It’s a desktop, a tablet, and a drafting table all in one. It’s time to welcome the next wave of creative computing: the Surface Studio. Microsoft newest announced product is already making waves around the tech world and is poised to have a big impact on the computer and creative spaces.
Sleek Design and Powerful Processing
It’s hard not to be immediately drawn to the Surface Studio because of its sleek lines and streamlined design. At first glance, the Surface Studio has a similar look to Apple’s iMac because it is an all-in-one unit with a single base and monitor. However, the Surface Studio pushes the envelope and packs in features. The 28-inch screen is the thinnest ever LCD monitor in Microsoft’s forged aluminum chassis, at less than a centimeter thick. For a monitor of its size, the Surface Studio still offers a crisp aspect ratio and impressive details. The display features a staggering 13.5 million pixels, nearly double what is in a 4K display. The minimal base holds all of the computer’s processing systems, as well as the power supply, with a single cord.
The Surface Studio does more than just look good—it has great computing power. Users can choose between an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, plus an Nvidia 980 4GB GPU, 32 GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage. Other features include four USB 3.0 ports, a Mini Displayport, an SD card slot, and an Ethernet port. Microsoft has been developing the product for years and working to pack as many strong processing features as it can into the compact base.
New Features and Flexibility
It may look good, but where the Surface Studio really stands out is when it performs its party trick and showcases its flexibility. As a member of the Surface family, it has the ability to become a large tablet and essentially act as a large touch-screen drafting table. The Surface Studio uses unique zero gravity hinges, which allow it to lay as low as 20 degrees off the surface with just the touch of a finger. The low-laying mode makes it easy to showcase documents, edit images, read text, and much more. Users can pair the computer with the updated Surface Pen to write, draw, type, and more in real time without lag.
“We want you to be able to move effortlessly between those perspectives of drawing, drafting, and typing, so that you can move through your motions and nothing gets in your way,” said Panos Paney, Microsoft Vice President.
Along with introducing the Surface Studio, Microsoft introduced the innovative Surface Dial, which can be planted on the screen when laying flat or used next to the computer like a mouse. The Bluetooth spinner uses haptic feedback to do anything from change the volume to adjust the colors in a painting app to instantly create radial menus, all while the stylus pen is in use. It can also serve as a clicker. The Surface Dial allows for radial input adjustments and can be used with the existing Surface Book and Surface Pro. The Surface Dial is already getting rave reviews from users for its ease and responsiveness, as well as how it expands the possibilities of what can be done on any Surface device.
With this innovative design on such a large scale, the Surface Studio could change how we work and interact with desktop computers.
The Surface Studio starts at $3,000, with prices going up to $4,200 for the Intel i7 model, which is significantly lower than other all-in-one systems. Microsoft is currently taking pre-orders, with the product expected to ship on December 15.
The Surface Studio catapults Microsoft into an entirely new area of the tech world. While Microsoft is showcasing the Surface Studio’s ability to be used in a variety of home and work situations, the functions obviously lend it better to more creative situations, such as for artists and designers. Microsoft is well established in the computer industry, but Apple tends to have a hold on the creative market, meaning Microsoft has an uphill battle to take down the tech giant. However, Apple has done little to upgrade its iMac in years, so potential customers could be ready to jump on a similar device with the newest, most innovative features and impressive flexibility. If Microsoft can crack into the niche creative market, it could take the company to the next level and change how we think about the computer and tablet space.
Early reviews of the Surface Studio have been wonderful, and many experts expect it to sell well, which is a good sign for the company’s stock. If Microsoft can sell even a few million of these devices, it could add a few billion to its revenues. Plus, every Surface Studio purchased essentially means one less iMac will be sold, which could drastically cut into Apple’s profits.
With the introduction of the Surface Studio, Microsoft has elevated its products and company to lead the pack for creative designers. In a competitive area, this new device could truly be a game changer.