Hands on with the Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter

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This isn't directly phone-related, but I was interested to see WC's Daniel Rubino get his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter. With Lumias using USB Type C for years, ditto the Elite x3 and Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, along with newer Macbooks and just about everything else in the computer/tech world in 2018, it seemed odd that the Surface Pro 3 and 4 didn't also have Type C support in some official way. This new dock solves the issue, expanding the newer style 'Surface Connect' port into a multi-function Type C jack that can be used for hubs, power, displays, and more.

I mention all this because of the Type C commonality and because many readers have modern Surface Pro hybrids - this new adapter feeds into a Type C world.

From Daniel's coverage:

It's been just over one year since the Surface Pro for 2017 was announced and with it, the eventual release of a Surface Connect to USB-C adapter.

The omission of a Type-C port – even if not full Thunderbolt 3 – has been seen as a black-eye on the Surface Pro, but that is now being partially fixed with the new $79.99 adapter, which is now available.

Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter

Much has been about the size of the Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter. It is rather large when compared to typical dongles or Type-C adapter, but this is more than that.

Weighing in at 91 grams this accessory is more of a mini-Surface Dock meant for a desk environment versus something you use in your lap. That's because the main idea behind the Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter is to let the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro connect to Type-C hubs, displays, and power sources rather than a simple USB-C thumb drive.

The size and weight let the Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter lend it to working better when stationary on an office desk, or permanent setup. Instead of sliding all around or stressing the Surface Connect port it rests on the desk without slipping.

Indeed, it does work well. So far, everything I have thrown at it has worked without issue, including:

  • External USB-C display (Asus ZenScreen)
  • USB-C docks with SD, Ethernet, USB-A, etc.
  • USB-C external drives.
  • USB-C power adapters (65W and 130W tested).
  • USB-C portable battery/AC adapter (Dell hybrid power bank).

This is for the Surface Pro 3 and 4, with the earlier 2 and SP original having a chunkier style connector, of course. 

Also of note is that this adapter doesn't support Thunderbolt 3-demanding peripherals, even if the physical connector/port is the same. In addition, there is only the one port in play here - you'd have thought Microsoft could have put in some Type C hub functions, perhaps even HDMI out. Oh well.

Source / Credit: WC