Surface Dock: The peripheral we have all been waiting for

Over the past few days, Neowin has been able to bring you new details about Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 and the new Power Cover that will extend the battery life of the device. If you are wondering if Microsoft’s is going to be introducing any other peripherals for the Surface Pro 2, then we have some good news for you.

Neowin has learned that Microsoft is building a dock for the Surface Pro 2. The dock, as you can imagine, was heavily requested feature as it makes attaching a keyboard and mouse much easier (via USB, 3 in total on the dock); in addition, you will be able to attach an external display to the dock as well.

While the dock may not be as useful to some as say, the Power Cover, it will allow the Surface Pro to be a more complete desktop replacement.

As with the other leaks, we don’t have a price or a firm release date yet for the dock but it would make sense that it would arrive around the time of the launch of the updated devices.

Also, the Surface Dock (which may not be the final name) will work with the existing Pro, much like the Power Cover, as the current Pro does have the pins needed to support the device. Not to mention, the Pro 2 and the current Pro, are nearly identical in terms of the chasis and the team had hinted about creating this product a few months back.

We are still digging around on more information about the Surface RT 2 (or what will likely just be called the Surface) and will provide that information as soon as we can get confirmation on our information.

Per his usual, Paul Thurrott has nabbed a few more details which you can read about here.

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Microsoft maybe good on software.
But they need to learn a lot on Hardware market.

Microsoft must release the surface pro 2
1. Thinner
2. More memory
3 Cheap
and release it in all country

I'm still just happy to see that they are keeping their word to support the current surface pro. I'm more interested in the future accessories than the pro 2.

A nice laptop will be the much better device. The supposed "advantages" of a tablet over a laptop are minimal at best and what few there are would be in the category of "what difference does it make? Let's think the real world, not some "it would be nice" situations.

You don't own a tablet, do you? I once thought the same thing, that the "supposed "advantages" of a tablet over a laptop are minimal at best", but after having my tablet for a year, I would never again want a form factor other than a tablet. My real world example is winding down as I write this, having just flown overseas and used my tablet, with keyboard battery, in five different airports and 2 hotels. Not only do I still have sufficient power, but relaxing on the plane with a small form-factor tablet is far easier than handling a laptop in my sleeper pod. Sure, the new Haswell PCs will have longer range, but I would still want to be able to remove the keyboard - that is the reason people buy tablets. It is the reason you may buy one some day too. Or a phablet!!

Correct. I don't own a tablet. The very few situations where a tablet might have sufficed instead of laptop do not justify having both a laptop and a tablet. Even less so, when one already owns and uses both a desktop and laptop. (As for flying in a sleeper pod, that would certainly be a very small and select part of the population of PC users.)

" The very few situations where a tablet might have sufficed instead of laptop do not justify having both a laptop and a tablet".

Tell that to the gazillion of people who bought an iPad and ALSO still use a laptop......

I really hope it comes out soon... this was the one feature I wanted in a tablet was the ability to easily dock it when home but have it be a real pc.

The Surface is in now way a tablet. It is a touchscreen laptop with a crappy keyboard. Now it is going to have a dock that makes it even more like a laptop. Which leads me to my point, what is MS doing with tablets? Almost nothing. MS don't really have a tablet, not compared to Android and iPad. MS thinks people want it all in one, people think (most people, not people here) they want android or iPad and sales prove this. Microsofts tablet strategy is all wrong.

Why is MS even releasing a Surface 2 when the first Surface did not do well, RT was a failure. Tell me this is not ZUNE all over again, This is so frustrating to watch.

derekaw said,
... what is MS doing with tablets? Almost nothing. MS don't really have a tablet, not compared to Android and iPad.

Oh my, I must be touch-surfing my knees, again. Thanks for your observation Del, I feel quite silly.

So by this logic, Google et al should have given-up based on the relative success of the Motorola Xoom? It was, based on my experience, a vastly inferior product to the SRT (relative to the times & price). My last tablet, a Nexus 7, is but a paper-weight.

Rather than worry about pointless stats, I'm just enjoying the experience.

I have been waiting for such device (surface pro II and peripherals) for a year. Last year I was a hair close to buy surface pro but there were barriers which eventually turned me away from it and I decided to wait another year. one was battery life, one was it was getting hot after several hours use. all of them is resolved as far as I see here and there. dock was a definitely missing thing. this is now a complete package. I wish they could make it a little lighter\thinner. so it would be perfect.
again from what I see from leaks I will definitely buy it.

This is good news.

I know there is a lot of resistance to the Surface tablets, but if MS wants to get passed that resistance, they need to do stuff like this. Pushing forward with more accessories that people want and improving the Surface device itself are ways to grow adoption.

These days most people at an office have 2 monitors. For the surface or any other tablet for that matter to be useful any dock needs to be able to support 2 24" displays at 1080P. I need this for work and one external monitor will not do.

From my source at Dell, They are building two tablets with docks that can do this. One tablet will have a Haswell CPU with a 1080P display, active digitizer, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 or 256 GB SSD with a SDHC slot. The other will be a Baytrail device with a 1366 x 768 device with 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, active digitizer, and a SDHC slot. The Haswell will have a battery KB dock option and the Baytrail will have a KB dock turning either into a laptop. Both have an October release schedule for 8.1. Its going to be an interesting fall.

Absolutely agree with the need to support 2 monitors via the dock. Although I've not tried a USB 3 hub with a Surface Pro, we did try one with a brand new powerful PC and found that the CPU rendering of video was choppy at best.

Whilst the other post shows that it can be done, surely 3 of those monitors have to be running on CPU based processing and I would have thought that the video performance would not be great. Happy to be proven wrong, though.

I do hope the Dell tablets are effectively Latitude E-Docks so that I can just go from desk based working with multiple monitors, to laptop style with keyboard to tablet with pen.

DisplayPort easily supports two 1080P monitors, either via daisy-chaining newer DisplayPort models or via a DisplayPort hub. An example of daisy-chaining capable monitors are Dell's 2013 and later UltraSharps.

How did MS not realise we needed this. I'm sorry but I cant be enthusiastic, I think they are just stupid sometimes. Maybe I have a bit of passion here, don't know if thats a bad thing but omg what are MS paying their people for?

But ... we will kill the Battery very soon if we keep charging on a dock... I hope we have tablet with external battery

The problem is that Microsoft isn't really tooled for being an OEM for this kind of device. They had to go through basically the whole song and dance involved with the original Xbox project to push out and market something that was envisioned as a reference design.

Maybe things will be changing with the purchase of Nokia's devices division, but I wouldn't expect the product revision cycle to differ much from what we saw with Zune.

That said, I think it's great that they're acknowledging and overcoming these deficiencies.

This has been the sticking point keeping me from commiting to a SP2. I want fast and simple drop in and pull out docking capability. I don't want to be unplugging and replugging in cords. I use multimonitor mouse, external speakers, USB hub and wireless keyboard. Plugging everything individually is too much of a hassle.

Orange Battery said,
How did MS not realise we needed this. I'm sorry but I cant be enthusiastic, I think they are just stupid sometimes. Maybe I have a bit of passion here, don't know if thats a bad thing but omg what are MS paying their people for?

satus said,
But ... we will kill the Battery very soon if we keep charging on a dock... I hope we have tablet with external battery

satus said,
The problem is that Microsoft isn't really tooled for being an OEM for this kind of device. They had to go through basically the whole song and dance involved with the original Xbox project to push out and market something that was envisioned as a reference design.

I would venture that none of you have worked in an enterprise environment. Microsoft is lining up Surface 2 as a replace laptops and desktops - as the article stated, and not just for consumers . In a corporate environment, depending on what you do, you could either have a single monitor or dual monitors, and this dock, hopefully would fit the bill.

In addition, it is a lot easier to pull out a tablet, and connect it to a projector in a conference room - either with a mini-display port adapter or another dock, and show your presentation without the hassle of waiting for your laptop to recover from sleep mode.

Another thing, if the dock is not for you, then don't purchase it. Simple as that.

satus said,
But ... we will kill the Battery very soon if we keep charging on a dock... I hope we have tablet with external battery

I've had my laptop sitting on a dock for 3 years and still get the same battery life I got when it was brand new... give or take about 15 minutes.

shockz said,

I've had my laptop sitting on a dock for 3 years and still get the same battery life I got when it was brand new... give or take about 15 minutes.

Hi shockz!

I guess most people don't understand batteries and how they work.

I've had my laptop sitting on a desk, always plugged to the AC for 2.5+ years, and it still gives me a good charge, just around 30 minutes less than when new, but this is perfectly normal, batteries have to die someday.

On another hand, I've seen laptops with batteries lasting less than 10 minutes after just half a year of use.

satus said,
But ... we will kill the Battery very soon if we keep charging on a dock... I hope we have tablet with external battery

That only happened with the old, crappy kind of batteries. Unless you are getting a really crappy laptop, no modern machine should be using the kind of batteries that eventually lose their ability to charge anymore.

Can anyone confirm these days are gone? Or are there some companies still using those batteries?

excalpius said,

That only happened with the old, crappy kind of batteries. Unless you are getting a really crappy laptop, no modern machine should be using the kind of batteries that eventually lose their ability to charge anymore.

Can anyone confirm these days are gone? Or are there some companies still using those batteries?

All batteries lose their charge. Current batteries commonly found in electronics (Lithium-ion) degrade considerably after a few years when used constantly.

The greatest catalyst in diminishing a battery's maximum charge is temperature. Good cooling will keep your battery lasting a long time and if you wish to prolong its life as long as possible, throw it in a plastic bag and store in the fridge when not using it for long periods.