Surface Laptop Studio review roundup: What experts are saying about Microsoft's Surface Book successor

Surface Laptop Studio Hero
Surface Laptop Studio Hero (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio introduces a new form factor, the non-detachable 2-in-1. Like many Surface devices, it's earned positive marks for its design and the engineering required to make it, but several reviews bring up its lack of power compared to the best Windows laptops. Here's how industry experts feel about Microsoft's new Surface Laptop Studio.

In his Surface Laptop Studio review, our executive editor Daniel Rubino gave the unique device 4 out of 5 stars. Despite the high price of the Surface Laptop Studio, Rubino came away impressed by its flexibility:

Surface Laptop Studio delivers a powerful, flexible, workstation-style PC perfect for artists, engineers, and some light gaming. No other laptop currently does everything it can do at this level. But, like all Surfaces, you pay for that experience.

Surface Laptop Studio Stage Mode

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The folks over at Engadget were pleased with the design of the Surface Laptop Studio, but wish it was more powerful:

Ignoring how it competes on a hardware level, the Laptop Studio is a solid performer for everyday computing tasks. It's also fast enough to reach between 90 and 100fps in Overwatch at the Studio's native resolution and ultra graphics settings ... For most people, it'll be very capable for media work with some light gaming on the side. Still, I can't help but sigh at some of the benchmarks: how is it only slightly faster than the Surface Pro 8 — a tablet — in Geekbench 5?

Our sister site TechRadar also brought up the lack of power in its Surface Laptop Studio review. The laptop earned a 3.5 out of 5 for its good display, design, trackpad, and webcam, but it lost points for its price and use of an Intel H35 processor:

The Surface Laptop Studio follows in the footsteps of the Surface Book lineup, and brings about one of the most compelling laptops in Microsoft's history. Microsoft could have gone for more powerful hardware, but in the end, it probably won't matter too much, as the unique form factor is probably the biggest selling point here.

In what appears to be a trend across several reviews, Tom's Hardware also lauded the design of the Surface Laptop Studio but criticized its lack of power:

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio has a flexible design for both traditional and touch-based computing, with a great keyboard and trackpad and a bright 120 Hz display. But if raw CPU power is key, look to competitors that offer 8-core CPUs.

Overall, the reviews for the Surface Laptop Studio echo similar sentiments. It isn't as powerful as some of its competitors, but it stands out for its unique design. Microsoft may not view that fact as a bad thing. In his Windows Central writeup, Rubino points out that the Surface Laptop Studio is designed for a specific niche:

That's the takeaway message for performance: Surface Laptop Studio is a powerful Windows laptop for work, but only a mediocre one for gaming. That experience fits with Microsoft's intended use of Surface Laptop Studio.

You can also read reviews of the other latest Surface devices here on Windows Central, such as the Surface Pro 8.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at