'Surface Studio 2' wish list: 5 things we hope to see in Microsoft's next AIO PC
We have reason to believe Microsoft's 'Surface Studio 2' codenamed Capitola is currently in the works. Here's our wish list for what we hope to see in Microsoft's next Windows 10 all-in-one PC.
Microsoft's original Surface Studio is a beautiful yet imperfect Windows 10 AIO. It's been over a year since the original Surface Studio was announced, so now it's time to start thinking about what might be next for Microsoft's unique AIO.
Factoring in all the issues the first Surface Studio had, here's my wish list for what I'm hoping Microsoft will address with the Surface Studio 2, which we're hearing could make an appearance at some point this year.
An obvious wish for the Surface Studio 2 is a better selection of technical specifications. The original Surface Studio launched with specs that were ... questionable to say the least. It was rocking a laptop-class processor with a previous generation graphics card. For the price you paid for the baseline Surface Studio, the specs made that price even harder to swallow.
So, with the Surface Studio 2, I'm hoping Microsoft makes a beefy, all-out version for those who want to pay lots of money for the best hardware possible. With the latest processors and the latest graphics cards, for example. Microsoft could do a similar thing it did with the Surface Book 2: create a wide range of models ranging from mid-range performance to super high-end performance, and priced accordingly.
On the subject of price, I'm hoping the baseline Surface Studio 2 is a little more affordable so more people can buy one. The original Surface Studio starts at $3,000, which is simply out of the question for many people. I know the Surface Studio is a niche product designed for a low-volume market, but it can't hurt making that market a little bit more approachable with a lower price.
Microsoft could make a base-line Surface Studio 2 with a smaller screen, and less powerful specifications that could rival the pricing of Apple's iMac series. For example, $1500 starting for an Intel Core i5 with 8GB RAM, 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) and a smaller, perhaps lower-resolution screen.
At the time of the original Surface Studio launch, the exclusion of a USB-C port was somewhat forgivable. But in 2018, a product launching without it will likely cause an uproar. I'm hoping with the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft bundles a couple of USB-C ports, sporting Thunderbolt 3 for that extra power.
This will not only allow for faster transfer speeds but the addition of using external GPUs. While I hope the offerings for internal graphics cards will be great, it can't hurt to allow users to hook up their own external GPUs.
SSD instead of HDD
The biggest gripe many had with the original Surface Studio was that it used a hybrid hard-disk drive (HDD). It had a small amount of SSD storage for the OS, but everything else was saved to a standard 5400rpm hard drive. That drive was incredibly slow, and it made the Surface Studio as feel slower than it should have.
With the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft should switch out its HDD offerings with SSD ones. While that may be slightly more expensive, SSDs aren't super expensive in 2018, especially on the low-capacity side. A model with a 256GB SSD should still be relatively doable without causing the product to skyrocket in price.
What are you hoping for?
That's our list of things we're hoping to see in the next Surface Studio, but we want to know what you want the most. Let us know in the comments.
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.