Microsoft has continually pitched the Surface Pro line of devices as full PCs and comparable desktop and laptop replacements. For the most part, people have taken Microsoft’s marketing at face value and attributed their slogan to references about the software. Most owners preach about the ability to “run full desktop applications” or their love of multi-windowed, split screen navigation and access to a file system.
While the Surface Pro devices do offer the ever essential software extensibility that is Windows, in a lightweight package, Surface engineers also had the wherewithal to build a similar hardware extensible experience into the device.
Enter the Surface Dock.
Microsoft’s multi-port Swiss Army knife peripheral turns the tablet-esque Surface Pro into a robust workstation capable of powering multiple monitors, hardwired printers, scanners, keyboards, mice or projectors, among other items.
With four USB 3.0 ports, two mini display ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one audio out port, and a side security lock slot, owners of the Surface Dock are finding a plethora of ways to create their ideal workstation. The Surface team is also offering up some suggestion on how to maximize the extensibility of the Surface Dock.
- Surface Dock makes you a multi-tasking hero. With two miniDisplayPorts (mDP), you can now have three screens of real estate to be a productivity master. Crunch your numbers in Excel, check your emails in Outlook, take notes in OneNote, and Skype into a conference call – all without having to switch screens.
- Surface Dock makes your life simpler. No more needing to plug and unplug a crazy number of cables every single time you sit down at your desk. We think your time is way more valuable than that. Just plug in all your cables – miniDisplayPort (x2), Ethernet, USB (x4), power, and audio in your Surface Dock – and never deal with them again. Transform your Surface into a desktop just by connecting the single, flexible SurfaceConnect cable into the SurfaceConnect port. Boom! You’re good to go.
- Surface Dock brings out your creativity. Just because you’re “docked” doesn’t mean you can’t continue to take advantage of some of the best features of Surface – the touchscreen and Surface Pen. The Surface Dock allows you to use your Surface at the perfect angle by adjusting the multi-position kickstand. Use your Surface Pen to markup webpages on Microsoft Edge, draw on OneNote, and create beautiful things on Creative Cloud (and other partner apps).
- Surface Dock lets you maximize productivity. For developers, the Surface Dock is an elegant solution for turning your Surface into a powerful development workstation. You can use one external monitor to keep the focus on your code and use the other monitor to handle any open documentation, emulator or apps you’re testing. You can still use the great PixelSense display on the Surface itself as a third screen for team communications, e-mail, web browsing, etc. With the four available USB 3.0 ports, you can connect that favorite keyboard and mouse, a headset, maybe an Xbox controller and any other essential accessory to get your work done. And when you need to take your work to a meeting, on a trip, or just head home for the day, all it takes is a simple tug of the magnetic SurfaceConnect cable, and you’re free to go.
- Surface Dock empowers you to get more done. We know you have a lot of meetings. Sometimes back-to-back. Don’t worry, though; your Surface Dock will charge your device while you use it – so you don’t lose power in the middle of that important presentation you were making.
A new and improved Surface Dock also works with the Surface Book, in addition to the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4. For anyone looking to replace a more traditional workstation setup with a more mobile and versatile option, it would seem the Surface Dock is the perfect accessory to a Surface Device.Further reading: Microsoft, Surface, Surface Book, Surface Dock, Surface Pro 4