The Surface and Surface Pro 4 devices receive a lot of attention from users looking for a Windows 2-in-1. That’s exactly what Microsoft wanted. Three years ago, the company had barely a presence in the hardware space. It’s made hardware for years, but stuck to keyboards, mice and dedicated gaming consoles, fearing that a foray into devices might trample the efforts of its partners. The tablets receive attention because they are a physical embodiment of Microsoft’s efforts to turn the PC into something else entirely.
For Surface to be successful, Microsoft had to deliver more than just tablets. It also had to deliver on an accessory ecosystem. Sure, the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft’s latest tablet is super-thin and light, but half the appeal of the Surface Pro 4 is the Surface Pro Type Cover.
Gotta Be Mobile went in search of great accessories that Surface Pro 4 buyers should plan on purchase the moment they have their tablet. These add-ons improve the Surface Pro 4 experience on a grand scale.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Surface Pro 3 Docking Station
Microsoft always shows off the latest in Surface accessories as it is revealing each year’s new devices. This year was no different, Microsoft staff couldn’t stop talking about the Surface Dock. This new dock is pretty cool, but the Surface Pro 3 shipped alongside another Surface Dock that — in my opinion — is better. It is an actual dock. It’s not a box with cables sticking out of it.
Microsoft calls last year’s accessory the Surface Pro 3 Docking Station. Place your tablet in the middle, then slide the arms in to lock it in place. The dock has its own power charger and includes three USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet Port, a headphone jack and Mini DisplayPort. With a spacer, the Docking Station for Surface Pro 3 fits the Surface Pro 4 like a glove.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Surface Pro Type Cover (2015)
There’s no need to invest in last year’s Surface Pro 3 Type Cover at the same time as you’re ordering last year’s Docking Station. The Surface Pro Type Cover introduced last fall is a clear upgrade over what Microsoft offered before, unlike the Surface Dock.
The Surface Pro 4 Type Cover has smaller keys and a bigger trackpad. It’s thinner that previous covers and has a fair amount of key travel. It still locks into place when used in the lap and automatically turns itself off when folded backwards. Microsoft also says it has upgraded the trackpad to support even more gestures for Windows 10. This time, its trackpad is made of actual glass.
The Surface Pro 4 Type Cover comes in Black, Blue, Cyan, Red and Teal for $129. This is not to be confused with the $159 Surface Pro Type Cover that comes in black and includes a fingerprint reader.
Recently, Microsoft introduced another Surface Pro 4 Type Cover that breaks away from the normal one. This Signature Edition cover is made from Alcantara. Microsoft describes it as the softest cover. It also costs $159.99.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: MicroSD Card Slot
Microsoft mercifully dropped the Surface Pro configuration that only came with 64GB of storage. Surface Pro 4 has a minimum of 128GB of storage now, and Microsoft has kept the option for users to add even more with a MicroSD Card.
Amazon carries an array of SanDisk MicroSD cards. Pick one up and add even more storage to your device. Some cost as little as $12.99.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Oenbopo Portable Desktop Stand
Say you don’t want a large dock taking up your desktop. Instead of getting a dock, you can buy a decent tablet stand that lets you position it without using the kickstand.
The Oenbopo tablet stand has a place for the Surface Pro 4 to rest. Users can adjust its angle without removing the device, plus there’s a hole for running the Surface Pro 4 power supply through the stand for better cable management. The Oenbopo Portable Stand sells on Amazon for $18.99.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Waterfield Surface Pro 4 Dash Sleeve
At $59.99, the Waterfield Surface Pro 4 Dash Sleeve is sort of like a padded envelope for the Surface Pro 4. It’s made of nylon and has lining to keep the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 4 Type Cover safe. A band stitched to the top of the sleeve keeps everything inside. There’s also a pocket for any needed accessories.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Zagg Surface Pro 4 Slim Cover
The Zagg Slim Cover covers the device’s display, acting as a barrier between the Gorilla Glass 4 material that covers the front of the Surface and anything that might scratch it. Also, it’s a full capable Bluetooth Keyboard that locks into the Surface Pro 4 like a Microsoft-made Type Cover would.
The device can also be paired with other devices like smartphones running Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. Switching between the two is as simple as a button press. Smartly, Zagg added different brightness settings for the cover’s backlit keys.
The Zagg Slip Cover is available now for purchase at Zagg’s online store. It costs $129.99.
Essential Surface Pro Accessories: Surface Pen Tip Kit
Every Surface Pro 4 comes with a Surface Pen that can sense 1024 levels of pressure when drawing or taking notes. On stage, Microsoft revealed that these pens also come with interchangeable tips that let users get different thicknesses. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t include the extra tips with the Surface Pro 4 itself. The Microsoft Store sells these tips separately for $10. They’re essential for artists.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Surface Dock (2015)
A small black box with a Surface Connect cable attached, the new Surface Dock includes 2 MiniDisplay Ports 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, 4 USB ports, 1 headphone port and an included Surface Power Supply. Because it doesn’t have arms, it won’t lock the Surface Pro 4 into place, but it is compatible with the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and Surface Pro 3.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Xbox Wireless Adapter
The Surface Pro 4 only has a single USB 3.0 port. Previously, you’d have to plug-in a microUSB cable to that port to use Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless controller with the device. No more, the $24.99 Xbox Wireless Adapter lets Surface Pro 4 owners play games on their device without any cables.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Microsoft Office 365
The Surface is meant to be a productivity power house, a device can help you deliver the things that people are expecting of you from anywhere. Microsoft Office is a big part of that. Microsoft only gives users free access to OneNote though. To get the entire suite of apps, you need Microsoft Office 365.
Office 365 costs as little as $6.99 a month and complements the Surface Pro 4 very well. Users get access to Word, PowerPoint and Excel for just one monthly price. The company also throws in access to Office 365 and credit for Skype calling to landline phones. Besides unlocking the Office desktop programs, an Office 365 grants users to Office Mobile apps.
Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories: A Back Up Surface Pen
You absolutely, absolutely have to get yourself a back-up Surface Pen. The Surface Pro 4 has a very strong magnet that you can attach the Surface Pen with, but chances are you’ll find yourself misplacing the pen anyway. Lots of people simply stick it into their pocket like any other pen instead of putting it on the side of the device.
The Microsoft Store has the Surface Pen and a Pen Tip Kit together for $59.99.
Good luck with your Surface Pro 4 purchase.