It’s been almost 2 years since the release of the Surface Studio. Even then, the desktop was ridiculed for being under-powered and not housing the most up-to-date hardware. Because of this, it was harder to recommend the studio to anyone that wanted to do extremely intensive tasks. Today, Microsoft unveiled the Studio 2 and they are calling it the fastest Surface yet.
Just to get it out of the way, the Studio 2 does not have Nvidia’s newest RTX GPUs. Instead, it features their last generation 1,000 series cards. Don’t underestimate the new Studio though. The jump in performance from the 900 to the 1,000 series cards was significant. Microsoft is claiming a 50% graphics power boost over the previous model.
That’s not the only spec being improved in this model. The Studio 2 now comes with an honest to goodness SSD this time around. A massive improvement from the hybrid drive in the original. This should make navigating windows feel even snappier than it’s predecessor, which is saying something.
An unusual decision on Microsoft’s part was that to stick with Intel’s 7th generation CPUs. It’s worth pointing out that this won’t make a massive difference in performance, especially with that previously mentioned SSD. That being said, many buyers won’t be as satisfied knowing they are putting down a large sum of money on last year’s processor. How the chip performs in real-world scenarios will be determined after the Studio 2’s release.
On the outside, the Studio 2 looks identical to its predecessor. According to Microsoft, that will change when you power on it’s display. The new panel is the same size and resolution as before, but is now 38% brighter and has more contrast. Of course, the display still supports input from Microsoft’s Surface Pen. It allows for tilt support and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
The lowest end model of the Studio 2 will run you $3,499 and come with that 7th gen i7 processor, a 1TB SSD, 16GB of RAM, and a GTX 1060 GPU. Microsoft is keeping quiet about it’s release date, but it’s expected to be coming soon. While expensive, even the base configuration seems to have everything you could ask for in terms of last-gen hardware… Except maybe a USB C port.