The Surface Pro 3 docking station has arrived

A new toy arrived today. I received the docking station for the Surface Pro 3.

I had a docking station with the Surface Pro 2, and I’ve been missing it since making the switch to the Surface Pro 3. Much of the time I use the “tablet that can replace your laptop” as a traditional desktop–at my desk, connected to a full-sized keyboard, touchpad, 29-inch ultrawide monitor, webcam, etc. It’s still possible to connect the Surface Pro 3 to most of those things without the docking station, but it’s a tedious process every time I want to connect or disconnect it. With a docking station, you just snap the tablet in, and away you go!

The docking station also provides a few significant advantages over the non-docking station experience. The Surface Pro 3 only has one USB 3.0 port. The docking station has two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports on the back, plus an additional USB 3.0 port on the left side. The docking station also provides a wired gigabit Ethernet port that the Surface Pro 3 tablet itself doesn’t have at all. Combine those features with the miniDisplayPort, and audio connectors, and the docking station is a must-have accessory for serious Surface Pro 3 use.

One bonus feature I was not aware of on the Surface Pro 3 docking station is that the left side has magnets so you can attach the Surface Pro 3 stylus. That’s a pretty cool addition. The Surface Pro 2 docking station didn’t have that feature, and that was fine, but Microsoft has greatly improved the stylus, and made it a much more valuable component for the Surface Pro 3, so it’s nice to have it handy.

The docking station is not officially available to the masses until August 14. I will share more thoughts on the docking station and the Surface Pro 3 tablet experience as I finally kick off the 30 Days with Surface Pro 3 series this week.

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