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The Surface Laptop Studio seems to solve all my Surface Book complaints

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

Surface Laptop Studio

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

I used to be a giant Surface fan, but in the past few years, I dropped off. I wrote an article a while ago detailing why I stopped buying Surface, which can be summarized as general disappointment in quality and usability. It often felt as if Surface devices were developed in a vacuum, and ignored how they were actually being used in the real world. I think the Surface Laptop Studio is the first sign that the team is addressing some of that.

Microsoft's recent Surface event was the best it's had in years, showcasing an impressive slate of, well, slates, from the Surface Duo 2 to the forward-facing Surface Pro 8. At least for me, though, it was the Surface Laptop Studio that stole the show. And while it has a hilariously clunky name (seriously Microsoft, hire a name guy, or something) — the form factor is anything but clunky.

Ditching detachables

Surface Book 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Surface Book 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Inking on the Surface Book.

The Surface Laptop Studio is Microsoft's most innovative Surface in years, achieving something I'd complained about in my previous Surface Book coverage.

I am someone who considers themself to be the prime target audience for a Surface Book. I dabble in digital art. I work in a creative industry with frequent travel requirements. And I need something powerful for video editing. The laptop that brought me closer to my perfect all-in-one device. A lightweight, dGPU laptop with inking capabilities, complete with a collapsible canvas experience. The problem was the execution.

I'm pretty sure the Surface Book was developed in, and tested, only in labs that have tons of air conditioning. We have virtually no air conditioning in Europe, and this proved to be the Surface Book's Achilles' heel for me.

The laptop's detachable design meant that Microsoft put the CPU up in the display, so it could function as a tablet when detached. Under the lightest of loads in the summer months, this thing would heat up to the point where I'm pretty sure I could've fried an egg on it. Fried food is good, but not exactly a feature I want in my laptop.

Surface Laptop Studio

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

The Surface Laptop Studio solves this basic design flaw with its innovative collapsible display system. Other manufacturers have looked to 360-degree hinges to create their "canvas" modes for inking, but it still requires you to lift the laptop up off the desk and awkwardly flip everything around. The Surface Laptop Studio's simple system lets you just draw the display towards you. Easy, ergonomic, and elegant. Emotional as Surface leader Panos Panay put it, during the Surface event.

The Surface Laptop Studio also has a new Surface Slim Pen 2 to compliment it, complete with haptics that imitate paper, complete with a boosted display refresh rate. Inking and drawing on glass always felt somehow wrong to me, so I'm hoping that these changes solve my other Surface Book irritants as well. I suspect most people, however, will be most excited about the spec boost.

Serious spec bump

It felt a bit like the Surface Book line was constrained by its design too. Baking so much of the computer in the display led to the heat problems, but the dGPU in the base also came with a litany of problems associated with the detach mechanism. I appreciate wholeheartedly the engineering effort and precision needed to make a device like that work at all, but as an end-user, I needed something that works all of the time without fail. Particularly at the Surface line's notoriously high price range.

To call the Surface Book 3's GTX 1660 Ti a disappointment would be an understatement, considering it was already less powerful than the years-old Razer Blade I'd switched to after repeated disappointments from the Surface Book line. The Surface Laptop Studio gets more serious, baking an RTX 3050 Ti into the base instead, freed up from the constraints of the Book's form factor.

And finally. FINALLY, we're getting Thunderbolt ports, after years of complaining. As someone who effectively runs an entire studio from his laptop, with professional mics for podcasting, capture cards for getting game footage for videos, and so on, having the ability to expand my I/O beyond the bottlenecks of USB is a great boost.

Will it deliver?

Surface Laptop Studio Draw

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

Yet still, despite the exciting improvements, I find myself apprehensive. I've used a lot of Surface devices since the early days, and I'm still concerned about quality on the end products both in terms of hardware and software. The throttling on the Surface Pro and Surface Book line in the summer months made them near unusable for anything but the lightest workloads in my AC-less office space, and I don't want to return to that world. Razer laptops have only ever been wholly reliable workhorses for me, although I've sacrificed my digital art hobby to get them.

I still want a device that lets me do everything on the go: work, creation, and play, while taking up minimal space in my tiny European offices. I'm willing to pay a premium to get it, too. Surface hasn't lived up to the promise thus far, for me, but I'm hoping that the Surface Laptop Studio will change the narrative. Even if it has a silly name (seriously, just call it the Surface Book 4).

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

66 Comments
  • I'm curious to see one in person. Looking at the base the design seems like it could be a little awkward and unwieldy to carry around.
  • Yeah, that's how I feel. That plus long-term use of having your hand lifted up in the air an inch or more since the device is so thick. However, I'm totally cool with my preconceived notions being wrong by seeing it in person!
  • I think that is an optical illusion. Someone posted, a little while back, that showed a closed Surface Book 3 and a Surface Laptop Studio on top of each other, and actually the Laptop Studio seemed thinner. It was mainly because it didn't have the same curve to the hinge. So it seems thick but the keyboard is probably only 1/4 of an inch higher not a full inch.
  • Wow! I'd definitely love to see it in person and find out then.
  • This is my chief question too: that tiered base LOOKS very thick in the photos. Hopefully, that's just an optical illusion and it's actually still quite thin. The weight is heavy at 4lbs, but not terribly heavy. It is lighter than my current 15" HP Spectre x360 by half a pound (more than 10%). Perhaps, it's like the "huge" camera bump on the Duo 2, which is actually slimmer than either side of the Duo 2. This looks monstrous in the photos, but it doesn't actually change it that much when folded around open into single-screen mode.
  • I'll make sure to do comparison shots for the review. But as others notes, it's more compact than you think.
  • Here's the thickness comparison image (from Scott Hanselman on twitter): https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E_6AmBkVQAkKn-L.jpg
  • That is where I saw it! Thanks! I couldn't remember and it was driving me nuts.
  • My knee jerk reaction to the tiered base is the whole base sits very close to the table with all the vents on that bottom tier. Due to the notch out of the upper tier a spilled cup of water across the table could race across and flow right into those vents, wiping out a very expensive computer. Of course there are 1,000 ways water "could" destroy a computer so maybe this is a moot point. It just seems there is no ingress below the device so it creates a dam in this particular scenario. I've been in enough meetings where someone's drink gets spilled and laptops get wet on the bottom, but not to their demise. This design seems fragile in that regard.
  • Based on the photo linked to in the comment above yours, the vents are 2-3 mm above the bottom edge of the device and there are, presumably, rubber feet on the base that would provide a small gap underneath on a flat surface. This design may be more precarious if you were to spill liquid very close but probably not an issue otherwise.
  • I hate that I don't have a place to see it action and judge it in person. Who knows if Bestbuy will ever stock them in person, if they do then that would be helpful. But honestly my opinion is the opposite but for the same reasons of what you said here, "It often felt as if Surface devices were developed in a vacuum, and ignored how they were actually being used in the real world." For me the Surface Book was the perfect device, it wasn't too thick to carry, it could be used as a tablet, it looked elegant, and it was completely "lapable". When looking at the surface studio I see a device where it looks entirely too thick. When sitting at a desk, it will be an inch off of the desk, which for anyone with older laptops knows is a recipe for wrists hurting and hands hurting. It doesn't look like it will be fun to lug around with how thick it is. Don't get me wrong, I think there is a ton of value in the new device, and I love how powerful it is. Though the quad-core CPU is truly a dumb move considering its focus on creatives (I work for one of the popular creative apps, and 6 or 8 core is much better). :) I don't think your opinion is wrong, I just think these two devices could have lived side by side and still reached different markets well. Now, if the Surface Laptop comes out with a pro model that is just slightly thicker, and has a dGPU. I'd probably be satisfied, despite liking to ink on occasion (the surface laptop is a terrible inking experience).
  • it also got heavier and smaller. i like the detachable design. they shouldve just killed the surface laptop for this and kept the Book.
  • No. The Surface Laptop is a think and light device, needed by many. Neither of those mentioned could adequately replace it.
  • It's not just you, my house is fully air conditioned plus I have a desk fan pointed at my book 3 13.5 and it still gets super hot. It routinely overheats and will thermally shutdown during windows updates. I'm afraid the windows 11 update may cause it to catch fire lol.
  • Why call it Surface Book? Surface Book looked like a book. This looks like laptop and Surface Studio combined in one device.
  • That's what it is... it's called the Surface Laptop Studio. Not Book.
  • I think Senja is contested Jez's assertion that Microsoft should call it Surface Book.🙂
  • I switched to the Razer Blade Stealth with a Core X from a Surface Pro 4 with docking Station and have never looked back... Was not encouraged to buy a new Surface device after my brother's suffered flickering display issues and mine discharged its battery while switched off... The Razer has not put a foot wrong...
  • You're right razor makes great devices. But until they come out with a completely non "RGB" gaming-looking laptop it's still a gaming company to me. Not my professional/industrial aesthetic. Don't get me wrong, they have the least gaming-looking devices of all gaming companies. But it's still obvious in the color of logo, or other odd implementations.
  • Actually lots of people buy Razer for the 'more professional' look I think, plus you can turn off the RGB lights anytime. They now have the "Matte-Black" look with a Gray logo instead of the usual Green, and also a "Mercury-White" look with a painted White and Silver finish.
  • Check out the Razer Book... It's aimed at the business market...
  • Razer has the Razer Book which is productivity, not gaming: https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Frazer.sjv.io%2Fc%2F2...
  • I just orderered the 1tb 32gb version the other day but am kind of on the edge about it and waiting to see what it delivers. I've read on the verge that it would support eGPU's but haven't seen anyone verify it. At work my 32GB Surface Studio 2 can come to a screaching halt when working with 4k video or editing multiple highres images. Wondering if you know about the eGPU? I would love to hook up an external Nvidia 3090 to it for rendering in Blender 3d or Video Editing with premiere pro. Could you tell me perfromance wise what your experience has been compared to the surface book 3 which shares similar specs with the studio 2? Have you noticed any slowdown yet in premiere or photoshop? I really wish they upgraded the ram to 64GB.
  • I'd think an external 3090 would be incredible. At that point though your bottleneck is the quad-core CPU. Premier Pro and any video-based applications love multi-core processors like 6 and especially 8 core. I'm sure it will still be great though, especially compared to a Surface Studio 2 or Surface Book 3. :)
  • I'll connect Laptop Studio and Pro 8 to eGPUs for the reviews, but yes, they both should work. LapStud is a bit more complex as you are now juggling three GPUs (Iris, 3050Ti, and 30xx/eGPU). It can be done though, as I have done it with other laptops. But there are sometimes initial glitches as the OS gets confused about which GPU to use.
  • I'm on the fence about this device. Do I buy one AND an eGPU? Total cost near $6000
    Or do I buy an XPS 17 with 64 GGB RAM, 4TB Storage and a RTX 3060? Total Cost $4700
    One if one is making an argument for portability, the XPS wins because you get the same performance when away from your desk. I have always been struck that MS does not seem to be able to COMBINE the PROCESSING AND GRAPHICS power with the design functionality of its top end computers. They ALWAYS leave you wanting more.
  • Well, tbf, the engineering behind XPS 17 is so much simpler than Laptop Studio, that's why. XPS 17 is a beast of a computer. I love it (the screen is bonkers good), and it's one of the best 17-inch clamshells you can buy (in fact, the only with that much power besides Razer Blade Pro 17). MS tries to balance unique, flexible design with battery, quiet fans, while hitting a specific price point. I can already say the haptic trackpad with LapStud is better than Dell's massive dinner plater, which is susceptible to some wobble. But yeah, you have to decide which is more valuable, portability/tablet/flexability or "having it all" in one massive device.
  • This was so close to being an amazing device that I would consider buying, but the CPU is bad and the GPU was just this close to being great (needed to be a 3060), a GPU with 4gb of RAM is simply not enough for next gen gaming, hell 3gb isn't enough for a couple of games right now.
  • While you may be right about gaming I still would not classify this as a "gaming laptop". It's a laptop that can game as a secondary function. That said, I used to play Gears of War and Desitny 2 on Surface Book 3, so I can only imagine this is better. As a casual gamer, I was fine with it.
  • I felt like the laptop studio design isn't as elegant tbh. I love my surface book and I wish they keep the book lineup while continuing with the laptop studio.
  • I do like the Studio design and may get one. 🙂But, the Book line, as a distinct (no longer the power house flagship device, but still part of the family, would be nice.
  • Surface Laptop Studio looks awesome!!! And it doesn't appear to be too thick. I thought it might but, .... Check out Scott Hanselman's comparison pics of the 15" Surface Book 3 and the Surface Laptop Studio on Twitter. Clears things up in that regard. It's pretty thin. Now I must say that I am in the camp that finds that Book 3 form factor, power and versatility a great fit for my work flow and power needs. For context I have the 15", 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD and 1660 Ti MAx Q config and with it I do: Writing: (and that 15" screen as laptop is just great for that with an amazing feeling keyboard!). Video Services/Bible Classes/Prayers/Meetings/Interviews: Great 1080p camera for those Zoo m and Skype meetings in a post COVID age where many of our church services, bible classes, meetings for church and interviews I convey for my business are virtual. Art: A great 15" canvas! Love all of the space when drawing with this baby detached laying back on the couch. Man this thing is LIGHT when detached - just over a pound And though the power lasts only about two hours or more when detached, plugged up while sketching on the couch or in bed in not intrusive at all! :-) Art with power: Keeping the display connected to the base, for a bit more POWER (GPU and Battery) is great on a table/desk in Studio Mode and comfortable to hold (a bit heavier and not as comfortable as without the base.). Multiple Displays: Connected to my triple display setup is awesome. Feels like the batcave when researching, studying, working on a project, etc. Gaming: Light gaming is also a go with the Surface Book. I'm more of a console gamer, but gaming on the 15" Surface Book is a nice touch. Comics/Reading/Browsing: I love reading on the detached tablet. Just reading comics, websites (and when we get a good kindle app with Windows 11's Amazon apps will enhance this) or browsing the web is really cool on this big display. I may be in the minority of Surface Book users that detach the display, but I find it useful. Video Editing: It has the power to let me do video editing I need! :-) Now, with the Surface Book 3, I haven't had the issues Jez had which I think he had with the Book 2. I'm in the US, and even when not in an air conditioned room, my Book 3 does not overheat, the detach mechanism is fine, and its just an overall pleasent experience. Now, Scott Hanselman has conceded, in so many words, on Twitter that the weight of the Surface Laptop Studio is one of the issues users will face when using it while holding it. Since there is no detach option, that 4lbs is something that users will always have to contend with, and that is a consideration since artists often sketch or draw in different positions. This is where the Book 3's detach option affords a little more versatility to accommodate how some artists may use their canvases or devices. The Surface Laptop, however, is far more elegant in its transition to the various modes that both devices, Laptop, Stage (less stable for drawing for Book 3 with nothing bracing pressure) and Studio are capable of being positioned in. Studio Laptop "flows" into its various modes, where Surface Book's detach and flip around method is kind of disruptive to a users work and thought flow. But once reconfigured to the desired mode (which takes only a few seconds but is admittedly cognitively disruptive to ones flow) the user is securely right back into their flow. Laptop Studio certainly has the advantage, it seems here, however. Also, with the tradeoff of detachability, and the "persistent weight" no matter how used (less friendly for holding long-term, contrasted to a 1lb plus display of Surface Book) Microsoft's devotion to a powerful WORKSTATION is clear. This device is meant more for a tabletop/desk or a lap versus being held in the hands like some digital sketchers or artists may hold tablet at times, and is meant to deliver power; which with its modern CPUs and better GPU it seems it is well positioned to deliver. I also wonder if when held in hand for a period of time how the unique "stepped" base might press into an arm etc. Time and getting this amazing and highly-desired device will tell!!! :-) I love the Book 3. It does what I need it to do and more. But the form factor, higher refresh rate, and the possibly pen-jitter-resolving Surface Laptop Studio, can fit into my workflow too! That price though!!! :-) Hey wouldn't it be awesome if Microsoft came up with a way to merge the form factor of the Surface Laptop Studio and provide a detachable display to boot. Imagine THAT presentation (flashback to the 2015 intro of Surface Book) if Panos and his team achieved that. Mweh (Chef's kiss)! :-)
  • It’ll work great with ProPresenter 7 ;).
  • Ahhhhh, yes I hadn't thought of that!!!
  • Jason...we're expecting a wardatorial after the laptop studio release
  • Just what I was thinking. :-)
  • Hahaha...I'd love that.👍🙂
  • Jason, I love your extended pieces, even here in the comments!
  • Thanks man! Appreciate that!😎👍🙂
  • They peaked at the Surface Pro 3, and then nothing piqued my interested until now (I was a reluctant SP7 buyer and will sell that). I had zero interest in the SB as the form factor had no appeal. The GO and X where good to see and I am still considering a GO as a super portable . Definitely interested in the Laptop Studio though. The SP7 is as disappointing as I thought it would be
  • Why did they downgraded in display resolution? From 3000*2000 267ppi to 2400*1600 201ppi.
  • To hit a specific price point and get battery life to where they wanted it. Those are the only two reasons ever why companies go with specific display types.
  • I mentioned thickness above as a possible point of concern (I saw your earlier post that it's actually not that thick compared to other systems), but display resolution is the other big one: 2400x1600 isn't terrible, but it's not impressive either. It's... mediocre. I would expect more from a Surface, especially a high-end surface. If I were to buy this, and I'm very interested, it would replace my 4k HP Spectre x360 15". At this screen resolution, it would be noticeably grainier. The colors may be better, but I'd happily sacrifice a small amount of color accuracy for sharper text. The PPI matters for artists, but for text, it's more a function of the total vertical pixel count and the scale factor you run at. So at 100% scale factor, normal size text is poorly rendered. It just looks bad, lacking enough pixels to properly form curves and needing antialiasing to even approach smooth edges. This affects everything from email to Excel sheets to web browsing. At 125%, characters at least get enough pixels to typically have their full form displayed, but there's no room for error and smaller characters (8pt and below) are not represented correctly. Ideally, for a laptop you could run at 150% or higher scale factor, but with only 1600 pixels vertically, setting that high of a scale factor requires a lot of scrolling just to fit a page of text on the screen. Frustrating, Microsoft. This is the one compromise I wish you had not made.
  • I think original audience of surface book was way smaller than surface pro. Those who valued detachablity choosed surface pro more than surface book. Microsoft can still keep concept of surface book alive inform of keyboard dock acccesory for future surface pro lineup. now that thunderbolt support is there Microsoft should design solid keyboard base for surface pro with optional dedicated gpu for people who want more gpu power & lapability.
  • Not very clear how it looks in tablet mode. I would worry about putting it in tablet mode as it would not sit flush all along with this design.
  • I'd say Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme is better all-around for the use-case this is aimed at. The Lenovo comes with a Wacom Stylus and you the hinge can be set to any angle (including flat 180), so you can comfortably use it as a W11 Tablet on a desk, and also as a normal workstation on your lap. SLS is too underpowered, they completely missed the mark on the CPU and GPU.
    Should have been either of these 2 combo: 1. Intel Core i7-11850H + Nvidia 6GB RTX 3060 Max-Q (An equal Quadro version)
    2. AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS + AMD 8GB RX 6600M (results in being $500 cheaper than the above)
  • " so you can comfortably use it as a W11 Tablet on a desk"
    As someone with the X1 Extreme, I would not say that is true. It's a kludge of a solution to use it that way, and far from ideal or inviting. Also, they need to revise that laptop with 11th Gen Intel and not the current 10th Gen chip, which is not a recommended buy heading into 2022. The obvious alternative to this, which I'm surprised you didn't mention, is Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel, not Lenovo Extreme.
    "SLS is too underpowered"
    For who, you? Maybe. For others? You can't claim that. Lots of people will benefit from this hardware stack, and judging it before reviews/benchmarks is very naive.
    "AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS + AMD 8GB RX 6600M (results in being $500 cheaper than the above)"
    You literally just made that up. Where is the price savings with AMD in Surface Laptop? You need to demonstrate that those savings are passed onto the consumer by Microsoft. Also, when I talked to OEMs, the cost-savings with AMD in laptops is about $50, not $500, for comparable hardware. Because Intel, you know, competes in pricing too. Finally, again, if you go with AMD, you lose Thunderbolt 4, which is one of the features of this laptop where high-speed data transfer and even eGPU support is more valuable for some. Until AMD can figure that out, you won't see many AMD chips in premium non-gaming laptops. Period. Dell XPS, Spectre, ThinkPad X1? All Intel for a reason.
    "Intel Core i7-11850H + Nvidia 6GB RTX 3060 Max-Q (An equal Quadro version)"
    Congrats on jacking the price up by at least $200 and drastically reducing battery life, while also making the fans louder and the device hotter. There's a reason why OEMs don't let those in comments design laptops and PCs. Armchair engineering is not a thing.
  • Well honestly I haven't used it so I wouldn't know, but I do know that X1 Extreme comes with a Wacom pen that's compatible with the AdobeRGB display so I imagine Lenovo targets it directly to 3D/CAD/CFT users and industry professionals for a good reason. I think having the keyboard 'exposed' for all the shortcuts and having high CPU/GPU power is quite important for that line of work, like i.e. updating and running real-time simulations on-the-go. Also, 3060 Max-Q is about a $100 price jump from 3050Ti for OEMs for +50% performance and a lot more CUDA cores, I think most people would appreciate that option. You can find out how the 35W "Core i7"-11370H actually does right here when a reviewer compares it against a 15W Core i5 and 35W Ryzen 7
    https://youtu.be/NWsIeU82Mj0?t=328 As for AMD? Cost savings are there. AMD is cheaper, that is a known fact and why they're currently sold out everywhere in the world. For instance, an ASUS Strix laptop is $1600 with Ryzen 9 + 6800M which is cheaper than similarly compact 150W 3080 laptops out there that commonly costs upwards of $2500. I'll take $1000 savings per unit over some pro-Intel, anti-competitive software benefit Adobe has. I don't think Thunderbolt 4 matters much since companies I know only use it for 10gig Ethernet not eGPU, and even that is not a strict requirement from what I've seen so far, they just use regular USB-C docks which are 10-20Gbps capable and reliable. Thunderbolt mostly exists in the IT industry and even then as an expensive niche still. Let me remind you that this costs $2200. If any $2200 device can't cool a powerful CPU and get good Battery life out of it in 2021, that indicates a chain of bad decisions from management, not bad engineering. You don't have to make laptops to know that. I don't think this design is bad, if anything the popular Acer Ezel lineup is a testament to how good it is. However I AM going to say that it will take 2-3 more generations for MS to get it right. This Armchair Engineer can already see a 1st Generation design-mistake. SLS in tablet mode is going to be create a crooked screen angle in both Landscape and Portrait mode, and it's going to bother the hell out of a bunch of people. Not everyone wants an uneven incline, just wait and see. Sure call me a layman, but I can see the Heads of IT department in Design/ Architecture /Animation /Engineering industries looking at a MS sales rep pitching this to them and going "So why would we replace what we already have with that?"
  • "that is a known fact and why they're currently sold out everywhere in the world."
    Dude, there's a chip shortage going on combined with high demand for PCs. Even Intel laptops are hard to find 🤦‍♂️
    "Cost savings are there. AMD is cheaper,"
    They can be cheaper. Explain why if they're such a value every OEM hasn't dumped Intel yet? You're confusing the desktop market where you can just buy a chip on Amazon with the laptop ones where bulk pricing is negotiated between the OEM and chipmaker. You're not privy to those discussions and deals, which include advertising and R&D. But I already told you what one OEM did tell me about AMD vs Intel for laptops that it's about $50 difference.
    "I don't think Thunderbolt 4 matters ..."
    It's literally the most requested feature for Surface hardware. And EVERY premium non-gaming laptop has it in 2021.
    "If any $2200 device can't cool a powerful CPU and get good Battery life out of it in 2021 ..."
    Define "good battery life." The XPS 17 when pushed gets around 5 hours with a 60Hz display despite its huge battery. Gaming laptops are the same. Laptop Studio has a 120Hz display, which when combined with an H-series processor is gonna be thirsty.
    "the popular Acer Ezel lineup"
    We don't have data on how well Ezel sells. Let me remind you, Acer is distant 5th in PC shipments.
    "This Armchair Engineer can already see a 1st Generation design-mistake."
    Let me step in and suggest you're confusing an engineering discussion with your own personal preference of what you want in a laptop. Saying "I wish Laptop Studio could do this ..." or "I wish it has this hardware ... as a result it's not for me." is very different from saying Microsoft made a mistake in the hardware.
  • "every OEM hasn't dumped Intel yet?" Because as we all know most have both good front and back end deals with Intel, this is nothing new. It's not the only factor, but certainly a major one. "AMD vs Intel for laptops that it's about $50 difference" Not for the Mobile GPUs, that's hundreds less, granted there are fewer laptops with the newer RX 6000 chips and Nvidia does sponsor and market a lot more, but still the cost difference is hard to ignore. More demand for AMD, the more pressure for Intel and Nvidia to lower their prices, I see it as a win-win. "It's literally the most requested feature for Surface hardware" For an online tech community maybe, I think businesses and people who don't care for eGPUs would prefer the thermal, performance, efficiency gains, and competitive welfare benefits of a big OEM accepting a brand like AMD as a supplier. I agree with Dave2D's views on this. "Define "good battery life." Laptop Studio also has a 120Hz display" As majority of '14-15" premium performance laptops' do when at 60Hz and with Non-4K displays paired with 90-100Wh batteries, that would be 8-9 Hours, a bit more with MUX/Advanced Optimus. Laptops with high-refresh rates are usually automatically set to 60Hz on battery power through OEM software, there's also a manual toggle. Dell XPS with its 17 inch 4K display is hardly a comparison benchmark for battery life next to a 14 inch, 4-Core laptop. As for how much battery life this will get, I'll wait for the reviews. "the popular Acer Ezel lineup" I meant within this small target audience of industry who requires 2-in-1, high-performance laptops. Don't have the data either but people who got them through work generally seem to like it very much. "is very different from saying Microsoft made a mistake" The mistake is, that MS Marketing heads haven't given much though into this use-case. Otherwise, it would've been blatantly clear to them that the people interested in this are coming from mainly 3 devices - Wacom, Huion, and iPads (used attached to PCs) - and want the freedom of having their workstation set up in a particular way. 2-in-1 Convertibles give them that freedom, even the Acer ConceptD Ezels have a 'Rubber Clamp' on the bottom of the screen for unlimited free angles and allows for a totally flat surface. Meanwhile the SLS has "2 steep angles + a horizontally inclined tablet mode" that you can't even use for Portrait mode. Not that I'm the target consumer or that I would have a "personal preference" but IF I was, I would not be thrilled about this decision they made here considering the already limited number of choices I get in this niche market.
  • An 11800H and 3060 MaxQ are just 10W more each than 11370H and 3050 ti, not a huge difference in thermals and power consumption and a pretty big jump in performance. It this price I'd rather pay 200$ more to get twice the cores and a better GPU with more VRAM.
  • That being said, I will wait for the Acer Press announcement on Oct 13. The Concept D7 Easel checks ALL the boxes. CPU, GPU, Thunderbolt 4, SD Card, Price!
  • P.S Daniel,
    I was having a conversation with a Lenovo high-level rep in my region, he told me businesses all pay the same price as what regular customers pay with their usual discounts codes during sales season. So I just checked, and Lenovo's Thinkpad T14 laptop Intel Core i5 model literally costs $250 more than an equally configured AMD Ryzen 5 model. If you're done lying to your readers Daniel, you might wanna quit lying to yourself for once.
  • Very interested. Might be a customer after the full reviews drop. Love many aspects of this and it's about time for me to upgrade my laptop. My biggest concern is actually the screen resolution. I don't see that discussed much and I know many people really don't care about that. But for me, my rule is pretty simple: I want to be able to fit a full page of text in MS Word at 100% zoom in Word easily on the screen, without hiding the ribbon or title bar, and running Windows at a bare minimum of an least 125% scale factor, but much preferably at 150% or above (run my HP Spectre x360 15" at 175%). That may seem like a fairly arbitrary rule, but that rule ensures sufficient screen resolution that text renders well without making it so huge that nothing fits in the view. The classic 3000x2000 display of the Book would have looked great and would have probably closed the deal for me on buying this. The sacrificed resolution leaves me concerned. I think it will just meet my minimum requirements of a full page at 125% scale, which is acceptable, but disappointing it won't be sharper in a system at this price point. It will be noticeably grainier with less sharp text than my aging HP. That's a tough change to make in an "upgrade."
  • Can't wait for the inevitable 16 in version with 11600H (or, 🤞, 11800H) + RTX3060/Quadro RTX 3000.
  • Acer Ezel 7 Pro is exactly that.
  • Surface Book 4??? No thank you sir. Surface Studio L.
  • Couldn't disagree more... At the end of the day, why buy a Surface if it's not going to be used for that? I'm not buying an iOad just to complain that it isn't a PC..
  • It's my understanding the mid flex hinge has no stiffness so its only use is for tent mode on top of the base. When I first saw it I thought it would be like the Apple iPad Magic Keyboard. in a few shots they feign something like it but the person always has a hand on the display holding it. Boo.
  • That's exactly what I was hoping too! It'd be so cool to have a more adjustable easel. I guess I'd have to try one to be sure the angle worked for me for drawing.
  • When someone in Europe works for a North American website. European where? Scotland in summer is very different from Croatia. I couldn't imagine someone from Canada say America and it turns out they're in Ecuador, which is the Spanish word for ecuator incidentally. Say where you are man. Europe isn't a country, there's 50 of them.
  • Like calling someone an Asian. Could be Korean, Indian, Iranian, Siberian, Armenian...
  • Surface Laptop Studio looks amazing but: 1. It runs a x86 processor, where's the ARM architecture already.
    2. It's 1.7-1.9Kg. The average laptop is 1.3Kg and the Surface Pro is 0.9-1Kg. So this thing is heavy. Very heavy. Such a shame, using Qualcomm would've fixed both of those. I wanted to replace my Surface Pro X with something more laptop like too.
  • If I was you just waiting for laptop studio 2. 😁
  • I do music production mostly with some digital art/vr. The SB2 15" has been perfect for me -- the power I need in a 4 lb. portable package. I haven't had a laptop for quite a while. I don't like reaching out over the keyboard to use the stylus for extended sessions. It's also nice to do music and art sketching with the tablet, to read with it, lots of other things. I've had Yogas (180 swivel), Surface Pros (detachable) and the SB2. I don't have strong preferences -- they all work great for me. I love that the SB2 tablet is so huge and still light as a feather but it also has short battery life and no gpu. It's a very useful feature to me. My SB2 is still running like a champ. Something like the Surface Laptop Studio would be a very attractive upgrade for me when the time comes. The easel makes a lot of sense, and I like how easily you could swap all three positions from laptop to easel to tablet.
  • As a graphic designer with 20+ years in Photography, Print and Signage, and finally getting back into Drawing, I have a Gen 1 Surface Book. I have since built a gaming PC and have a Predator Triton 300 gaming laptop for work and games. Yet my SB is still being used and I could say I've gotten my money out of it. It's unfortunate that Microsoft isn't supporting it with Windows 11, as the only thing holding it back is the CPU age. Regarding this article and the author's issues with the Book, I can't say I had a similar experience. Did my SB get hot at times? Sure, and I live in Australia. It didn't crap out at any time I used it though, because I knew it's limitations. It certainly doesn't get as hot as my gaming laptop, nor anywhere near as noisy. The most the Gn1 Book got pushed was with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Maya for a short time and even got the Book to run Fallout 4 adequately. (wasn't easy, but it was still possible) Detaching the screen was never an issue and the only time I had problems with the dGPU and connections was after a couple of years when the connectors weren't super clean. This led to the slightest screen jiggle causing games to crash and errors popping up. But cleaning the connectors easily fixed that and hasn't happened again since. I liked the Surface Book. It wasn't just a 2 in 1, but an All in 1. I look at this Laptop Studio and sure, spec wise, it's pretty good. And I understand the new design allows the device to get beefed up where the Book was constrained by design. New ports? Cool. But overall, it doesn't leave me impressed. Three display modes and nothing in between. Screen doesn't detach and doesn't flip around (though flipping over the keyboard is the same I guess) It's just, I dunno. When I saw the first Book, I was impressed. This Studio is interesting but doesn't really wow me. I could detach my screen on the book and hand it to my wife who has a Mac Book and an iPad and she's surprised at how the Book's Tablet portion is actually lighter than her iPad. Considering you still have full desktop capabilities in that screen, that's saying something. I'll obviously be skipping this generation of the Laptop Studio, but who knows? Maybe it'll grow on me.