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.
- Brand New Dock: Surface Dock 2 (opens in new tab) ($260 at Microsoft)
- Latest Go hardware: Surface Go 2 (opens in new tab) (From $400 at Microsoft)
- Original Ultraportable: Surface Go (opens in new tab) (From $400 at Microsoft)
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 (opens in new tab) 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.
Brand New Dock
Updated with modern ports
The Surface Dock 2 brings much-needed updates to the original, adding in four USB-C ports alongside the usual Ethernet, USB-A, and 3.5mm jacks.
Latest Go Hardware
Larger display, Core m3 CPU
The new Surface Go 2 packs a larger 10.5-inch higher resolution display, thinner bezels, more power, and storage for all your on-the-go computing tasks.
Compact Surface with USB-C port
Microsoft's Surface Go is an ultraportable 2-in-1 that can be used on its own or with a Type Cover. It has a beautiful display, high-quality build, and it can even be had with LTE connectivity.
Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
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