What you need to know
- Kensington unveiled a new BlackBelt Rugged case with integrated mobile dock for the Surface Pro 8.
- Kensington worked with Microsoft to ensure the case fits perfectly around the Pro 8, offering significant drop and wipe-down protection.
- The case also incorporates a mobile dock with one USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) port, one USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) port, HDMI, and UHS-II microSD card reader.
- Expect to pay about $200 for this rugged case.
Kensington is known to make some of the best accessories for the Surface PCs thanks to working alongside Microsoft to ensure full compatibility and — when it comes to cases — an optimal fit. Following a late-2021 announcement with cases for the Surface Pro 8, Laptop Studio, Go 3, and more, Kensington has now announced the BlackBelt Rugged case with integrated mobile dock exclusively for the Surface Pro 8.
While there's already a Kensington rugged case for the Pro 8, this new version tacks on a built-in bank of ports in the top corners of the device. The dock hooks into one of the Pro 8's native Thunderbolt 4 ports, offering up a USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) port of its own with up to 60W of power passthrough and 10Gbps speeds. The right side of the case also has an HDMI port with video support up to 4K at 30Hz or dual QHD at 60Hz. With DSC enabled, it will hit 4K at 60Hz.
The left side of the case adds a UHS-II microSD card reader and a USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) port. The case leaves ventilation ports open, and it leaves access to the native 3.5mm audio jack and the other native Thunderbolt 4 port that's not used to connect the built-in dock. The case also leaves the kickstand uncovered, allowing you to use the full functionality. There's a built-in pen holder, keyboard strap for an attached Type cover, and a hand strap on the back helps to prevent accidental drops.
If you do happen to drop your PC, the case hits MIL-STD-810H Method 504.3 certification for drops. It's also certified to withstand harsh cleaning chemicals. The case comes with a two-year Kensington warranty to help protect your purchase. The BlackBelt Rugged case with integrated mobile dock, exclusively for the Surface Pro 8, looks to cost about $200, as listed at the official Kensington website. It doesn't yet seem to be available at major online retailers.
Drop protection and ports
Kensington's new BlackBelt rugged case with built-in dock works exclusively with the Surface Pro 8, adding extra protection and extra ports.
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Cale Hunt is formerly 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.