Hardware

Surface Studio: Long Term Update

Earlier this year, I reviewed the Surface Studio and have been using the device heavily since that post went live. As I have done with several of the Surface devices, it’s time to take a look at the device once again with more than six months of usage behind it.

As when I first reviewed the device, the design is still timeless. I believe Microsoft did an excellent job here and with extended usage, I enjoy the design as much today as I did when it was first unboxed. In addition, there are no obvious signs of wear or tear either despite the fact that I have lugged this thing all over town and use it frequently.

In fact, in terms of hardware, there have been zero issues. Everything has performed flawlessly with no hiccups with the hinge or yellowing of the screen like you occasionally see in other high-end displays.

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The keyboard is still simply average, I much prefer a mechanical keyboard with longer key travel but the peripherals that ship with the Studio have held up well. If nothing else, ditch the mouse immediately as it is not ergonomic and is uncomfortable to use.

Windows Hello continues to works well for those who like that type of feature. Personally, I prefer a PIN for authentication over using my face but for those that like the face-login option, this machine is a solid choice if you are looking for that functionality.

And as expected, the screen is still stupidly beautiful. The only flaw with having a Studio in your house is that it makes all other high-end monitors look second rate; the fact that I can’t buy a stand-alone Surface monitor is disappointing.

The one and only consistent complaint about the Studio is that it has loud fans. If you work in a quiet environment, you will absolutely hear them spinning all day long. When under load, the fans are aggressive and this is the only downside to an otherwise excellent machine.

While the internal hardware is starting to show its age as this device is quickly approaching a year old, this i7 model still feels like a solid machine in the performance department. Other than when running a few VMs and trying to edit video at the same time, performance bottle-necks are few and far between for the average user or the artist who likely purchased this hardware.

At this time, it doesn’t look like Microsoft is offering much of a discount on the hardware which is a little disappointing at this point in the lifecycle of the device. Here’s to hoping the cost of the machine will start to drop soon although I suspect its the display that is keeping the price inflated.

As for what I hope to see in gen 2? That’s pretty simple, overhaul the silicon with 8th gen chips from Intel, NVIDIA 1060 or higher and toss in a few USB-C ports as that would make for one solid upgrade (also ditch the spinning drives for all solid-state).

 

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Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.
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