I’ve usually desired a Surface Studio monitor, but given that Microsoft doesn’t surely make a standalone Studio display, my options were limited. Recently, I’ve been the use of the subsequent excellent factor: a miniature version. Kensington, famous for laptop protection slots, has created a Surface Dock that transforms the Surface Pro right into a pint-sized Surface Studio. The dock makes use of an articulating hinge to prop the Surface Pro up along external video display units, and it can be adjusted to one of a kind angles. After using the dock for the past month, I can’t consider Microsoft didn’t make this primary.
Kensington’s $399 SD7000 dock includes 4 USB ports, an Ethernet port, an unmarried USB-C port, HDMI, and a DisplayPort. You can even use the dock to energy 4K external monitors at 30Hz or an unmarried 4K monitor at 60Hz. I’ve been the use of it alongside an unmarried 1080p display, and it has become the Surface Pro into a secondary screen for scrolling through Twitter or making brief notes with the Surface Pen.
Unlike Microsoft’s authentic Surface Dock, Kensington’s is a lot greater practical. You really slot the Surface Pro into it, lock it in the region, and it connects all your peripherals and video display units routinely. It will also automatically transfer the Surface out of tablet mode, allowing you to use the Surface Pro as a small touchscreen reveal. The locking mechanism jogs my memory of Microsoft’s authentic Surface docks for the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 where the tablet slides into the location and the perimeters clamp collectively. That approach you need to dispose of the Surface Pro’s keyboard and shift the Surface Pen onto a magnet on the dock for it to slide into place gracefully. It also method that this dock might not work with destiny Surface Pro devices if Microsoft modifications the layout. The dock itself isn’t light-weight, weighing 7.2 pounds in overall. That’s no longer a problem if you use this in an office area often, but if you’re trying to tour around with it, then the bulk and weight might make it a little tough to move. That weight does are available on hand, even though: it continues the bottom often in the vicinity when you modify the attitude of the docked Surface Pro.
You can use the Surface Pro at a variety of angles, and there’s even a beneficial drawing angle in case you want to take notes or annotate a photo or diagram. I, in general, used this mode for signing files and doodling, but if you’re a severe Surface Pen consumer, then this would be very on hand to use with the tablet and pen functionality as a part of a full desktop PC with a bigger reveal.
The dock doesn’t cover the Surface Pro’s headphone jack or USB-A port so that you can still use both in case you need to. Unfortunately, there aren’t any ports on the front of the dock, which does make connecting headphones a little awkward, and you need to reach across the returned to attach USB devices. I would have favored looking one or two USB ports at the front, and, ideally, an SD card reader, too.
Aside from visible screws, Kensington’s dock is extraordinarily properly-made. It even has the seal of approval from Microsoft, with a “designed for Surface” sticker at the front of the container. Given how comparable the layout is to Microsoft’s own Surface Studio, it’s extremely unexpected that Microsoft didn’t make this dock itself. It matches the everyday Surface gray finish, and it helps the Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro (5th gen), and modern Surface Pro 6.
At $399, it’s no longer precisely reasonably-priced — that’s nearly half of the fee of the Surface Pro itself — however, you’ll handiest surely spend $399 on this if you really need the first-rate Surface Dock to be had nowadays. It’s tough to justify this excessive fee. You can easily find inexpensive methods to expand a Surface Pro’s port selection and connectivity, however, Kensington’s Surface Dock does it in a completely unique way that plays to the strengths of the Surface Pro’s flexibility. Just be prepared to pay for this forte.