Surface Dock 2 Review

My Surface Dock 2 Mini Review

Last week Microsoft started shipping the new Surface Dock 2 and the Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub. I ordered the Surface Dock 2 since I was looking for a second docking station to connect to my monitor, so I can easily switch between two Surface devices. I got my Microsoft Surface Dock 2 a couple of days ago, and I want to share my first impression and a mini-review.

You can buy the Surface Dock 2 here.

Surface Dock 2 Review

The Surface Dock 2 transforms your mobile Surface devices into a desktop computer, with which you can easily connect monitors, power adapter, and other external peripherals. The Surface Dock 2 comes with the following ports:

Surface Dock 2 front-facing ports

Surface Dock 2 front-facing ports

  • 199W power supply
  • Supports dual 4K at 60Hz
  • Surface Connect cable (80 cm)
  • 2 front-facing USB-C 3.2 (10 Gbps) (15W)
  • Two rear-facing USB-C 3.2 (10 Gbps) video display enabled (7.5W)
  • Two rear-facing USB-A 3.2 (10 Gbps) (7.5W)
  • 3.5mm in/out audio jack
  • 1 gigabit Ethernet
  • Security lock support (Kensington compatible)

Surface Dock 2 rear-facing ports

Surface Dock 2 rear-facing ports

The question I get the most is, what is new with the Surface Dock 2 and the Surface Dock (1). The Surface team has updated a couple of different features on customer requests.

  • The front USB-A Ports are now USB-C ports.
  • The rear Mini-Display ports are now USB-C ports with video display enabled to connect monitors.
  • The Surface Dock 2 comes with a stronger power supply, to deliver more power to charge Surface devices.
  • The Surface Connect cable is now 80cm vs. the 69cm from the Surface Dock 1.
  • The 3.5mm audio jack now supports audio in and out.

So what are my impressions of the Surface Dock 2? First of all, I had no issues or troubles. The Surface just does what it supposed to do. The longer Surface Connect cable is very welcome, so I have a little bit more flexibility when I place my Surface in front of the monitor. In the first version of the Surface Dock, I connected two cables to my monitor, one Mini-Display-Port to Display Port and a USB cable for the USB hub inside the monitor, to connect mouse and keyboard. With the new USB-C connection, I only need one cable to connect the display as well as the USB hub. This is a small but very welcome benefit.

USB-A to USB-C Adapter

USB-A to USB-C Adapter

Something which can be problematic for people who used the two USB-A ports in the front, to connect keyboard and mouse, now have to use the ones in the rear or use a USB-A to USB-C converter.

Speaking about ports, for enterprises, the new Surface Dock 2 also brings more control to manage the different ports of the dock. So you can disable ports you don’t want people to use for security and compliance reasons.

The Surface Dock 2 works excellent if the devices I have tried, like the Surface Book 2, Surface Laptop 3, Surface Go 2, and the Surface Pro X. If you want to learn more about the Surface Dock 2 features, check out the Microsoft support page.

Surface Dock 2 Compatibility

The Surface Dock 2 is compatible with most of the Surface devices. However, there are a couple of limitations:

Fully compatible with dual 4K monitors at 60Hz:

  • Surface Book 3 (13.5” and 15”)
  • Surface Pro 7
  • Surface Pro X
  • Surface Laptop 3 (13.5” and 15”)
  • Surface Go 2

Supports dual 4K monitors at 30Hz:

  • Surface Pro 6
  • Surface Pro (5th Gen)
  • Surface Laptop 2
  • Surface Laptop (1st Gen)
  • Surface Go
  • Surface Book 2 (13.5” and 15”)

Not compatible with:

  • Surface Pro 4
  • Surface Pro 3
  • Surface Book (1st Gen)

If you connect one of the not compatible devices, nothing will happen except that the Surface will charge.

You can buy the Surface Dock 2 here.

Conclusion

I am happy with the Surface Dock 2, it does what it supposed to do, and the team addressed a couple of customer requests from the first-generation Surface dock. I think if you already have a Surface Dock and it works for you, you don’t necessarily need to upgrade, expect you need the USB-C ports or more power to charge your Surface Book. However, if you are buying your first one, I would definitely go and buy the Surface Dock 2. I hope this mini-review gives you a quick overview of the Microsoft Surface Dock 2. If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment.

Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft but I am not part of the Microsoft Surface team.