Do Surface Go, Go 2 USB-C ports support Thunderbolt 3?

Surface Go USB-C port
Surface Go USB-C port (Image credit: Windows Central)

Best answer: No, the USB-C ports on the original Surface Go and new Surface Go 2 do not support Thunderbolt 3. You still get data transfer, display out, and charging, but not the extra speed associated with Thunderbolt 3. If you're looking to add connectivity, a docking station will do the trick for either device.

What can the Surface Go, Go 2's USB-C ports do?

Despite not supporting Thunderbolt 3, the USB-C 3.1 (Gen 1) port on the Surface Go 2 is said in the above Microsoft Mechanics video to support data transfer rates up to 10Gbps (Thunderbolt 3 supports up to 40Gbps). It can work with a single 4K display at 60Hz or dual FHD displays, and it will charge the device. The USB-C port in the original Go is 3.1 (Gen 1) as well, though it's capped at 5Gbps.

The USB-C port in the Go 2 didn't get the same treatment as the Pro 7, Pro X, and Laptop 3, with support for DP 1.4 DSC that allows for dual 4K display support at a 60Hz refresh rate with nothing more than a hub or monitor supporting daisy-chaining.

Microsoft's USB-C Travel Hub is a solid addition here, adding USB-C, USB-A, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, and 3.5mm audio ports. But if you'd like to keep the USB-C on the Go and Go 2 free, there's always the proprietary Surface Connect port.

What about the Surface Connect port?

The proprietary Surface Connect port hasn't gone anywhere with the release of the Go 2, and the new Surface Dock 2 is likely looking tempting if you want to add connectivity. It should work with any Surface products released 2017 or later, which includes both the Go and Go 2.

The Surface Dock 2 adds four USB-C ports (two meant to handle video out), two USB-A 3.2 ports, Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio. It'll also charge your Go 2 when connected, allowing you to forget about whether or not your device is charged when you need to leave the house or office.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.