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Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter
64

Surface 5 in 1 Adapter Review: Plug more things into your Surface or Windows 8 tablet

Having recently acquired both the Surface Pro and RT tablets at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, I’m now fully prepared to bring you a variety of Surface accessory reviews. The first of these is the Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter from Juiced Systems. The 5-in-1 Adapter is designed for the Surface Pro and RT, though it could also be used with other Windows 8 tablets that have standard USB ports.

The Surface Pro and RT have only one such USB port, so you’ll need to use a USB hub or the extra USB port included on the Surface Pro’s power supply if you want to connect multiple USB devices to either tablet. Juiced’s 5-in-1 Adapter plugs into those tablets’ lonesome UBS port, giving them a second port and a lot more functionality to boot.

We’ve got an exclusive coupon for our readers and video review after the break!

Plug it in, plug it in

Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter Pro

The 5-in-1 Adapter includes the following ports:

  • Two USB 2.0 ports: Double the number of ports included with the Surface. The Surface RT's USB port is USB 2.0 but the Pro's USB port is USB 3.0. This adapter would downgrade transfer speeds when using USB 3.0 devices with a Pro.
  • One SD card slot: The Surface doesn’t have one of these, so the adapter allows you to read a standard SD card without the use of a separate adapter. Huge boon for camera users.
  • One microSD card slot: The Surface already has a microSD card slot, but this lets you keep that slot filled with a card for storage while inserting another card to download images, etc.
  • One micro USB port: Unfortunately neither Surface tablet can charge via USB, so you won’t be using this port to charge them. Technically, it still allows your Surface to power or interface with other devices that use a micro USB cord. Not a likely scenario, I know.

I noticed some reader confusion about the micro USB port, so I'll try to make this point more clear. Remember, this accessory can work with non-Surface tablets too. Virtually every other tablet out there CAN charge via USB. So if you plugged this adapter into a non-Surface tablet, you could then plug into a micro USB charging cable and charge that tablet. When using the 5-in-1 Adapter with a Surface, you probably just won't use the micro USB port.

Not too big, not too heavy

Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter Pro

The 5-in-1 Adapter is made of lightweight black plastic that matches the Surface’s appearance extremely well. The plastic feels a little thin – probably unavoidable in order to keep it from adding any significant weight to the Surface. I wouldn’t smash it into anything, but that’s probably good advice for the entire Surface tablet as well.

This accessory measures only 73×22.9×9.5 mm. In American terms, it sticks out just under an inch from the edge of the Surface. Its small size and weight makes it super easy to transport. I expect you’d mostly plug it when using your Surface with a touch or type cover in a laptop orientation. You could also plug it in specifically when you need to read an SD or microSD card.

The adapter also has a tiny blue light on its front (best seen in the top photo) that lets you know it's working.

Built for Surface?

Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter RT

Convenient as the 5-in-1 Adapter is, it does suffer from one significant flaw: no matter which Surface you use it with, it blocks something. On the Surface RT, it blocks the micro-HDMI jack. Probably not a big deal for most users. With the Surface Pro, however it covers up the volume down button. You can still adjust the Pro’s volume in desktop mode, so I don’t find the blockage terribly inconvenient.

The Surface Pro and RT have their USB ports on different sides of the tablet, hence the adapter covering up different things on both units. Considering the 5-in-1 Adapter is designed to work with all Surface tablets and not just one or the other, it HAS to block something on either the Pro or RT. But the unit should have been designed longer in one direction or the other so that it would only cover the RT’s micro-HDMI jack (best solution in my opinion) or the Pro’s volume down button instead of blocking both things.

Get your adapter now

Despite that issue of being slightly too long in both directions, the Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter is still a very handy accessory. One USB port doesn’t go very far these days, so your Surface is bound to need a second one every now and then. You could use any number of USB hubs, but Juiced Systems’ solution will match your Surface better aesthetically and take up less space than practically anything else. The SD and microSD card readers are a great bonus too.

The Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface 5-in-1 Adapter sells for $29.99 at Amazon, where it’s eligible for Prime shipping. You can also buy it directly from Juiced’s website at JuicedSystems.com. Juiced offers super cheap domestic shipping, so that ends up being the most affordable option. They also ship internationally.

To make it an even better deal, they’ve provided us with an exclusive coupon! To get 15 percent off the 5-in-1 Adapter (currently a $3.75 discount), enter coupon code WPCENTRAL after adding the adapter to your cart. The coupon only applies to this product but it can be used on multiple units. Leave a comment and let us know if you use it!

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Comments

There are 64 comments. Sign in to comment

Rug says:

Anyone know if this can work with Sony MS Duo? A lot of these adapters work with both.

Evster88 says:

Actually, the surface has a microSD slot, but not a full SD.

rodneyej says:

Can't you use this with any PC?

Paul Acevedo says:

Yes, anything with a standard USB port.

cool8man says:

PC geeks really don't get this mobile computing thing. I think they should make a dock accessory, because this thing is just wrong.

Vistaus says:

I'm a PC geek and I do get this mobile computing thing. I have a Lumia 720 and an HP Touchpad (yes, that's webOS but it's still a tablet) that I use everyday.
And I do get the Surface which I do like. It may be my next tablet. The only thing I don't get is the Touch cover, that thing types like shit. But awesome tablet nonetheless.

jaimeastin says:

But, it along with the better typing type cover are the best mobile non-intrusive keyboards made for a tablet. The touch keyboard is meant to be a cover that is a keyboard when you really need to type where the screen just won't do... Of course the type cover types even easier at the expense of being slightly thicker.

Of course I use all when needed, but one does not need to use one at all.....

tboggs13 says:

I get the touch cover, plus I prefer it. I tried using a type cover and switched back to the touch. I really think it depends on your usage. Mine is 70% desktop, 20% tablet and 10% laptop.

I have had absolutely NO problem typing with the touch cover. I wouldn't use the type cover at all because it defeats the purpose of portability and thin profile of the tablet. Is the touch for extensive typing? Probably not but it can be done.

WillBrown says:

As a writer, I prefer the Type Cover. The Touch Cover works, but isn't as good if you're typing for a couple of hours straight. The difference between running on concrete vs a cushioned running track.

Kros says:

The Touch cover works better if you gently touch the keys.  I "pound" my keyboard and try to do the same on the touch keyboard and I have trouble with accuracy.  When I train myself to hit the keys more gently, my accuracy goes way up.
That said, the touch cover is infinately better than any other tablet keyboard out there.  So don't get caught in the trap that everybody else does and compare this keyboard to a laptop.  The Surface RT/Pro is not a laptop.
It's one of the problem people keep saying about the RT that they can't install x86 apps on it.  Often, in the same paragraph they'll follow-up and say they are going back to their iPad ...which also doesn't have x86 apps.  The Surface devices often get unfairly critisized because it isn't better than both a laptop and an iPad, simultaneously.  It's just a tablet, a very good tablet the lulls folks into thinking it's more than that ...which is awesome, btw.

hysonmb says:

I spent a little time using both the touch and type covers and actually am better with the touch cover.
I do spend a good amount of time on it, typing, and have no issues getting through a workday with the Surface Pro as my PC.

link68759 says:

Two USB ports, (2x1) DOUBLE THE AMOUNT!!!

Lol.

I don't understand what the microusb port is for. All devices that charge over microusb use a cable with regular USB on one end- you'd have to go out of your way to even get a double ended microusb cable, and even then you couldn't use it on anything else. What's the point?

Paul Acevedo says:

The main point seems to be that you could charge a non-Surface tablet with a phone's micro-USB cable.

Snazrael says:

In your response to "link68759": " The main point seems to be that you could charge a non-Surface tablet with a phones microUSB cable." I've read exactly what you've written.

Snazrael says:

Its ok I'm over it ha.

link68759 says:

Other tablets charge via USB A?

Paul Acevedo says:

ALl they have to do is be able to charge via standard USB or micro USB. In either case, the micro USB port on this accessory would be able to provide power to the tablet.

11B1P says:

I tried plugging in a usb hub and my RT didn't like it too much. This was several months ago.

riot9 says:

I use a USB hub with my RT without any problems.  I just picked up a rocketfish one from best buy and it worked like a charm.  I used two USB controllers for the SNES emulator.

Snazrael says:

Charging one tablet from another is just plain stupid, for one. Secondly, even if you were to do that you'd use the regular USB ports on the power source, as the items to be charged accept the microUSB to charge, not full size. Also as Evster88 notes, the Surface devices have microSD, not a regular SD slot. Perhaps you should be a bit more careful before posting your articles on the renowned WPCentral, sir. I'd hate for less informed people to misled or confused by articles like this.

Paul Acevedo says:

I never said you'd charge one tablet from another - maybe you should read a bit more carefully. As for getting SD and microSD mixed up: big deal. If a mistake slips through, we fix it.

+1000 smh, people need to quit being so pedantic

Zarnywoop says:

Not sure, but I think the idea is that you plug the full size usb end into a desktop pc, or other powered hub, and then where as you would normally stick the micro usb into your phone to charge, you could in principle plug it into the tablet to charge that.  Probably only for the 1%

link68759 says:

Unlikely: it wouldn't charge like that. The only possible use I could think of is giving external power to the hub; if you have two devices that are drawing more power than the tablet can handle.

taymur says:

looks cheaply made.

Flavio76 says:

Guys he had good intentions..... Its a good accessorie if you use it at office with a big screen as I also use this beast.

I already bought a USB hub to handle my keyboard and mouse and leave some port empty to handle some extra USB if someone wants to give me a file over a USB stick....

wpguy says:

As an alternative to your current set up, you could use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

mustangrv says:

Any idea if two portable HDDs can be connected at the same time? Or at least one HDD and another USB device? It didn't work in my laptop when I got a multi-hub in the past.

wpguy says:

Looks cool, but I'd be worried about the physical stress on the Surface's USB port if the adapter were loaded to the gills with cords and drives. I'd probably connect it to my Surface with a cable.

rodneyej says:

That's what I was thinking.

+1020 on this. Use a USB extension cable so the items that are blocked by directly plugging it in aren't blocked. I'd also wait for a USB 3 version :)
 
Just my two cents,
Techiedude

subkamran says:

This is dumb. Here are the most important adapters for the Pro when doing actual work:

  • Mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort for an external monitor
  • USB 3.0 to Ethernet for LAN connectivity
    • Especially if your Pro isn't domain-joined
  • A USB hub to fit more than one USB device (mouse/keyboard/ethernet adapter/headphones)

All I really need is the same form factor as that adapter above but with 3-4 USB ports and a bonus if it included ethernet.

stephen_az says:

What is dumb is to make declarative statements based solely on our own preferences. While I agree this is a poor device for a Surface Pro user, the device you just designed would "in the same form factor" either block the volume rocker or stick out below the base of the tablet or be thicker than the tablet. Just do the math, or get out a ruler. This accessory is overpriced and under spec'ed for Surface Pro but yours defies reality in this dimension.

Paul Acevedo says:

Overpriced? $25 (or less with coupon) is perfectly reasonable for a device with this functionality. But I agree it's dumb to call a device dumb just because it doesn't meet your needs. And an ethernet port would definitely make the device extend above the face of the Surface, for better or worse.

wpguy says:

I purposely don't have my Surface Pro domain-joined to the corporate network, but I have no problem connecting to the Internet through the corporate wireless networks. All I had to do was provide my work username and password the first time I connected. Naturally, the reason for that is to prevent just anyone off the street from using the company wireless as their own free ISP.

evilrobot says:

Hey Paul, on the topic of Surface accessories - any news on whether or not a longer charging cable is being planned, or if there is a third-party option available?

That would be nice -- it's about a foot shy for my comfort levels.

Paul Acevedo says:

I agree that the default charging cables are too short. Amazon sells a couple of third-party chargers, but they have mixed reviews so I'm hesitant to try them. For now, the best option would be a standard 3-prong extension cable.

evilrobot says:

Yeah I was just looking at the amazon cables - too many claiming that they either melted the cable itself or damaged their surface to make it worth the risk for me.  I hadn't considered just using a standard extension cord - I think I'll go that route for now until an official extended cable is released (if ever) - thanks!

mpr says:

That means, I would downgrade my USB 3.0 to 2 USB 2.0 ports? No thanks :-D

Paul Acevedo says:

Do you use any USB 3 devices with your Surface Pro? If not, it hardly matters.

stephen_az says:

It hardly matters that you are choosing to cripple the USB 3.0 port? First, yes there are lots of USB 3.0 devices on the market and Surface Pro was designed to allow you to use those with full performance. Second, there are lots of USB 3.0 mini hubs that you can plug into that Surface port that will give you USB 3.0 performance. Third, even if someone does not have a USB 3.0 device at the moment, this port replicator limits performance when one buys such devices in the future. Just because it (sort of) looks like it was designed for Surface tablets does not change the fact that it is an underpowered accessory for Surface Pro and blocks an essential port on Surface RT. It also does not change the fact that your response was both shortsighted and pretty stupid.

mpr says:

Yes. My USB Memory sticks are all usb 3.0. As well as my USB 3.0 SSD and USB 3.0 hub....
USB 3.0 is backwards compatible... USB 2.0 is not forward compatible... I guess they should market this one for RT and offer an additional one for the Pro.
It would be great if it came in the Surface Wedge shape made of the same material/color and if it covered the whole side of the device. With the Surface Pro it could cover te whole left side, connecting to the Headphone Jack and USB Jack plus it could use the vent gap for stability....
It could offer Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB3.0, Card Reader, etc.
 
Orico makes really nice USB 3.0 aluminium hubs almost the same design and color.

John20212 says:

Yeah the USB 3 to USB 2 dowgrade is a definite no buy. Who would be interested in slowing down their transfer speeds? And yes I do use USB 3 flash drive and USB 3 external HDD and the transfer speeds are incredible especially for the HDD, could never go back to USB 2 speeds.
 

tgzgeorge says:

Guys - check out kanex' products, there's one called dual role, its gigabit Ethernet and 3 x USB 3.0 ports.

jlzimmerman says:

If you need all that you should have purchased a laptop..........

Paul Acevedo says:

The Surface can be used as a laptop, obviously.

rodneyej says:

It's called versatility.. Its good to have it when you need it, and not have the bulk when you don't.. That's the whole point of having a W8 tablet... Unlike iDroid tablets you can do these things with them if needed.. Come on dude, you know that❕... Lol

stacero says:

Stumbled onto this thing randomly at Fry's (in the headphones aisle, no less) several months ago. Bought immediately. Love how it's sculpted for the Surface, and the added USB is a lifesaver when I need to charge up something while working.

"or the extra USB port included on the Surface Pro’s power supply if you want to connect multiple USB devices to either tablet" - wait a second - you're saying the Surface recognizes devices plugged in here? I thought it was just for charging stuff.

tgzgeorge says:

It is for just charging and nothing more.

stephen_az says:

What is the point of trading a USB 3.0 port for two USB 2.0 ports and a slow card reader? A pocket Anker (or any) USB 3.0 hub and any USB 3.0 card reader cost less combined and offer full performance.  I have the Anker hub and have connected a Transcend USB 3.0 reader (smaller than a typical flash drive) and Toshiba Canvio USB 3.0 hard drive at the same time and both performed as expected. Why would I want to buy a Surface Pro and then immediately cripple the USB 3.0 port by attaching a hub based upon seriously outdated technology? Quite frankly, the only thing in its favor is the fact that it is (sort of) designed to be form fit but even at that it looks cheap and they didn't even bother to make sure it allowed access to the existing ports.  I wouldn't even buy it for a Surface RT since it blocks the mini HDMI port. There are cheaper options for the same functionality that actually work and do not compromise performance or port access.  

jdowsett says:

Everyone should try this product - I have the HP version.
 
http://www.displaylink.com/shop/docks

treetownal says:

They took USB 3.0 and turned it into 2.0.  Voila!  Magic. 

Dat1020a55 says:

A dock for the surface pro would have been a more elegant solution. Use it as a tablet when away from your office and just dock it when u get back. 3 usb3.0 1hdmi 1ethernet 1vga/dvi 1sd card slot. I would have bought a surface if it offered something similar

spyderzWPC says:

actually I am looking for an adapter that would allow firewire on to a surface pro anyone have any experience with that?
 

Thanks for the review Paul and especially clearing up the USB port function, or lack of it. I've been using this adapter with my RT for a few months. While not perfect, it is extremely light and portable to carry in my bag and attach when needed. Best part is when the adapter is attached it absolutely matches the color, lines and angles of the surface and looks like a custom made accessory for the device. Again, not perfect but well worth the money.

So if I bought 10 of those and connected them all together....