Review: Microsoft Surface Studio 2
Surface Studio 2 is Microsoft's beautiful all-in-one desktop computer that sings, dances and all in one, which is unlike anything on the market. But then it should be with prices starting at more than £ 3,500.
From the first moment, it is obvious that Surface Studio 2 is not a normal computer. Its beautiful screen of 28 inches and with dense pixels seems to float, supported without effort by two articulated arms of chrome that are invisible when you are sitting directly in front of it. The small gray pedestal below looks like a weighted stand, but it contains the full functionality of the PC.
It's the kind of computer you see in science fiction in the near future and demands that it be placed in an exquisite minimalist desk.
The screen is super sharp, bright and truly beautiful, which rivals the best in the business, which is currently in the latest version of Apple's 5M iMac. But it also hides a trick up its sleeve. Gently pull the bottom edge of the screen and lean towards you, slide down and you can hold anywhere from leaning over you to turning it into a drawing board. Release the Surface pencil on one side and suddenly you will see why: the Surface Studio is a giant drawing tablet.
This is not a computer for the mass market. Starting at £ 3,549 it is a premium computer built for a couple of reasons. The first is to be the main product of Microsoft, a beacon for your fans and an example of what the company can do if you do everything possible. Look at it, want it, but then buy a Surface Go, a Surface Laptop 2, a Surface Pro 6 or a Surface Book 2, because they are practically affordable in comparison.
The second is to challenge Apple in its own backyard. For decades, creatives have flocked to Apple's Mac OS computers, with the 27in 5K iMac and the iMac Pro as current favourites. Surface Studio 2 is the Microsoft iMac-plus: a workstation with a dedicated graphics chip and a massive touch screen that lets you do more with your finger, pen and even Surface Dial compatibility. There is no need for a separate drawing tablet. This is the friend of the minimalist artist.
• Screen: 28in LCD 4500 x 3000 (192 ppi)
• Processor: Intel Core i7-7820HQ (7th generation)
• RAM: 16 or 32GB
• Storage: 1 or 2TB
• Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070
• Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
• Camera: 5MP front-facing with Windows Hello
• Connectivity: wifi ac, Bluetooth 4.1, 4x USB 3.0, 1x USB-C, SD, Ethernet, 3.5mm headphones
• Display dimensions: 637.4 x 438.9 x 12.5 mm
• Base dimensions: 50 x 220 x 32.2 mm
• Weight: 9.6kg
Under the hood, you have 16 or 32 GB of RAM, 1 or 2 TB of SSD storage and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphics card. There is only one processor option, an Intel Core i7-7820HQ quad-core seventh generation when the ninth generation of Intel is now available. That is disappointing, especially for the price.
None of the components is poor, but the graphics chips are a generation behind. Worse yet, the processor is mobile level and two generations behind. Apple recently released its upgraded iMac with options for eight or ninety-nine Intel Core class desktop processors, which have up to eight cores, twice the cores of the older seventh-generation mobile chips in Surface Studio 2.
It also lacks Thunderbolt 3 and only has one USB-C port. As for the specifications, Surface Studio 2 does not stack. These deficiencies may not make any difference now; You can still handle more intense image or video editing tasks, play high-end games with a relatively high-detail configuration, and power any VR headset you want to attach. For a general computer user, it is much more powerful than necessary.
But this is a computer designed for demanding users who are likely to use that power and run out in about a year when the last and best piece of software demands more. For a computer over £ 3,500, it is OK to wait longer. Even the cheapest laptops from Microsoft use eighth-generation Intel chips. The lack of Thunderbolt 3, which is used for high-speed external storage for video, among other things, is particularly disconcerting.
♦ All the ports are behind the machine, which makes harder to reach
♦From the right side of the base, heat is ejected, so if you place something next to it, it will get cooked
♦ The 2.1 stereo speakers are quite powerful when they're hidden away
♦You don't need a dongle or Bluetooth to connect an Xbox controller as Xbox wireless connectivity is built in
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 begins at £3,549 with a GTX 1060, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. Upgrading to a GTX 1070 and 32GB of RAM costs £4,249 or £4,749 with 2TB of storage.
For comparison, Apple's 27in Retina 5K iMac starts at £1,749 and the iMac Pro starts at £4,899. Microsoft's Surface Book 2 starts at £1,999 with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU.
Surface Studio 2 is a beautiful and amazing computer in a class of its own. It is one of those machines that give you envy when you see it on other people's desks, a true product of a hero.
For consumers, Surface Studio 2 is difficult to sell, simply because of its sale price. It is the luxury sports car of Microsoft's computer world Surface.
For creative professionals and artists: Surface Studio 2 offers a new unique way to use a computer with a giant articulated touch screen that becomes a full drawing board with pen holder and radial input.
Leaving aside the industrial design and the input capacity, the problem is that Surface Studio 2 is built with processors, graphics chips and ports that fall behind the competition. It is true that specifications are not everything, but for a professional computer that is worth so much money, it is disappointing.
Surface Studio 2 is, therefore, the pin-up, the advertiser, the computer you want, but probably never will buy. But if you do, you will probably love it.