The best docking stations for Surface devices in 2023

Microsoft’s Surface devices are some of the best laptops on the market, with premium designs, great displays, and generally high-end performance. This is especially true of the Surface Pro line, which is almost always the king of Windows tablets every year. One area where Surface devices generally feel a bit lackluster, however, are the ports.

Most Surface devices don’t have a ton of built-in ports, but they usually rely on docking stations to expand their port selection if needed. This is a common approach for premium devices, and in the case of the Surface, the company not only relies on docking stations, but creates its own, which you can use to get the best experience. For many years you’ve had to use the Surface Connect port to expand your port selection, but recent models have added Thunderbolt 4 support, so you’ve got a much larger selection to choose from. If you need help choosing one, we’ve rounded up some of the best docking stations you can get for your Surface device, depending on which model you have. Let’s take a look.

How to choose a dock for your Surface device

There are many Surface devices on the market right now with varying port capabilities, and it’s important to pay attention to which device you have and which dock you’re choosing before making a purchase.

Newer Surface models support Thunderbolt 4

Thunderbolt 4 is the ideal docking station option, mainly because it’s basically an industry standard at this point. If you buy a Thunderbolt 4 dock, it will work in any Thunderbolt 4 compatible laptop, whether it’s from Microsoft or not. However, only some of the newer Surface devices support Thunderbolt 4. These are:

  • Surface Pro 8 and Pro 9

  • Surface Laptop Studio

  • portable surface 5

  • Studio 2+ surface

If you have one of these devices, your best option will be to get a Thunderbolt 4 dock, whether it’s the one from Microsoft or any of the other models mentioned here. The decision then boils down to the ports you need for your setup. If you have a lot of USB Type-A peripherals, the official Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock might be a bit lackluster, for example.

Most Surface devices have Surface Connect

If you don’t have one of these models, the best option you have is the Surface Dock 2, which uses the proprietary Surface Connect port, available on the vast majority of Surface devices. This offers functionality close to a Thunderbolt 4 dock and has the benefit of using a magnetic connector which makes it easy to disconnect when needed. However, because this is a proprietary connector, you won’t be able to use this dock with a non-Surface device. We only recommend this option if your Surface device doesn’t support Thunderbolt, although you technically have this option if you want to.

Another thing to keep in mind here is support for dual 4K 60Hz displays. These are the following:

  • Surface Pro 7-9

  • Surface Laptops 3-5

  • Surface Laptop Studio

  • Surface Book 3

The following devices will support a single 4K 60Hz display or two 4K 30Hz displays:

  • Surface Pro 5 and 6

  • Surface Pro X

  • Surface Laptops 1 and 2

  • Surface Laptop Go 1 and 2

  • Surface Go 1-3

  • Surface Book 2

Other Surface devices will not be compatible with Surface Dock 2.

USB-C is almost everywhere

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that if you don’t have a Surface device with Thunderbolt 4 and the Surface Connect port seems too expensive, or you want something that can work in other laptops, you can always turn to generic USB-C docks and hubs, such as the ‘official Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub above. Most modern Surface devices have a USB-C port, including the following:

  • Surface Pro 7 or later

  • Surface Pro X

  • Surface Go (all models)

  • Surface Laptop 3 or later

  • Surface Laptop Go (all models)

  • Surface Laptop Studio

  • Surface Studio 2 and 2+

All of these devices should support all the features of USB-C hubs that don’t require Thunderbolt, including the Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Docking Station, which is one of the best options if you want a powerful dock that doesn’t require Thunderbolt and is still widely compatible.

The best docking stations for Surface devices in 2023: results

No matter what type of Surface device you have, there’s a dock for you. Thunderbolt-capable Surface devices have the best options here, as THunderbolt 4 is both capable and broadly compatible, making it the best option to buy now and use for years to come, even if you switch laptops. The Surface Connect also has great capabilities, but it severely limits your options for docking stations, and if you buy one now, it won’t work with non-Surface devices. Of course, you can always fall back to regular USB-C, especially if you don’t need a ton of ports. No matter what you’re looking for, the options above are bound to have something for you.

#docking #stations #Surface #devices

Leave a Comment