USB-C adapter could have been made better by Microsoft

By Mandeep
4 Min Read
USB-C adapter could have been made better by Microsoft 1

Microsoft has finally come out with a solution for users to use USB-C devices, like power adapter and peripherals with their Surface Pro and Surface laptop devices. Microsoft has finally made the Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter, which is the official name, available some weeks ago. Microsoft has been making promises for more than a year, and finally delivered.


The adapter costs about $79.99 and is made officially for education and enterprise customers – but anyone can easily buy it for their own Surface devices. You can charge your Surface device with the adapter, or plug-in any device, or even plug in an external display as well – only if you own the USB-C dock. It may work as advertised but in the clumsiest way possible.

The adapter supports all the features that you can possibly want – from supporting power deliver via the USB-C 3.1 port to video output as well. It also supports data out and in at USB 3.0 speeds. Although this adapter does not support Intel’s Thunderbolt 3.0 technology, it can still be compared to some of the Apple MacBook USB-C adapters on the market, in terms of pure functionality.

Using this adapter, you can have an external display connected, use the Ethernet port functionality and also charge the Surface device. But the only thing that this device fails is the design element – which uses a 6-inch cable to connect the Surface connector to a 3-inch breakout box with one USB-C port – which makes it a two-piece design. This design can be annoying to use, especially when travelling.

Thereby, Microsoft could have improved the adapter by the following these three ways:

  • Manufacturing a cable having Surface connect on one end and USB-C on the other: Apple basically does the same thing with their Lightning to USB-C cable for iPhone and iPad. This will help the user to just carry one type of cable, for charging his or her phone and also the Surface device. Multi-port chargers having USB-C and USB-A could also have been done as well. Since the cable uses the magnetic attachment unlike HP AC adapter – one can easily trip it, during any important data transfer or even charging. Though, this detachment issue is just a minor thing, as the cable needs more than just unintentional force to detach it.
  • Having an adapter that plugs to the Surface and has USB-C on the other side: In case if you want a full cable alternative, then this would have been the best solution for that. One can even plug an USB-C dock with more USB-A and other ports like video out, Ethernet, etcetera, easily to the adapter, if needed.
  • The adapter having more than one USB-C port: The size of the adapter is massive compared to its counterparts and could have easily supported more USB-A or USB-C ports. One can even fit an HDMI or even an Ethernet port in there. But, Microsoft with its lack-lustre design has failed here, and thus we’re left with just a brick with one USB-C port.
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By Mandeep
Mandeep Kaur is working as a Data Scientist in Webtunix Solutions Private Limited. I am very enthusiastic to learn about Machine Learning and Deep Learning techniques. I always express my knowledge to beginners who want to start their career as a Data Scientist.