Here's how to add Ethernet and three USB 3.0 ports to your Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3 is one powerful tablet. Or a computer. Regardless of how you use it, the Surface Pro 3 can do a lot, especially with that single USB 3.0 port on the side. Recently, we took a look at a 4-in-1 adapter for the Surface series, but today we have a new one that is also highly affordable.
The HooToo HT-UE01 3-Port USB 3.0 HUB with 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Converter costs less than $30, and it greatly enhances what you can do on the Surface Pro series (all three generations). RT users have to sit on the side as Ethernet support non-functioning with this adapter.
The HooToo HT-UE01 is not a premium feeling add on, in fact, it feels a little bit on the cheap side being made of plastic and somewhat hollow. Having said that, the reviews on Amazon are consistently high for the HooToo (4.3 stars out of 5).
Plugging it into the Surface Pro 3 and adding two-USB thumb drives plus a Windows Phone Lumia 1520 was not a problem for either the Surface or the HooToo. Immediately everything is recognizable by the OS, and I could now swap files between my phone and thumb drives with ease. There are, of course, a myriad other devices you could plug, including card readers and more.
The RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet Port, found on the bottom, also works flawlessly. Plugging into my router and my Surface Pro 3 quickly took advantage of my fast Verizon FiOS 75/35 package. Needless to say, having that kind of speed on the Surface is an excellent addition.
Overall, the HooToo HT-UE01 is a pleasant, affordable solution for the Surface Pro series. It is relatively small (about 4.3-inches), lightweight (2.2 ounces) and it does not break the bank. For $30 such a tool may not be needed all the time, but it never hurts to toss in your bag just in case.
Although I understand the need for a cable connector for the HooToo, since it is not purposefully made for the Surface, it would be much cleaner if it could plug directly in and mount like the Juiced Systems adapter reviewed earlier. As is, the extra cable, along with whatever else you plug into, quickly turns the whole setup into a wired, floppy mess. In other words, this is probably not ideal if you're working with the Surface in your lap.
Finally, I'd like to see Microsoft make a similar adapter officially for the Surface series as it seems they may be missing on an opportunity. For now, you can find the HooToo HT-UE01 on Amazon (opens in new tab) or Newegg (opens in new tab).
Do you have an accessory for the Surface that is your must have? Let us know in comments or check out our other reviews!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
Is it possible to add a second Ethernet connection by plugging in the Ethernet adapter for the Surface Pro into one of those 3 USB ports?