The Surface Pro 8 might finally come with Thunderbolt
Microsoft is holding an event on September 22nd, where we’re expecting the company to announce a number of new Surface devices to debut alongside Windows 11. Among them is the Surface Pro 8, the latest detachable tablet in the company’s lineup. While not much is known about the device yet, a new report from The Verge suggests that the Surface Pro 8 might finally come with Thunderbolt 4 support. Specifically, the report suggests that “at least one model” of the Surface Pro 8 will support Thunderbolt.
If true, this would be a big deal. Thunderbolt has been the standard for docking stations and high-speed peripherals for quite some time. Not only can you use a Thunderbolt dock to get a myriad of ports from a single connection, you can also connect things like external GPUs and some monitors.
For years, Microsoft has stayed away from the Thunderbolt standard, though, and instead uses its proprietary Surface Connect port for docking. This has advantages such as it being a magnetic connector, which makes it easier to plug in, plus the cable will simply detach if you pull on it instead of dragging your device to the floor. But it also means the ecosystem of peripherals is much smaller. You can’t connect an external GPU with a Surface Connect port, for example.
According to a leaked video from Microsoft last year, the lack of Thunderbolt support is due to security concerns, so it’s interesting to see the company backtrack on this. Thunderbolt 4 has some new security features, though, so that could be why.
Regardless, there are reasons to be skeptical, too. The report doesn’t indicate support for Thunderbolt on any other Surface device, which would be an odd omission. With the Surface Book 4 being the more powerful device, it would make sense for that to also include support for Thunderbolt. We’re just over one week away from the event, so we won’t have long to find out. In the meantime, you can check out what we’re hoping to see in the Surface Pro 8.