So you have bought your Surface Book or Surface Pro, now you need to accessorize!
We bring you the Top 10 best accessories to complement your Surface purchase!
If you have other suggestions for top accessories please let us know!
Buying a Surface Pro is like the Christmas Days of old….toys with batteries NOT included! Microsoft unless you catch them on a deal still refuse to ship the Surface Pro with a keyboard option! While I understand that there are different keyboard choices available how about include a keyboard credit so you can choose the one you want at the time of purchase?! Ok rant over!
If you want an alternative to the Microsoft Surface keyboards and use multiple devices the number one choice has to be the Logitech K380 keyboard. It comes in either Blue (as shown) or in a grey option with yellow highlights. For a portable keyboard it has an amazing feel and it extremely comfortable to use.
As mentioned the keyboard can support up to 3 different Bluetooth devices. Simply press and hold one of the three selection buttons to start the pairing process and you are good to go! The keyboard is compatible with Windows 10, Mac devices (hands down beats the Apple keyboard for everyday use!), iOS devices, Android and Windows Phone. This keyboard has paired and worked with everything that has been thrown at it!
This is the perfect desktop or travel partner to the K380 keyboard above. It works with both Bluetooth and Logitech unifying receivers. The main selling points for this mouse are that it is multiple device friendly working with 3 devices at the push of a button on the base of the mouse. The mouse uses Logitech’s dark field laser tracking technology which allows it to work on all surfaces including glass tables – this is a life saver! The mouse uses a rechargeable battery and lasts forever. A micro USB cord is supplied that plugs into the FRONT of the mouse allowing you to charge the mouse while you use it.
Plugable has to be the go-to for any docking station solution outside of the manufacturer choice. If you are looking to meet a budget but need all of the functionality of the more expensive OEM model without compromise then look no further. The UD-5900 is the latest in Plugable’s range of USB 3.0 docks featuring DisplayLink.
The UD-5900 supports multiple screens and comes equipped with both DVI and HDMI sockets. A DVI to VGA adapter is also supplied in the box if needed. You can run dual screens, three screens including the Surface panel. 4K resolution on one screen if you want the highest possible resolution.
The dock comes with 4 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 front and 2 on the back. The audio port is thoughtfully placed on the front of the dock for easy access. Networking support is provided via a gigabit adapter and all of these interfaces run through the USB 3.0 Host port to your Surface device.
The device is constructed of aluminium wrapped around a plastic casing and seems very robust and small in size and weight. An external power adapter is supplied to independently power the device.
At $119 the Plugable UD-5900 is a compelling choice when faced with the more expensive Microsoft Surface Dock!
The biggest failing on the design front is the inclusion of the SD card slot on the Surface Book vs the MicroSD card slot provided on Surface Pro devices. The main issue with this flaw is shown. The device as-is using SD Cards is only useful for reading cards. With regards to expanding storage which is important when your internal SSD storage is limited (most Surface users opt for the 256Gb middle mark model).
You cannot keep an SD card in the device due to it not being flush in the device.
BaseQI have adopted the same solution the Macbook has had for a while and created an adapter to sit flush within the Surface Book. The adapter has an aluminium front to match the Surface Book device and the MicroSD card sits inside the plastic tray that slots into the machine. The adapter does not support the higher UHS-I and UHS-II speeds but for additional document and download storage this is the best solution for expanding your onboard storage. The device supports up to 200Gb cards effectively doubling your internal storage.
With SSD storage still being expensive and sizes being limited there is still a need for extra storage. SD cards, or with the BaseQI adapter, MicroSD cards can supplement your onboard storage relatively cheaply.
Bidul offers you extra expansion on the move for your Surface Pro device. The only limiting factor on the Surface Pro devices is that they only have one USB 3.0 port. The Bidul solution plugs into the existing USB 3.0 and DisplayPort and provides passthrough ports as well as an additional USB 3.0 port and an Ethernet port. The device is unique in that it sits snuggly and securely on the side of your Surface Pro device and require no additional power. This is a perfect solution for Surface Pro road warriors who need occasional access to hard wired ethernet network connections as well as the ability to plug in more than one USB device at the same time.
7. Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – 4 in 1 Adapter – 2x USB 3.0, SD/SDHC/MMC4.0, Micro SD/SDHC
In a similar approach to the Bidul adapter above Juiced Systems has designed a different kind of USB hub which is more storage focused. Again using the existing USB 3.0 port as a support the device attaches to the side of your Surface Pro 3 or 4 expanding your number of USB ports to two and providing you with additional card reading options for both SD and MicroSD cards.
The high end docking solution for your Surface Pro 3, 4 and Surface Book device. Microsoft offers this sturdy solution to answer all of your port requirement needs. Like the Plugable solution the Surface Dock offer 4 USB 3.0 ports, two front and two back. All other ports are on the back of the device and comprise of two mini DisplayPort ports, gigabit ethernet, audio and power. The power adapter that comes with the dock is larger than and heavy like the dock itself. This is definitely a desk bound solution. Unlike the Plugable the Surface Dock utilizes the unique Surface blade connector to both power and drive all of the devices. This makes for a neater solution than the Plugable as you simply slide the connector into your device and are good to go, other solutions require both USB 3.0 and your power adapter. There have been some monitor compatibility issues with the Surface Dock, there is a specific firmware tool to allow you to update the dock. Most issue seem to arise from daisy chaining DisplayPort devices rather than driving separate monitors. The dock retails at $199 which is incredibly high considering the Plugable comes in under $120. The neat one plug magnetic feature is very useful though and I’m sure the native support over the cable surpasses USB 3.0 speeds (not verified!) and provides less processor stress trying to drove everything via USB.
The Surface devices like most laptops and tablets these days come armed with Miracast compatible graphics cards. The device simply plugs into your flatscreen HDMI port and USB port for power. Once connected you can choose the option to Connect to the screen via the Notification bar. The wireless adapter is compatible with all Windows 10, 8 and 7 devices.
If you like using the pen check out the replacement tips available for the Surface Pen. The different tips have varying thickness and friction to give a better writing/drawing experience.