After much testing, I believe I have resolved this problem. This laptop came with Norton Internet Security preinstalled so I activated the trial version. While setting up the laptop I started to experience a number of response type issues. After a couple of very frustrating weeks, I decided to uninstall the trial version of Norton Internet Security. At the same time, I installed Norton 360 Premier Edition for which I already had a license. Immediately after the uninstall / install all my problems went away.
Surface Pro (2017) vs Surface Pro 4