avatarby Jonathan FeistDecember 29, 20152 comments

Surface Dock

What is the best tool for productivity on your new Surface Pro 4 tablet? The correct answer is probably the detachable keyboard, followed by the stylus, but the Surface Dock ranks up there. Let’s spend a minute looking at what makes the Surface Dock a great accessory.

What can the Surface Pro 4 do already?

Surface Pro 4

This first question is the absolute key to figuring out of the Surface Dock is the right accessory for you. As we have explored already, the Surface Pro 4 comes equipped with a Mini DisplayPort connector and a full size USB port. For your average tablet or light-duty laptop needs, these ports may prove more than enough.

Related: Surface Pro 4 review

To be clear, the included USB port is no slouch, go ahead and connect your favorite USB hub to expand the port for all of your regular peripherals. It’s that single mini DisplayPort that offers limitations – who can live with just one external display these days?

Introducing the Surface Dock

Surface Dock

The Surface Dock is not one, but two bricks to add to your computing environment. The fairly large and heavy dock is matched by an equally large and heavy power adapter, and despite my making it sound like a bad thing, the heft is actually an advantage. Not that a heavy power adapter is of importance, but the Surface Dock itself is not likely to go scooting off your desk when you connect your cables.

The Surface Dock comes with a number of connections, including an Ethernet port, two Mini DisplayPort slots, a 3.5mm headphone jack and four full size USB ports, two on front and two on the back.

Surface Dock

The idea is simple, and one I’m rapidly getting accustomed to, connect multiple displays, speakers and my USB mouse and keyboard to the Surface Dock. When I am at the desk, I simply pop on the magnetically connected plug to the Surface Pro 4’s power connector and everything is ready to go for productivity.

Surface Pro 4 review

When I am ready to just go hang out on the couch, one quick plug disconnects from all of the accessories, I can even pop off the magnetically connected Surface Keyboard, and use the Surface Pro 4 as a tablet computer, ready to play games and more.

If I may make one small complaint, the connector cable from the dock to your Surface Pro 4 is a little short, you will need to locate the dock fairly close the the tablet, and likely off to the right. it is long enough to tuck the dock out of sight, but just barely.

Pricing and final thoughts

Surface Pro 4 Surface Dock connector

In the end, for the user that is looking to add more than one external monitor to their Surface Pro 4, there is no better option than the Surface Dock. Aside from that use-case, there is an extreme convenience factor to the dock for those that are just connecting a few USB peripherals, but you can absolutely get by without it.

Coming in at a price of $199.99, this may feel like an over-priced accessory at first. I believe that if your usage means you’ll be connecting and disconnecting from peripherals on a daily basis, the Surface Dock is worth the price.

What do you say, has the Surface Dock proven a worthy accessory for your Surface Pro 4?

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What’s next: Surface Pro 4 vs iPad Pro

  • robert fish

    Jonathon,Would you consider this a major upgrade over the surface pro 3

  • Louis-Pierre Gravelle

    I have a Surface Pro 4 as well as the docking station. I also connect an extra screen through the mini Display port on the Surface. Just to be clear, I’m driving three external screens, but not the screen on the Surface. However, I am having issues booting. If I plug the dock and the third screen, the Surface won’t boot. I have to boot BEFORE plugging in the external stuff, which is counterproductive. I should be able to arrive at my desk, plug everything in and then boot. Have you found similar issues?