Dell's Canvas display lets you get a Surface Studio without buying a whole new computer

Dell has a new monitor at CES 2017. But it's no ordinary monitor. This is the Dell Canvas, which brings the low-profile touch-interactive concept of the Microsoft Surface Studio to any PC.

Let's talk specs. The Dell Canvas is a 27-inch IPS panel, with a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio at a 2560x1440 QHD resolution. That's nowhere near as impressive as the Surface Studio's incredible display, but it's still fully functional, not to mention a lot less expensive. Dell's targeting the spring arrival of the Windows 10 Creators Update for release (expected arrival is March 30) with a hefty $1,799 price tag.

That price does get you more than just a touch display. It has full pen support (including a handy magnetic dock) and a pair of "Totems", essentially Dell's take on a Surface Dial. It works exactly the same way — you drop it onto the display and you get an array of tools depending on the app. The Canvas can also function something like a hub for your Windows 10 device, packing mini-HDMI, USB-C, and full-size USB ports.

While the Dell Canvas doesn't quite measure up to the high mark set by the Surface Studio, it's also potentially more versatile — since it doesn't have a computer attached to it, you can set it up with your existing computer (Dell's demo was running off an XPS 15 paired with a curved ultra-wide monitor). We really like the Surface Studio, but there's no denying it's not the most powerful computer you can get. With a Dell Canvas, you can have both.

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.