Microsoft Surface dock 2 review – what about specs, compatibility & alternative?

Microsoft Surface dock 2 drivers review
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Should you buy it? What about specs, compatibility & alternative of Microsoft Surface dock 2? Simply plug in the Surface Connect cable to charge your device and access external monitors, a keyboard, mouse, and more. The Surface Dock 2 has four USB-C ports, two of which can be connected to external monitors. Effectively, these two have replaced the two mini DisplayPorts that the original Surface Dock had. The dock also includes two USB-A ports, along with Ethernet, a headphone jack and a Kensington lock slot. Surface Dock 2 comes with plenty of new improvements over the first-Gen Surface Dock. It comes with faster charging, faster data transfer rates, and of course, it’s compatible with all the recent Surface devices. Get here everything in Microsoft Surface dock 2 review.

Price

If the Surface Dock 2 is a little pricey or big for your needs. It has five ports, including one USB-C port, one USB Type-A port, and an Ethernet, HDMI, and VGA port. (That’s one we don’t see often these days.) Unlike the Surface Dock 2, the Travel Hub plugs in via your Surface’s USB-C port. This means that it excludes most older Surface devices that don’t have that type of port.

Microsoft Surface dock 2 specs

  • 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
  • 199W power supply
  • Dimensions : 5.12″ x 2.75″ x 1.18″ (130 mm x 70 mm x 30 mm)
  • Weight : 1.13 lb (515 g)
  • Supports dual 4K at 60Hz
  • Surface Connect cable (80 cm)
  • 1 gigabit Ethernet
  • Security lock support (Kensington compatible)

What are the upgrades?

  • 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.

Microsoft Surface dock 2 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)

Microsoft Surface dock 2 Compatibility

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

Along with a longer cable to connect to your Surface Pro 7, the Dock 2 boosts available charging power up to 120W from 90W in the original Surface Dock. It’s not as much of a deal for the Pro 7 that doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card (GPU), but something like the Surface Book 3 with dedicated GPU will benefit greatly.

The Dock 2 is said to be compatible with any Surface products released 2017 or later. These other devices make the list with the Pro 7:

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”)

Microsoft Surface dock 2 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.

Microsoft Surface dock 2 review

Connectors

In addition to its fleet of USB-C ports, the Dock 2 also has an Ethernet jack, a headphone port, two USB Type-A ports, and a Kensington lock. The circular port near the Ethernet jack is for the Dock 2’s own power supply. When it’s plugged in, not only can it provide enough power to connect a bunch of devices to your Surface, but it also enables fast charging for any Surface device in Microsoft’s current portfolio. Additionally, Microsoft claims that the Dock 2 can deliver higher data transfer rates.

Cable length & weight

 The newer model also got a Microsoft logo, something that’s missing on its predecessor. The SurfLink cable used in the new one is slightly longer — ~81cm long vs 69cm in the older model. The new Surface Dock is also lighter than the 1st Gen — the new Surface Dock weighs 558gm, while the older one weighs 597gm.

Refresh rate

The Surface Dock 2 can handle up to two 4K displays, each with a 60Hz refresh rate, or two 5K displays each with a 30Hz refresh rate. If you’re looking for a docking station with external monitors in mind, the Dock 2 should make a great choice.

Setup

Setup was very easy. I just plugged everything in and let it set itself up. I did have to let it finish setting up and then disconnect and reconnect the connector. I suspect this necessity is a Windows thing, maybe a surface thing, because I had to do it with my generic hub as well. Reconnect it and it should work.

Power consumption

It does not appear to provide more than ~95 watts to the Surface Book 2 15″ so some battery drain may still happen when playing certain games on that particular device. BUT this is so much more than the 60W that the old dock delivered so should be fine for 99% of users. It does provide ~120 watts to the Surface Book 3 15″ model. With 79 watts reserved for power delivery to USB-C, USB-A, and various internal components, I don’t think there will be any power issues.

Microsoft Surface dock 2 performance review

Everything seems to work as expected. Plug in, let it install the drivers, then go!…restart may be necessary. This works for MS Surface Go, gen 1! USB C to HDMI seems to work with generic and quality USB c to HDMI devices. The dock itself has soft rubber(?) lining on the bottom to reduce sliding around. The dock connects to your surface with the proprietary magnetic plug that’s around 32 inches so your laptop or tablet doesn’t have to be stuck near the dock. Ethernet port works as expected. Audio port is both speaker + mic ports in one (similar to your cell phone). Two USB c video ports in the back so you add two monitors!

Microsoft Surface dock 2 customer review

Good dock

I bought two of these, to go with the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop my kids have. They work as expected, each with a 4K monitor, there is not much else to say about them. At full price there are better values to be found, if you Surface product is recent enough to have a USB-C port, but it is a great value when on sale.

By ChromecastUser, Reviewer at Best Buy

Microsoft Surface dock 2 alternative

The Dell WD19 offers up to 90W of charging back to your device to keep it topped up, plus you get support for up to three 4K external displays if you’re setting up at home or in the office. It’s jam-packed with ports, including USB-A 3.0, USB-C, two DisplayPort, HDMI, a 3.5mm audio jack, and Ethernet. There’s also a Kensington lock slot if you like to be extra secure.

Not only is the WD19 a little more affordable, but it has standard display outputs so that you won’t need any new cables or adapters. You don’t even surrender the USB-C port, either, since it gives it back to you. It’s a standard-looking black box, but as far as USB docks go, it’s one of the best you can get.

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