Surface Studio Review


The Surface Studio is oneof the most impressive all-in-one PCs on themarket, but is it any good? Today, I'll share with you the pros and cons in my full review.

Stay tuned.

(upbeat music) When it comes to Microsoft Surface Studio, there's a lot of thingsto like about this device, but there are some errors Ithink that Microsoft has made.

Now, it is a reallyinteresting concept device, I'm not sure I wouldpersonally drop $4,000 on it.

Then again, when I do use it,I happen to like it a lot.

There are a few questionsthough that we need to answer.

Specifically, who is thisfor and who's it not for? And there I think Microsofthas muddied the waters a little bit and maybe went a little too narrow in their focus.

Let's get right to the hardware.

There are three differentSKUs of the Surface Studio that you can buy from Microsoft and this is where itgets a little bit messy.

I find some of the choicesa little bit baffling.

The first version is anIntel Core i5 processor and the two higher versionsare Intel Core i7s.

Both of these go intothe 3.

6 gigahert range, and while they're good processors, they are a technicallyhigh-end laptop processors, and not necessary desktop-class ones.

There are only 45 wattsand because of that, while powerful, they'renot the most powerful available on the market.

There are also theolder Sky lake versions, and not the Kaby Lakes,which are just about to hit the market here, in early 2017.

There are also three options for RAM, eight gigabytes, 16gigabytes, and 32 gigabytes.

None of that is too surprising, although the eight gigabytemodel is a little bit strange.

When it comes to internalstorage, Microsoft has three choices and it's alla little bit confusing.

These are rapid hybrid drives,which means part of the OS lives on a faster SSDsystem, while the slower part lives on a traditional hard disk drive.

It's a little bit unusualfor such a high-end system, and it does affect the performance.

The three versions includea 64 gigabyte SSD with a one terabyte harddrive, a 128 gig SSD with a one terabyte hard drive,and a 128 gig SSD with a two terabyte hard drive.

Now what makes all of this alittle bit weird is the fact that this is such an expensive system.

We're talking around $4,000for the high-end one.

And when you basically gowith a rapid hybrid drive, you're gonna have a lot ofperformance degradation.

If you're shooting forthe professional class, I'm not sure who would actually want this.

Now, you can actually swapout the drives yourself, but it's not easy.

In fact, we'll do aseparate tutorial on this, but it's a lot of workcompared to say, a laptop.

You're not just gonna slap in this drive.

I'm not really sure whyMicrosoft made this decision, but they did.

So, we'll just have to kinda live with it.

Microsoft give users four USB 3.

0 ports, which is really nice, but there's no USB Type-C port for a Thunderbolt 3.

That's a little bit strangefor such an expensive device, in two years you're definitelygoing to want a Type-C port, especially one with Thunderbolt 3.

There's also a mini displayport, which allows you to daisy chain external monitorsto the Surface Studio.

However, you can't inputdevices into the Studio.

So if you have a SurfaceBook or a high-end PC, you can't just use a SurfaceStudio as a dummy monitor.

Microsoft also included theXbox wireless accessory.

It's built into the Studio.

That's really cool.

That means you can takeyour old Xbox One controller and connect it wirelesslyup to this machine.

However, this is not agaming PC, so while you could play Gears of War 4 on there,it's going to struggle.

You'd be looking at this amazing display and be thinking to yourselfwhy can't it do more? Let's turn our attention tothe 28 inch Pixel Sense display of the Surface Studio.

It's literally the hallmarkfeature of this PC.

Featuring a resolution of4500 by 3000, or 192 DPI, the Surface Studio looks fantastic.

It is easily the best displayI've ever seen with my eyes.

It has sRGB support, DCI-P3,and Vivid color profiles all built into Windows 10.

It's also individually color calibrated, and we found it to be very accurate.

It's also a 10 point multi-touch display and also features an aspectratio of three by two.

That sounds a little strange.

It's because most monitors are 16 by 9, including a lot of laptops.

Surface though, as a brand, features three by two on all it's devices including the SurfacePro and Surface Book.

That carries over here.

And it works very well.

I'm a huge fan of threeby two aspect ratio.

Things just look bigger andlook more natural to me.

There's also of course the Surface Pen and Zero Gravity Hinge,which all work well here.

One of the biggestquestions about the Studio is who is this device for? Now, clearly I am not an artist.

And that makes this review a little bit difficult for me to do.

I draw terribly and I'mnot a huge a pen user.

However, I do like thatZero Gravity Hinge.

It does allow me tobring down the display.

In fact, every time Iwrite on Windows 10 and talk about inking, I findit weird because I'm at a desktop PC and I can't do any of that.

Sure, the Surface Book isgreat, but I don't work on my Surface Book exclusively.

This is the first PC andall-in-one device that allows me to actually use inkingflawlessly and with ease, and that's a really big achievement.

Unless you're an artist oran engineer or someone who needs this kind of PC, it'sdefinitely hard to justify.

Although, I totally understandthe lust-worthy nature of the Surface Studio.

I guess that's a big holein this review right now.

I'm not a professionalartist so it's hard for me to evaluate the Surface Studio.

We will be getting a professionalartist in to actually take a look at it and we'lldo that in a separate video.

But, if you're just a regularconsumer who's looking at this device assomething for their home, it's definitely a tough sell.

I want one myself, but Ican't necessarily tell you to go get a $4,000 machine.

Now, if you're a gamer,I'd totally understand why you'd want this device, but you definitely should not buy it.

I didn't even talk about the GPU, which there are two weird options here.

You have a 965m, with twogigabytes of video memory, but there's also a higher end 980m, with four gigabytes of video memory.

Those aren't terrible, andit's better than nothing, but compared to the Pascal Series, or the 1060, 1070, and 1080,which are now on the market, it definitely seems antiquated.

I can't stress enough how impressive Nvidia's Pascal Series really is.

We run it on a RazerBlade and it's phenomenal.

Why they couldn't waita few months to put that into this device, I'm really not too sure.

But, it's definitelya big hole in the game of the Surface Studio.

Let's talk about some of the odds and ends of the Surface Studio.

For instance, there'sthe Windows Hello camera which is really, really nice.

It has dual IR lenseson it, which basically helps illuminate you.

Had no issues with it andit's one of the best cameras I've actually used on a desktop PC.

So, that's really nice.

The accessories are also pretty good.

You do have a keyboard andmouse that come with it.

They're not the best out there,but for an all-in-one system they're definitely pretty good.

I really enjoy typingon the Surface keyboard, although I prefer theergonomic version myself.

Of course, these are Bluetooth devices.

You can actually connect upanything you want to the Studio, so bring your own keyboard,bring your own mouse, wired or wireless, it doesn't matter.

But the ones that are includedin the box are pretty decent.

In terms of audio fidelity,the Surface Studio is actually very, very good.

It features Dolby 2.

1audio with a subwoofer in the base itself, and it's really good.

It's more impressive thanwould think it would be, and I think Microsoft dida really great job here considering the constraints that they had to deal with when engineering it.

When it comes to design,Microsoft has done an outstanding job, theydeserve all the praise here.

The engineering of thisdevice is just fantastic, and I bet you agree itlooks really phenomenal.

I also like how you canmove this device with ease.

It's easy just to pickup and slide around, so if you have a desk at an office and you just wanna moveit, no problem whatsoever.

So what's the takeaway? I think Microsoft did a really good job with the Surface Studiowhen it comes to its design and I know you agree with me on that.

But, when it comes to the hardware itself, there are some holes in the game and it really kinda bothers me.

Now, it also depends on whatyou need this device for.

Actually, for my job, I couldactually use this device and be very happy with it.

I had no problems for myday to day activities, but if you're doing say, video processing, or you want to do gamingor high-end stuff, you are gonna hit some walls here.

And it's because Microsoftmade some really odd choices.

I don't know why theywent with these older GPUs instead of waiting a few months, or why they went witha hybrid drive system, instead of just pure SSD, which would've greatly improved things.

Now, I totally understand.

Microsoft had some budgetaryand engineering constraints to deal with when making this device, but I think they went alittle too narrow here.

If you're just going afterartists and basically engineering professionals,why make a device that looks so great thatothers just can't buy? Why put in Xbox wirelesscontroller support when you really can't be a high-end gaming PC? Now, it's hard to make adevice that's for everybody, but Microsoft, I think, could've shot a little bit wider hereand made this device a little bit more accessibleto people who are willing to spend the money on it.

For that, we're just gonna have to wait until version two comes out.

I think they're gonna geta lot of positive feedback from people who want these changes, and I think they'll deliver.

But for now, you may wannahold off on the Surface Studio.

So, that's my review of theMicrosoft Surface Studio.

If you want the full review,head to Windows Central for more high-qualityphotos and benchmarks.

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Thanks for watching, take care everybody.

(energetic electronic music).