SurfaceBook 3 laptop with Samsung displays not cooperating with TBT4-UDZ

Just received my TBT4-UDZ last night, and can’t get my setup working right with a number of issues. I need help to correctly configure this setup. I am local, in Canyon Park, Bothell if this will help with debug efforts.


  • Microsoft Surfacebook 3, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD
  • Monitor - Samsung QN50Q8DTAFXZA [4K, 50" HDMI]
  • Monitor - Samsung QN75Q80TAFXZA [4K, 75" HDMI]
  • 1 Gig Wired Ethernet

Prior to purchasing, I connected my Surfacebook 3 to a coworker’s Plugable UD-3900PDZ with 3x 4K monitors. All three monitors connected, displayed properly, and were configured for 3840 × 2160 operation in addition to the Surfacebook 3 display, also running at 3840 × 2160 resolution. I also tried my USB4-240W 8K cable with this UD-3900PDZ setup, and it also worked, flawlessly. This gave me the confidence to order a TBT4-UDZ unit.

With the TBT4-UDZ setup I tried my USB4-240W 8K cable which worked with the UD-3900PDZ, and the TBT4-UDZ is unable to negotiate USB-C PD power. It keeps trying at 1-Second intervals, and keeps failing. I’m currently using the delivered USB4 cable, which does allow USB-C PD power negotiation to complete. I used the USB4-240W 8K cable in a number of different applications, and it’s never failed until now with the TBT4-UDZ unit.

I’m wondering if the multi-monitor display issue is the display adapter being used. I can’t get the system to switch to using the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design adapter.

This is the best I can do with this TBT4-UDZ setup, and it looks horrible.

When I use a Microsoft docking station, I am able to drive the Samsung TV in 4096×2160 and 3840×2160 modes.

Anything else I can try to get both monitors to work in 4K mode?

Hi Craig,

Thank you posting, and I would be happy to assist you with your Plugable TBT4-UDZ docking station!

A quick note, Plugable has no experience with the 3rd-party USB cable you mentioned attempting to use. As a result, we cannot guarantee its compatibility or performance with any Plugable product. Plugable only recommends using the included 1 meter long Intel-certified 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 cable in order to connect the TBT4-UDZ dock to the host computer.

With that said, in brief, the cause of the display issue is an internal limitation of your Surface Book 3 laptop.

To expand further, the video output capabilities of the TBT4-UDZ are dependant on the the internal capabilities of the host computer.

In order to reach the highest level of display capability when using the TBT4-UDZ with a Windows computer, the host computer must have a Thunderbolt 4 port.

The Surface Book 3 laptop does not have a Thunderbolt 4 port, it has only one single USB Type-C port. The USB Type-C port does not provide the same level of performance as a Thunderbolt 4 port, which is why your displays are being limited to a lower resolution. We speak to this topic in more detail here → if you are curious.

With that said, we offer a 30-day no-hassle return policy for all products sold by Plugable and fulfilled by Amazon. If your purchase meets those requirements, then I am afraid I would have to suggest returning the TBT4-UDZ to Amazon for a refund.

A quick additional note, the Plugable UD-3900PDZ docking station you mentioned having tested with previously is based on DisplayLink USB video technology (which is not present in the TBT4-UDZ), and this internal technological difference between the two products is why you saw different results.

With that said, the UD-3900PDZ does NOT support two or three 4K resolution displays.

If you would like to consider an alternative product that is compatible with the USB Type-C port within your Surface Book 3 laptop that would support two or three 4K resolution displays, then you may wish to consider the Plugable UD-ULTC4K → or the Plugable UD-6950PDZ → (both of which use DisplayLink USB video technology).

Apologies again for the frustration, and thank you for giving us the chance to help!

Plugable Technologies

Thank you, Bob, your feedback is exactly what I needed to know. I am returning the TBT4-UDZ and purchased the UD-ULTC4K for the 100W USB-C PD capability. The only thing I’ll miss is the 2.5 Gb Ethernet. But will gain flexibility with 3x HDMI/DP ports. Perfect for what I need. And you’re right, the unit my coworker has is a UD-6950PDZ, which worked fine for the few minutes it was attached to my Surface Book 3.

Hi Craig,

Thank for getting back to us with the update, and you are of course most welcome for the assistance.

I thank you as well for both your understanding in regard to all of the technical elements at play and for your additional Plugable purchase.

Thank you for your patience throughout the process, and please have a good day!