SURFACE PRO 3 DOCKING STATION TEST

By now, you should most likely think of Microsoft’s Surface zum 3 tablet computer as the fenster equivalent des a MacBook Air: bei exquisitely constructed, premium tablet zum those that aren’t worried about their following mortgage payment.

Du schaust: Surface pro 3 docking station test

The neu Surface jeden Docking Station just completes ns experience.For ns superlative Surface jeden 3 is already a tablet that is already practically a two-in-one notebook. Wie docked, ns tablet provides sufficient horsepower to drive two various other monitors, including its very own high-definition screen as a bonus. At that point, you may too be working at a desktop computer PC.

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Microsoft

One possible setup of multimonitor configurations, all linked to ns Surface pro 3.

The dock itself prices $199. Yes, $199. It’s definitely pricier than tablet docking stations from the likes of Dell and HP, but deshalb fancier, und a boy upcharge to the $1,200 or so you might pay weil das a midrange Surface zum 3. If you’re going zu spend that much already, freundin may also go entirety hog.

Physically, die new anklagebank looks very similar kommen sie the dock Microsoft built zum the surface ar Pro and Surface pro 2. Microsoft deshalb stole a page from Hollywood und “rebooted” ns name, calling that simplythe Surface pro Docking Station. Despite die moniker, however, only the SP3 is supported.


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mark Hachman

When inserting ns Surface jeden 3, make sure that sie “fold down” ns keyboard, together shown. It provides inserting the tablet viel easier.

Like earlier models, die sides von the dock clasp die tablet choose a vise, connecting power und I/O alike through die tablet’s charging connector.The Surface zum 3 doesn’t anklagebank as quickly tothe Surface zum Docking station as die Surface pro 2 did kommen sie its very own dock, though, because des the method the new Type cover connects to the tablet.

If sie fold the Type cover upward zu provide yourself in angled keying surface, do sure freundin “unfold” the cover and lay it flat. Otherwise, ns dock’s extended charging connector may fehlschlagen the tablet’s port, maybe damaging chin or die tablet.

You can either leave ns SP3’s stylus in its cloth loop,or attach it via a ziehen um magnetic connector Microsoft has added to ns left side von the dock.

markierung Hachman

A magnet secures die stylus wie man not in use.

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Ports, ports, ports

If you’re purchase a docking station, you’re to buy connectivity, which zu sein one of the slim deficiencies des the surface line in general. Each Surface pro 3 tablet, von itself, includes just a miniDisplayPort and a USB 3.0 connection. Die docking station does notfall obstruct those ports, and it to add five much more USB ports—two USB 2.0 and three USB 3.0. (That’s a slight step nach oben from the Surface Pro/Pro 2 dock, which had three USB 2.0 connectors und a single USB 3.0 connector.) There’s deshalb another (replicated) miniDisplayPort connector on die back, add to Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack and Kensington lock. Microsoft removed die mic jack from die Surface pro 2 dock, probably since no one was using it.


Microsoft doesn’t do it clean whether you tun können daisy-chain 2 DisplayPort monitors together, as its documentation advert you kommen sie a support site where that inquiry wasn’t addressed. Microsoft has actually said formerly that sie can, however. (I lacked ns appropriate miniDisplayPort adapters to test this properly.)

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markierung Hachman

You can use ns connectors on the rückseitig of the dock, but the connectors on ns tablet chin are much more accessible.

One slight annoyance is that die pitch at which the anklagebank reclines ist fixed, i m sorry takes away from ns nearly unlimited pitch alternatives that ns SP3’s flexible kickstand delivers. You’ll probably end up using ns desktop beaufsichtigt as your primary display, however, which way you’ll be staring at ns Surface screen a lot less than freundin might oase otherwise.


Finally, a true left-handed gaming tablet

Right-handers blithely relocate through die world, failing kommen sie appreciate that whatever from desks to golf to die way we compose has lang favored a right-handed approach. While the world’s somewhat kinder to southpaws these days, gaming remains biased. I’m left-handed, and I can’t properly game ~ above a computer without access zu a keyboard’s number pad—which compact keyboards like the Surface’s Type startseite sacrifice kommen sie save space.

That’s not a dealbreaker, des course. A video game like Trine or the BatmanArkham series work well through gamepads or in Xbox controller. But with the dock, I can finally connect a mouse and keyboard and game as ich choose.


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markierung Hachman

Why you’re buying die dock: extra ports. In additional USB 3.0 connector zu sein around to ns side.

That stated thereare other options. Consider spending $199 for the Surface jeden 3 dock, versus $19—yes, $19—for a it is provided four-port USB 3.0 hub that can plug right right into that USB 3.0 slot. You’re sacrificing the auswahl of in extra monitor connection, yet saving yourself $180. Ns weight des that hub, plus ns miniDisplayPort, might be enough kommen sie topple an undocked Surface zum 3. But ich doubt it.

With Microsoft’s Surface jeden Docking Station, you oase a fairly simple decision kommen sie make: Do you need that extra connectivity? most likely, sie do. But I also think you could probably discover a cheaper alternative.

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If money’s no object, however, you won’t remorse it: Microsoft’s Surface zum docking station is a well-engineered, robust piece of hardware that aussehen great and makes her Surface pro 3 even much more useful than before.