mini DisplayPort to VGA, and USB to Ethernet. Purchased separately those three adapters would cost you $119.97, but there is a cheaper alternative available on Amazon.
StarTech offers a three pack of identical adapters for just $54.99–that’s only $15 more than a single adapter from Microsoft. I’m not going to vouch for the quality of StarTech’s adapter kit, but at half the price of buying three from Microsoft it’s too good a deal to pass up.
PrivacyShield screen protector
The last thing you want on that thousand dollar machine is a scratched screen. With a PrivacyShield screen protector you can not only protect your device but also get privacy from prying eyes. If your Surface Pro 4 spends a lot of time in public with you get one of these, especially if you work on confidential designs!
A nice fancy case or sleeve
There are dozens of SP4 cases, slips, covers, and sleeves to choose from, making the one you pick a personal aesthetic choice. You can go hardy if you want protection, get a cool vertical messenger bag, or choose from designs from Kate Spade.
The bottom line: You need something to protect your investment and there’s no reason it needs to be purely functional.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 4: The smart person’s guide (TechRepublic)
- Subscribe to TechRepublic’s Microsoft Weekly newsletter
- Hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)