lenovo flex review fb

A Comprehensive Review of the Lenovo Flex Business 2.5K 16″ 2-in-1 Laptop

Back to School Review of the Lenovo Flex Business 2.5K 16″ 2-in-1 Laptop


In the ever-evolving landscape of computing technology, Lenovo consistently ranks among the frontrunners. With the release of the Lenovo Flex Business 2.5K 16″ 2-in-1 Laptop, the company presents a compelling blend of portability, performance, and versatility. This review delves into the key features of this device, weighing its strengths and potential shortcomings.

Design & Build

Sporting a sleek, lightweight design, the Lenovo Flex immediately impresses with its sophistication. The aluminum body gives it a premium feel while ensuring durability. It’s notably portable, making it an excellent choice for professionals and students on the go.

The hinge, a crucial element in any 2-in-1 device, is sturdy and smooth. It allows the laptop to transition effortlessly between standard, tent, stand, and tablet modes, catering to a variety of use cases.


Arguably the centerpiece of the Lenovo Flex is its stunning 2.5K (2560 x 1600) resolution display. With a 16″ screen size, it provides ample workspace. The visuals are crisp and vibrant, producing excellent color accuracy that creative professionals will appreciate. The touchscreen is highly responsive, and the included Lenovo Digital Pen adds another level of interactivity.

Get the Lenovo Flex Business 2.5k 2 in 1 Laptop


Powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, coupled with 16GB of RAM, the Lenovo Flex doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance. It handles daily productivity tasks with ease and doesn’t falter even when multitasking between several demanding applications. However, the integrated graphics may not be up to the mark for hardcore gaming or heavy-duty 3D rendering.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard on the Lenovo Flex is comfortable, with adequate key travel and a satisfying tactile response. The backlit keys enhance usability in low-light conditions. The trackpad is spacious and responsive, supporting multi-touch gestures with precision.

Battery Life

Lenovo promises up to 10.5 hours of battery life with the Flex, which can vary depending on usage. While it might not last an entire workday under heavy use, the rapid charge technology provides 3 hours of use with just a 15-minute charge, a notable feature for those who often work on the go.

Audio and Camera

Equipped with user-facing Dolby Atmos speakers, the audio quality is good, considering the laptop’s slim form factor. The 720p HD webcam is adequate for video calls, and the privacy shutter is a thoughtful addition in the age of increased online interaction.


Lenovo Flex boasts a decent selection of ports: two USB-C ports (one supporting Power Delivery and DisplayPort), a USB-A port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the lack of an SD card reader might inconvenience some users, especially photographers.


The laptop comes with Windows 11 Pro, providing all the security and productivity features you’d expect from the latest Windows operating system. The pre-installed Lenovo Vantage software allows for easy system updates and customization.

Get the Lenovo Flex Business 2.5k 2 in 1 Laptop

Final Verdict

The Lenovo Flex Business 2.5K 16″ 2-in-1 Laptop is an excellent choice for professionals and students who need a flexible, high-performing device. Its gorgeous display, robust performance, and convertible design make it a versatile tool for work and entertainment. While it might not satisfy the needs of a dedicated gamer or high-end creative professional, it offers remarkable value for its price point, making it a worthy contender in the 2-in-1 laptop market.

Check out other laptops on Amazon

Dad Hack 4 Protect Your Kids Online fb

Dad Hack 4 – Protect Your Kids Online

Dad Hack 4 – Protect Your Kids Online

Cyberbullying and Child Predators are Lurking Just Behind Your Cable Modem

How do you protect your kids online?

At this point, it’s probably no secret that I am a fan of technology. I work in IT and have tons of gadgets.

Then it should come as no surprise that my kids are all about tech as well, primarily gaming.

YouTube is a favorite in the house. For me, it’s a tool to educate and promote. For the kids, they watch some YouTubers all the time.

All these things require the internet. Gaming on a PlayStation or Xbox. Playing on the iPad or Nintendo switch. The internet is needed for most of them to work correctly.

Games like Roblox, Among Us, Minecraft, and Fortnite are super popular with lots of kids, and yes adults, playing them.

All the games I just mentioned have a feature that parents should be wary of. They all have the capability to chat with other users of the game.

This blog post is a cautionary tale based on a real event and my acute knowledge of the technology world’s dark side.

My son is very social. He loves to talk to people and won’t miss an opportunity to make a friend. He no longer plays Among Us but did for a while. He would also chat with people on Among Us. (Hold your judgment until you finish reading this blog).

He began chatting with a young girl around his age on Among Us. Within a very short period (less than a day) they took this conversation to text messaging. My son has an iPhone SE because of an incident at school a few years earlier. That’s another blog post entirely. Let’s just say it’s sad what our kids must endure in school these days.

My kids know I will check up on their activities on all devices. My son’s phone and daughter’s iPad are also monitored for what apps they use, where they are, and how long they use them. We do not let our kids use their devices whenever they want. There are rules and restrictions.

There are so many reasons to do this. Child predators and cyberbullying are two of the biggest.

among us predators lurking

The day after he started this new friendship with a girl from Among Us, I spot-checked his text messages. Sure, enough I saw the out-of-area code text message with no name attached to it. I scan the text messages and see that the girl had sent him a picture. She was a very pretty young girl. First red flag. I’ll get to that in a minute, but it immediately raised all kinds of alarms.

The second red flag was the text that immediately followed her picture that said, “Get a makeover and send me a picture”. Does that sound like something an 11-year-old girl would say to a boy? I didn’t think so either.

I asked my son about the conversation and innocently enough he thought there was nothing wrong with it. I explained to him that this person was not who they claimed to be. I put her picture into Google Image Search and sure enough, this picture was a stock image used all over the internet. How would a preteen boy know this, right?

I explained what was more likely happening. This was probably a child predator looking for new victims to groom. We had a long conversation about some of the dangers that lurk on the internet.

Parents be Vigilant

Predators and cyberbullies are also having fun on Among Us, Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox. They have different motivations than my kids have. The internet is a great resource for games, information, work, school, and a lot more. It’s also a very dangerous place. The aforementioned games are not the only games with chat features and not the only places on the internet where very evil people seek out victims.

Cyberbullying and social media are big problems on social media as well. It’s also harder to monitor on TikTok or Snapchat. Games like Madden, Grand Theft Auto, and many more allow online chatting and communication.

Some parents will argue that I am violating my kid’s privacy. They’re not adults and my job is to protect them. I will do whatever it takes to make sure they’re OK. Your job as a parent is to create a safe space for your children, to raise them to be productive citizens, and to provide a better life than the one you have.

You cannot create a safe space if you have no idea what is going on in their digital world.

how to protect your kids online

Dad Hack Number 4 – Keep Your Kids Safe Online

I get asked a lot about how to protect your kids online. Here are a few pointers.

Beyond the monitoring, tracking, and restrictions we have in place for our children’s screen time I also routinely check their activities. I check messages on all apps. I check browsing history. I check pictures and videos taken and downloaded. And I pay attention to their behavior. Changes in behavior are a sign something is off.

Here’s the important part. I am honest with my kids. I tell them I am going to do this and why. The internet is a dangerous place and I just want to make sure they’re safe.

I am not naïve. I know kids are tech-savvy and can hide things which is why I also monitor and approve app installs with the profiles I set up on their devices. So many parents set up devices and never put any parental controls on them.

We limit screen time, especially on school days. It is unhealthy for anyone to stare at a screen for an unlimited amount of time. Devices are locked/blocked at bedtime to prevent any temptation or activity that could be damaging. You could take this a step further and remove the devices from their rooms.

Gaming systems are in public areas of the house, not in their bedrooms. They don’t have TVs in their rooms either.

Again, the key to the success of this is transparency. Be open and honest as to why you are doing these things. Help them understand the dangers that lurk on the other side of your cable modem or 5g connection so they can also recognize and protect themselves. Help them understand too much screen time is extremely unhealthy. They need physical activity. Teach them to talk to you about what they’re doing when they are online. Spend time watching or playing with them when they are online. But be transparent about your motivations.

Summary of How to Protect Your Kids Safe Online:

  • Be Transparent with Your Kids
  • Monitor Everything
  • Spot Check Activity, Especially Messaging and Browsing
  • Content Filtering Wherever Possible
  • Create Parent/Child Accounts
  • Limit Screen Time
  • Gaming Systems & Computers Should be in Public Areas of the Home
  • Don’t Assume

Our kids deserve to be safe at home, at school, and online. Do your part!

Read Dad Tax 3


A Dad Tax Review - Grammarly

Want to be Humbled? Use Grammarly! [Fix Grammar Before Publishing]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Grammarly makes me look like a grammatical genius.  It also humbles me when I go through and correct mistakes I have no idea I am making.

I have been using Grammarly for at least a couple of years now.  I have spoken about it multiple times most recently on my SEO Hackerz Podcast.  I mentioned in one of my episodes that if you want to be humbled use Grammarly.  It made perfect sense that I would become an affiliate of Grammarly.  I have probably already lost a number of sales by not doing this sooner.

Rather than sing the praises of Grammarly, which I am sure most people reading this have already read or heard, I am going to give you a few real-life scenarios of Grammarly in practice.  When I am done you will understand why you too should use Grammarly.

First, let me start by saying there are a lot of blogs and ebooks out there that could benefit from using Grammarly.  Some blogs are REALLY difficult to read.  Let me first tell you what Grammarly does.

I have read enough, I want Grammarly now>>>>

Grammarly checks and alerts to:

  • Spelling Mistakes
  • Grammatical Errors
  • Word Choice (like overusing words or using words unnecessarily)
  • Punctation
  • Plagiarism (premium account required)

Grammarly Scenario One:

When writing blog posts or any content I will usually start with Microsoft Word.  I like to save the blog posts and content locally (technically in the cloud).  Microsoft Word’s grammar correction works well but it has nothing on Grammarly.

I have been living under a rock because before I wrote this blog post I was not aware there was a Grammarly plug-in for Microsoft Word and Outlook.  Before that, I would write the post and upload it to my website.

grammarly apps

I use Google Chrome almost exclusively so it makes sense that I would have the Grammarly Chrome add-on.  Even after I have made corrections using Word’s grammar checker Grammarly always finds more.  A few of the suggestions are the result of me trying to write the blog post as a conversation.  Most of the suggestions in my case are related to the usage of punctuation and incorrect usage of hyphens.

Not to toot my own horn but I am a pretty decent speller.  I won a spelling bee in second grade!  Do they even have spelling bees anymore?

Once I copy and paste the word document into WordPress Grammarly goes to work and adds a red underline to the issues it finds.  There’s also the Grammarly icon at the lower right-hand corner of your screen.  If it is green and not spinning then there are no errors identified.  If it is red then there are errors.  It will indicate the number of errors that it finds.

Grammarly offers the correction simply by hovering over the error.  Within a few minutes, all of my poor grammar is corrected.

Now my wife won’t yell at me.  She’s the grammar police in the house.

Grammarly Scenario Two:

Sometimes I get brave, as I am with this blog post, and write the whole blog in WordPress.

You would think that by now I would have learned my lesson.

One late night writing (there seems to be a lot of those lately) my internet went out and my browser window refreshed.  A nearly 2000 word blog that I had not saved yet was gone.  My Surface almost went on an unplanned flight that day.

I digress.  As I am writing this blog post I am almost instantly alerted to errors.  This saves me time from having to go back and edit the content.  As I type the Grammarly chrome addon spins away doing its thing.

When it discovers an error I am almost instantly alerted to it.  Grammarly identifies errors before I get to the next sentence usually.  And I am a fast typer.

Now let me go save my work so far.

Get Grammarly for Your Blog>>>

Grammarly Scenario Three:

This is where Grammarly humbled me.  I was recording a podcast about repurposing content.  I went to a blog post from 4 years ago to review how updating and content for timeliness could increase your traffic.

Of course, I have the Grammarly addon in Chrome.  It immediately went to work on the blog post that I was using as an example.  The number of red underlines was scary.

On the one note, it showed how much I have grown as a writer/blogger in 4 years.  On another note, I was scared to look at other older blog posts.  What will I uncover?

grammarly while editing in WordPress

If you have content that you have not used Grammarly on I would strongly encourage you to do so, especially if there is a large gap between when you started blogging and now.

Make sure you’re sitting down before you do this.  You might pass out if your blogging early on is anything like mine.ser

Grammarly Scenario Four

We all write emails  Some of us pour over email to make sure it looks professional, has the right tone, and is grammatically correct.

I am not sure if Grammarly can help with the tone but it can help with looking professional and ensuring grammar is correct.

If you use a web-based email as I do, just use the Google Chrome plugin.  Grammarly will do the work for you and alert you to mistakes the same way it does when editing a blog post.

If you use Outlook you just need to install the Microsoft Word app.  It also works in Outlook.

We tend to be a little more careless when sending an email.  A lot of the emails I send are professional email to clients or professional clients.  Imagine sending an email to a potential client about handling their content and SEO with poor grammar and misspelling common words.

If that potential client is anything like me then I will most likely not win them over as a client.

Grammarly plays a huge part in my email correspondence.

Grammarly For Life

I love Grammarly.  It saves me from looking like a dummy all the time.  I can do that enough without grammatical errors.  Grammarly has a free plan as well as subscription plans.

The subscription plans start at just under $12/month if paid annually.  With a subscription, you get the plagiarism checker, twice as many corrections and customization based on document type.

Grammarly is a very powerful tool for business communications, blogging and content creation, and scholastic submissions.

I have been using it for several years now.  It has helped me fix poor grammar, typos, and misspellings.  It has improved my word choice and my tendency to sometimes over exaggerate a point.

Did I mention they have an app for iOS and Android?

Try Grammarly yourself and I am sure you will agree too!  If you use Grammarly already share your experience in the comments!!

Correct all grammar errors with Grammarly!

Want to be Humbled_ Use Grammarly! [Fix Grammar Before Publishing]



the dad tax guide to installing plex on centos 7

The Dad Tax Guide to Setting up a Plex Server [On CentOS]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Cut the Cord

I worked in the cable industry for almost 10 years.  I left it in 2015.  The last few years I advocated for change.  Packaged television was not working anymore.  No one wanted to pay $120/month to have 200 channels of which they watched maybe 10.

While I was still working in the cable industry I cut the cord.  I still have cable internet because the alternative in my area is terrible.

I use Netflix (I actually get this free because of the plan I have with TMobile).  I have Hulu, and I have a Plex Server.

I have considered, and am still considering using one of the now many streaming services for live TV.  Right now it’s looking like YouTube Live.

I am also considering using an antenna.  What year is it again?

I love my Plex Server.

First, let me start out by introducing you to Plex.

Plex is software that allows you to stream your movie/video collection to multiple devices.  For a low yearly rate of $40 you can purchase the Plex Pass.  With this, you get a bunch of add-ons including the ability to watch and record TV shows (not live).

I should point out that purchasing a Plex Pass is not required but it is nice to have!

You can also add on some other features like Podcasts.  You can configure it to stream videos from any of your devices as well.

I mainly use it as my movie library.  I have taken years of movies off of DVD, added some newer movies, and now have over 500 movies on my server.

I no longer own a DVD player unless you count the Xbox or computers.  Incidentally, I use the Xbox for Plex.

I also use my Roku Players for Plex.  Get the Roku Streaming Stick Here>>>>>

the Dad Tax Plex Server

Why CentOS (Linux)?

I originally set up my Plex Server on a Windows 2012 Server.  Compared to my current Plex Server it was beefy.  It was running 16 GB of RAM and a relatively newer Xeon processor.

The installation and set up on the Windows Server was very simple.  It was easy to attach other drives to the server and have Plex pick them up.

Then the unthinkable happened.  The motherboard and processor on the server died.  I had a decision to make.  Do I replace the motherboard and processor?

The Windows Server also ran hard.  It was literally being used to heat my office in the winter.  No heater needed.  It was consuming a lot of electricity.  And I was really not using it for anything else.

Should I fix it?  Parts would have cost me a few hundred dollars.  Not too bad.  But was it worth it?

I had a few older Dell Desktops not really being used for anything.  I installed CentOS 7 (on older computers I typically run Linux as it just runs more efficiently).  Then I set out to find a guide on how to set up Plex.

The issue was there was not ONE guide to help with everything I was trying to accomplish.  I was installing a Plex Server on CentOS..that’s one guide.  I was installing a Windows Hard Drive on the Linux machine (another guide).  I was transferring movies from an external drive formatted with Windows.  (another guide).

The information was all over the place.  Some of it was also wrong or did not work.

Why should anyone else suffer?

My Plex “Server” Specs

I wouldn’t necessarily call the computer a server.  It definitely runs on a lot less than the Windows Server did.


  • Dude, you have a Dell
  • Older generation i3 Processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • I added a 2TB drive to it.
    • Basically, I took the drive from the Windows Server and put it in this machine.  Originally it came with a 500GB drive.  So the operating system is installed on the 500GB drive and the movies are on the 2TB drive.

To my dismay, there was not a single guide that had every step to set up and maintain a Plex Server on CentOS.  CentOS is easily one of the more popular versions of Linux so that seemed odd.

I pieced together a guide from what I found.  Here it is!

Warning: This is done almost exclusively using Terminal (Linux Command Line).  If you prefer a GUI or are uncomfortable with using strictly command line then this might not be the best approach for you.


The Dad Tax Guide to Setting Up & Maintaining Plex on CentOS 7

You will first need to have a machine running CentOS 7.  This guide assumes that if you are here then you already have the knowledge to install CentOS.

If I get enough requests then I will create a guide on how to install CentOS as well.  Installing most versions of Linux is not that hard to do these days, and there are lots of guides on the internet regarding installing CentOS and Linux in general.

First thing I would suggest is setting up SSH.  I set up my Plex Server to allow SSH internally only.  You can choose otherwise.  I won’t get into the risks and how to prevent them here.

My Plex Server is in my basement office.  It’s easier to manage from anywhere else in the house using SSH.  I don’t even keep a keyboard and mouse connected to it.  It’s just quicker to SSH from my phone or laptop.

Get an Account

You will also need to have a plex account.  You can set this up on their website.  You can create a free account but I would really encourage you to get a Plex Pass.  It’s $3.99 a month, or $40/year or you can get a lifetime pass or $120 for life.

I originally chose the one year plan.  I will be going to lifetime when my one year is up.  That should be soon.

First Do This

yum update -y

This will update your machine.  If you have not done this in a while it may take some time.  It may also require a reboot if the kernel is updated.

Set Up SSH on CentOS

Open Terminal and Enter

sudo su

Enter Your Username and Password.  This will give you root access so you don’t have to keep typing in your password or Sudo

systemctl start sshd.service

Now, you’re not going to want to do this every time your computer reboots so you can configure your machine to start SSH on boot.

systemctl enable sshd

Now SSH will start whenever the computer reboots.

Like I said earlier, I configured SSH immediately so that I don’t have to go all the way down to the basement to manage my Plex Server.

There are other things to consider.  For example, there are different versions of SSH, one more secure than the other.

You may also want to determine if you want to be able to access SSH from outside your network.  I decided against this for my reasons but you may want to.

Install Plex

This step is actually pretty easy.  Before you do this step you will need to go to the downloads page and get the URL for the latest version.

As of this writing, the command you would use is:

wget https://downloads.plex.tv/plex-media-server/

Now Install Plex (this assumes you still have sudo access).  If not include sudo in the beginning of the below command.

yum install plexmediaserver*.rpm

Finally, you will want to configure Plex to automatically start on reboot.  I can’t think of a reason you wouldn’t.

sudo systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service

Last but definitely not least, fire it up!!

sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver.service

Configure Plex

You will now need to open a browser.  The default browser on CentOS is fine.

You may want to install Chrome on your shiny new (old) Linux machine.  I chose not to install anything additional besides Plex and some monitoring software.

Browse to http://localhost:8888/web

Enter your username and password.  We set this up earlier..remember???

Give your new Plex server a name.

Optional: Put a check in the box Allow me to access my media outside my home.  I chose not to do this.  Keep in mind if you do this you will also need to configure your router to allow access.

And then create your media folders.  In my scenario, these folders were already created because I used a hard drive that was set up on my Windows Server originally.  That’s another set of instructions that will not be included here.

To create new media folders go back to your terminal window and enter:

cd ~/
mkdir -p plex-media/movies 

You will need to do this for each folder you want to be created. So if you want one for TV you would run this command again but change movies to tv, or you can append to the first command using:

&& mkdir plex-media/tv

Add Media

I transferred my movies from a back up drive originally set up on Windows.  This means I would have another set of instructions.  I will include those as a bonus once I am done with this guide.

For now, I am going to assume you have some knowledge of how to transfer media to your Linux hard drive (the folders you created in the previous step.

Open Plex on your local machine.  Alternatively, you can navigate to Plex from inside your network using another computer.

For example, on my network, I can go to and log in from there.   This will be different for you depending on the IP address scope of your router and what IP address you assigned to your Plex Server.  The :32400 at the end is the port number for Plex.

If you are still on your local machine then just use http://localhost:8888/web.

  • Click Add Library
  • Select the media type (Movies, TV, Music..etc)
  • Navigate to the folder that the media is in
  • Click Add
  • Repeat for additional libraries

scan library files on plexIt is important to follow Plex’s naming conventions as outlined on their website.  I did not when I first set this up and it did not go smoothly.  I had some cleaning up to do.

After you’ve done the initial set up anytime you add more media (to the same folders) just use the scan library files option to update Plex with the new media.

Update Plex

Updating Plex is pretty simple. The heavy lifting is done now.

It just so happened that an update is available as I am putting this guide together so I am going to screen capture it.

I am going to do this from my Asus Laptop (I wrote about it here) using Putty.

First you will want to make sure CentOS is up to date.  As you will see in the video you will need to make sure you have su access.

sudo su

Enter Password

yum update -y

wget https://downloads.plex.tv/plex-media-server/

service plexmediaserver stop

yum localupdate plexmediaserver*

service plexmediaserver start

Note, the url used in wget may not be the current version.  It probably will not be by the time you read this.  You will need to either use the version number shown in the Plex application or go to the Plex website to get the right version.

Transferring Media from a Windows Formatted Drive (Bonus Round)

I am adding this because a lot of people I know are more familiar with Windows.  You might be more of a Linux user but if you are then you’re probably not reading this guide.

My backup of my movies is a portable hard drive that was originally formatted in Windows.  CentOS does not recognize this natively but there is a way to transfer media from a Windows formatted drive to CentOS.

You will first need to install some software

yum install ntfs-3g

Now create a directory where the Windows Drive will attach

mkdir /mnt/windows

/mnt/windows can be whatever you want it to be but make sure it makes sense.

Now mount the Windows drive

mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/win

You may need to change sdb1 to sdc1 or higher depending on how many mounts you have on your server.  I had to use sdc1 because I have two hard drives in the computer.  You can use the df command to see what mounts you have.

using df to see what mounts you have

On Windows when you detach an external drive you have to select eject from the system tray.  (If you don’t do this you risk losing data or corrupting the drive).  This is not an option on CentOS.  To detach the drive you have to:

umount /mnt/windows

To Transfer the Movies I just transfer the entire folder.  This is easier than going movie by movie.

cp -r -n /mnt/bkup/Movies\ 2 /mnt/win

The -r sets the copy to be recursive.  The -n tells the computer not to overwrite anything if it already exists.  Less wear and tear on the hard drive and a much quicker copy drive in my case.

The folder name on my external drive is Movies 2.  Note the space.  CentOS does not recognize the space so to get around that you have to enter it as Movies\ 2.

Final Notes

That’s going to do it for this Guide to Installing Plex on CentOS 7.  I am sure I missed a thing or two so if I did let me know.

If you use this guide let me know.

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The Dad Tax Guide to Installing Plex on CentOS 7


Surface Pro 4 Review from the Dad Tax

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

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

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





roku premier plus vs amazon fire stick

Which Streaming Media Player is Right for You? Roku or Amazon Firestick

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Roku Ultra

It was not long ago that cable companies dominated the market, providing hundreds of channels for millions of consumers. However, with the price of cable and satellite services like Dish and Direct TV skyrocketing, more people are turning to streaming media services. A streaming media player generally costs far less compared to cable or satellite services, but which one works best for you?

Today, three of the major streaming services, Roku, Amazon Firestick, and Apple TV all offer substantial programming, although there may be some limitations when compared to traditional cable and satellite services. So, it is important to choose the right one for your needs in getting the best value for what you spend.

Roku Ultra

Get It Now>>

Roku was one of the first and is arguably the most recognizable name in streaming services. First released in 2008, Roku offers a small stick that can be plugged into any compatible TV so that you can access online programming which currently consists of the following services;

  • Amazon Prime Video, CinemaNow, and Google Play
  • HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, and more

The device works on any HDTV that offers an HDMI interface and is compatible with Apple iOS and Android systems. You can access over 500,000 movies and TV episodes. Plus, it uses a voice remote with easy navigation to find what you want quickly.


  • Offers HD, HDR, and 4K
  • Send content from mobile device to TV, including photos
  • Provides a wide range of content, including popular online video and music services


About the only reported disadvantage is that Roku has a higher than the usual number of defective sticks or streaming media players compared to the competition. However, the number is still relatively small, and Roku offers free replacement for defective devices.

Get the Roku Ultra for just $99

Amazon Firestick with Alexa Voice Assistance

The classic Amazon Firestick offers an exceptional amount of programming which can be accessed by the Alexa assistant for voice control. The stick was designed to access channels, apps, and even play games all using the voice commands that Alexa provides. Some of the services the firestick offers include the following;

  • Amazon Video, HBO Now, and Hulu
  • Netflix, YouTube, and more

The app that comes with the Amazon Firestick can turn an Android, iOS, or Fire device into a remote using Alexa. If your TV has an HDMI interface, then you can plug in the Firestick.

Amazon Firestick


  • Alexa voice control is easy to use
  • Firestick provides a wide range of content


About the only real disadvantage, especially considering the low price, is that the device only goes up to 1080p resolution at 60 fps. This means for ultra-high-quality signals, this device will not provide full resolution.

Note: There is the advanced version, Fire TV with 4K resolution that offers the Alexa Voice Remote. Plus, it is designed to deliver 4K with built-in Dolby Atmos. Its cost is $69.99.

Get It Now>>>>

As for Me?

I prefer the Roku, hands down.  I have been using the Roku since the original one came out.  I now have several Roku boxes and a Roku TV in my office.  I can load all of my streaming services easily and the kids are able to use it without issue.