Microsoft has a new flagship laptop on the block, and it's called Surface Laptop Studio. It features a brand-new 2-in-1 design that Microsoft hasn't used on the Surface line before, with a 14-inch display that can now be pulled forward or laid flat over the keyboard deck for drawing or inking.
Surface Laptop Studio is a replacement for the Surface Book, according to Microsoft. It has powerful dedicated graphics in the form of the NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti, more powerful 11th Gen Intel processors, and can be had with up to 32GB RAM and 2TB storage. Here's everything you need to know.
Surface Laptop Studio: Price and release date
The Surface Laptop Studio is launching first in the United States and Canada and is expected to ship on Oct. 5. Pre-orders are open now, with pricing beginning at an eye-watering $1,600. Upgrading to higher-specification models can push the price beyond $3,000.
|Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 128GB storage, Iris Xe||$1,599.99|
|Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, Iris Xe||$1,799.99|
|Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti||$2,099.99|
|Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB storage, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti||$2,699.99|
|Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 2TB storage, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti||$3,099.99|
Surface Laptop Studio pricing starts identically to Surface Book 3, fulfilling a similar space as a mobile powerhouse for professionals. While the new design axes the previously detachable display, it's a promising new successor to the Surface Book lineup, with a comparatively expected RRP.
We also expect Microsoft to bring Surface Laptop Studio to 47 additional markets in 2022, we just don't exactly where, and when.
The 2-in-1 gets weirder
Microsoft's new Surface Laptop Studio delivers an interesting take on the 2-in-1 form factor. Instead of being a tablet with a detachable keyboard, the display is no longer detachable and can instead be pulled forward and laid flat over the keyboard. It also has a new Precision Haptic touchpad, a 120Hz 14-inch display, and powerful Intel and NVIDIA chips.
Surface Laptop Studio: Specs
|Category||Surface Laptop Studio|
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
Windows 11 Pro
Windows 10 Pro
|Processor||11th Gen Intel|
|Graphics||Iris Xe (i5)|
NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti Laptop (i7)
NVIDIA RTX A2000 Laptop (i7, commercial)
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB SSD|
3:2 aspect ratio
Up to 120Hz
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt 4|
|Audio||Four Omnisonic speakers|
Two far-field mics
|Pen||Surface Slim Pen 2|
Firmware TMP (consumer)
Hardware TPM 2.0 (commercial)
|Battery||Up to 19 hours (i5)|
Up to 18 hours (i7)
|Dimensions||12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches|
(322.6mm x 228.6mm x 17.8mm)
|Weight||i5: 3.83 pounds (1.7kg)|
i7: 4.0 pounds (1.8kg)
The Surface Laptop Studio features an 11th-Gen Intel Core i5-11300H or i7-11380H, which are a little more powerful than the Intel 11th-Gen chips found in the Surface Laptop 4 and Surface Pro 8. The device can be configured with either 16GB or 32GB of RAM, up to 1TB storage, and can even wirelessly charge the new Surface Slim Pen 2, which is sold separately.
The new 14.4-inch display also has a high refresh rate of 120Hz, which will make using Windows 11 feel super smooth with all its new animations. Curiously, the new 14.4-inch display isn't as high of a resolution as that found on the Surface Book line. The device has two USB-C ports, both of which are Thunderbolt 4 enabled, a headphone jack, and the Surface Connect port for those who prefer Microsoft's magnetic charging port.
Surface Laptop Studio features: New Studio display, high performance
The Surface Laptop Studio features a brand-new design that enables the display to be pulled forward and laid flat over the keyboard when wanting to write or draw, Microsoft calls this "Studio mode," and is great for creators or those who want to use the touchscreen flat. There's also a "tent mode" that props the display up between the trackpad and keyboard, great for watching movies.
The design makes for a more elegant solution over the Surface Book series, which features a detachable display, breaking away from the keyboard into a standalone tablet. With the Studio Laptop occupying a similar space to the Surface Book 3 refreshed in early 2020, that detachable display is the main reason to still opt for the older device.
The Surface Laptop Studio is all about performance, designed with creatives and power users in mind, as reflected by the hardware under the hood. The range is expected to significantly outperform newly updated devices like the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Go 3, ideal for intensive software like Photoshop or 4K video editing.
Various long-requested hardware upgrades also help fortify the Surface Laptop Studio as its most powerful device to date, aiding productivity while on the move. New Thunderbolt 4 support sees a significant leap in connectivity, allowing for faster transfer rates and support for more external devices like multiple 4K displays. The onboard 120Hz refresh rate also improves on-device fluidity, providing smoother interactivity for productivity and gaming.
Other new features include support for the Surface Slim Pen, with a hidden charging cradle underneath the front of the laptop. Magnets will hold the pen in place while charging, allowing you to store the pen and carry it with the device.
Also new to the Surface Laptop Studio is a new "Precision Haptic" touchpad, which means the touchpad itself is static and no longer moves when clicked. Instead, special haptic engines underneath the touchpad vibrate to make it feel as if you're clicking down, similar to Apple's MacBook touchpads.
Microsoft also claims buyers can expect improvements in battery life, with up to 19 hours available, slightly surpassing the 17.5 hours seen with the latest Surface Book 3. The overall device dimensions and weight, while larger than many existing Surface products, also undercut the Surface Book 3 lineup.
The Surface Laptop Studio presents a new form factor in Microsoft's premium PC lineup, suited to high-end productivity. While we'll need to wait until our full review for final impressions, it's a promising option for creatives and power users with a need for speed.
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