Poll Thinktank - An idea for Surface, a challenge for Microsoft

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by kc912, Jan 13, 2015.

?

Would you like to see such a dock?

  1. It's unrealistic but yes I'd like to see it

    12.5%
  2. I think it could be done and I'd buy it

    50.0%
  3. It's possible but they shouldn't bother

    25.0%
  4. It'll never happen stop dreaming

    12.5%
  1. kc912

    kc912 Member

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    I'm not sure if this idea is new it may have been banded around already but I think it would be awesome so here goes. Surface replaces your laptop and tablet, now rather convincingly. I use my Surface for work at the office and everything in between; save for one place. My desk at home. I really cannot see what is preventing Microsoft going all the way. Create the device that replaces your Laptop, Tablet & Desktop. If you use a desktop computer you already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse and hard drives. Surely there could exist a "dock" that meant that your Surface had a powerful GPU (gamer alert), extra storage slots for hard drives, the list could go on. Of course the challenge that presents is you need some sort of killer connecter to send the relevant information to the GPU, HDDs etc but get over that and I'll sell my PC and have one device to rule them all!

    High end PC £800, laptop £500, tablet £200
    Surface: £900 Dock (with GPU): £300
    Savings: £300

    So what's stopping it? A few challenges I can see are powering such a device (needs about 500-600W), cooling the dock, creating a connection type which supports all of the parts. Is it too niche? Discuss...
     
  2. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You already have
    Ethernet port,
    Mini DisplayPort Daisy chain two or three Monitors
    and five USB ports –
    three USB 3.0 ports: HDD, SDD, additional gig Ethernet port
    two USB 2.0 ports: Printer/scanner/fax/card readers - Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

    The only thing you don't have is an external GPU and that one could be a problem as there's not anything in the Surface to support it. well there's PCIe but it's not brought external.

    What else did you want?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you were referring to a future Surface then with USB 3.1 and 10 gbps bandwidth it might be possible to get 44-45% of the external GPU performance.... which would cause a lot of complaining... so not really feasible with that. Even if thunderbolt 2 was implemented, not likely, you wont see the full benefit of an external GPU unless its a very weak one and what's the point of that?

    If you implemented an external PCIe bus you could do it BUT there are risks with this so I doubt it would ever happen.
     
  5. toaf

    toaf Member

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    infront of my surface you silly person
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    100% in on this idea, ive thought about it many times. keep the surface simple but put the docking station on steroids. ive allready got cd rom, mouse, keyboard,fan, and monitor hooked up the the poor docking station..
     
  6. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    There are many people with Use Cases for a desktop with all its interface ports, slots, drive bays, etc.; a mobile device such as the Surface should not attempt to compete with such stationary-based devices.
     
  7. Liam2349

    Liam2349 Active Member

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    Maybe it's just me, but I like my gaming rig and I don't see the SP3s CPU being up to the task of running my games.

    With the current dock, you can basically replace all three devices if you wish, however this new dock would target the more enthusiastic, power hungry market and not deliver what it needs to.
     
  8. ptrkhh

    ptrkhh Active Member

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    Technically it is possible now. MSI just released their GPU dock, so did Alienware. And solutions for third party have been available for years, although it needs either Thunderbolt or ExpressCard port. Neither is currently supported on the SP3.

    But theres hope, if the vaguely-stated Thunderbolt support in the charging port turns out to be true, the technology is there already. Its just a matter of time for somebody to build the adapter to support the standard Thunderbolt port, and applying the ViDock or other GPU docking stations.

    And here, I quoted my own post from a few months ago
    And, btw, I disagree with your calculation: the dock is NOT going to cost £300 with the GPU included. I am pretty sure that, given the current docking station costs £200 with no GPU support whatsoever. That price is reasonable for a GPU-supporting dock, but youd still have to get the GPU yourself. (and yeah, I was too optimistic a few months ago. After I saw the MSI and Alienware docking stations, and how much they cost, I changed my mind)
     
  9. kc912

    kc912 Member

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    I think most gamers would be happy with the i7. I think that would be a pretty decent match for my current rig, not as good but I'd compromise. I didn't realise MSI and others have already done it. Do be honest this is pretty much it...

    [​IMG]

    The price shouldn't be more than £200 (without GPU) in the end it's just a box with fans, PSU and adaptors. I guess it all hinges on the connector. If they made a connector that supported a PCIe x16 output I think people could manufacture their own after market boxes if needs be.
     
  10. ptrkhh

    ptrkhh Active Member

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    Theoretically, sure. The BOM cost wouldn't even reach 3 digits. However, we are talking about big-name companies, where they have to test their products extensively, and risk their name on it. That's why name-brand products are more expensive. Moreover, we are specifically talking about Microsoft, the company that sells a thin keyboard, with neither Bluetooth nor battery, for $130.
     
  11. kayzee

    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    Well I have my bluetooth mouse and audio connection that automatically connect to my Surface when I plonk it on my desk... all I have to do is plug in the Mini DisplayPort cable to my external monitor and there we go :) a desktop replacement, which is exactly what's it's been performing as for over 18 months now!

    So, personally, I don't really see the need for anything additional. Hell, I considered the official dock for a while, but I just couldn't justify any real improvements.
     

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