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What’s external display support like on the Surface Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus?

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Best answer: Yes, the Surface Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus support dual 4K external displays with up to a 60Hz refresh rate. Depending on the hardware you have at hand, there are a few solutions to achieve this setup.

Connectivity changes for the future

Not a lot has changed physically for the new generation, but the Surface Pro 7 has had its Mini DisplayPort replaced with USB-C 3.1, allowing for more versatile connectivity that’s better suited for the future. The same holds true for the Surface Pro 7 Plus, the lightly refreshed version for business. Many external devices and accessories are going the way of USB-C, and previously the Pro laptops did not have a native way to connect.

As discussed in a Microsoft Mechanics video that details the features of the new Surface devices, the USB-C 3.1 port on the Surface Pro 7 can drive dual 4K displays at a 60Hz refresh rate. This leaves the Surface Connect port free for straight charging without the need for a Surface Dock 2, and it leaves the USB-A port open for connecting something like one of our picks for best USB hub.

In an enlightening post from Dan S. Charlton’s blog, it’s made apparent that connecting dual 4K monitors via USB-C and hitting the 60Hz refresh rate requires some additional or specialized hardware due to the Pro 7’s native support of DisplayPort 1.4. To achieve this setup, you have a few options.

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The easiest solution, and likely the one that most people will opt for, is adding an adapter. When the Pro 7 was first released there were limited adapter options, though some with superior specs have become available. A Plugable version with dual HDMI ports seems to have never actually come to market, but there are other options.

The Cable Matters USB-C 4K adapter is available for about $66 and has the right DisplayPort 1.4 Multi-Stream Transport (MST) support to handle dual 4K displays at a 60Hz refresh rate. Just plug it into your Pro 7’s USB-C port and connect each external 4K monitor individually.

There’s also the option of investing in a monitor that natively supports DP 1.4 MST up (through DisplayPort or USB-C) and DP 1.2 or 1.4 down to start a daisy chain. The second monitor only needs to run DP 1.2 or DP 1.4 to connect back to the first display.

Monitors that can handle being first in this type of daisy chain are tough to find, especially with a 4K resolution, but BenQ’s 27-inch PD2700U fits the bill. It costs about $500 and has the right features and color reproduction for professional design work. Note that to connect this monitor to your Pro 7, you will need a small USB-C to DP adapter. Cable Matters again has a compatible option for about $18.

Latest and greatest

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

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From $750 at Microsoft

From $800 at Amazon

From $699 at Best Buy

10th Gen Intel CPUs and USB-C connectivity

Thanks to a USB-C port taking over for the Mini DisplayPort, you should have no issues connecting dual 4K displays to your Surface Pro 7.

Dual 4K adapter

Cable Matters 4K USB-C hub

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$66 at Amazon

$65 at Walmart

The right adapter for the job

This adapter connects to your Pro 7 with USB-C and supports dual 4K displays at a 60Hz refresh rate.

27-inch 4K monitor

BenQ PD2700U

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$500 at Amazon

$500 at Newegg

$500 at B&H

Professional-grade 4K display

BenQ’s PD2700U supports daisy-chaining, allowing you to connect your Pro 7 to a couple of displays with just a small adapter.

For daisy-chaining

Cable Matters USB-C to DP adapter

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$18 at Amazon

With this affordable adapter, you can connect a DisplayPort monitor to the USB-C port on your Pro 7. From there, you’re free to daisy-chain to a second display.

Original Article