The long is wait over – the surface studio 2 is finally available on sale in the UK. Announced last October as part of the expanded Surface family from Microsoft, the ‘iMac you can draw on’ delivers greater performance to your creative apps, making it an interesting all-in-one option for artists and designers looking for a sweet spot between tablet and desktop.
While the original Surface Studio used a number of mobile components you’d normally find in a laptop, they approximated desktop power. There was a 2.7Ghz Intel Core i7-6820HQ and Nividia’s GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GPU, plus a whopping 32GB of memory, a massive 2TB hard drive and a 128GB SSD for caching.
For the Surface Studio 2, you might think that Microsoft has moved up to 8th-gen quad-Core i7 CPUs, but is hasn’t: there’s a 7th generation Core i7-7820HQ instead, which does make for noticeably less powerful rendering speed. Anyone looking for a higher-powered option would do well with the latest Lenovo A940 as reviewed before on SmartArt or the Cintiq paired up with any PC (or a Mac Mini if your budget extends far enough) .
Also, of note is that the new Studio uses a lower-tier NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Card and comes with a 2TB SSD, ditching the first Studio’s hybrid drive entirely.
The good news is the accompanying Surface Pen, with 4,096 levels of pressure and best-in-class ink latency. The new display design also uses a different transistor, with a smaller pixel but a greater picture. Awesome!
With the new LCD material, Microsoft was able to better align the LCD to the polariser, giving it 22% more contrast and 38% greater brightness – over 500 nits of luminance. Making it much more vibrant. Sadly, however nothing has changed about the Studio 2 in terms pf physical design over the original – even the include wireless peripherals are the same as the first Surface Studio.
Here at SmartArt we thought the new Studio was great but not as powerful as we expected it to be compared to the original especially as there are more powerful devices out there. The pros are the bright display, high contrast ratio, its PCIe SSDs and performance improvements compared to the original. The negatives are that it’s still quite pricey retailing in the UK at approx. £3, 500 and arguably the internal parts are dated. Overall the studio 2 still has the same flare as its original and it’s still a great device to draw and be creative on especially with the brighter display Let us know what you think! :)
CPU: 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HQ (quad-core; 8MB cache; up to 3.9GHz Turbo Boost)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 630
RAM: 32GB DDR4
Screen: 28.125-inch, (4,500 x 3,000) PixelSense Display
Storage: 1TB SSD (PCIe)
Ports: 1 x USB-C 3.1, 4 x USB 3.0, SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, headset jack
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Xbox Wireless
Camera: 5MP (1080p) Windows Hello camera
Weight: 21 pounds (9.56 kg)
Size (Display): 25.1 x 17.3 x 0.5 inches (637.35 x 438.90 x 12.50 mm; W x D x H)
Size (Base): 9.8 x 8.7 x 1.3 inches (250.00 x 220.00 x 32.20 mm; W x D x H)