Microsoft's Surface Studio Is Designed To Redesign

Microsoft unveiled its new Surface Studio AIO PC that it designed to help you create and edit digital content. Microsoft also announced the Surface Dial as a specialized interface device for the Surface Studio.

The Surface Studio will be available in three hardware configurations. The least expensive model comes with a quad-core Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i5 processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M with 2GB of GDDR5, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hybrid drive. This scales up to an Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB of GDDR5, 32GB of RAM and a 2TB hybrid drive on the most expensive model.

Microsoft claimed that the Surface Studio has the world’s thinnest LCD. The 28-inch LCD panel itself measures just 1.3mm thin, whereas the display chassis is 12.5mm thick. The panel has a native resolution of 4500x3000 (192 DPI), and it has full support for Adobe sRGB and DCI-P3.

To make it easier to move and use as you need, Microsoft built the Surface Studio’s zero gravity hinge. Essentially this means the display feels weightless and it moves easily at the slightest touch.

As the display is so thin, the actual system hardware is stored in the display’s base instead of directly behind the panel like in most AIO computers. Three fans interlinked by a series of metal heatpipes provide active cooling for the hardware.

Every Surface Studio comes with a Surface Pen and Microsoft’s new Surface Dial. The Surface Dial is a new and unique interface device designed exclusively for Microsoft’s Surface products. You set the dial on the touchscreen display and then rotate the dial clockwise or counterclockwise to alter the images on the screen.

The Surface Studio is available now for pre-order with a starting price of $2,999. The system will ship in limited quantities on December 12. You can also pre-order the Surface Dial today for $99.99, but it won’t ship until November 10.

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Microsoft Surface Studio
ConfigurationsConfig 1Config 2Config 3
CPUIntel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i5Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7
GPUNvidia GeForce GX 965M 2GB GDDR5Nvidia GeForce GX 965M 2GB GDDR5Nvidia GeForce GX 980M 4GB GDDR5
Display28-inch PixelSense Display 4500x3000 (192 DPI), 3:2 Aspect Ratio, 10-point multi-touch28-inch PixelSense Display 4500x3000 (192 DPI), 3:2 Aspect Ratio, 10-point multi-touch28-inch PixelSense Display 4500x3000 (192 DPI), 3:2 Aspect Ratio, 10-point multi-touch
Storage1TB Hybrid Drive1TB Hybrid Drive2TB Hybrid Drive
Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • Jake Hall
  • Gilles_2
    lol so expensive :p
  • why_wolf
    Article really needs to point out this is not meant for regular people at all. It's meant for that 1% of artists who work in design houses who regularly spend $2,000 on color accurate monitors by themselves, let alone complete AIO. So for this demographic the prices are in line with the norm.

    The Cintaq 27QHD, a main stay artist touch/pen display costs $2,799. This is the industry standard for digital artists.

    This also makes sense because this way Microsoft isn't stepping all over its OEMs. The only one in danger from lost sales here is Apple whose iMacs have been the mainstay of design firms for decades and Wacom whose touch monitors are really the only option artists have had for a long time.
  • kittle
    looks like 80% of the cost of this thing is the display. A 4k (5K??) 28-inch display is nothing to sniff at, especially when its a touch screen.
  • drtweak
    Yea I agree with WHY_WOLF. This isn't your normal everyday machine. Not even for gaming. It is aiming towards graphics designers and honestly knowing a few myself they would drool over this thing. That floating dial? Wow. I love the design and would buy one if i could just because it looks amazing to me.
  • atheus
    Weird, all these brand new systems have graphics cards that start with a "9". Why would anyone expect to be able to sell an obsolete computer for 3-4k?
  • why_wolf
    Ah Gabe from Penny Arcade has been a secret tester of the Surface Studio. Here is his little mini review, the short of it, "If you draw on computers the Surface Studio is something very special."
  • falchard
    That's looks awesome. I can understand them not using a 1080m considering it's not out yet and they would need time to test the hardware. It's also probably meant to be silent, so using a hot card like a standard desktop GPU might not be appropriate. The price premium for that GTX 980m is a little steep. It's around $500 more factoring in the additional hard disk space and memory.
    The display is quite impressive for this task. 3:2 color accurate display with touch capability. It's features mimic what was seen with Microsoft's surface table shown years ago using the dial. It would work excellently for artists and production in general. The hardware itself allows for usage of more serious software like 3D design. Now if only they could offer the monitor on it's own so I can pair it with some real hardware.
  • RonK5555
    If I Read the specs correctly there is one 1 gig NIC (no link aggregation or 10 Gig), usb 3 (No usb 3.1/thunderbolt). How does one connect to to high speed networks or high speed DAS to move large files such as would be necessary in video editing?

    Did I miss something? If not what were they thinking. There is no way to use any addin cards.
  • d_kuhn
    That display is definitely lust worthy - the system as a whole is pretty targeted to stills artistic work. The limited network connectivity isn't a problem unless you move to video editing - 1gbe is plenty for stills editing or art development. Same for the hybrid drive - I personally don't know why not just put an M.2 SSD in it... but again we're not talking huge many gigabyte files so it will likely perform fine. I WOULD like to see a video version of this system with big SSD, TB2/10gbe, and fast desktop gpu.