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Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review – a powerful and flexible solution for creators

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  • VERDICT

The Surface Laptop Studio is an impressive machine and is ideal for a creator with a versatility that gives the user plenty of options for their workflow, play time and content consumption.

Microsoft is enjoying a great run with its Surface laptops, and it has taken a step up with the new Surface Laptop Studio which has an adjustable display to suit what you’re doing or what you’re watching or playing.

It looks like a regular laptop, in fact, it looks a bit like a MacBook Pro when its open in laptop mode. But that’s where the similarities end.

The Surface Laptop Studio is running Windows 11 and has a display that can swing forward to cover the keyboard and even rest flat to become a tablet.

But if you want a more comfortable workspace, you can tilt the display out and bring it forward so that it covers the keyboard.

If you have the Microsoft Slim Pen 2, you are now in the ideal position to write, draw and on the screen – so not having a keyboard doesn’t really matter in this case.

This is also a great mode for watching movies or playing games.

It’s at an angle like a drafting table to make it comfortable to work and create.

But if you do need to get some work done, work on a document and answer a few emails, then the screen can snap back into place flush with the lid and now the Surface Laptop Studio is back to laptop mode.

The Slim Pen can be stored on the front edge of the laptop where it attaches magnetically and charges as well.

The pen is impressively responsive and can be used not just for writing and drawing but also interacting with applications and making changes with a few pen strokes.

We think a better name would have been Origami because it folds any which way.

You’re working with a 14.4-inch PixelSense Flow touchscreen display which has a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2400 x 1600 – not quite 4K but higher resolution than full HD.

And the screen is excellent – sharp and bright with a 3:2 aspect ratio which suits looking at documents, looking at content and browsing webpages.

The 120Hz refresh rate makes even smoother so great for games and watching movies.

The 6-row keyboard has well-spaced keys with plenty of travel and a good-sized trackpad.

For our review we had the Surface Laptop Studio with 32GB RAM (it’s also available with 16GB) and with the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor (it’s also available with i5).

Our unit also had 1TB of SSD (solid state drive) storage – you can also configure it with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB.

On the graphics side, you’ve also got the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU with 4GB GDDR6 GPU memory.

The laptop is a litter thicker than other devices but even at 18.94mm it’s still pretty impressive considering what you get and the many ways it can be configured.

It’s also a little heavier than other laptops at 1.82kg but that’s not a deal breaker – it was still easy to slip it into a backpack.

Now let’s talk about performance.

With the i7 chip onboard the Surface Laptop Studio is quite a capable device and can handle things like video and photo editing, rendering and animation.

And you’ve also got the CPU and GPU power to be able to play the latest games.

The computer has a full HD front facing camera, so you’ll look your best on your video calls.

That same camera is also used for the Windows Hello face authentication, so you just need to open the lid to unlock it.

On the connectivity side there are two USB-C ports with USB 4.0 Thunderbolt 4 so you can connect devices like external hard drives and a monitor.

You’ll also find a headphone jack – and that’s it.

We would have loved to see a USB 2.0 port and an SD card slot.

One area that really impressed was the battery life which gave us a day and half before we had to recharge.

The Surface Laptop Studio is available now and is priced from $2,399 which isn’t cheap. Our review laptop is priced at $4,049.

The Microsoft Slim Pen is priced at $189 and the Surface Mobile Mouse which we also used is $54.95.

VERDICT

The Surface Laptop Studio is an impressive machine and is ideal for a creator with a versatility that gives the user plenty of options for their workflow, play time and content consumption.