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My new docking station: Surface Dock 12-in-1 Triple Display (2024)

My thoughts on maximizing productivity with the Surface Dock 12-in-1: connectivity, transfer speeds, design, and multi-device support.
Tommy Slater

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 14, 2024


I recently purchased a 12-in-1 Surface Pro Dock Station to expand my Surface Pro device’s connectivity. After using it for several weeks, I find that it offers quite flexible options for my setup with necessary ports for all my devices.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Rytaki Pro Color SHL791
Hardware Interface USB Type C Compatible Devices Surface Pro 9/8/X/7/6/5/4/3, Surface Laptop 5/4/3/2/1, Surface Laptop Go 2/Go, Surface Book 3/2, …
Total USB Ports 4 Number of Ports 12
Total HDMI Ports 2


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Surface dock 12 in 1 triple display on desk Surface dock 12 in 1 triple display full view Surface dock 12 in 1 triple display box


Efficiency Through Connectivity

Surface dock 12 in 1 triple display full view

In the fast-paced world we live in, having the ability to connect various devices swiftly and maintain a clean workspace is invaluable. The 12-in-1 Surface Pro Dock Station seemingly bridges the gap between the desktop setup and the mobility of a tablet. From my experience, the vast array of ports, including 2x 4K HDMI, VGA, and multiple USB slots, enhance productivity by allowing for a seamless transition from portable to desktop mode.

Here’s a brief overview in list form of the benefits and drawbacks I’ve noticed:


  • Multiple Displays: Being able to extend my screen to two, or even three monitors, has proven to be a game-changer for multitasking.

  • Variety of Ports: The variety of ports has unchained my Surface from its limited onboard connectivity, providing freedom to use all my peripherals.

  • Plug and Play: The simplicity of setup is impressive – just connect and you’re ready to go, no drivers needed.


  • Microphone Limitation: A hitch I didn’t expect was the inability to use my computer’s microphone with the dock.

  • Power Output: Not being able to charge USB-C devices is a slight letdown, especially when so many accessories now rely on that standard.

  • Build Quality Concerns: The dock feels a bit fragile; I worry about its longevity with daily use.

The Surface Dock has become an integral component of my daily workflow. I appreciate that the dock keeps my desk tidy by centralizing all connections. Swapping between my Surface Pro and a traditional monitor setup is now a breeze, which honestly makes me more inclined to work from different locations. The Ethernet port is particularly beneficial for stable internet connections, especially during conference calls and large file transfers.

However, I must say, users need to be cautious while handling the device, especially when connecting the magnetic surface connection. I also had an instance where the casing came loose - a reminder that durability might be a concern. Furthermore, not being able to charge devices through the USB-C ports can be an inconvenience. This hasn’t been a dealbreaker for me, but it’s something to consider if your workflow heavily depends on USB-C charging.

To sum up, while the 12-in-1 dock boosts efficiency and certainly offers versatility to your Surface device, it also requires careful handling and won’t fulfill all power needs. To me, this trade-off is worth the leap in productivity I’ve experienced.

Data Transfer and Network Stability

Surface dock 12 in 1 triple display on desk

When it comes to data transfer and network stability, my experience with the 12-in-1 Surface Dock has been mostly positive, with some inevitable trade-offs. Here are the key points that stood out to me:

  • Fast Data Transfer: The dock’s USB A 3.0 and USB C 3.1 ports provide swift data transfer speeds up to 5Gbps. Transferring large files or executing backups happens noticeably faster compared to older USB 2.0 connections.

  • Stable Internet Connection: A wired internet connection through the RJ45 Ethernet port has been reliable for tasks that demand stable connectivity, such as video conferencing or large downloads. It’s markedly more consistent than Wi-Fi, especially when Wi-Fi signals are weak or crowded.

  • Simultaneous SD/TF Card Access: Being able to read from both an SD and TF card concurrently has been a convenient feature, helping me in multitasking without the hassle of switching out cards.

While these highlights have greatly enhanced efficiency, some drawbacks are worth mentioning. The docking station supports up to 100Mbps over Ethernet, which while adequate for many tasks, isn’t the fastest speed available; more robust docks support Gigabit Ethernet, which can offer better future-proofing with higher speeds.

Another point to consider is the lack of external power, which limits the dock’s ability to support high-powered USB devices or charge devices efficiently. As a result, you’ll want to manage your expectations when plugging in power-hungry peripherals.

Lastly, while plug-and-play convenience is a major plus, I noticed that it struggles with some USB 3.0 devices under Windows 11. Compatibility issues like these are important to research before purchase; however, most devices have worked without issue.

Here’s a breakdown of what stood out to me:


  • High-speed data transfer up to 5Gbps for USB A and C ports.

  • Reliable Ethernet connectivity for stable internet.

  • Ability to read SD and TF cards simultaneously.


  • Limited to 100Mbps Ethernet speeds.

  • No external power source for supporting multiple high-powered devices.

  • Potential compatibility hiccups with some USB 3.0 devices on Windows 11.

Overall, I would recommend the 12-in-1 Surface Dock for those seeking a compact and efficient solution to expand their Surface Pro’s connectivity, with the understanding of its limitations. The high-speed ports and stable Ethernet have made this a valuable tool in my productivity arsenal; just make sure to verify compatibility with your specific use cases.

Design and Portability Considerations

Surface dock 12 in 1 triple display box

The design and portability of the 12-in-1 Surface Dock Station immediately stand out when considering its practical use. In my experience, the compactness is a huge plus; it doesn’t crowd my workspace like other docking stations. Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts:


  • Sleek and unobtrusive on my desk

  • Easy to carry around for travel or moving between workspaces

  • Plug and play functionality with no need for additional drivers

  • The magnetic connection ensures a secure fit and easy detachment


  • Limited USB C functionality, since the ports don’t support charging

  • The delicate design of certain ports like the RJ45 could be prone to damage with regular use

  • In some cases, I’ve found that it doesn’t support a multitude of USB 3.0 devices

  • Requires careful handling to avoid disassembly or connection issues

The 2x 4K HDMI ports are perfect for extending my display area and increasing my productivity, however, it’s worth noting the VGA port only supports up to 1080p which is less ideal for high-resolution needs. The included RJ45 port is a welcome addition, though it has a flip design that can seem fragile if not handled with care. This could be a concern for those who frequently plug and unplug an Ethernet cable.

When considering the portability factor, the Surface Dock scores high for me. It’s lightweight enough to toss into a laptop bag without adding bulk, making it perfect for on-the-go presentations or work sessions. However, I’ve found it’s necessary to remove my Surface from its case to connect the Dock—a slight inconvenience.

Having the Surface Dock has almost completely eliminated the messy tangle of cables that used to clutter my desk. The inclusion of multiple USB ports, including USB 3.0 and USB C, and the SD/TF card slot, means I can keep all my peripherals connected without compromising on tidiness or accessibility.

Despite the positives, there are some drawbacks. The absence of an external power source limits the simultaneous use of multiple high-power devices. Additionally, the build quality, while sleek, can feel a bit delicate—I’m cautious every time I disconnect it, fearing I might break something.

Overall though, the 12-in-1 Surface Dock has been a solid addition to my work setup. Sure, there are areas for improvement, particularly in ruggedness and power delivery, but for everyday use and the enhancement of my workspace’s neatness and functionality, this Dock certainly delivers.

Compatibility and Multi-Device Support

A surface tablet displaying a device connected notification with various peripherals connected through the dock

When considering the 12-in-1 Surface Pro Dock Station for my Microsoft Surface device, my immediate thoughts are on the vast compatibility and multi-device support it offers. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Compatibility: It supports a wide range of Surface devices, notably the newest models like the Surface Pro 9/8/X and Surface Laptop 5/4/3/2. This broad applicability ensures that the dock can be a long-term investment.

  • Multi-Device Support: With ports galore, including two 4K HDMI, VGA, multiple USB A and C, Ethernet, and SD/TF card readers, it’s a hub that aims to reduce the clutter on my desk.

My experience is generally positive; attaching it to my Surface Pro 8 transformed a minimalistic tablet into a versatile workstation. However, I did notice that it’s not without its drawbacks. For instance, the lack of an external power source means that charging devices can be hit-or-miss. Moreover, the construction feels a bit lightweight, and special attention must be given to ensure a strong connection—and keep that ethernet port from any potential damage.

Even with these concerns, the positives tend to outweigh the negatives. Having the ability to run a triple display is a game-changer for productivity, and I don’t have to sacrifice the clean look of my workspace for functionality. Additionally, plug-and-play convenience can’t be overstated; no fiddling with drivers is a significant relief.

Still, the dock might not be ideal for power users with intensive USB needs, given its occasional hiccups recognizing USB 3.0 devices and its incompatibility with powering multiple devices simultaneously. The magnetic connector is handy, but it has to be connected just right—otherwise, it won’t recognize the peripherals plugged into it.

In conclusion, the 12-in-1 Surface Pro Dock Station stands out as a comprehensive solution for connecting multiple devices and enhancing the utility of your Surface tablet. If you’re seeking a single hub to streamline your connectivity and keep your space tidy, this product merits serious consideration. Just be ready to accept certain limitations, such as occasionally finicky USB port recognition and the need for careful handling. If these are concerns you can live with, the benefits in elevated productivity and device compatibility may well make this dock a smart addition to your tech arsenal.