Review: Surface Studio is more of a showcase than the ideal drawing laptop | NOW
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio is first and foremost a demonstration of what an ideal laptop for designers should look like. But the outdated chip cannot handle drawing software, so in practice it makes no sense to buy this laptop.
Microsoft isn’t averse to trying something new once in a while. For example, the Surface Book combined a large tablet with a battery and video card dock.
The company’s latest innovation looks like a regular laptop, until you flip the screen and turn the laptop into something of a drawing board. According to Microsoft, it’s ideal for your digital studio and so the name is apt: Surface Laptop Studio.
Not Just Any Surface
Microsoft has a clear design style for its Surface products and you can see that immediately when you take the Surface Laptop Studio out of the box. The casing is made of a gray magnesium alloy, which Microsoft has been using since the Surface Pro 3. weight.
Still, the Laptop Studio isn’t “just” a Surface laptop with a flip-out screen. The accommodation has been well thought out and it shows on closer inspection. The laptop has a 7 millimeter high base which is perforated on the sides: there it can dissipate its heat.
What the Laptop Studio is, of course, is the screen that you can position in three ways. For starters, it can be used as a regular laptop screen. To reposition the screen, grasp the screen and apply pressure to the upper right corners with your thumbs. This way you can put it upright, between the keyboard and the touchpad.
If you fold the screen with which you lay it flat, you can use it to draw. This is possible with the help of the Surface Slim Pen 2, which you have to buy separately for 120 euros. When you’re done drawing, you can store the stylus in the bottom of the case, where it stays magnetically in place and is also charged contactlessly.
A showcase for Windows
Microsoft is a crazy manufacturer when it comes to laptops. Surface products are not only there to be sold, but also serve as a sign and showcase for Windows. That’s also perhaps the best way to view the Surface Laptop Studio: as a laptop meant for demonstration or inspiration for other manufacturers.
We wouldn’t buy this device anytime soon, and that’s because of the processor. This processor belongs to the eleventh generation of Intel and is not the most efficient, but the biggest limitation lies in the four cores it contains. Microsoft could have opted for countless other chips.
Why do we insist so much on processor speed? Because Surface Laptop Studio is for creative users like sketchers and designers, and because graphics software gets the fastest processor possible, with the most cores.
A nice laptop indeed
Furthermore, the Laptop Studio is a beautiful device. The screen performs well thanks to the high brightness, high contrast and 120Hz refresh rate. Only the calibration could have been better, considering the audience it was aimed at.
The cooling is well tuned, as it does not make much noise. The magnesium case is sturdy and well-finished, as we’ve come to expect from Microsoft. Flipping the screen will need to be done with some caution, but the build doesn’t feel weak.
The Laptop Studio has everything it needs to be a success – except for a good chip.
This is an abridged version of a previously published article on Tweakers popped up.
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