Best Desk Setups for the Surface Pro 8
Bernie Thompson | November 04, 2021
For the first time, we have a Microsoft Surface tablet that will work with devices like the Plugable TBT3-UDZ, a Thunderbolt 3 dock. The earlier generation of Surface devices supported USB-C, but not any of the later standards built on USB-C like Thunderbolt. And so for the first time with this new Surface Pro 8, we've got Thunderbolt 4 support, and Thunderbolt 4 is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3.
This kind of tablet is awesome for portability, but it can also be a highly productive workstation. In this example, we've got two monitors attached to the Surface Pro 8 through the Plugable TBT3-UDZ which is fully charging the Surface Pro 8 device. The TBT3-UDZ will charge through USB power delivery up to 96 Watts. With USB-C there's a negotiation on both sides to choose the best charge rate between the two devices. In this case, it's 60 Watts—the maximum charge rate for the Surface Pro 8.
We have a wireless keyboard and mouse attached, but on the TBT3-UDZ you've got a bunch of USB-A ports, wired ethernet, card reader—basically anything you'd want or need that's important for a thin and light tablet like this.
The Surface Pro 8 also has the Microsoft Connect Plus port, but you can get the same benefits through the Thunderbolt ports. And because Thunderbolt 4 is backward compatible, a Thunderbolt 3 dock won't have any issues.
And a Thunderbolt 4 hub like the Plugable TBT4-HUB3C turns one port on your laptop or tablet into three equally functioning ports, a unique capability of Thunderbolt 4. The TBT4-HUB3C features the Goshen Ridge chipset and comes with a USB-C to HDMI adapter that lets you connect an extra monitor. It also supports 60-watt charging, which is exactly what the Surface Pro 8 supports. Unlike the TBT3-UDZ, the TBT4-HUB3C only features USB-C ports—ideal for the USB-C purist.
So there you go. The new Microsoft Surface Pro 8 finally supports the latest Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 standards. So you, as a consumer, can buy anything USB-C and it's going to work with the Surface Pro 8, including docs like the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 dock and the Plugable Thunderbolt 4 hub.
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