Despite the recent announcement of the forthcoming Microsoft Surface 3 starting at $499 many folks are still plenty happy with their even lower priced Dell Venue 11 Pro starting at $429. Note the “Pro” with the Dell that is absent with the Surface 3 (not the Pro).
The DocKtor was on a “house call” a few weeks back when the customer pointed out that while the Targus SafePort Rugged Max Pro Case was excellent for field use, it was difficult to get the Dell Venue Pro keyboard to attach while the Dell tablet was in the Targus case. The DocKtor’s prescription was a Targus Universal Docking Station (TUDS) of course.
Since TUDS uses only a single USB connection for docking, it is pretty much if not completely form factor independent. That is, as long as the port is exposed, and it is by opening the cover on the SafePort Rugged Max Pro Case, anything can be connected including tablets, UltraBooks, laptops, MacBooks, 2in1s, etc.
The DocKtor connected the TUDS model ACP77, any of them will do, to the Venue 11 Pro and viola, the two Dell 3014U monitors at 2560×1600 connected to the dock popped right up. Since the Venue 11 Pro has a full sized USB3.0 port, the TUDS GbE port ran at wire-speed, and the other I/O peripherals worked flawlessly including a full sized keyboard and mouse.
One of the TUDS’s USB was left to power and charge the Dell Venue 11 Pro using its included micro-USB charging port and cable. The Dell Venue 11 Pro does not appear to have implemented the USB BC1.2 specification popularized by Apple, the Venue would only pull 3W to charge. While this may be adequate for charging the Venue while not in use, it’s just not enough to keep it running all day, but it does help when the Dell Venue 11 24W AC Adapter is not available.
The DocKtor tested the Venue Pro 11 (5130-32Bit) with the Targus SafePort Rugged Max Pro Case SKU THD114US and the Targus Universal Docking Station SKU ACP77USZ. Any of the Venue 11 Pro, Targus THD114/115 (as appropriate) and TUDS models ACP77, ACP71, ACP70 and even ACP076 should work well together.