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Cheaper Docking Station for SP4?

Loving my Surface Pro 4 but would like to extend its power.... I like what the Surface Docking Station does but it's too expensive ($200). What I need is something that has one mini-display port and two USB ports. Anything less than $200 for that?
 

MMU

Member
Plus, it's only $30 cheaper.

Technologists are spoiled these days. My first laptop was $6500.00 and had a screen so tiny it was difficult to get much work done. The docking station cost more than $200. A lot more.
 

zhenya

Active Member
How about the Surface Pro 3 dock? Seems to be available for as low as ~$150 (B&H) or under $100 used.

I would not go for any dock that did not do native displayport out. Most of the cheaper docks use USB for video which is nowhere near as smooth or reliable.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
How about the Surface Pro 3 dock? Seems to be available for as low as ~$150 (B&H) or under $100 used.

I would not go for any dock that did not do native displayport out. Most of the cheaper docks use USB for video which is nowhere near as smooth or reliable.
IDK about that, I see all kinds of reported problems with these DP connections and my lowly USB 3.0 dock hums along without issue and it works with my laptops etc. So I don't need a different dock for everything. All the performance FUD on USB is overblown.
 

zhenya

Active Member
IDK about that, I see all kinds of reported problems with these DP connections and my lowly USB 3.0 dock hums along without issue and it works with my laptops etc. So I don't need a different dock for everything. All the performance FUD on USB is overblown.

DisplayPort works fine. There are times when it doesn't wake instantly, but there is no question that USB provides a sub-par external monitor solution. It relies on a compression/decompression scheme that is often not as smooth as native, while requiring extra CPU overhead. When docks providing native displayport are available for approximately the same price I have a hard time seeing the logic of buying one of these. Yes, I suppose it saves some money, but when we are talking about connecting a computer systems worth thousands of dollars by the time I count the Surface, the monitors and peripherals, I'm not exactly concerned about saving $50 or $100 on one of the core components.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sure my usb 3.0 dock/hub is great in a pinch, but the performance is very very sub par. With one 1080p monitor connected, and a wirelss mouse usb dongle, the wireless mouse is as good as unusable. Just juttering all over the place. Same story with a bluetooth keyboard, constant connection errors. I would not reccomend one of these displaylink hub to anyone who is actually serious about being productive.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Like anything you can get good and bad. Believe what you want, I run two monitors off mine with external disk, network, keyboard, mouse with no issues. The same type of unit today sells for 80-100 dollars. The unit that supports 4k is new so they cost more but not 200.

I'm not saying the custom dock with DP isn't "in theory" better; it's just not that much better and it has been plagued with problems, the evidence of which you can find on this site and elsewhere. Again the custom dock is not nearly as flexible but not everyone needs flexibility, some are fine with one dock per device :)
 

jrioux

Active Member
Loving my Surface Pro 4 but would like to extend its power.... I like what the Surface Docking Station does but it's too expensive ($200). What I need is something that has one mini-display port and two USB ports. Anything less than $200 for that?
Have you seen the eTauro dock (www.etauro.com)? It snaps to the side of the Surface and covers the existing power, USB, and mini-display ports. The eTauro dock offers four USB 3.0 ports plus a mini-display port for $65 ($60 on Amazon). If you need two mini-display ports, it won't work for you. A version with an ethernet port is available for a little more. A power supply, which charges the Surface, is also extra.

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surfdock

Active Member
Here is a write-up on the advantages and drawbacks of a few different options: Multi-monitor docking with Surface Pro 3/4 and Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro - danchar - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

The Displaylink based docks are great and we have a lot of them here at work, but certainly not the same quality level of the $200 MS brand docks and you have to fiddle with plugging in power separately. With the MS dock you have power built in which is so much more convenient.

I doesn't look like ETauro works with Surface Pro 4 the distance between the USB3 and miniDP connectors is about 1mm off from the SP3->SP4. Unfortunate that MS did not position all the connectors in the exact same relative spots between the two tablets :(
 
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