Surface Pro 6 i5 as roon core and remote?

I’m pretty new to the world of Hifi. I purchased some Kef ls50w speakers as my first decent setup. I’m loving the sound from them and am really enjoying exploring spotify premium which I’ve never had before. I like its UI better than tidal, but it still has a bit to be desired and I’m also having some connectivity issues between spotify and my speakers.
Which brings me to roon and tidal combo. I hear it’s supposed to integrate well with the kefs.

I want good SQ but hassle/bug free is at least as important to me.

I have little to no native music and want to make the most of exploring tidal. If my library grows over time, then i can add storage then.

Surface pro 6 i5 vs roon core running rock and cheaper tablet as a remote?

Option A=
Surface Pro 6 i5 = $1300 nzd

Option B=
Diy i5 roon core from scratch = $600 (estimate)
+Tablet, Galaxy Tab A 10.5" $430 nzd (example)

Option A is a touch more expensive and I’m not sure if it will work as well. I will end up with a much better tablet which would be good, but I’ll keep it running pretty clean for roon as it’s priority. I feel like I’d be putting all my eggs in one basket with this approach, although I could add a core later if need be. I like the clean simple feel of this approach and seems to match what I’ve got with my speakers.

Option B would take a bit more work to get up and running and I’ll be left with a cheaper final interface (tablet). Its tried and tested. It would be a fun project for my 16 yr old son and I.

Will my music quality be effected by the added Lan pathway of the Surface approach, vs roon core and ethernet hard wired to my speakers? Anymore chance of it dropping out?


I would get a nuc and run rock on it. Even though I hate apple I would use an ipad as a remote rather than android. Some have had problems with android but it is hit and miss. My android phone has worked flawlessly.

I’d do the DIY i5 + an iPad. I’m running the core on Ubuntu server, on an older i5, with remote end points. Connection can be hit and miss with Android – iPad seems to be more reliable (Android can be patchy about connections – it gives me grief).

A Surface will work (I’ve done it when traveling), but something that’s hardwired and doesn’t move will be less hassle.

Happy to answer any questions you might have.

Good luck.