Surface Pro And Pro 2 Docking Station
Along with Microsoft’s latest refresh to their Surface range a new styled docking station has been added to the range, to help extend connectivity and accessories. So lets take a look at the new Surface Pro and Pro 2 docking station, see if it is worth the hefty price tag and if it adds even more bulk to an already bulky tablet.
First of all, for those of you that are unaware, Microsoft have three tablets in their lineup, the Surface, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. There is no doubt that when you take a look at the specs of the top range Surface Pro 2, you will be very impressed, despite the common complaints of the tablets size and weight. I must add that although the thickness and weight of the Surface Pro is quite a bit, weighing in at 2 lbs, it is still a very manageable device from a portability perspective, complaints that have been made in this area are primarily from people comparing the Surface Pro 2 to the iPad and even iPad Air.
Surface Pro 2 Specs
Although this article is primarily about the docking station for the Surface, it is important to know what is currently available on the tablet in terms of connectivity options and what extra is offered by the addition of the docking station. On it’s own, the Surface Pro 2 sports a full size USB 3.0 port, Micro SD/XC card reader which will allow you to expand the storage by 64GB, Headset jack, Mini Display port and a cover port.
Docking Station Additional Benefits
The docking station that Microsoft have built for the Surface is actually from an aesthetics perspective fantastic, when connected to the tablet it doesn’t add too much bulk, taking into consideration what it offers. Looking at the Surface Pro 2, screen head on, with the dock connected, it looks like slim speakers or wings that have been added to either side. From the rear, it simply looks like a laptop battery block has been added to the bottom of the tablet, but of course this is where all the connections have been added. The Surface Pro slips into the dock while the sides slide along and connect to the tablet. the docking station sports 1 x USB 3.0, 3 x USB 2.0, Mini Display Port, Audio in and out, an Ethernet Port and of course the dock also acts as a charging station.
As you can see, when the docking station is added, the only benefit is 3 x USB 2.0 and an Ethernet port. the reason I say only; is because the docking station retails in the US for $199, which is a lot of money considering the extra benefits are quite small.
However, the docking station really does help make the Surface Pro 2 the first ever tablet that I think could be used as a full desktop / laptop replacement. With the docking stations mini display port you can add two external monitors, a full size keyboard, a mouse, one or two external hard drives and you are good to go. As you can see this really is the ultimate mobile and combined desktop computing experience. When you have everything set up as you might in your office, and you need to leave the office, it is a simple case of lifting the Surface Pro out of the dock.
UK Release Date And Pricing
Taking into consideration the Surface Pro 2 specs, with a 4th generation Intel Core i5 Processor, the option of a 512GB storage capacity, 8GB RAM and running Windows 8.1 Pro, I think the Surface Pro 2 really is the vision Bill Gates talked so passionately about ten or fifteen years ago. Not a fan of the first generation Surface, I personally really like the look and concept of the Surface Pro 2. The docking station is not available in the UK until early 2014 and is expected to retail for £164.99.