If you thought Apple charged too much money for its dongles, turn the other way now.
Microsoft’s USB-C dongle for Surface devices will be released this month for $79. It’ll be sold to commercial customers first, but the accessory should reach traditional retail channels for consumers sometime this summer.
The accessory makes it possible to use anything featuring a USB-C connector with your Surface Pro or Surface Laptop. Both of the more recent Surface devices have USB 3.0 and Mini DisplayPort as their only ports. The Surface Connector is also present, which is primarily for charging. With the USB-C dongle, you’re taking up the Surface Connector’s slot so it can manage both power and data.
Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need the latest model of the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop. The USB-C dongle won’t work with older Surface devices.
In 2017, the Surface Book 2 became the first Surface device to have a USB-C port. Microsoft is expected to have the port become standard on the next wave of hardware. The Surface Laptop might get a minor upgrade this fall, and the Surface Pro 6 could be announced in 2019 with an entirely new look. So it’ll be a busy time ahead for Microsoft.
Since it’s on the very expensive side, think hard about getting the USB-C dongle for your Surface. It seems pretty hard to justify spending so much money on a single accessory that has various cheaper alternatives.