Surface Pro 4 Accessories Perks & Benefits
Ok, it’s time to have another conversation about Surface Pro 4 accessories.
The Surface Pro 4 (and Surface Book) release came with a slew of new accessories that are igniting lots of conversation and questions. Some folks are interested because they purchased one of the new devices, and others are interested because of the upcoming holidays. Accessories for their loved one’s new toy are always a great gift.
So, in this post, I will attempt to cover some of the common questions we received since the new devices hit the market.
- New Surface Pen compatibility
- New Type Cover keyboard compatibility
- New Docking Station
- Cortana Button
- Other accessories
Ok, let’s start from the top.
The New Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Surface Pen Compatibility
Question: Is the new Surface Pen compatible with Surface Pro 3?
Yes, it is. I have used it on a Surface Pro 3 with both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 OS Microsoft Surface devices.
Question: Do you get the 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity on your Surface Pro 3 with the new Pen?
No. The 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity are achieved through a combination of Pen and digitizer technologies working together. The Surface Pro 3 has a different digitizer that will only give you 256 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Question: Are the pen tips challenging to swap?
Yes, sort of. There have been lots of reports of people having trouble swapping the tips. I saw a tech at the Microsoft Store have trouble with it and actually damage the pen. The trick is to use the little tip removal tool, which is included in the kit.
Question: Do the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book come with extra pen tips?
No, the Surface Pen Tip Kit needs to be purchased separately as it does not come with the Surface Pro 4. We agree, this is a bummer.
See more information about the new Surface Pen in my post Surface Pro 3 vs Surface Pro 4 Pen Side-by-side article.
The New Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Surface Pro Type Cover Compatibility
Question: Does the new Surface Pro Type Cover work with the Surface Pro 3?
Yes, it does. I tried the new Type Cover on my Surface Pro 3, and it worked just fine.
Question: Does the fingerprint reader keyboard work with Surface Pro 3?
Yes, but it seems to only work if you’re using Windows 10 on your old Surface. Windows 8.1 doesn’t appear to have drivers that recognize the fingerprint reader, and I’m not sure if Microsoft is planning on correcting this problem. If I had to guess, I would say, probably not. In any case, as it is right now, you need to upgrade to Windows 10 to be able to use it.
Question: Does the older Surface Type Cover work with the new Surface Pro 4?
Yes, it does. I swap it between the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 3 all the time.
The New Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Docking Station
Question: Does the old Surface Pro 3 Docking Station work with Surface Pro 4?
Surprisingly it does. And it works well. Some have talked about a dock adapter that MS made, but I find that I have no trouble with my SP3 dock on Surface Pro 4, just as it is. It works just fine.
Question: Does the new Docking Station work with older Surface Pro 3s?
It most certainly does. The new dock is compatible with Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, and Surface Book.
Question: Are there compatibility problems?
Not that I have noticed, but I will tell you that MS openly says that the new dock doesn’t support Surface 3’s.
The New Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Cortana Button
Question: What is it?
Do you remember the iPhone media button? The same idea. And in fact, the same company has now created a Cortana button. To activate the Cortana function of your Windows 10 device remotely. This could be a Surface, laptop, desktop or even a Windows Phone.
Question: What’s cool about it?
Although not just for the Surface, the Cortona button is pretty cool. It allows any Windows 10 device to access Window 10’s new personal assistant, Cortana, instantly via a Bluetooth button. It will safely attach to your keychain, steering wheel, or car dashboard to allow you to access your device when it’s out of reach. You will be able to access your Surface (or Windows Phone) from the couch or across the room.
This is an interesting device, and I will do a separate review on it shortly. So, stay tuned.
The New Surface Pro 4 Accessories: Other Accessories
Question: I have a Surface Pro 3 car mount, will it work with Surface Pro 4?
Yes, very likely. The size difference is very minuscule between the two devices, and most car mounts are designed for multiple sizes, so you should be fine.
Question: Will my Surface Pro 3 Power Supply work with the new Surfaces?
Yes. The power supply is the same.
Question: I paid a lot for an Urban Armor Case for my Surface Pro 3, will it work with the SP4?
Although most Surface cases are going to be interchangeable between the Pro 3 and Pro 4 versions, this is not the case with the Urban Armor Cases. They are created to fit the devices perfectly to maximize the level of protection. Because the Surface Pro 4 is slightly slimmer, larger, and has different button positioning, you will most likely need to purchase a new case. The good news is that if you are buying the case from Amazon, you can save as much $19.00. So, you can get a case for $50.71 instead of the standard $69.95.
This covers the majority of questions we’ve been getting. If you have any other specific questions, please let us know, and we’ll try to answer them.
What to Consider When Buying the Accessories
There is so much to consider when purchasing electronic accessories of any kind. With the Windows Surface Pro laptops, accessories are some of the best features of buying the device. So what are some things to consider when purchasing the best accessories for a Surface Pro 4? Let’s find out!
Surface Pro 4 Pen
The surface pen is well known as a staple of the Surface Pro. This pen is a next-generation type of accessory.
- Responsive to the slightest stoke
- Almost no time between you drawing or writing and the ink appearing
- The incredible sensitivity of this pen on the screen may make your expectations for writing with real ink pens skyrocket
- Shading is a simpler task than ever before
- You can erase with the top button
- Click only once in order to summon Cortana
- Take screenshots that go straight to OneNote
- Something that was kept from the Surface 3 pen is the top button that opens OneNote, which is an incredibly convenient feature, as you can imagine.
- Enjoy variety in the Pen Tip Kit, which has four tips included. These tips are a great painting feature. They also give you back up options if a tip is no longer useable. These pens are not cheap!
- Experience the simplicity of compatibility with this pen. You can use it for products across the board such as Surface 3, Pro 3, Pro 4, and Surface Book.
- You will pay a bit more for this pen than you did with the Surface Pro 3, but it is well worth all the added features.
So why is this accessory right for YOU?
- If you are an artist, you need this pen. Many apps support this pen, making this an excellent tool for drawing, shading, sketching, and creation of all kinds. On the Windows site, you can find an extensive listing of exactly which apps are compatible with this pen. Some of the big ones are Adobe Photoshop, and Drawboard PDF.
- There is a creative space just for the artist called Windows Surface Studio Dial, where you are able to perform artistry like never before with this accessory.
- If you are a writer, you need this pen. Your handwriting converts to text without a sitch. This accessory allows you to use your surface tablet as you would a physical paper and pen.
The Surface Pro Pen is the next big thing for creatives of all kinds!
Surface Pro Docking Station
Do you long for heightened productivity in your life and work? This Docking Station will give you the boost you need! Compatible with almost all Surface Pros and Surface Books, this station is well worth the purchase. It will last you throughout any Surface upgrade! So what are the details?
-Two video ports
-Gigabit Ethernet port
-Four high-speed USB ports
-The Doc will hold your Surface and set it upright as a PC
So why is this accessory right for YOU?
- Do you need a desktop PC to do better work? This accessory basically takes your Surface and turns it into one
- If you are doing work that requires a more heavy duty device, this Docking Station will help you create that
- If you have to need to plug in a wide variety of devices, this docking station is right for you
As we have covered, this button allows you to access Cortana more conveniently. But what’s the big hype about this? Cortana is called your “personal digital assistant.” She can do pretty much anything you can think of on your surface, to make your life easier. A simple “Hey Cortana can access her”. So what does she do, exactly?
-She can search for anything and everything on your surface. From notes to photos, to schedules. She will find things for you that are buried deep in your Surface with a simple request.
-Cortana can add to your calendar as well as switch scheduled events around or change them.
-Need an alarm clock you can set by voice as you climb into bed? Look no further.
-If you are looking for a word definition, synonym, or a translation, she’s your gal. Just ask her what this or that means.
-Need a GPS you can access by voice? Look no further than Cortana!
-Do you ever wish your Surface would play tunes while you work or clean? Ask Cortana to play your favorite song; it is hassle free!
-Is doing math a daily occurrence for you? Now you have someone who will tell you the answers to your equations and calculations!
-Need to send an email? Just have Cortana do it for you!
-Have you ever wanted someone to know you so well that they even memorized your handwriting? Cortana does this. You can use your Surface Pen in her notebook, and she will be able to help you save the note as a reminder.
-A lot to keep track of in your life? Busy schedule? Forgetful? Cortana loves to give reminders!
-Do you want to catch a late film? Cortana knows all the movie times. Just ask her!
-Are you awaiting important mail? Or are you watching a flight’s arrival time? Cortana tracks these things for you!
So Who Is This Accessory Right For?
-If you work from home
-If you manage a home and family
-If you are an employee, manager, supervisor, or any other individual who has frequent meetings, projects, and schedules to maintain
-If you are an individual who finds themselves needing a personal assistant
-If you are an independent contractor or freelancer
-If you send a lot of emails
-If you like reminders and schedules
-If you need some organization in your life
-If you are pretty much anyone who wants some assistance
Extra Accessories to Purchase:
-Computer Protector Screen
-Micro SD Card for external content
-Surface Dial for your creative endeavors
-External Laptop Monitors
-External Charging Port
-Surface Connect Cable
Accessories Are for Convenience
These accessories are incredibly useful and exciting. They are all here to help make your life simpler, and to make you better at your craft or job. Make sure to get all the details before you purchase, and get those that are the perfect fit for you.
Joanna is a former IT Director for a major public university, who gave up a high paying career to blog full time. She is proud to be a professional geek. Joanna loves all things technology and Surface tablets are her passion. She and Tim created LoveMySurface.net to help others be more productive using these awesome tablets.