While the MacBook Pro with its clever Touch Bar has dominated headlines over the past few weeks, but the most intriguing computer announced this fall has to be Microsoft’s Surface Studio. Starting at an eye-popping $3,000, the Surface Studio is not for everyone, but with its stunning 28-inch adjustable display and included Surface Pen, it could fill a niche in the market that desperately needs filling.
On Thursday, reviews for the device began to hit the web, so as always, we’ve rounded up some highlights from the best reviews we could find:
Digital Trends is the first to admit that the Surface Studio isn’t going to be of interest to anyone who isn’t a creative professional, but it’s still an incredible device:
“Falling in love with the Studio is easy, and it happens at first glance. The beautiful display, elegant design, and featherweight hinge make for instant appeal.
But the Studio isn’t for everyone. It’s a specific type of PC, for specific users. Careful consideration is warranted before you lay down a few grand. […]
If you’re comparing the Studio to a traditional all-in-one, though, you’re missing the point. Its real competition is a computer connected to a large Wacom or Yiynova device connected to a Mac or PC. A high-quality, 27-inch Wacom Cinteq with touch and stylus support will set you back at least $2,000 on its own, and that’s if you get a deal. Suddenly, the Studio doesn’t look so expensive.”
While Engadget also had plenty of positive feedback for Microsoft, the site contends the best thing about the Surface Studio is its massive display:
“Mostly, I appreciate the Surface Studio simply for having a big freaking screen. After spending years writing on ultraportables and reading news apps on smartphones and tablets, I sometimes forget how nice it is to use a large screen where you can have a pile of windows thrown about, or simply view a full-size webpage next to a document for note taking. It might just be me, but I’ve found that bigger displays simply let me be more creative.”
The Verge was surprised to discover that Microsoft might have beaten Apple at its own game when it comes to the Surface Studio:
“The fact that Microsoft is even being considered an alternative to Apple’s line of machines for creatives is not something anyone, not even Microsoft, was expecting for the Surface devices. The Surface Studio won’t take over Mac-focused design houses just yet, but that it’s even a possibility is remarkable. The Studio is special because it knows exactly what it is and who it’s for — and it’s largely spot on. If Microsoft keeps developing its strengths here, some of Apple’s most loyal customers might well be tempted to switch camps.”
Though other outlets were underwhelmed with the Studio’s last-gen internals, CNET didn’t seem to be bothered by the Studio’s performance:
“We tested the $4,199 model, which includes a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor (the same generation as in the new MacBook Pro), plus 32GB of RAM and a 2TB hard drive. The new MacBook Pro models have been criticised for offering a maximum of 16GB of RAM, while power users working on things like very large 4K video files prefer the flexibility of 32GB, which can make those files more responsive. The high-end Surface Studio also has an Nvidia 980M GPU, which is a generation behind the latest graphics hardware, but still great for video editing and even gaming. The entry level Studio has an Nvidia 965M GPU, which is still a very good mainstream graphics chip.”
And if you’re sick of reading, here’s Tested’s video review: