About 2.5 years ago, I wrote an article called I’m Juiced… Because my Surface Pro 3 Got Juiced! It was a play on words because I had won an adapter for my Surface Pro from Juiced Systems that was a 4-in-1 adapter custom-fitted to the Surface Pro 3, with two USB 3.0 ports, an SD Card reader, and a Micro-SD Card reader. I loved it, and was disappointed that when I upgraded to my Surface Pro 4 it did not fit (see article).
Fast-forward a couple of years, I started working at Cistel Technologies in Ottawa with one of the hosts of the show on which I won the adapter (The Universal Windows Podcast, previously known as SurfaceSmiths). Colin and I were taking one day, and I lamented that it was too bad that I could no longer use the 4-in-1. He told me that the company had started making them for the Surface Pro 4… and more than that, there were now several versions of it. I got on that right away, because I seem to go overboard on these things… especially when the devices are so useful!
According to the company website, this adapter is “…a beautifully constructed adapter designed specifically for your Surface Pro 4. The adapter will not block or impair any ports or charging inputs. Extend your Surface Pro 4 capabilities with a low profile, travel ready, USB 3.0 hub.” It has two USB 3.0 ports, one Micro SD input, and one Micro USB input to provide power to the adapter. It measures 63×32.5×9.8mm, making it small enough to travel in whatever sleeve you carry your Surface Pro in, and yes… it also works with the Surface Pro 3.
This device works for me in a pinch, when I just need an extra USB slot, or I need to read from (or write to) a Micro SD card. The Micro USB input allows me to boost the power to the adapter, so I can quickly and confidently charge two smart phones simultaneously. It actually provides enough power to run a USB 2.0 docking station… but that dock would make the adapter redundant.
As you can see, just like with the previous iteration, it is angled properly to meld perfectly to the device. Definitely a worthwhile investment.
Surface Pro 4 Multifunction Adapter
If you work in wired environments where you need an RJ-45 connection, this is the perfect adapter for you.
The Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Multifunction adapter gives you two USB 3.0 ports, as well as an Ethernet input so you can connect to a wired network. I do not spend a lot of time on wired networks, but there are a few places where I need to connect, and WiFi is not an option. This device stays in my sleeve for that very reason.
The USB 3.0 Media adapter is not contoured to specifically fit to the Surface Pro, rather it will work with any device with a USB port. Its body is aluminum, unlike most such adapters which are usually cheap plastic. You can feel this device is stronger and more durable than most. According to the product page: “The adapter is designed for on the go productivity for all of your laptops media needs.” I don’t know about that, but with two USB 3.0 ports, an SD Memory Card reader, a Micro SD Memory Card reader, and a Micro USB input to add power, it certainly does extend the functionality of my Surface. This one includes a Micro USB cable to plug in so you can boost the ports. While this device is not designed specifically for the Surface Pro 4 like the other ones, I definitely look to this one as my go-to adapter. If I have to choose between the three that I am reviewing, this is the one I go to. No, it does not have the Ethernet port… but I usually don’t need it, and the multiple USB ports plus the full-size and Micro-SD card readers make my life as a photographer much simpler.
All three of these adapters – along with dozens more – are available online from Juiced Systems, and are definitely worth the investment. In this day and age where our devices – and especially our tablets – are offering fewer and fewer ports, and we have more and more devices, then having the ability to add the ports we need this easily can make our lives easier.
All three devices retail for $29.99, and ship pretty quickly. I strongly recommend you try them out. You will not be disappointed!