Surface Pro 3: New Type Covers, pen and docking station

Microsoft will be releasing some new accessories for its Surface lineup of tablets that will support the newly announced Surface Pro 3 along with their older models. This includes a new version of the Type Cover add-on, and Microsoft says it features an improved track pad. 

Microsoft's fact sheet states that the new covers will come in red, blue, black, cyan and purple colors. The track pad is 63 percent larger than previous versions of the Type Cover. Microsoft is pricing them at $129.99.

The new Surface Pen is cased in aluminum and Microsoft says it has "256 levels of pressure sensitivity and Palm Block technology". It also uses digitizer tech from N-trig, rather than from Wacom which was used on the pen made for the older Surface Pro tablets. It has a button on top which, when clicked once, automatically launches the OneNote app, even if the Surface Pro 3 is asleep. Double-clicking on the pen's button lets the tablet take a screenshot. The price for the Surface Pen is $49.99.

Microsoft is also launching a new docking station made for the larger Surface Pro 3. It will have a a gigabit Ethernet port, a Mini DisplayPort for connecting the tablet to a larger monitor that supports up to 3840x2600 resolution, three USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. It can also be used to charge the tablet. Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for the docking station but its price will be $199.99. It doesn't look like there's been any real change compared to the features for the older Surface docking station other than its size.

Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft

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30 Comments

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It would be nice if the docking station would support 2 external monitors!

I can't replace my notebook solution with a Surface 3, if it does not support this feature...

> It also uses digitizer tech from N-trig, rather than from Wacom which was used on the pen made for the older Surface Pro tablets

I'm hoping it works better than the original Pro's. They've presented it as a "best of breed" digitizer, but I find mine plain sucks. It works great when writing at the center of the screen, but as I move closer and closer to an edge, it gets off-center (getting progressively worse). That is, I'll touch the tip of the pen in one location, but the 'ink' will appear a few millimeters away. That makes it difficult to write anything with any accuracy or in a straight line.

No amount of re-calibration seems to help, including the hacks that let you recalibrate with a grid showing more intersecting points.

_dandy_ said
No amount of re-calibration seems to help, including the hacks that let you recalibrate with a grid showing more intersecting points.

Yeah, it almost feels like it is over-calibrated on the edges... with some really weird nonlinearities. The corners are the worst, right in the region of those additional intersecting points during calibration.

they really need to design a universal dock bus on the accessory spine so that this nonsense of a new dock on every surface upgrade will go away. by placing it at the bottom or behind the device, it removes the need for a side connector which prevents newer bigger devices from being backwards and forwards compatible with newer or older docks.

I really hope Microsoft has worked on one thing: AVAILABILITY
The Surface 1 and 2 accessories like the docking station are almost impossible to get in Europe.

The second generation Surface Pros (at least some of the models) also spent a good amount of time being out of stock in the Microsoft Store. :/

I suspect we'll see that in the Store in a couple of weeks. I'm shocked that it took this long to get something like that out - Microsoft's "Ink Crossword" released in 2005 did the same thing VERY well.

Wonder if these docks will be readily available this time around. The ones for the Pro 2 are still awol from the surface.com website, and we've had two on order for the company I work for since December, and they're nowhere to be seen.

I also wish the new dock had two displayports. With the increased size, I'm sure they could've fitted another one on. Also I wish they were full size displayports. I don't like having to get an adapter cable to plug my full size ported monitors into Surface devices.

I thought you could daisy-chain DisplayPort? I guess that would depend on what monitors you had, though.

I hate getting adapters, also, but it's pretty standard on any tablet. They're mini-HDMI or other smaller port.

I was more referring the dock, than the tablet itself. At least on laptops, the dock usually exposes more ports than on the device itself. I'm just disappointed that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Regarding daisy-chaining, how is that done? Would the monitor have to have an "out" socket on it, as well as the "in"?

Only way I could ever justify spending this crazy amount of money on this stuff is if I could use it as a business write-off. Good GAWD this stuff and ultrabooks are expensive!!!

NXTwoThou said,
Is the one on top of the red supposed to be black? Sure doesn't look that way on my screen. Was hoping it was an olive.
hehe yeah you might want to check the color setting on your monitor.

"It doesn't look like there's been any real change compared to the features for the older Surface docking station other than its size"

A lot of people will be happy with the gigabit Ethernet which the lack of was a huge issue with the SP2 dock. The 4K out is also an interesting point although how useful that is to most remains to be seen.

I LOVE the gigabit support in the dock because it matches the household LAN (which is dual-band N and gigabit on all ports). The reason the previous dock came in for the scorn it did is because gigabit is a checkbox item on practically any wired LAN today - kudos to Microsoft for fixing this undeserved lack. 4K-out is useful for presentations - more and more projection hardware supports 4K-in. (PowerPoint has supported 4K since the 2010 iteration - it's not a new feature even there.) Surface Pro 3 is a superset of tablets, AND a notebook killer.

IvoFajardo said,
This Docking Station doesn't work with the SP1&2 but there's one for them.

I know that. Which is why I specifically say that I wish this one would work with the SP2.

Well given that both devices are completely different sizes, not sure how you'd reasonably expect them to have one dock that fits both.

TCLN Ryster said,
Well given that both devices are completely different sizes, not sure how you'd reasonably expect them to have one dock that fits both.

Just to be clear. Nowhere have I implied I EXPECTED it to work for both devices.

I think it is pretty obvious what WISH means. I wish many things in life. I wish for infinite wishes.

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I WISH my Xbox 360 controllers would work on my Xbox One because I would have saved some money. That does not imply I EXPECT the controller from an Xbox 360 to work on an Xbox One. ;)

Nimdock said,

Just to be clear. Nowhere have I implied I EXPECTED it to work for both devices.

I think it is pretty obvious what WISH means. I wish many things in life. I wish for infinite wishes.

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I WISH my Xbox 360 controllers would work on my Xbox One because I would have saved some money. That does not imply I EXPECT the controller from an Xbox 360 to work on an Xbox One. ;)

Haha. I applaud you for your patience, lol. Sorry you had to go through that 3 times.