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No Kensington Lock Slot

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know what to tell you, it designed the way it is designed....

The Surface Team has sold these to many of the Fortune 500, Government (Local, State and Federal), Education (K-through Higher Ed) as well as Enterprise and SMB Customers, there is enough interest that I've been asked to present at Ignite during a Q&A for IT Pros who are deploying these into their environments.
 
OP
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netuser

Member
I don't know what to tell you, it designed the way it is designed....

The Surface Team has sold these to many of the Fortune 500, Government (Local, State and Federal), Education (K-through Higher Ed) as well as Enterprise and SMB Customers, there is enough interest that I've been asked to present at Ignite during a Q&A for IT Pros who are deploying these into their environments.
I'm providing feedback. I am certainly not the first person to point this out as a problem.
The extra issue that makes this a bigger problem is the dock design. Pretty much every review I read about the dock points out that you can't lock the Surface into the dock .
The ridiculous $200 Ergotron shell to put over the dock wouldn't exist otherwise.

The Kickstater funded device lock might be a good alternative if it ever comes to market. The Ergotron isn't even an option for the Surface 3.
Maybe Microsoft will address this with the Surface Pro 4 and maybe a new dock model to go with it.
The more powerful Surface Pro is more likely to be used as a full desktop in a docking station than Surface 3.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
At the end of the day, a kensington locks doesn't offer any actual device security, it's just a small deterent, it takes all of a few seconds to break it.

If you really need a deterant, you could look at one of the usb locks. They don't really do much for actual security, but it is a deterant, and the would-be thief would probably realise that by forcefully removing it they would most likely be breaking the usb port instead of just a lock slot that doesn't actually effect the use of the device.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I'm providing feedback. I am certainly not the first person to point this out as a problem.
The extra issue that makes this a bigger problem is the dock design. Pretty much every review I read about the dock points out that you can't lock the Surface into the dock .
The ridiculous $200 Ergotron shell to put over the dock wouldn't exist otherwise.

The Kickstater funded device lock might be a good alternative if it ever comes to market. The Ergotron isn't even an option for the Surface 3.
Maybe Microsoft will address this with the Surface Pro 4 and maybe a new dock model to go with it.
The more powerful Surface Pro is more likely to be used as a full desktop in a docking station than Surface 3.
If your goal is giving feedback it would go further if you posted in the User Voice or over at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum?tab=Threads
As we're an enthusiast community and yes, we have a couple of MVPs but we're not an official Microsoft Communications Channel. BTW - The SP4 in theory will use the same dock as the SP3....
 
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netuser

Member
I also wanted to find solutions. So far there is one that will solve the issue for docking station users. The Ergotron device which when combined with the docking station will add around $400 to the cost of a Surface 3. At that point, for many people it will make more sense to just a laptop for that price that either has a Kensington slot built-in or at least has a third party workaround that is cost effective and convenient. The net cost of the 4GB Surface 3 with Type Cover, docking station, plus the cost of the Ergotron unit puts it into a different price class than it would otherwise be in.

The second possibility is the SentryShield which is not yet available and may never happen. The Kickstater link says their funding failed. They received less than $750 towards their $55,000 goal.
Maybe an established vendor that isn't relying on Kickstarter donations will step up and make something else soon. There are multiple solutions for iPads, so it is certainly "possible" to do this.
If Microsoft is reading the docking station reviews and review comments, they have to be aware that this is an issue. It would be surprising if they didn't get any feedback on the design of the docking station if they did some sort of focus group testing from people who use docking stations in a corporate environment. It makes sense that a home user would not care about locking their personal Surface into the dock while it is safely in their home, but the Surface 3 is not going to be marketed only to home users.
 
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netuser

Member
At the end of the day, a kensington locks doesn't offer any actual device security, it's just a small deterent, it takes all of a few seconds to break it.

If you really need a deterant, you could look at one of the usb locks. They don't really do much for actual security, but it is a deterant, and the would-be thief would probably realise that by forcefully removing it they would most likely be breaking the usb port instead of just a lock slot that doesn't actually effect the use of the device.
The cable lock certainly isn't 100% security any more than locking your car doors.
The cable can be cut and someone can throw a brick through your car window and get inside your car locked doors or not.
A cable lock will prevent low key theft where someone casually grabs it off a desk or out of a docking station acting as it they own it.

I thought of one possible workaround that might allow us make this work for us in an environment where you are forbidden from leaving any computing device whether or not it is a "tablet" or "laptop" unattended and unsecured.
People will be turned off by the thought of having to put their Surface in a locked drawer every time they step away from it and it will be unweidly to always have your hands full with it if you carry it with you as you walk around the office,
They might be able to work with using a small messenger bag with a shoulder strap that would allow them to keep the Surface with them without having to constantly hold on to it.




Not sure that will be deemed acceptable by the people who will make the decision, but that sounds like the least-worse workaround of what's available.
The ones in the photos may be sized for iPads. Maybe after the Surface 3 is on the market there will be a good selection of carrying cases like these that are the right size. People people do not want to deal with carrying around oversized, bulky bags, but it needs to be just big enough to carry the Surface 3 with Type Cover and the charging brick.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
As i say, if you simply need a deterrent, then i do recall seeing a cable lock that attaches to standard usb ports instead of a kensington lock. It's not going to be in any way a real form of security but it should hopefully offer a similar deterrent to a kensington lock.
 
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netuser

Member
As i say, if you simply need a deterrent, then i do recall seeing a cable lock that attaches to standard usb ports instead of a kensington lock. It's not going to be in any way a real form of security but it should hopefully offer a similar deterrent to a kensington lock.
That sounds like a good idea except I searched and don't see anything like that for sale anywhere in the US.
When I searched for it, USB security locks are mostly only locking port covers that are meant to just block the USB port to help prevent data theft by someone plugging in a USB thumb drive.
For what would do the job I'm looking for, I found only some devices you have to order directly from China.

It also requires a minimum order of 1000 at a time.
http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Security-cable-lock-for-USB-port_242757211.html?s=p

If a reseller imported them and resold them individually, I would probably buy one and see how it worked and if I liked it, we could order them to go with our Surface orders.
We are not going to buy 1000 tablets, so even if we were sure that device would work, we wouldn't be making the minimum order.
 
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netuser

Member
I wonder how effective that USB lock is? I don't think it could lock into the USB slot as securely as a traditional lock in a dedicated lock slot. Maybe it isn't any good, so that's why there is nobody reselling them.
On the other hand, even if they less secure and effective, it would still be a deterrent to opportunist thieves who want to quickly snatch an unattended tablet. A thief would have to look at it very carefully to realize that it isn't a real Kensington lock.

They could probably just forcefully jank it out of the Surface, but that would tear off the USB slot and greatly reduce the resale market value of the tablet.
 

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hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sounds like you're right. As i say just something i recall reading about. And no, it wouldn't offer security, just a mild deterant.

In regard to a mild deterant, would it be possible to get one of these usb blockers, as in the kind to stop use of a usb port, and then drill a hole through a corner of it and run a cable through?

Only other option i have seen is to drill a hole through the bottom of the kickstand.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I would assume that the Lowjack service is included on the S3 as it is on the SP3, that combined with Enterprise Controlled Bitlocker will make the S3 worthless at resale as you can track the device and they would be unable to restore the device.
 

pbaird

Member
Unfortunately that destroys the ability to lay it down.
While not perfect, I lay mine down on a desk to write on it all the time. I flip it with the windows logo at the top, and since I'm right handed, the surface has a slight angle toward my hand, and works nicely.
 
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