Surface Pro 3 Docking Station Produces

— July 26, 2014

Microsoft says that Surface is all about productivity; the Surface Pro 3 Docking Station extends that idea and is available for preorder now. Plugged into the station, the device then mimics   full-blown desktop PC functionality, with easy access to your external monitors, keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers, and more.
 
With the same design of the original Docking Station, there are also improvements. There are now more USB ports and more of them support USB 3.0. Plus, the USB 3.0 port on the Surface Pro 3 is still available for use when it is docked, so there are actually a total of 6 available USB ports when the Surface is docked.
 
The key differences between the original dock and the new are listed below.
 
Surface Pro Docking Station:                                      

  • USB 3.0 ports: 1                                                                               
  • USB 2.0 ports: 3
  • Ethernet port: 10/100
  • Mini DisplayPort (MDP): 1 on dock
  • Security lock slot: None
  • 3.5mm audio jack: 1
 
Surface Pro 3 Docking Station:

  • USB 3.0 ports: 3 (Plus 1 additional when the device is docked.)
  • USB 2.0 ports: 2
  • Ethernet port: 10/100/1000 Gigabits
  • Mini DisplayPort (MDP): 1 on dock (Plus 1 additional when the device is docked.)
  • Security lock slot: 1
  • 3.5mm audio jack: 1

Using an external monitor (or several external monitors) at a desk can improve productivity; for example, editing a document on one monitor, while referencing material on another. Or if email is open on one screen, and a video conference on the second screen.

Increased screen real estate provides the space to do more. The station supports multiple monitors—up to 3 screens (the Surface itself, and 2 external monitors) regardless of whether you have the latest daisy-chain capable DisplayPort monitors, HDMI inputs, or older analog screens (e.g. VGA or DVI).
 
There are numerous ways to configure a multi-monitor set-up. One of the most common is using a docking solution with DisplayLinkÒ technology which runs video over the USB 3.0 port.

Keep in mind, there are pros and cons to different set-ups such as cost, video quality, stability, aesthetics, etc.

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