Surface Book with new dock

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by doublestack1, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. doublestack1

    doublestack1 Member

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    I currently have a SP3 with the MS docking station and two monitors / keyboard and mouse. On my home office desk, the SP3 sits beautifully in the dock, taking up little to no room on my desk.

    Now that I am expecting to upgrade to the Surface Book and new dock, how will the Surface book need to be configured when connected to the dock? What I mean is, can I leave it closed or will I need to keep it open whenever I intend to work at my desk? Will it make sense to lay it flat in tablet mode (screen up) and then connect to the dock / power up?

    I have not had time to physically look at or play with the SB yet so more or less this is a leap of faith in terms of an upgrade. Not only for the hardware / form factor but how I physically incorporate it into my work flow.

    I travel a lot for business hence the reason I have been using the SP3; but, when I am at my home office, I like a clean, clutter-free workspace.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Pete
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi, @doublestack1 Pete,

    It will be a joy to answer your question - after a couple more days. Many of us want to try this out.
     
  3. DennyA

    DennyA New Member

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    Pete, leave it open and enjoy the benefits of three monitors! That's my setup at work, and I love being able to leave email or reference documents open on the smallest monitor.
     
  4. agt499

    agt499 Member

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    Yes, the unsung genius of the SP3 dock is how brilliant is is for a workspace compared to any other laptop or convertible dock I've ever user or even seen.
    Denny is right about the three monitors, so while I can't justify a Surface Book upgrade and am jealous as hell, I have two suggestions to try:
    1. Sketch Mode
      When you detach and flip the screen (sorry, 'clipboard') on the Surface Book, it can then fold back almost flat on the keyboard.
      With a little support hardware* to secure it, you could then rest it screen out, sitting 15° off vertical on its hinge, with the dock connector plugged in the side.
      This would let you keep using the GPU in the base and leave the connectors available.


    2. Clipboard only
      I have read that you can use the dock connector directly with the clipboard. If this works, could you place the clipboard upside down with dock connector on top (subject to cooling?), or right-side up with [something] to position the dock connector underneath.
      You'd lose the GPU of course.
    Both options would depend on how much fun detaching the clipboard is.

    * Support Hardware
    I'd like to hope that with the new Surface dock providing a very neutral connection, but totally abandoning the physical support of the device, that third parties might step in to offer other solutions.
    At the crudest level, my support hardware at my second office (where I don't have a dock) is a well positioned foam sheet with a groove cut in it - my SP3 sits on it, doesn't bang against a hard surface when I put it down, and doesn't move.
    I could see quite a niche for a basic moulded plastic or 3D printed stand for different models (SP3/4 and Book at present), which needs no electronics or fancy latching, just holds your very nice and expensive Surface Book in place with no risk of scratching or falling over...
     
  5. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    However you use it (i use my sp3 display for my work with everything else for reference material) I agree. Its already there, why not use it :)
     
  6. agt499

    agt499 Member

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    Agree on the three monitors, but I think the key point I read from Pete's post was 'SP3 ...taking up little to no room on my desk'.
    Being an actual laptop, the Surface Book will stick its keyboard out into the space where your full size keyboard wants to be, unless you find a clever answer.
     
  7. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    For me though, if I'm buying a laptop that is goi g to be a workstation then I'd just use the surfaces keyboard.

    Could you not just fold the screen back and have it standing up in an upside down V? I assume the screen will rotate accordingly. Then it would be little different in footprint to an sp3
     
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  8. kristi

    kristi New Member

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    That's exactly what I think would be a good solution. Another great solution would be to flip the tablet portion completely around an d figure out a way to stand it upright in that position, using a holder of some sort
     
  9. agt499

    agt499 Member

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    Fair enough, but I'm a big fan of ergonomic keyboards and number pads. As good as the Surface Book's keyboard may be, it's not going there.
    I agree that standing it up somehow is likely a winning move :maybe it's time for someone to start a 'post photos of your desktop setup' thread for the Book.
     
  10. doublestack1

    doublestack1 Member

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    Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. I like the upside-down V idea a lot. I will try it and report back. I hope the new dock allows for the external monitor to turn on from the computer's sleep mode or restart. The current docking station with SP3 always needs a monitor power cycle to work properly. Something to do with the "training process".
     
  11. a_type

    a_type New Member

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    In response to the original question, there seem to be some issues with dual monitors on the dock right now, YMMV. Hope it works for you.

    I have my doubts about an 'upside down V' configuration, since the power button is on the top of the screen, and will likely be depressed if you place the device upside-down.
     
  12. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Could use a sock or other to raise the edge of the tablet off the desk :) not very elegant though.

    In my situation, i've loads of space behind my device on the desk, so i'd just turn the laptop around with the keyboard pointing to the back of the desk, with the tablet reversed. This has always been an issue for me and docking laptops, it sucks due to the footprint. Why the SP3 was so great.
     

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