Microsoft Surface Studio: A Gigantic Surface Pro 4 On Steroids?

Last month, Microsoft introduced the Surface Studio, a gigantic Mac-like product that you can draw on. It’s the “desktop” version of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. According to MS Power User, the Surface Studio, which sells from $2,999 to $4,199, has just started to ship to some lucky (and perhaps rich) customers.

“If you’re lucky enough to have purchased a Surface Studio shortly after launch, check your emails, Microsoft has apparently begun shipping those pre-orders this week. There are reports that some early purchasers have received an email notifying them that their package has been processed and will be out for delivery the week of November 21 (this week).”

Reviews have started pouring in for the Surface Studio, and they are mostly positive, if a little mixed. Engadget thinks that the Surface Studio proves that desktops can still be cool.

“The Surface Studio is both familiar and new. It empowers us to work the way we always have, while also giving us entirely new modes of productivity. Personally, that’s a philosophy I can get behind — especially when you contrast it with Apple’s habit of pushing consumers down new roads that aren’t necessarily improvements (hello, dongle life).”

The article adds that the Surface Studio’s high price and lack of expandability could make it a difficult sell for a market that is already a niche one. Digital Arts Online has a lot of good things to say about the new Surface Studio, but they aren’t sure if it’s the perfect device for professional artists.

“I’m obviously reserving judgement until we get a review unit into the Digital Arts studio to test. From what I’ve seen, it’s a definite step-up from the iMac – but if you’re serious about drawing you might want to consider paying extra for a desktop (or laptop) and Wacom’s Cintiq 27QHD.”

The article especially praises the 4,500 x 3,000 pixel 28-inch screen but says the color capabilities aren’t outstanding. One of the commenters below the article isn’t sure Microsoft’s new device can succeed in the marketplace.

“The Surface Studio is great looking and a rather show of machine. It does not offer value for money. A real workhorse would be the Cintiq and a separate PC,” claims Even Fotis.

However, there are a lot of people excited about the Microsoft Surface Studio on Twitter.

In addition to releasing what many think is the most interesting desktop system in years, Microsoft has also updated its Surface Book. While Microsoft is scheduled to release the Surface Book 2 next spring, they have given the higher-end versions of the Surface Book some slight, but important updates.

“Microsoft has only made two internal changes: the graphics processor has been bumped up to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5 memory and the battery has been increased in capacity to provide an estimated 16 hours of stamina, four hours more than last year’s model,” points out columnist Dan Seifert of The Verge, adding that Microsoft was forced to adjust the base of the updated Surface Book, which is now heavier than last year’s model.

Microsoft Surface Book
Microsoft has made some small (but important) changes to the latest Surface Book. [Image by Daryl Deino]

While some people are still upset that the original Surface Book arrived with several bugs when released last year, Forbes is impressed with the 2016 Surface Book. Columnist Ewan Spence believes that Microsoft has taken another direction and has the luxury to make a great machine for power users. Spence notes that the updated Book has excellent battery life and graphics horsepower.

Microsoft still has a way to go before they make the Surface Studio and the Surface Book as successful as their flagship device, the Surface Pro 4. Given their resources and popularity at the moment, the Surface Studio and Surface Book can become big hits in 2017.

[Featured Image by Amy Sussman/AP Images]

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