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My thoughts on using the 11-in-1 Surface Dock (2024)

My thoughts on the 11-in-1 Surface Dock: efficiency, design, compatibility, and security features.
Tommy Slater

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 30, 2024


I bought the 11-in-1 Surface Dock for my Microsoft Surface to expand its functions and boost productivity in my workspace. With multiple ports and features, this dock appeared suitable for multitasking tasks. After using it for some time, below is my experiences to help others consider if it fits their setup.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Bawanfa Color 2.Surface Dock 11-in-1
Hardware Interface Ethernet Special Feature Portable, Lightweight, Fast Data Transfer, Powered, Plug and Play
Compatible Devices Microsoft Surface Laptop 5/4/3/2/1, Microsoft Surface Pro 9/8/X/7/6/5/4/2017, Microsoft Surface La…


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Surface dock 11 in 1 triple displays box Surface dock 11 in 1 triple displays on desk Surface dock 11 in 1 triple displays on table


Enhancing Productivity Multitasking

Surface dock 11 in 1 triple displays on desk

In my quest to boost my multitasking abilities, the 11-in-1 Surface Dock has largely been a game changer. The ability to connect to multiple devices simultaneously has streamlined my workflow, making it vastly more efficient. Here’s a quick rundown of the key benefits I’ve noticed:

  • The triple display support is fantastic for extended visualization when I’m juggling multiple projects.
  • I appreciate the 4K HDMI output for high-resolution screen sharing during presentations.
  • The variety of ports, including USB A and USB C, allows me to simultaneously connect peripherals like a keyboard, mouse, and external storage devices.
  • The onboard Ethernet port ensures that I have a stable wired internet connection, which is invaluable during large file transfers or video conferencing.

There are, however, a few drawbacks to consider. While the Dock supports a 4K output, it’s limited to 30Hz, which might not be ideal for every user, especially those involved in high frame rate video editing or gaming. Additionally, I’ve noticed that when both HDMI and VGA are connected, it defaults to 1080P at 60Hz, which can be a limitation if you’re expecting to maintain 4K resolution on multiple displays.

Another point to note is that, if you’re using a Surface with a protective case, it might interfere with the magnetic Surface connect cable, which can be a bit of a hassle to remove every time. And although I haven’t experienced quality issues personally, I’ve read that some users have had trouble with the durability of the HDMI port.

As for real-life use, the plug-and-play nature of the Dock is incredibly convenient—no need for driver installations or additional software. It just works when you connect it, which is exactly what I need when I’m in a hurry. Despite the minor inconveniences mentioned, being able to connect to various devices and transfer data quickly with the 5Gbps Type-C and USB A 3.0 ports far outweighs these issues. Plus, the 60W power supply means my Surface is always charged and ready to go.

The addition of Temperature Protection and Short Circuit Protection also gives me peace of mind that my device is safe while using this hub. Overall, the balance leans towards a positive experience. While there’s always room for improvement, the benefits of the 11-in-1 Surface Dock—especially regarding multitasking—make it an accessory I’d recommend to any Surface user looking to maximize their device’s potential.

Design and Build Quality

Surface dock 11 in 1 triple displays box

When it comes to the design and build quality of the 11-in-1 Surface Dock for Microsoft devices, my impressions are fairly positive, albeit with some reservations. Crafted to complement the sleek aesthetic of Surface products, the dock sports a compact form factor, measuring just 4.96 x 2.36 x 0.87 inches. Its lightweight nature ensures that it doesn’t add bulk to your workspace, and the inclusion of a variety of ports allows for a clutter-free setup.

Here’s a quick rundown of the dock’s physical offerings:

  • 1 4K HDMI Port: Offers ultra-high-definition video output.

  • 1 1080P VGA Port: Useful for older monitors and projectors.

  • Various USB Ports: Including 1 USB A 3.0 and 2 USB A 2.0 for peripherals.

  • SD and TF Card Slots: Handy for transferring data from cameras and other devices.

  • RJ45 Ethernet LAN Port: Ensures a stable network connection.

  • 1 DC Power Port: To provide power to the dock and charge the Surface device.

Despite the positives, there are a few drawbacks. The build material feels a tad flimsy, making me question its durability over time—this is something to watch if you plan on frequently connecting and disconnecting devices. Additionally, the meshing of the dock with the Surface device isn’t flawless. There’s a minor offset that doesn’t match the elegance I’ve come to expect from Microsoft’s hardware. Moreover, the magnetic Surface connect cable requires proper alignment, as a reverse connection could lead to functionality issues.

Another point of contention is the necessity to remove your Surface’s protective case to establish a connection with the dock. This might be a deal-breaker for those who prefer to keep their devices in cases for added protection. On the flip side, the plug-and-play feature is a plus, saving time without the need to install drivers or software.

From a personal standpoint, the sheer number of ports addresses my connectivity needs without fuss. The 4K HDMI output handles my high-resolution external display, while the SD card reader speeds up my photography workflow. It’s also a welcome change to have my desk less cluttered with cables, thanks to this all-in-one solution.

In summary, while the 11-in-1 Surface Dock checks many boxes for functionality and design, it falls short of premium build quality. It’s an extremely practical device with a focus on utility, and if you can overlook its minor structural weaknesses, it stands to be an invaluable addition to your Surface setup.

Compatibility and Performance

Surface dock 11 in 1 triple displays on table

In my exploration of the 11-in-1 Surface Dock, I found that compatibility with Microsoft devices is extensive and impressive. The dock is designed to work seamlessly with various Surface models, including the Surface Pro series (from Pro 4 to Pro 9), Surface Laptop (from 1 to 5), Surface Laptop Go, Surface Book (from 1 to 3), and Surface Laptop Studio. This range of compatible devices underlines the dock’s versatility, making it an excellent choice for those integrated within the Surface ecosystem.

Here’s a quick list highlighting the breadth of compatibility:

  • Surface Pro 4 to Pro 9: Ensures that even older models can benefit from the expanded connectivity.

  • Surface Laptop 1 to 5: Accommodates the needs of laptop users for docking solutions.

  • Surface Laptop Go 1 to 3, Surface Book 1 to 3, Surface Laptop Studio 1 and 2: Expands its usability across the newer and more niche Surface devices.

However, the compatibility does come with a caveat that it is essential to connect the magnetic surface connection correctly. I noticed that if you use a protective case, it may hinder the connection, which is a minor inconvenience as it requires removing the case every time.

Despite this minor drawback, the performance of this dock is notable. The 4K HDMI port is fantastic for high-resolution video output, and the 1080P VGA port inclusion is a considerate nod to those who may still use legacy display equipment. A vital observation here is that while the dock allows for a triple display setup, the resolution will drop to 1080P@60HZ if the VGA port is used along with the HDMI. This limitation could be a downside for those requiring multiple high-resolution displays.

The data transfer speeds using the Type-C and USB A ports are satisfactory, allowing for efficient file management and device connections. The availability of an RJ45 Ethernet port for a more stable network connection was a relieving addition as wireless connections can be unpredictable.

On a side note, I encountered no issues with driver installations or software requirements; the dock offers true plug-and-play convenience. Nonetheless, I did experience the need for a proper setup of the monitor copy and expand options, which could be confusing for those less tech-savvy.

In regards to the quality of build, which is covered in another section, I have concerns about the longevity of the HDMI port as it feels somewhat delicate. Overall, the 11-in-1 Surface Dock upholds a mostly positive verdict for its compatibility with multiple Surface devices and its overall performance, despite minor limitations and considerations.

Technical Features and Protection

Safety icons like a temperature gauge and a shield next to the dock

The 11-in-1 Surface Dock is a handy accessory, particularly when it comes to its technical features and protection mechanisms. Firstly, the variety of ports is comprehensive: a 4K HDMI port, 1080P VGA port, dual Type-C ports, and multiple USB slots which equip you with versatility for virtually any task. The inclusion of both SD and TF card slots is a welcome touch, enabling quick access to data from different storage formats with speeds up to 480Mbps.

Here’s a quick rundown of the ports offered:

  • 1 x 4K HDMI Port (3840x2160@30Hz)

  • 1 x 1080P VGA port (1920x1080@60Hz)

  • 1 x RJ45 Ethernet LAN Port (100Mb/s for stable internet connection)

  • 2 x Type-C Ports (5Gbps for fast data transfer)

  • 3 x USB Ports (1 x USB A 3.0 at 5Gbps and 2 x USB A 2.0 at 480Mbps)

  • SD and TF Card Slots (for convenient access to storage)

  • 1 x DC Power Port (for charging the Surface device)

The 60W power supply means devices remain charged without interruption, an essential feature for seamless workflow. The dock offers adequate protection for the devices connected with temperature protection, short-circuit protection, over power, over-current, and over-voltage protection. This peace of mind allows you to focus on your work without worrying about damaging your equipment.

Of course, it’s not without its limitations. One noticeable drawback is the restriction placed by the VGA connection; if in use, it limits all displays to the 1080P@60Hz resolution. There’s also the consideration that the magnetic surface connection cannot be used with a protective case on your Surface device, which may inconvenience some users who prioritize the protection of their hardware.

Personally, I found that the data transfer rates are impressive, making for quick and efficient file handling. The simple plug-and-play nature of the dock is also a huge plus— no need for any additional drivers or software installations. I appreciate the 18-month warranty provided—it adds a level of assurance to the purchase.

In terms of build, while the dock may feel a touch flimsy, it hasn’t impacted its functionality in my experience. The compact size makes it travel-friendly, and it doesn’t detract from the overall aesthetics of the Surface setup. However, I would advise care when handling, as some users have reported issues with the HDMI port’s durability.

In summary, the positives of this docking station, especially the technical functionality and the security features, outweigh the negatives. It’s a device that promises to enhance your workspace by turning your Surface into a more versatile and productive hub, providing ample connectivity without skimping on protection for your investment.