Review

Surface Studio 2: tech specs, pricing, details

The Surface Studio 2 keeps the same first generation design, but with new internals, including USB Type-C and speedy NVMe SSD storage.

Surface Studio 2

The Surface Studio 2 is the same amazing all-in-one desktop as the last model, but with better tech specs.

It’s not a secret that Microsoft has been trying to steal some of the Apple market with its Surface devices, and with the Surface Studio being the most impressive and most disappointing device.

When the Surface Studio first became available in 2016, it offered an unseen touchscreen experience, but it was already shipping with last generation hardware. However, after two years since the original release, Microsoft is finally refreshing its desktop replacement flagship, which brings up the question about the new Surface Studio 2 being worth the $3499 asking price for the base model.

Surface Studio 2

Just like its predecessor, the Surface Studio 2 has a premium build quality. You’ll find the one of the best 28-inch touchscreen display in the market. The incredible compact system that houses the processor, graphics, storage, and the power supply. And the unbelievable “Zero Gravity” hinge that allows you to effortlessly reposition the screen from a vertical position down to twenty degrees with no wobble as you draw on it.

Surface Studio 2 Zero Gravity hinge
Surface Studio 2 Zero Gravity hinge

The screen is not just excellent for drawing, but delivers a great viewing experience as a regular monitor with excellent color representations and several multi pre-calibrated modes. It’s a little in the glossy side, but it’s very accurate using the ten and the pressure sensitivity is also one of the best in the market.

Also, at the top of the screen, you’ll find the Windows Hello facial recognition camera, which remains a great feature to have along with the “OK” webcam.

At the back of the base, you’ll also find several basic ports, including full-size SD card reader, four USB 3.0 Type-A, and (finally) one USB Type-C.

Although the Type-C port is a welcome addition, it’s a bit in the disappointing side that doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, which means that you can’t connect a high-speed storage or external graphics card. Also, you don’t get a 10GB Ethernet, just a standard 1GB networking port.

Surface Studio 2 back ports
Surface Studio 2 back ports

In the box, you also get a Surface Keyboard and a Surface Mouse. The mouse isn’t as ergonomically as, for example, the Logitech MX Master s2 mouse or the Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse, but it works well. However, the Surface Keyboard is a nice inclusion as it has a really good quality build, and if you’ve been using a laptop, you’ll enjoy typing with this Bluetooth keyboard. (Though, it doesn’t include the fingerprint scanner like the Microsoft Keyboard, which are identical accessories.)

Surface Studio 2 tech specs

As for its internals, even though it’s a desktop replacement, the Surface Studio 2 uses an Intel seventh-generation Core i7-7820HQ quad core processor, which is a generation behind, and it’s designed for mobile devices.

Surface Studio 2 base
Surface Studio 2 base

You’ll also find the significantly better graphics with the option for Nvidia GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 (designed for mobile devices) that makes the Studio 2 not a bad gaming machine.

This time around, Microsoft is also adding the option of up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe SSD, which is even faster than standard SSDs, and a lot quicker than the hybrid hard drive included with the first generation.

And just like before, you can get the Surface Studio 2 with 16GB or 32GB of memory.

Surface Studio 2 tech specs
DimensionsDisplay: 25.1” x 17.3” x 0.5” (637.35 mm x 438.90 mm x 12.50 mm)
Base: 9.8” x 8.7” x 1.3” (250.00 mm x 220.00 mm x 32.20 mm)
Weight21 lbs max (9.56 kg max)
DisplayScreen: 28” PixelSense™ Display
Resolution: 4500 x 3000 (192 PPI)
Color settings: sRGB, DCI-P3, and Vivid
Individually color-calibrated display
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Touch: 10 point multi-touch
Supports Surface Pen with tilt activation, Surface Dial on-screen interaction, and Zero Gravity Hinge
ProcessorIntel Core i7-7820HQ
Memory16GB DDR4 RAM
32GB DDR4 RAM
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 memory
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 memory
Storage1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
2TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports4 x USB 3.0 Type-A (one high power port)
1 x USB Type-C
Full-size SD card reader (SDXC) compatible
3.5 mm headphone jack
Compatible with Surface Dial* on-screen interaction
External display support Up to two 4K UHD (@30Hz) or single 4K UHD (@60Hz)
Networking802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible
1 Gigabit Ethernet port
Bluetooth Wireless 4.0 technology
Xbox Wireless built-in
SecurityTPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security
Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
Cameras, video, and audioWindows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video
Dual microphones
Stereo 2.1 speakers with Dolby Audio™ Premium
SoftwareWindows 10 Pro
Peripherals Surface Studio 2
Surface Pen
Surface Keyboard
Surface Mouse
Power cord with grip-release cable

Also, the speakers are good, but only as long as you don’t use them at 100 percent volume, as like most build-in speakers, the ones from this all-in-one desktop, the sound quality degrades significantly at 100 percent.

Surface Studio 2 final thoughts 

While it’s frustrating that Microsoft continues to stay a generation behind when it comes to hardware, it’s not all bad, as the Surface Studio 2 is significantly faster than its predecessor, and it’s a good machine for single-threaded tasks, such as for office applications, video editing, and even for playing games, considering that it’s not a device for gamers.

And of course, with the 4:3 aspect ratio, the Surface Studio 2 offers a huge real estate for content creators when working with multiple apps side-by-side and drawing.

However, the lack of additional hardware options, such as more capable processors and graphics, Thunderbolt 3, and the fact that you can’t upgrade anything, as the processor, graphics, and memory are soldered into the main board, it’s hard to recommend for professionals or users working with demanding applications.

Surface Studio 2 pricing

The Surface Studio 2 starts at $3499 for the base model that includes a Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and 1TB of storage, while the 32GB of memory model bumps the price to $4199. And if you want the 2TB NVMe SSD, you’ll be spending $4799. You can order a Surface Studio 2 at the Microsoft Store.