The Surface Studio is a desktop PC like no other, and without a doubt the start of the show is the gorgeous 28-inch 4.5K resolution display. It’s a large panel, but it’s also super thin at 12.5mm thin. The color representation is nothing short of spectacular and with support for the DCI-P3 color space, which gives the panel more kick and depth. In addition, there is support for the RGB color space, which you can switch back and forth with a flick of a switch on Windows 10.
Perhaps another unique design found in the Surface Studio is that it’s not a traditional widescreen display. While most all-in-one computers feature a 16:9 aspect ratio, Microsoft opted for 3:2 aspect ratio display. This means that watching a video at its traditional aspect ratio, you’ll get black bars at the top and bottom. However, you get more freedom (a little more real estate) to view more content when working with productivity applications and browsing the web.
Microsoft has been working on the Surface Studio for over two years, and it went through a lot of engineering thoughts into the new desktop. One thing that is really interesting is that all the guts — the motherboard, processor, memory, hard drive, graphics, and ports — are housed in the base allowing the device to keep a thin profile.
The display by itself is very heavy. It weighs about 13.5lbs, but the Surface Studio has a hinge that lets you fold the screen upright or down to a 20-degree angle, which is called the “studio mode”, very effortless with one finger. Microsoft calls the hinge “Zero Gravity,” because the engineering behind it removes the weight completely as you move the display.
Surface Studio tech specs
As for tech specs, the screen rocks a 4500 x 3000 pixels and for 4.5K resolution things looks really nice.
Inside you get either an Intel 6th Generation Core i5 or Core i7 quad core Skylake processor, and up to 32GB of memory. You’re also getting serious dedicated graphics. You can get either an NVidia GTX 965M or GTX 980M.
On storage, you can get either 1TB or 2TB hard drive, which is going to be paired with a 64GB or 128GB SSD. This is a little unusual for a system like this to come without an option to get a Solid State Drive, but for the most part the device you’re getting is very spectacular.
|Dimensions||Display: 637.35 mm x 438.90 mm x 12.5 mm (25.1” x 17.3” x 0.5”)
Base: 250.00 mm x 220.00 mm x 32.2 mm (9.8” x 8.7” x 1.3”)
|Weight||21 lbs max (9.56 kg max)|
|Display||Screen: 28” PixelSense Display
Resolution: 4500 x 3000 (192 PPI)
Color settings: Adobe sRGB and DCI-P3 and Vivid Color Profiles, Individually color calibrated
Touch: 10 point multi-touch
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Supports Pen enabled and Zero Gravity Hinge
|Processor||Intel 6th Generation Skylake Core i5-6440HQ
Intel 6th Generation Skylake Core i7-6820HQ
|Storage||Rapid Hybrid Drive options: 1TB or 2TB|
|Graphics||i5-6440HQ Intel 8GB: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 memory
i7-6820HQ Intel 16GB: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 memory
i7-6820HQ 32GB: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GDDR5 memory
|Networking||Wi-Fi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
Xbox Wireless built-in
|Ports||4 x USB 3.0 (one high power port)
Full-size SD ™ card reader (SDXC) compatible
3.5 mm headset jack
Compatible with Surface Dial on-screen interaction
1 Gigabit Ethernet port
|Cameras, video and audio||Windows Hello face sign-in camera
5.0 MP camera with 1080p HD video (front)
Stereo 2.1 speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
3.5 mm headphone jack
Stereo 2.1 speakers with Dolby Audio Premium (eight speakers in the display, two in
|Buttons/Keyboard||Volume key and power key
|Software||Windows 10 Pro|
|Security||TPM chip for enterprise security
Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity
|Power Supply||Internal power supply with AC inlet
Grip-release cable (AC power cable)
|In the box||Surface Studio
Power cord with grip-release cable
Quick start guide
Safety and warranty guide
If you go for the Core i7 with the GTX 980M, you can definitely game, but it’s not aimed to be used as a game PC, and you’ll probably be disappointed to play some hardware intensive games. However, for an all-in-one device, there’s not much to complain about.
Additionally, even though when playing pretty intense games, the Surface Studio is actually really quiet. However, you’ll notice that base will get significantly hot possibly causing thermal throttling on the high-end models, which may not happen, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Surface Studio Gallery
Then there is the Surface Dial, which is a “dial” accessory that spins and clicks with haptic feedback. It can sit on the tablet or the display when is in “studio mode,” and when you spin the wheel it brings up a dial on the screen with different options depending on the application you’re using.
Microsoft is also opening up a set of APIs to allow developers to build Surface Dial features into their apps.
The Surface Dial is sold separately, it costs $99, and it also works on the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, and on every Windows 10 devices. The caveat is that you can only use it on the screen on Surface Studio.
Of course, there is a Surface Pen, which you can use with the Surface Dial when drawing sketches or working on any project. However, there is nothing special about the pen as it’s the same pen you’ll get with the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4.
The best part about using the Surface Dial and Surface Pen with the Surface Studio is that everything is responsive and quick, and you don’t get that feeling that you have to wait for anything to happen. There is no much latency with the pen or the dial. It’s feels natural, which is pretty remarkable.
The Surface Studio is an amazing device, even more if you’re an actual talented artist. We’ve seen all kinds of computers, desktops with and without touch, all-in-ones, and gaming PCs, but up until now, we haven’t seen a device that incorporates the best of all worlds into a super thin and elegant device.
The Surface Studio is really a unique piece of hardware that stands out of the crowd.
Pricing and where to get one
Microsoft unveiled its Surface Studio during its October 26th event in New York City, and the company says it’ll be available in December 15th, 2016. However, you can pre-order now from the Microsoft Store (see link below).
It starts at $3000 for the base model featuring a Core i5 and 8GB of RAM, while the Core i7 with 16GB of RAM costs $3500, and $4200 for the Core i7 and 32GB of RAM model.
Initially, it’ll be available in limited quantities, which means that if you want one, you better pre-order one immediately.
- Surface Studio | See at Microsoft Store
What do you think about the new desktop PC from Microsoft? Tell us in the comments below.