The Microsoft Surface Studio has been lauded for its elegant design and flexible form factor, that allows its large touch-enabled display to stand up like a traditional monitor or lay down on a tabletop to offer the user a comfortable angle for writing or drawing and the like. The Microsoft Surface Pro has similarly been praised for its mobility and convertible form-factor that allows the machine to function like a tablet or a notebook. The innovative Kensington SD7000 Surface Pro Docking Station marries the two design philosophies and essentially turns a Surface Pro into a mini-Surface Studio, but with the ability to connect a pair of additional monitors and other devices.
I have been using the Kensington SD7000 Surface Pro Docking Station for a few months and think it is an absolutely fantastic accessory for anyone with a Surface Pro that also craves a more traditional desktop computing experience. The Kensington SD7000 will work with any Surface Pro (version 4 and newer – including the Surface Pro 7), and in addition to giving users the ability to connect additional displays and USB devices, it acts as a versatile stand that can prop the Surface Pro up (or lay it down), just like the Surface Studio.
The Kensington SD7000’s build quality is impeccable. It features attractive brushed metal and chrome finishes and the hinge mechanism feels sturdy and strong, yet moves smoothly when adjusting its position. The Kensington SD7000 also features an array of convenient features and additional connectivity. There is a magnetic holder on the side to attach the Surface Pen and around back, in the unit’s base, there is an HDMI port, a full-sized DisplayPort, four USB-A ports, a USB-C port, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a 3.5mm audio jack, and power and lock ports. The Gigabit Ethernet jack gives users the ability to hard-wire a Surface Pro to a network and the USB ports can be used for input devices, charging mobile devices (up to 15 watts), etc.
The dual display outputs both support 4K displays, with one caveat. If a single 4K display is used, a 60Hz refresh rate is supported, but if both are in use, the refresh rate maxes out at only 30Hz.
The Kensington SD7000 is also extremely simple to use and setup – it “just works” and doesn’t require any manual software or driver installations for the dock itself. Just slide a Surface Pro into the dock and go.
If you’re a road warrior that works on a Surface Pro, but would benefit from the features offered by a docking station, or if you’re a creative type using a Surface Pro and would enjoy the ergonomics of the SD7000’s stand, the Kensington SD7000 is worth looking into. It is a well-built and useful device that significantly enhances the Surface Pro.
The Kensington SD7000 is not cheap, however. It can currently be had for about $380 – $399, which includes a full 3-year warranty.