The New Microsoft Surface Studio Looks Amazing

I have been using the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for quite some time now. It has been my go-to computer for pretty much all the editing I do. It really is an amazing computer. But if I had to pick one of the downsides, it would be the small screen. Enter the Microsoft Surface Studio.


The Microsoft Surface Studio is basically an all-in-one PC with a built-in touch screen. Where it stands out is with its ability for the screen to tilt down into a type of drafting table. It uses the same pen functionality that can be found on the Surface Pro 4 which is fantastic for drawing, writing, and can even fully replace using a mouse.

In addition to the pen, They have introduced a new tool called the Surface Dial. This dial acts as a type of shortcut device that can be used to quickly transition through a menu of tools. It can also be used to change pen color and brush size while you are drawing. The Surface Dial works as a standalone device on your tabletop, but also has the ability to interact with the screen in order to give pop-out shortcuts and tools that can then be selected from with your pen or mouse. I am actually hoping that the Surface Dial will be compatible with my Surface Pro 4.

The computer is comprised of a 28-inch screen with a 4,500 X 3,000 (192 PPI) resolution and can be purchased with either an i5 or i7 processor and up to 32 GB of RAM. For the full list of specs you can visit the Surface Studio tech specs page. The main downside is the starting price of $3,000. While not terrible when you consider that a Wacom Cintiq will run you around $2,299, it's still a hefty price tag.

What do you all think? Has Microsoft taken the lead in computer innovation with the new Surface Studio? Do you plan to pick one up?

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Previous comments

you are sure about this? that it works properly with any win10 installation? except the on display feature of course.
I can see me using that dial for, stuff :)

Daris Fox's picture

You can already get some of the functionality, look up 3D Connexion Space Mouse. I use the older Space Pilot in Photoshop, been looking to replace it as it's getting long in the tooth.

Paulo Macedo's picture

I've watched the video over and over again, to a point where i want to sell my car and buy this.
Apple fell behind and me, while saving to buy an iMac, just don't know anymore. MacMini never saw a good update, MacBook Pro this year came out as a great joke and iMac if they solder the RAM on the 27"'s a goodbye.

So a couple of thoughts: you are going to need a very deep desk and secondly this really limits you to a single monitor. The puck looks fun especially on the screen itself but I see some very tired arms.

I never want to live without dual monitors again.

It has a miniDisplayPort, I imagine that's an out, not an in, don't see why you can't have two monitors.
I have a 20" widescreen next to my 30" widescreen, sometimes I throw my 21.5" on the other side vertically. All on a 52" wide, 25" deep desk.

I have no doubt you can have multiple monitors but if you do, touch will no longer be as useful because you will keep having to grab your mouse to use the other monitor.

Martin Beebee's picture

Exactly. They also need to release a standalone second display that will work with the first, allowing you to double the working real estate. That would potentially make the workflow in Adobe CC pretty sweet.

Dave McDermott's picture

I was thinking the same thing about the tired arms. I don't think I'd be able to edit like that for a long period of time. It looks uncomfortable.

The beauty of it is you can adjust the angle, and even lean/lay on it because of the palmblock technology. Panos demonstrated that in the keynote for those concerns. :-)

Thomas Dang's picture

I'm sure you can easily set up a second monitor. I've been using the old Wacom DTF tablet screens for years and have had no problems. I've always had problem using their normal tablets though.

I've got the Wacom DTF set up as a third screen used purely for retouching.

Robert Nurse's picture

Too bad you're still left dealing with Windows.

Robert Nurse's picture

Over the years, Windows has had a knack/knock for being a troublesome resource hog. When researching specs for a new machine to run Photoshop, the amounts and quality of memory, hard drive quantity/capacity, etc. needed to work without noticeable lags was crazy. This latest hardware looks fantastic! But, I've had issues out of the box with Windows 10 on brand new notebook. Not sure I'd want the disappointment/aggravation of unboxing this thing and powering up only to spend the next few weeks researching issues, locating drivers, patches, work-arounds, etc.

Windows is far more superior than AppleOS. There's a lot more shortcuts and system integration in Windows that make things so much faster. People tend to think it's bad when they use old dated computers or cheap lower end computers that businesses give their employees. On Surface devices and any of their premium devices, it's beast. But to each their own, that's why they offer their services on both Windows and Mac.

Robert Nurse's picture

Therein lies some of its problems: too much of a good thing.

Greg Buser's picture

I can't stand using a display with any smudges on it, so the last thing that I would want to do photo editing on is a touch screen with a bunch of fingerprints.

John Sammonds's picture

Its a Windows machine nothing but trouble

Microsoft is truly a beast... This is STUNNING.
Ive been using the Surface Pro 4 for the last few months for Photoshop and Lightroom on the go, and it is shocking how well it runs on such a slim form factor. I also put a 256GB microsd card inside, and the photos load so much faster than on the internal hard drive. I keep getting asked about it every time I'm in a café or on the bus. Microsoft did an awesome job with the Surface line. Looking forward to what's next!

Simon Cornils's picture

Buy it, store it!

Mikael Sundberg's picture

as a long time Mac user (since 1985) This Surface Studio might move me over to the "dark side" for the desktop (I will never abandon my MackBook Pro)

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Anybody interested in buying a used kidney?

Daniel Bayer's picture

This coupled with Mac OSX would be perfect.

For photography I wish it covered Adobe RGB not P3.

Another thing I'm wondering is about the supposed 10-bit "true-color" capabilities with this system. If the system does truly support 10-bit color in Photoshop, I see that as a big plus. Historically, it has been nVidia's (GeForce) policy to limit 10-bit output to their professional Quadro cards. I've seen some people write that their 970/980 GTX cards have 10-bit option in the nVidia control panel, but I believe that´s only for the DirectX pipeline. With Photoshop, OpenGL buffers are used to support 10-bit per channel color. Unless something has changed, only the Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro cards support that feature.

I'm assuming Microsoft wouldn't launch with an advertised feature that was only half-heartedly supported, and that they've ensured the drivers for these graphics cards actually support 10-bit color that Photoshop can use, but has anyone tested or otherwise confirmed this?

Daris Fox's picture

Looks like the Surface Studio isn't going to be the only game in town, Dell just teased this little bombshell: