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mtalinm

Active Member
Don't' think anyone commented on the new touch cover (2). It is amazing. soooooooooooooo thin. Practically weightless. Much, much more accurate than v1.

If I'm going to be typing for hours, I might opt for the type cover, but 90% of the time this is my go to keyboard.
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
Exactly!

The purpose of a docking station is to provide significant expansion to the device that you wouldn't normally have when not docked. As such, here is my take on the docking station, based on what I've seen and read:
  1. USB 3.0 Ports -- From all the pics I've seen, the on-device USB 3.0 port is not accessible, so the net result is the same: Just one USB 3.0 port.
  2. USB 2.0 Ports -- For the docking station, this is an upgrade, as there are none on the SP device.
  3. Audio -- To reduce the number of devices I have to plug in, I stream my audio from my SP to the external speakers via USB. It's great to have this natively on the docking station, but it definitely is not a game-changer, either.
  4. Ethernet Port -- I currently have Gigabit Ethernet via USB, so it makes no sense to downgrade to 10/100 on the docking station's Ethernet port.
  5. DisplayPort -- With the SP2's DP 1.2 support, I am able to daisy-chain my external monitors, so no gain for me here.
So, based on the above, there certainly isn't much of an incentive for me to get the docking station, based on my setup and use case. Hopefully they make a second-generation docking station that addresses what are, to me, shortfalls.

Yeah I agree it's just not different enough to what's built in on the Surface anyway. I'm still hoping (although I know there's no chance!) for a docking station with a built in HDD...
 

Zimmy

New Member
I was shocked when I saw the specs for the official docking station, then I was doubly shocked when I saw the price, but hey, its Microsoft, what do you expect?

10/100 Ethernet? What is this, 2005?!?!

The guy on Betanews claims they may have issues with video and throughput speeds, so they wanted to be safe.

Can anyone explain why you wouldn't pick up this instead? Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048×1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 4A AC Power Adapter) | Plugable
The only benefit I see on the MS side is that you don't need power? But it is a docking station, so that doesn't mean much.
 

slzmn

New Member
I was shocked when I saw the specs for the official docking station, then I was doubly shocked when I saw the price, but hey, its Microsoft, what do you expect?

10/100 Ethernet? What is this, 2005?!?!

The guy on Betanews claims they may have issues with video and throughput speeds, so they wanted to be safe.

Can anyone explain why you wouldn't pick up this instead? Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048×1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 4A AC Power Adapter) | Plugable
The only benefit I see on the MS side is that you don't need power? But it is a docking station, so that doesn't mean much.

I have the Plugable UD-3000 (DVI/VGA out only, no HDMI). I love it. It is half the price of the MS Dock. It takes up much less space on the desk. It has 2 x USB 3.0 ports and 4 x USB 4.0 ports. The USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet works great. At my desk, I have a monitor connected with DVI, a Logitech "unified" keyboard and mouse. I have the SP2 off to the side of my 20" extended screen and keyboard. I tuck the SP2 keyboard back underneath the kickstand. I have the full "desktop" experience with a touchscreen at my right hand fingertips. When I am ready to go portable, I unplug the USB and power and I am off with the full power of a PC. The MS Dock would not fit in the same space and most of the volume would just be in the way.
 

Nuspieds

Active Member
Yeah I agree it's just not different enough to what's built in on the Surface anyway. I'm still hoping (although I know there's no chance!) for a docking station with a built in HDD...
The first time I had such a docking station was with an IBM (not Lenovo) ThinkPad. I must admit that especially at the time, it did come in handy to have that additional HDD when I was docked. I used it to hold certain historical backups.

Based on what they've done so far, I would think that such a feature would be quite far down the road, if it were to come from MS. Right now, I'd be more optimistic that an OEM would produce such a docking station sooner than MS.

At the time I had my IBM ThinkPad, I was relying heavily on USB drives, but now I have a NAS and the USB drives that I now own have huge capacities, so the added feature isn't important to me as it was back then. Trust me, I would still find use for it ;) but based on what they have provided so far USB- and Ethernet-wise, I wouldn't be holding my breath that they're anywhere close to providing such functionality on their device.
 
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fonzman78

Active Member
Well, I don't like that fact that the dock has 10/100 vs GigE. Indeed, very disappointing. So much so that I fear I will take it back. Anyone else going to keep their dock and, if so, why?
 

mjgerrard

New Member
I was shocked when I saw the specs for the official docking station, then I was doubly shocked when I saw the price, but hey, its Microsoft, what do you expect?

10/100 Ethernet? What is this, 2005?!?!

The guy on Betanews claims they may have issues with video and throughput speeds, so they wanted to be safe.

Can anyone explain why you wouldn't pick up this instead? Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048×1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 4A AC Power Adapter) | Plugable
The only benefit I see on the MS side is that you don't need power? But it is a docking station, so that doesn't mean much.

Hey Zimmy, thanks for posting this up.

I was just wondering if you knew, off hand, whether the HDMI port supports audio? I'm thinking of using one of these in my living room, hooked up to a TV?

Cheers!

M.
 

polbit

Member
The Ethernet situation with the dock is really disappointing and will probably mean no money from me... what were they thinking??
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
Hey Zimmy, thanks for posting this up.

I was just wondering if you knew, off hand, whether the HDMI port supports audio? I'm thinking of using one of these in my living room, hooked up to a TV?

Cheers!

M.

It does as I had mine going from Surface Pro --> Mini Displayport --> HDMI --> Monitor --> Optic fibre --> Amp
angry.png


For a little while. But, I shall recommend this to you...

Logitech® Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth® audio devices

Now I simply bluetooth from my Surface Pro directly to my amp. No more wires! It works fantastically well, one of the best damn pieces of technology I've bought in years, cheap too. And this is coming from someone who usually doesn't rate Logitech.
 
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fonzman78

Active Member
I was ready to take my Dock back but I decided to run the question of why MS decided to go with a 10/100 nic. My friend is a super smart IT guy. He asked to look at the Pro2 asked how the dock attached. After inspecting all the ports on the Pro, he said that it was probably because their were no real Ethernet connection the Pro itself. So the dock needs to pass the connection to the Pro and it was probably done via the magnetic strip on the Pro. He thought that this strip would not sustain a GigE connection and that's why MS went with a 10/100 port. I asked him if it would be possible to include GigE in future docks and he didn't think so with the current SP onboard ports. He thought they may be able to using the USB3 port but that might consume to much bandwidth is shared with other devices.

He also speculated that MS would count on folks using their wireless connection versus the Ethernet port as sometimes the wireless connection would be fast enough. I doubt this as I think moving large files would be best wired vs wireless.

I like the dock but don't want to keep it if there is no way to add a GigE port. If my friend is (semi?) right, then perhaps I should keep the port.

Any real smart folks out there that can comment on what my friend says?
 

Nuspieds

Active Member
My order with Best Buy is already cancelled and last week I was pretty upset that I couldn't order it online from MS so that I could get it by the weekend. And none of the local stores had it in stock, so at the time I was disappointed that I couldn't setup my new SP2 along with its docking station.

But now, that was all a blessing in disguise.

The situation is also compounded by the fact that there is only one USB 3.0 port so if, like me, you have USB 3.0 devices and you want Gigabit Ethernet, then you have to share them via a hub. I'm already doing that now so, again, no benefit in me getting the docking station. At least if it had multiple USB 3.0 ports then it would give people like me the option to consider dedicating one of those ports for the Gigabit Ethernet connection.

For such an important accessory, it is weak all around.
 

slzmn

New Member
I was ready to take my Dock back but I decided to run the question of why MS decided to go with a 10/100 nic. My friend is a super smart IT guy. He asked to look at the Pro2 asked how the dock attached. After inspecting all the ports on the Pro, he said that it was probably because their were no real Ethernet connection the Pro itself. So the dock needs to pass the connection to the Pro and it was probably done via the magnetic strip on the Pro. He thought that this strip would not sustain a GigE connection and that's why MS went with a 10/100 port. I asked him if it would be possible to include GigE in future docks and he didn't think so with the current SP onboard ports. He thought they may be able to using the USB3 port but that might consume to much bandwidth is shared with other devices.

He also speculated that MS would count on folks using their wireless connection versus the Ethernet port as sometimes the wireless connection would be fast enough. I doubt this as I think moving large files would be best wired vs wireless.

I like the dock but don't want to keep it if there is no way to add a GigE port. If my friend is (semi?) right, then perhaps I should keep the port.

Any real smart folks out there that can comment on what my friend says?

The MS dock provides Ethernet via USB 3.0 port connection. The Plugable UD-3000 dock I purchased also provides Ethernet via the USB 3.0 port connection...but at 1 Gig. I don't understand why the MS dock would be 10/100.
 

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