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gandrews

What Is The Best Way Way To Dock An Sp4 With 2 External Monitors?

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gandrews

I just bought an SP4 and it's a great stand-alone device, BUT what a mess when I try docking to my two existing DVI/VGA monitors! At first I bought two DP-to-DVI adapters to be able to plug in to my existing setup. Nope, didn't work when the adapters were plugged into the dock. However when I plugged the adapter directly to the SP4, the external monitor did work. OK, so I then bought two DP-to-VGA adapters and cables. Voila, both external monitors worked when plugged into the dock. BUT, the displays look terrible; fuzzy and a lack of contrast! Both monitors are 1920x1080. I use a VGA cable to a 1920x1080 monitor with my Win10 desktop machine and the display looks fine.

 

Also, the desktop icon are HUGE on the external display, and IE is also weird. Its menu bar is HUGE while content in the browser is small.

 

My results are so bad that I am seriously considering returning the SP4.

 

Has anyone been able to successfully doc an SP4 to two monitors? How? Any and all suggestions welcome.

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thelilgeek

I don't have an SP4 with a dock, but if they work while plugged into the sp4, just not the dock, it sounds like a dock issue, not an SP4 issue.

Try getting the dock replaced first, then adjust the scaling for the external monitors, that should fix the icon/ie being huge issues.

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schoondoggy

Did you check to be sure the monitors are actually running at 1920x1080? The original DP to DVI cables are they DVI-D or DVI-I?

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gandrews

Monitors are running at 1920x1080. Cables are DVI-D.

 

Things have gotten a little better after rebooting with the dock attached. However many apps still are at far-less-than optimum resolution on the external monitors. Many are running with tiny-tiny icons, while others have scaled to the monitor's resolution.

 

Part of my frustration is the very minimal documentation that Microsoft provides with the SP4. Every day is an adventure.

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schoondoggy

Are you currently running DP to VGA adapters? If so they vary widely in output quality. What brand and model monitors are you running?

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thelilgeek

Out of curiosity, what model are the monitors you are running?

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gandrews

Yes, DP to VGA adapters, Microsoft model F7U-00025. I am out of the office until Friday and do not remember monitor specifics. I will report back on Saturday.

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schoondoggy

Here is a thread you should review: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surfpro4-surfnetwork/surface-pro-4-dock-external-display/794af296-4f6a-434e-a69e-b92febb54c50?auth=1

Sounds like many people are having a similar issue to you. The second post is marked as Answer. It looks like active adapters may be the answer.

There is a DVI version of the active adapter as well.

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schoondoggy

Were you able to sort this out

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gandrews

Confirmed that my monitors are ViewSonic VA2431wm (1920x1080).

 

I have this 97% sorted out and am able to work docked with my two monitors. Many programs still do not scale well on the external monitors. I suspect this is due to the high resolution of the SP4. Some programs (eg OneNote) have menus and ribbons much LARGER than they should be (they worked well with Win 7, my old laptop, and the same monitor setup. Other programs (eg QuickBooks) have teeny-tiny menus.

 

I will continue to endeavor to tweak this to an acceptable conclusion, but am nonetheless disappointed with Microsoft's lack of support and documentation. I have read the MS answer thread you supplied. Interesting, 17 pages of discussion without a definitive answer.

 

The Surface is a beautiful machine, but I would never recommend it to anyone who is not tech-savvy.

 

Thanks for all the support guys. I appreciate your responses!

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