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  • Writer's pictureAlan Wallace

MS Surface Pro: Docking Station Round Up

The Microsoft Surface Pro is way better when you use it with a docking station. Here are three stands that are worth a look — review. — In setting up my Surface Pro 2 with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB Hard Drive, I now really have more of a need for a docking station. In reviewing my options, I first took a look at Microsoft’s Docking Station for Surface Pro.

Microsoft Docking Station for Surface Pro

The station docks the machine smoothly to the power, USB connection, and display connector on the table to provide the following:

Image credit: Microsoft

  1. One USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports connect to multiple devices and peripherals

  2. Plugin for an external monitor using the Mini DisplayPort

  3. One network — Ethernet — RJ-45

  4. Audio out and microphone in connectors

  5. Charges the Surface Pro/Surface Pro 2 battery and any connected peripherals

Multiple monitor support is coming soon to Surface Pro 2 via DisplayPort 1.2 daisy-chaining.

The docking angle is also set for the angle of the original angle established by the rear kickstand. The stand works well, looks great and is easy to use, but there are a few disappointments with the stand:

  1. The power connector for the stand is not like the one used to connect directly to the tablet. I wish both were the same so I could use either cord for the tablet or stand and not have to run two power cords in case I want to undock the unit.

  2. I’m also disappointed that the USB 2.0 connectors on the docking station are not USB 3.0. As USB 3.0 is backward compatible and the new drives I am purchasing are USB 3.0, I would prefer to have as much current tech built into this stand.

  3. I also found that when I plug into the audio connectors on the stand instead of directly into the machine, I’m over-driving the audio on my speakers and have to bring the volume down to reduce distortion. Otherwise, when connected directly to the machine and not the docking station, the audio is really well-done and enjoyable.

Surface Pro users may also want to look at these alternatives from Belkin below. They are very sturdy and the audio-out feed sounds cleaner and less-distorted than the Docking Station from Microsoft. Belkin also allows for use with other devices and does not restrict to just the Surface Pro series. The first docking station below was available for Windows 8 Tablets many months ago and is designed to work with several Windows 8 Tablets, not just the Surface Pros.

Belkin B2B043-C00