Microsoft's new Surface Dock 2, Travel Hub are all about USB-C
The Surface Dock is finally catching up to 2020.
What you need to know
- Microsoft launched its new Surface Dock 2 and USB-C Travel Hub today.
- Both sport USB-C ports, along with USB-A and ethernet ports.
- The Surface Dock 2 and USB-C Travel Hub will be available for $260 and $100, and hit stores on May 26.
Microsoft first started adding USB-C ports to its Surface lineup last year, and now its accessories are catching up. The company debuted the new Surface Dock 2 and USB-C Travel Hub today alongside the launch of the Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2. Both give you quick access to additional ports for your Surface device, including USB-C, ethernet, USB-A, and more.
Surface Dock 2
The most striking update is the Surface Dock 2, which marks its first major revision in years. Like the original, the new dock supplies power to your Surface while adding additional ports, making it a solid choice for a desk dock you can use when you aren't on the go. According to Microsoft, the new dock "delivers faster charging, higher data transfer rates, and the enterprise management tools people have been asking for."
Here's a look at the ports included on the Surface Dock 2:
- 2x front-facing USB-C ports.
- 2x rear-facing, video-enabled USB-C ports
- 2x rear-facing USB-A 3.2 (10Gbps) ports
- 1x Gigabit ethernet port
- 1x 3.5mm audio in/out port
- Kensington compatible lock
The old Surface Dock delivered 90W of power to Surface devices through the magnetic connector. That presented a problem in some situations for the Surface Book 2, which could draw more power than the dock could supply. The Surface Dock 2 ups power delivery to connected Surface devices to 120 watts, while providing a total of 199 watts to help power any other devices connected to the dock.
Microsoft says the Surface Dock 2 can drive two 4K displays at 60Hz, or two 5K displays at 30Hz.
The Surface Dock 2 can also now be managed in enterprise situations. You can now individually disable USB data, audio, or ethernet on the dock for devices without required certificates. When a managed device with required certificates connects to a dock, it can then unlock additional capabilities. These settings can be managed locally, or through Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.
The dock also received some tweaks that make it easier to update. It natively supports Windows Update. You also won't have to restart or disconnect and reconnect your device after updating the dock.
As far as compatibility is concerned, Microsoft says the Surface Dock 2 is compatible with Surface Book 3, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, Surface Laptop 3, and Surface Go 2. It is not compatible with Surface Studio, Surface Hub, Surface Pro 3 or 4, or Surface Book (first gen). The dock also supports USB-C Fast Charging.
The Surface Dock 2 is expected to launch in stores on May 26.
Dock on demand
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.
Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub
Where the Surface Dock 2 is meant to give you port flexibility at your desk, the new Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub opens up more possibilities on the go. However, whereas the Surface Dock 2 is built specifically for Surface devices with a Surface Connect port, the USB-C Travel Hub works with any modern PC with a USB-C port.
The hub is relatively small, measuring in at 3.5 inches (89mm) long by 1.9 inches (48mm) wide and .59 inches (15mm) thick. It's also pretty light, weighing in at 3.5 ounces (99.2 grams). Despite its portable size, however, you get plenty of ports to work with. Here's a look:
- 1x USB-C (10Gbps data transfers and pass-through accessory charging)
- 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps data transfers and pass-through accessory charging)
- 1x Gigabit ethernet port
- 1x HDMI 2.0 port
- 1x VGA port
- 1x 3.5mm audio in/out jack
Because it operates over a USB-C connection, you can use the Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub with Windows 10, MacOS, Google Chrome, and Android devices. For devices like the Surface Pro X, which only comes with two USB-C ports, the added expandability could come in handy.
The Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub is expected to launch in stores on May 26.
Ports on the go
For all modern PCs
The Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub lets you take more ports on the go, expanding all modern PCs with extra USB-A, VGA, HDMI, and VGA ports in a small package.
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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl.