Skip to main content

Microsoft's new Surface Dock 2, Travel Hub are all about USB-C

Surface Dock 2 Render
Surface Dock 2 Render (Image credit: Microsoft)

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.

Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub

Microsoft Usb C Travel Hub Render

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

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.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

12 Comments
  • Travel Hub? That's new. Wish it had more than one USB-C port.
  • For the Surface Dock 2-- What about compatibility for Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Book 2?
  • Those are previous generation devices and it doesn't support them.
  • What about the Microsoft mechanics video that says it's compatible with all surface devices released since 2017? Surface laptop 2 for example was released in 2018. Which of both info are correct?
  • These are great! Travel Hub is odd in that in includes a vga port (why, this is 2020... even if it was 2016 it shouldn't have included a vga port). What's really odd is some surface devices don't have a full-size SD card reader... yet neither of these docks have one. -_- As a photographer the Go 2 would be the perfect on the go editing device for light editing. But it's not, because neither an official dock as and full-size SD in nor the device itself.
  • It has a VGA port because conference rooms and lecture halls around the world have overhead systems that support VGA - and sometimes only VGA. And VGA just works - no audio, but also no fuss, unlike DisplayPort and HDMI at times.
  • I feel as if the Lumia dock, which still works fine with other devices, would also be useful (with some tweaks) I mean, I still use mine for use with my android phone (project xcloud on a TV) as well as laptop at times and it works great still.
  • No displayports. Is that positive?
  • You'd just need an adapter. If I am not mistaken, the video signal through USB-C is the same as a DVI or DisplayPort signal (which also should also give you HDMI). And honestly I'm not a fan of miniDP ports - they seem to break easily.
  • Does the Travel Hub charge the PC?
  • Clearly Microsoft took the criticism for no USB-C to heart and just decided to cram as many as they could into a single box. As an aside, if this thing doesn't come with a USB-C to HDMI adapter people aren't going to bother.
  • I've had the first iteration of the hub with my Surface 3 then moved on to the 2 bricks Surface 'Dock'. Frankly I was expecting more for a Surface product. The Dock as it is is the weakest link in the Surface line and truly awkward and let's face it ugly. The entire line is elegant and then you have this 2 brick system with wires coming from all sides. Could have done much better MS...