When I didn't know her much, I thought she was a man who likes driving and using LaTeX :) I didn't even think the word @CarLaTeX was related in any way with her real name, or even she was a man or not.
this depends too much on window manager, so I can't be of real help here (for me it's just Super+n and Super+j to switch windows, Super+q to launch a new GUI program, Super+Enter to launch a new terminal, ... -- but my WM is tailored to my needs).
Disabling the touchpad on the surface sounds like a good thing but I haven't found any other way to switch between windows or launch new windows. (There *must* be a way?) And working on a transcription with both the original and the edit text on the same screen, instantaneous switching is essential. (When I've worked on transcriptions previously, original and edit were on different devices.)
I'll be happy to submit my corrected transcription to be compared to the auto-version. (If only I knew where to do so.) Re a separate keyboard, that will wait until I also have a decent-sized screen, that can show two lettersize pages, full size, side by side; a monitor like I had at the office before I retired -- one that doesn't sacrifice height, but is the "old" 3-4-5 configuration, not this super-wide monstrosity foisted on computer users by the TV broadcasters.