Microsoft seems to be calling the shots these days with the standards they are setting – first, it was with the Surface Pro 4 and now, it’s with the all new Microsoft Surface Studio. Touted as “the most interesting computer released this year” by Engadget, the Surface Studio seems to have won the hearts of many in just a few weeks, in a market seemingly dominated by products from Apple and Wacom.
It’s easy to say that the display on the PC is stunning especially with the 28-inch monitor sitting between 4K and 5K, but it’s not easy to describe how magnificent the PixelSense “13.5 million pixels” slickly designed slim monitor with a 3:2 aspect ratio is, as it’s only an OLED screen that might be able to edge it out. The fact that it’s a massive 28 inches doesn’t stop it from obeying the instruction to bend and remain still at any angle down to 20 degrees, thanks to the “zero gravity hinge” which holds the screen when it’s bent to be used for example, as a drawing board for creative minded professionals.
The Microsoft Surface Studio comes with the Surface Dial which comes in handy for creative professionals that can place the $99 device on the screen of the Surface Studio and get access to control options for about 20 programs which are currently compatible with the Dial. The Bluetooth enabled Surface Dial is battery powered and can also work flawlessly on any flat surface. The Surface Pen also comes in handy when drawing, providing a real life feeling on such a large screen.
The base of the Surface Studio which is just about 10 inches wide and an inch high, houses the CPU and GPU. There’s enough room for 4 USB 3.0 ports, a Mini-Display Port, headphone jack, an Ethernet port as well as an SD card reader but not enough for the computer to support HDMI nor the Thunderbolt 3. The speakers on the monitor provide great sound and can be very loud when turned up.
The Surface Studio comes in three different specs, each with varying prices;
- The cheapest model is valued at $2,999 with its Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB hybrid hard drive as well as an 8GB RAM and a 2GB GPU.
- The second tier model with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage and a 2GB GPU valued at $3,499.
- The top notch model with 4GB GPU, 2TB storage, 32GB RAM and a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor valued at $4,999.
The processing power of the Microsoft Surface Studio is excellent, thanks to its SSD cache. The GPU on all the models range from the NVidia GeForce GTX 965M all the way to the 680M, and although it’s behind the latest graphics hardware, it does pretty well when used for gaming or video editing.
There are quite a few negligible downsides of the Microsoft Surface Studio such as the lack of support for Thunderbolt 3, the separately sold Surface Dial and even its incompatibility with popular programs like the Adobe’s Photoshop, USB ports to the back of the base and a hefty price tag on all the models.
If you’re looking for a great alternative to Apple’s iMac or Wacom’s Cintiq or you’d like to switch from Mac OS to Windows 10 without compromising on the quality of equipment you use, then this all-in-one Microsoft Surface Studio is the perfect product for you.