Photo of the dock with cables attached

External docks have been a key component of Microsoft’s Surface laptops and tablets, using a proprietary connector. That strategy is finally changing for the better, starting with the new Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock.

Microsoft just announced the Surface Thunderbolt 4 dock, a standard USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 dock that turns your (supported) laptop or tablet into a full desktop experience with one cable. It supports up to two 4K monitors at 60 Hz, data transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps for connected USB devices, and charging speeds of up to 96W. There are three USB Type-C ports, three USB Type-A connectors, a 3.5mm audio jack, a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, and a security lock.

Notably, this dock does not use a Surface Connect cable, like every Surface-branded dock and accessory before it. The proprietary Surface Connect port has been present on nearly every tablet and laptop made by Microsoft, functioning as a magnetic charging port on the go, and powering a dock at home or the office. That wasn’t a bad idea in 2014, when Thunderbolt was still in its infancy, but it’s been time to move on for a while now. The new dock is a sign that Microsoft will likely phase out the Surface Connector in future devices.

Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock

The new Surface Dock uses a standard Thunderbolt 4 connection, making it a great option for Microsoft's latest PCs and any other devices with Thunderbolt 4.

The new Surface Dock is advertised for use with the Surface Pro 9, Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Laptop 5, but it should work with any computer that supports Thunderbolt 4 or USB 4. It might be a good idea to wait for some real-life reviews, though — Thunderbolt is still not a perfect technology, and there might be compatibility problems with select devices.

You can buy the Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock for $299.99 from Microsoft’s online store.

Source: Microsoft

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Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
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