Fancy a bigger tablet? Bored by a measly 12.9 inch iPad Pro and want even more real estate? How does 28 inches of a resolution higher than 4K UHD sound? Well I would love me something of that sort too if it existed, but Microsoft made something pretty close.
Welcome everyone to the latest addition to the Surface line, Microsoft’s first desktop pc. A 12.5mm thick slab of eye candy with a nifty gravity hinge and heaps of processing power. Without further ado allow me to grace you with the tantalizing details.
The display is a 28inch Pixelsense panel of a resolution of 4500 x 3000 pixels (192 Pixels per square inch) at a 3:2 aspect ratio. Mind you, 4K Ultra HD is a mere 3840 x 2160 pixels so that my friends is one sharp display!
The display is also a touch sensitive display and has the capacity of 10 point multi-touch. If you push the display downwards to an almost horizontal angle, studio mode is initiated which operates with the surface pen. More on that shortly but in this mode you can rest your palms or wrists on the display and it is smart enough to detect that it is not an intended input and therefore disregards it giving a more natural drawing and designing experience as you would experience on a standard piece of paper.
The Surface Pen makes a comeback from the Surface Pro with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity also giving you the power to draw lines of varying thickness by varying pressure applied to the tip of the pen.
The Gravity Hinge is bolted onto a box that houses 4 USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, a mini display port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an AC socket and a 3.5mm headphone jack (Compatible with Surface Dial).
For the spec hungry readers don’t worry I have you covered.
Storage is handled by a 1TB (base and midrange models) and 2TB (upper model) of Rapid Hybrid Drives.
RAM is available at 8GB (base model), 16GB (midrange model) and a spacious 32GB (upper model).
6th generation Intel Core i5 chips will be ticking away in the base model Surface Studio with the beefier Intel Core i7 pumping metal in the mid and upper range Surface Studios.
For more demanding users worry not, Nvidia will kick in where Intel throws in the towel with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory in active duty in the base and mid range models and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M packing 4GB of GDDR5 memory crunching graphics in the upper model.
So earlier I mentioned the Surface Dial. This is an interactive knob that adds extended features (mostly shortcuts) to the touch display of the Surface Studio. So you are being artistic working on a splendid piece of artwork but the constant reach to the toolbar to select a different brush or adjust colours is such a drag. Surface dial makes it easier to access all these features and cycle through toggles as well as fine tuning colours to the precise shade. It also works on every Surface device other than the Surface Studio too.
It also has a 5MP camera with Windows Hello face sign-in enabled allowing sign-in using facial recognition. I wish they could have also added Iris Scanning from the Microsoft lumia 950 and 950 XL as well.
This is a Microsoft device, so you can expect integration with Xbox. It has built in Xbox wireless support for up to 4 Xbox wireless controllers.
The Microsoft Surface Studio is a pretty premium device, and it comes also with a pretty premium price tag. The base model is USD 2999, the mid ranger weighs in at USD 3499 and the upper model asks for a stratospheric USD 4199. A comparable iMac costs USD 2299 but for that you sacrifice a touch panel, a pen input and a surface knob. Whether it’s a deal breaker or not? I leave that to the population of Architects, Artists, Designers and Media processing folk to which this device is solely targeting.
The Surface line has proved more successful for Microsoft than even the Lumia line of their devices. Recently they have been running major discounts on their Lumia devices hinting that the Lumia line will be discontinued.
Whether it will hint the reboot of a Windows Phone under the surface line? The Surface line is surely a very successful platform, surely they can transcend that energy to their smartphone department. Until then, we have the Surface Studio. A productivity user’s swiss army knife?