Microsoft has Introducing a new version of its Surface Dock, the first company to rely on Thunderbolt 4 instead of Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connect port. The Microsoft Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock $300 ($40 more than the regular price of the previous generation Surface Docking 2) and will be available starting today.
The new dock measures 5.91×2.95×0.84 inches—slightly flatter, wider, and deeper than the Dock 2—and includes a total of three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, three 5Gbps USB-A ports, and a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port. , and a headphone jack. The dock can deliver up to 96 W of power to a connected laptop, which should be enough for most laptops that charge via USB-C.
Microsoft only advertises compatibility with its own products, but since it uses Thunderbolt 4, the dock should work with most devices that include USB-C or Thunderbolt ports, including most PC laptops and MacBooks. Its built-in Ethernet port and the number of supported external displays may depend on how many your MacBook supports natively). Microsoft claims that laptops with normal USB-C ports can run a single 4K display at 60Hz, whereas Thunderbolt is required to run two 4K displays at 60Hz.
We don’t want to read too much into the introduction of an accessory, but the switch from Surface Connect to Thunderbolt 4 to Surface Dock suggests that the next Surface devices may come without a Surface Connect port. The current Surface Connect port dates back to 2014’s Surface Pro 3, ensuring interoperability between multiple generations of Surface chargers and other accessories. Like Apple’s revitalized MagSafe port, it detaches easily in the event of a trip or pull, saving your computer from falling to the floor.
Surfaces with USB-C and Thunderbolt ports can usually be charged using those ports Or Surface Connect gives users the option to use the charger of their choice. But most new PC laptops charge via USB-C — and many do only That includes USB-C or Thunderbolt ports—so killing the Surface Connect port puts Microsoft in line with what its competitors are doing.