Microsoft fired a broadside at Apple’s hold on the powerful design-focused desktop world that it enjoys with its range of iMacs. Earlier today, the company unveiled the Surface Studio that we first heard about yesterday and now we know that Microsoft has put together something truly impressive that might give Apple a bit of pause.
First, lets take a look under the figurative hood of the Surface Studio
If you simply look at the specs of the Microsoft Surface Studio, you’ll see that this thing is an absolute beast and certainly not a bad start for Microsoft as it releases its first every desktop PC. Microsoft has promised to “Turn Your Desk Into A Studio, ” and by the looks of it, they have done just that.
Firstly, this thing is a sleek piece of art which sits on a double hinge that allows users to essentially flatten the massive screen to facilitate drawing and design. While its beauty is undeniable with a full aluminum body that can comfortably claim the thinnest LCD screen ever made at 12.5 mm in thickness housing a 28-inch (diagonal) display which provides and astonishing 3.5 million pixels. Yes, you read that right this brings more pixels to the picnic than 4K displays and on top of that it is a full on touch screen in every aspect.
Microsoft has truly gone “hands on” with the Surface Studio today, and it’s clearly built the next version of Windows in mind which will be released next year as the Creators Update. When you have converted the upright display to a drafting table, users can interact by touch with video editing software, 3D imaging programs as well as specially designed music software.
The Surface Studio also includes the Surface Pen for drawing and the Surface Dial which when placed on the screen allows you to select colors in one hand while drawing with the other. Additionally, the Surface Dial can act like a jog dial that you might find in a video editing suite and also allows for choosing options in nearly any software program you might be using.
Beyond this fabulous display is an Intel Core processor with a two terabyte hard drive (it’s a hybrid that utilizes both HD and SD storage), 32 GB RAM and a NVIDIA GPU and 2.1 speakers integrated into the aluminum box that rests beneath the massive touchscreen.
The same box also hosts four USB 3.0 ports along with an audio port, SD and Mini Display Ports, headphone jack, Ethernet port and the aforementioned hard drive.
Somewhat surprising in this marvel of engineering is the lack of USB-C ports.
Mouse, keyboard and puck-like Surface Dial
Microsoft has long made solid input devices and the sleek curves to the mouse look to be quite accommodating, and a few tech writers have suggested that it has a very pleasant clicking sound. Whether or not that is the case you’ll have to judge for yourself and if you’re close to a Microsoft Store that opportunity will come as early as tomorrow when most Microsoft Stores will have models in the store for potential customers or those just curious to demo in-store.
The mouse and the keyboard as you would expect are completely wireless and rechargeable rather than running on batteries.
The real standout is the Surface Dial, and there isn’t any device on the market to compare it to that I can think of off hand. It looks like a silver hockey puck which is spun to control whatever app you’re working with. When the screen is upright and resembling an iMac, it is best used on the same table or desk where your mouse lies. But, when you lower tilt the screen to drafting table (20 degrees is the maximum tilt in order not to crush the keyboard) the Dial can be placed on the screen and Microsoft has done something to create a friction which seems to keep it in place with ease.
What the Surface Dial will ultimately accomplish will be up to developers and how they incorporate it into their apps and software.
Pre-ordering of the Surface Studio began the moment the Surface Studio was unveiled with the starting price of $2,999 with the high-end models coming in over $4000. Microsoft did warn potential customers today that supplies will be limited through the first quarter of 2017, you have been warned if you wish to see one on your desk this year.