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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > Cheap Video Adapters for Surface Pro and Surface RT
July 18
Cheap Video Adapters for Surface Pro and Surface RT

As my blog readers and Twitter followers know, for the last month and a half I’ve been a very happy Surface owner. At TechEd in New Orleans I got both a Surface Pro and a Surface RT at the Crazy Larry prices of $399 and $99 respectively. I know that a few thousand of my closest friends have also snatched up some cheap Surfaces at similar events. I thought I’d blog about some cheap accessories that I’ve picked up.

While I haven’t used the Surface Pro as much, I’ve been using the Surface RT constantly and I really like it. One thing I don’t like is the expensive video adapters for each. Because I travel like a vagabond and do a lot of presentations I routinely need share my screen with a room full of people. In order to be able to leave my massive laptop at home, my Surfaces will have to pick up the slack. Both the Surface Pro and RT can do this, but the official video adapters from the Microsoft store are as expensive as the Surfaces themselves were cheap. Both the VGA and the HDMI adapters for either the Surface RT or the Pro are $40. I’m sure they’re worth it, but I wasn’t quite ready to move to acceptance and pay that for them. Off to the Internet!!

A little research (very little) uncovered that the video jack on the Surface Pro is nothing but a Mini DisplayPort adapter. The Surface RT is simply a micro HDMI adapter in disguise. My next stop was Amazon to see what it had in the way of those kinds adapters. There were a bunch of cheap no name solutions to my problem. Here are the three I settled on:

Surface RT HDMI Adapter Surface RT VGA Adapter Surface Pro HDMI Adapter
Monoprice 6inch 34AWG High Speed HDM...

Monoprice

Best Price $5.55
or Buy New $5.56

>10 inch Micro HDMI to VGA Female Vid...

Brainydeal

Best Price $6.80
or Buy New $9.95

StarTech.com MDP2HDMI Mini DisplayPo... STARTECH.COM

Best Price $11.75
or Buy New $13.98

 

I personally verified that all three of these work. I did find a couple of adapters that did not work. I don’t know if the adapters I got were faulty, or if those particular adapters have been hearing all the badmouthing about Surfaces and just don’t like them.

I hope this saves some of my fellow Surface owners save a few dollars. Feel free to use some of that extra money to buy my latest book, Professional SharePoint 2013 Administrator. Smile

tk

ShortURL: http://www.toddklindt.com/CheapSurfaceVideo

Comments

Resolution Issues on Sufrace Pro 2

Todd,

I realize you are not a Surface Pro 2 helpdesk but thought I would ask since I got my idea from your netcast. I now have the surface pro 2 on a dock with 2 additional monitors connected. One using a USB -> DVI connector and another using a Mini Display port to DVI adapter. My company buys everything through CDW so the adapters came from there and not from your recommendations.

Anyway. When I hook my monitors up the resolution on the 2 externals was terrible but the Surface screen was great. More investigation the 2 externals were setup to the correct resolution but the zoom was on (for some reason). I turn the zoom back down to 100% and the 2 externals are great, but the surface screen is tiny.

Have you seen anything like this with your Surface? Can you offer any advice?
 on 3/13/2014 2:02 PM

Re: Resolution Issues on Sufrace Pro 2

Hi Eric,
I have the same issue and I've never found a solution, though I haven't really looked very hard. I have two 23"s and a 40" hooked up to my SP2. They all look great, the SP2's screen is very small. When I'm docked I normally use it for music or video, or maybe Task Manager. I don't read emails on it or anything.

If you find a solution, let me know.
tk
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 3/13/2014 2:30 PM

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