I never owned the original Surface Docking Station, and I’m glad I held out. The Surface Dock, as the new brick is known, absolutely changed how I use Surface.

I always used my Surface with a high degree of mobility. Why not, it’s a tablet. But when I’m in a larger project or more advanced work, of course I need a better equipped workstation. So most evenings I’d plug in the Surface, then attach an external monitor, a USB hub for mouse/keyboard, and a set of Logitech desktop speakers, plus power and sometimes an Ethernet cable. That’s 4 or 5 cables to attach in all, and I went through the routine every time I came or went from my home office. Well now it’s a first world problem that is no more.

IMG_20160402_203621

Now one single power cable connects all the rest. It sounds trivial, but it makes this device a powerhouse. The Core i7 processor means this is really my primary PC, and it goes with me. When I get home and plug in the charging cable, I am also instantly connected to:

  1. Desktop mouse and keyboard
  2. Desktop HD monitor
  3. HD television (not shown)
  4. External webcam
  5. Wired Ethernet connection
  6. Digital Condenser Studio Mic
  7. Microsoft Band Sync/Charge
  8. USB-C Sync/Charge (for my Lumia 950 and Nexus 5x)
  9. iPod Shuffle
  10. 2 TB external storage drive

All of that,… through this:

surfacePro3Power

When I’m ready to walk out the door, I tug out the magnetic power cable and I’m on my way. It sounds so trivial but it’s absolutely life changing. Everything I need comes with me – there’s no change to my workflow, I don’t even need to close my work first. With this dock, the tablet that can replace your laptop can also replace your desktop.

This also works perfectly with my bare minimum backup strategy. Every night while my Surface charges and I slumber, backups save to my external storage drive, while off-site backups copy to the cloud.

Ooops, almost forgot:

  1. USB pyramid lamp
They say this emits negative ions to offset the positive ones emitted by {everything else}. What it actually does is illuminate a blue LED.
They say this emits negative ions to offset the positive ones emitted by {everything else}. What it actually does is illuminate a blue LED.

If you’ve got a Surface Pro 3 this is one great upgrade. Together with the more spaceious desktop-class Surface Pro 4 keyboard, my old SP3 device has never been better. If you’re curious if the new keyboard is a worthy purchase, check out Rod Trent’s review over on WinSuperSite.