Microsoft is holding a Surface AMA on Reddit today to answer questions from the community about its latest Surface Pro tablet. Alongside responses about storage and battery life, the team appears to have revealed some future plans for its accessories. In an answer to questions on the new connector plates found at the bottom of the Surface Pro, as we noted in our review, a Surface team member says they're not there by accident.
"Those connectors look like can carry more current than the pogo pins, don't they?"
"At launch we talked about the "accessory spine" and hinted at future peripherals that can click in and do more," says a Surface spokesperson. "Those connectors look like can carry more current than the pogo pins, don't they?" The connector on the Pro is slightly modified from the RT, and includes extra points of contact that, as Microsoft hints, can carry a stronger current. In a further question around an external battery or for a thicker keyboard cover that has an extra battery, Microsoft says "that would require extending the design of the accessory spine to include some way to transfer higher current between the peripheral and the main battery. Which we did..."
So far, the only way to charge a Surface Pro is by using the connector at the side of the tablet, but the connector at the base of the tablet looks like it's going to be used for future accessories. That could be a dock connector to charge the tablet, future covers that include some type of charging, or even battery packs that could connect on the go. Nokia is preparing its own battery cover for its Windows tablet, so a similar move by Microsoft wouldn't be surprising. We don't know for sure, but Microsoft's hints make it clear they're considering future accessories above and beyond the regular covers and newly announced Wedge Mouse.
Update: Microsoft has ruled out the possibility of a first-party dock, stating "we don't have a dock in the plans."