Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio: Work the way you want

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is a mobile workstation that’s also a sketching slate and a portable home theatre, designed to replace a creative-focused desktop computer

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
In a “studio mode”, you can pull the screen all the way down and use the Laptop Studio like an easel.

By Anuj Bhatia,

At a delhi hotel recently, a gentleman came up to me and asked about the laptop I was using. “It’s a Surface Laptop Studio from Microsoft,” I replied. He wasn’t aware of the Surface brand but told me he liked the form factor of the Surface Laptop Studio. “It’s different from my MacBook Pro,” said the man who introduced himself as the owner of an architectural firm. This conversation just reinforced my belief that there will be takers for Microsoft’s experimental Surface Laptop Studio, which blends certain elements of the desktop Surface Studio and the premium 2-in-1 Surface Book. It’s a mobile workstation that’s also a sketching slate and a portable home theatre.

What’s hot

At first glance, it might look like a traditional laptop with a solid, all-aluminium design and a hinge at the back, but the moment you pull the floating screen forward in front of the keyboard at 45 degrees, it becomes a whole new device. Things get a lot more interesting when you reach out to the top of the screen and twist it backwards. The screen pulls forward, letting you use the laptop in “stage” mode.

A digital canvas for designers: Another way of using the Laptop Studio is by turning the device into a drawing board. In a “studio mode”, you can pull the screen all the way down and use the Laptop Studio like an easel. But the screen doesn’t lay flat. This mode is designed to be used with the Surface Pen, letting you take notes and do serious graphics work. It is on the heavier side, but it’s still portable and lightweight to be carried easily in your backpack.

Display and speakers

The Laptop Studio uses a 14.4-inch IPS LCD screen with 2400 x 1600 pixel resolution and 201 PPI. The animations are significantly smoother. The screen is bright and clear. The speakers on the Surface Laptop Studio are good. The device comes with four speakers on board. At maximum volume, they can fill the entire room with music.

Smooth performance, long battery life: The Laptop Studio is a competent machine, designed for serious work and gaming. Whatever you want to get done, be it video editing, editing images using Adobe Lightroom, or web browsing, it will handle it with no dip in performance. The battery life is impressive, lasting 8-9 hours of light work.

What’s not

One, the Laptop Studio includes just a pair of Thunderbolt 4/USB-CA ports, a headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port for using the included charger. Two, the rotating screen is limited to two positions. In comparison, the kickstand on the Surface Pro 8 offers a number of angles. Three, Surface Pen 2 is not included. It costs another `12,000 and does not come as part of the package.

Should you buy it?

As I said in the beginning, the Surface Laptop Studio is an experimental device. You either like it, or you don’t. Its unique design has certain trade-offs. I ultimately liked the Laptop Studio despite the few compromises. The stylus compatibility and the way the Laptop Studio turns into a drawing screen are an added advantage and its USP.

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