Should you buy a Surface Dock 2 for your Surface Laptop 3?

Surface Laptop 3 15
Surface Laptop 3 15 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Should you buy a Surface Dock 2 for your Surface Laptop 3?

Best answer: The Surface Dock 2 is an excellent choice and a much more modern option than its predecessor for expanding your Surface Laptop 3. However, with USB-C on hand, if you'd like to save some money, Kensington has an excellent alternative.

Surface Dock 2 improves on the original

Microsoft equipped the Surface Dock 2 with the first-party Surface Connect solution for hooking up to various Surface devices, including Surface Laptop 3.

The previous model was getting a bit long in the tooth, but the updated dock is a much better piece of hardware to buy, not least because it adds USB-C ports into its arsenal of connections.

The front of the dock has two USB-C 3.2 ports, each with 15W of charging power for connected accessories. The back contains Ethernet, dual USB-A 3.2, dual USB-C 3.2, and 3.5mm audio. The side of the dock has a Kensington lock slot for increased security in an office environment.

The rear USB-C ports are also to power external displays, and the Surface Dock 2 is capable of powering up to two 4K displays at 60Hz. The only slight roadblock here is that you'll need either a USB-C equipped monitor or a USB-C to HDMI cable.

But these are minor faults, and combining the connectivity with the increased 120W passthrough to keep your Surface Laptop 3 charged as well as powering all these added devices, you're in excellent hands with the Surface Dock 2. Now is also a great time to pick one up since it's seeing some major discounts over its launch price.

A more affordable alternative

Kensington Usbc Dock

Source: Kensington (Image credit: Source: Kensington)

As good as the Surface Dock 2 is, though, it's also quite pricey. The lack of Thunderbolt 3 on the Surface Laptop 3 is a bit of a disappointment, but as it has a USB-C port, you can connect up an alternative dock and save a bit of money. Luckily, there are a lot of great Surface Pro docks and docking stations available.

The Kensington SD4820P offers up to 60W of charging back to your device to keep it topped up, plus you get support for up to two 4K external displays (albeit only at 30hz) if you're setting up at home or in the office. It's jam-packed with ports, including USB-A 3.0, USB-C, two DisplayPort, HDMI, a 3.5mm audio jack, and Ethernet. There's also a Kensington lock slot if you like to be extra secure.

Not only is the SD4820P a little more affordable, but it has standard display outputs so that you won't need any new cables or adapters. You don't even surrender the USB-C port, either, since it gives it back to you. It's a standard-looking black box, but as far as USB docks go, it's excellent value.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at