A Tech Dad’s Review of the Surface Pro 4 [Fat Fingers & All]

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There are lots of computers in my house.  I might have a problem.

I have one computer running CentOS (Linux) as a dedicated Plex Server.  If you have a Plex server or are considering it trust me when I tell you Linux is the way to go.  I have tried both Windows and Linux and it runs so much better on Linux.  It is a little harder to set up and manage but it runs great.  I am using a 10-year-old Dell with 4 GB of RAM and I never have a problem.

I have several older laptops that all now run Linux (sensing a theme yet?).  Either CentOS or Kali.  We’ll get to Kali another time.  Don’t ask questions.

I have my main laptop which I call my beast.  It’s an Asus Gaming machine but I don’t game.  I got it more for photo and video editing.  It has 24GB of RAM, an i7 processor, and an awesome video card.  It has a 17-inch screen and Windows 10.

This is the closest I could find on Amazon.

I have had it for about 3.5 years now and it has been great.  It’s so awesome that my wife often commandeers it to do her school work or enter notes for her job.

So what’s a dad to do when his wife commandeers his main laptop?  The one he does most of what he does on?

The two Linux based laptops are not really set up for what I do professionally.  They’re hobby machines and the kids use them for some things.

I also do travel sometimes and my Asus is heavy.  So if I am in NYC walking around I don’t want to lug it with me.

Enter the Surface Pro

Here’s what I decided.  I needed something that was light but still powerful enough to do most of my tasks.  I was not going to use Photoshop or some of my other more resource hogging software on the computer.  Having something that could also act as a tablet would be great.  I do like to read sometimes and having all my books in Kindle is awesome to me.

Yes, I do have real books too.

I did some research.  I considered an iPad and Keyboard set up.  I have tried this before and didn’t really like it.  I feel the iPad is too restrictive. My kids have iPads (technically one of them is mine) and I am really not impressed.  I am team Android.

I researched a few other models of tablet type computers from Dell and Lenovo.  I was really trying to avoid going to Microsoft.  Then one day I tried one.

The Surface Pro 4 rocks.  It’s fast, it’s very light. It can easily be used as a tablet.

I made the leap to a Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

While I still use my Asus a lot I now have a laptop that I don’t mind switching to when the Asus is being used by my wife.  I have a laptop that I can easily travel with and still have room for other things in my backpack.  I do have to bring other tech toys too you know.



This is the model I purchased.  It came with the following:

  • 256 GB SSD Drive.  I still like more storage space
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • i5 Processor
  • 12.3 Inch Screen (very high resolution)
  • Battery lasts for a few days on standby and I can easily go 3-4 hours of constant usage before having to consider plugging it in
  • Very responsive touch screen

Get the Surface Pro 4 at Amazon>>>>

The detachable keyboard is great. It’s so easy to attach and detach.

I have had it for over a year now with no issues.

My only complaints are the keyboard is a little small for my big hands.  I almost always use full-size keyboards so there is a bit of an adjustment when I switch to the Surface Pro.

And there is only one USB port.  I am not sure if other models have more.

What Do I Use it For?

Of course, I write blog posts and content for myself and my clients.  I wrote this blog post on it last night.

Google Chrome is always open with at least 10 tabs.

I have Office 365 installed and use Excel all the time, and Word when I am putting longer posts together.

I read books using Kindle.

I watch shows and movies using Netflix, Hulu, and Plex.  The resolution and display are great for this.

I use it for learning.  I have a few dozen courses to go through in Udemy still and some other stuff I need to get through.

It Makes a Great College Gift!!

I know it’s back to school time for a lot of families in the US.  I thought it was a good time to share this with other dads and families who need a reliable and efficient solution for their college students computer needs.

No need to lug a desktop up to the dorm anymore.  The Surface Pro is light and fast.  The facial recognition feature is a great theft deterrent bonus as well.  It recognizes my face quickly but prevents others from being able to log in.

I still do some IT for families that I have had as clients for many years.  I have watched their kids grow up and go off to college.

When the kids go off to college the parents always ask me what would be a good computer to send them off with.   In the last year, I have recommended the Surface Pro exclusively.

It’s powerful enough to get the job done, versatile enough to take the place of a tablet and a TV, and light enough to run from class to class.  We all know college students are always late for class.


In case you’re wondering, no I will not help you salvage your old desktop into a Plex server.

If you have or decide to purchase a Surface Pro let me know what you think!  Do you fat finger everything like I do?

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review





41 replies
  1. Kelli A
    Kelli A says:

    I have been seriously considering something like this. I love the title! My husband always says he can’t use certain tech because of his “fat fingers” Gonna have him read this!

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      Ha ha, that is my biggest problem with the Surface and all smaller devices. If it wasn’t for autocorrect I would be in big trouble.

  2. Laurie Gannon
    Laurie Gannon says:

    I am replying to your post from my Microsoft Surface! I am so in love with it. I use it for blogging, too! It’s so lightweight yet provides me with the speed and efficiency that I need. It would definitely make the perfect graduation gift. 🙂

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      Isn’t it great. And it is fast. I really was hesitant given the Microsoft name. They don’t have a good track record with hardware but the Surface is great.

  3. Sipho
    Sipho says:

    Awesome read. For a tech enthusiast such as myself I’m always happy to read and learn more about tech and advanced gadgetry. Awesome!

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      Then you will love my next post. I hope to finish it today. It’s how to set up Plex on a Linux computer.

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      Yes, it is awesome. I love the fact that I can work anywhere and not worry about lugging around my beast.

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      I was lucky enought that a friend of mine had one and let me try. Some of the malls now have Microsoft kiosks and stores. They would probably let you try one.

  4. Enas
    Enas says:

    I learned something new.. But to be honest I have an apple pro and thought I will love it but I just can’t get used to it😢 i love to work on my Acer..

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      Apple to Acer is a stretch. Acer to Surface Pro not as much. I do understand though, I prefer to use my Asus laptop for certain tasks.

  5. rain
    rain says:

    i’m actually looking for a computer now. i’m leaning towards a surface pro….and no, i don’t have fat fingers…lmao.

  6. Annie Cho
    Annie Cho says:

    The surface pro has so many awesome features! I love that the keyboard is detachable, that it’s light, and that it’s touch-screen! Sweet!

  7. rain
    rain says:

    I’m actually looking for a laptop now and am aiming towards the surface pro. I need something lightweight….and no i don’t have fat fingers…lol

  8. Dallas Prevost
    Dallas Prevost says:

    Very insightful review. I currently only have a Dell desktop and my LG smartphone. I’ve been procrastinating on deciding between a laptop, notebook, tablet, etc. Just the thought of doing the research makes my eyes glaze over as my mind goes numb with indecision.

  9. Brittany Vantrease
    Brittany Vantrease says:

    People like me, need people like you. I don’t know a lot about computers or their operating systems. I care about ease of use and if it works well. My husband is always talking about them important stuff and I’m just like, “Does it work?”

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      You sound like my wife (who has some tech background). Because I am around she forgets everything.

  10. Aareeba
    Aareeba says:

    I am actually looking for a laptop which Is light weighted so that I can carry everywhere , thanks for sharing this review, I should check this out

  11. Astrid
    Astrid says:

    Excellent review! We’ve been looking to add a second laptop so this comes in handy. Definitely looking for a lighter version and this may just do it. Thanks for the detailed review.

  12. Debby
    Debby says:

    My computer is ANCIENT and my daughters are constantly telling me I need to buy a new one. This one sounds cool. If only I wasn’t waiting for mine to completely die!

  13. Meagan Badore
    Meagan Badore says:

    This is great timing for this review because I have been looking into a new tablet that I can use as a laptop as well. I am usually Team Apple with my Iphone, Ipad mini and Ipod but now I am going to look into this. Thanks!

  14. Blair villanueva
    Blair villanueva says:

    This is a cool unit! I’ll share this to my bro, he is looking to replce his current unit.

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      Ohh, you want to start a battle of MS vs Apple on my site??? Just kidding. I have used Mac in the past but I just cannot justify the expense of a Mac

  15. Kiwi
    Kiwi says:

    If definitely back to school season and this would make for a great college gift. I like how versatile this laptop is!

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