Design and Features
The Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is the second edition of this impressive device. Upon its release, I was eager to check it out as I had previously been impressed with the first version. However, the first version fell a bit short in terms of power for the type of work I do. This device is specifically designed for creators who engage in tasks like photo and video editing. It offers multiple modes of interaction, including pen, stylus, mouse, and trackpad, making it a highly versatile device.
One of the standout features of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is its convertible screen. It folds down effortlessly, transforming the device into a powerful tablet. While there are other tablets on the market with touchscreen capabilities, very few possess the level of performance that this device offers. Microsoft recognized the need for creators to have a device that can handle demanding tasks, and that is exactly what the Surface Studio Laptop 2 delivers.
The new addition to the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is the Microsoft slim pen. It easily slides into place and charges wirelessly, thanks to a strong magnet that securely holds it in place. In my experience, this is one of the strongest magnets I have encountered on any device. However, I did find the slim pen’s slim design to be a little challenging to hold onto. This is a minor inconvenience, though, and doesn’t detract from the overall functionality of the device.
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 comes equipped with the latest generation CPU, specifically the 4000 series. This, coupled with the 4060 RTX graphics card, provides the much-needed performance for tasks such as photo editing and video rendering. As someone who frequently engages in these activities, having a device that can handle them efficiently is crucial. The Surface Studio Laptop 2 delivers on this front, ensuring that these processes are swift and smooth.
In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a powerful device specifically designed for creative professionals. Its convertible screen, coupled with the inclusion of the slim pen, makes it a versatile tool for a wide range of tasks. The impressive performance, thanks to the latest generation CPU and graphics card, ensures that editing photos and rendering videos are seamless processes. Overall, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a highly capable device that is sure to impress creators who demand top-notch performance.
Performance and Versatility
When it comes to performance, the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 does not disappoint. Over the past few weeks, I have used this laptop as my main device for various tasks, ranging from simple web browsing to editing large batches of photos and videos for my channels.
Although I primarily use this laptop in its traditional form, I appreciate the versatility of its convertible mode. When I want to work on a photo and use the pen, I can simply pinch and zoom in to get a closer look. This allows me to use brushes and various editing tools with great precision.
The pen experience on the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is exceptional. It is highly responsive, making it a delight to use. While I may not utilize the pen for every task, it is an invaluable tool when working in Photoshop and performing touch-up work. Having a pen and tablet-like experience without compromising on performance is a definite advantage.
Design and Portability
The Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a versatile device that can be used as both a laptop and a tablet. However, it is important to note that the device is quite heavy and can be cumbersome to carry around. This is a common issue with laptops that have large graphics cards and high performance capabilities. While the device may not have the best graphics card available in Windows laptops, it is still impressive considering its features.
When it comes to specifications, I opted for the most advanced version available. I chose the 13th generation Intel Core i7 processor, running at 2.9 GHz. The laptop also boasts a massive 64 GB RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking and efficient performance. Additionally, it is equipped with the RTX 460 graphics card, offering exceptional graphics capabilities.
The Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 delivers outstanding performance, thanks to its top-of-the-line specifications. To test its performance, I ran Geekbench scores in two different configurations: plugged into power and disconnected from power but with a fully charged battery.
Plugged into power, the laptop achieved a single-core score of 1631 and a multi-core score of 9629. This demonstrates its ability to handle resource-demanding tasks with ease.
Performance on Battery vs. Plugged-in
When using the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 on battery power, there was a noticeable decrease in performance. The benchmark scores showed a decrease in both the single-core and multi-core performance. This is a common behavior among Windows devices, regardless of the manufacturer. When disconnected from power, the laptop scored 1315 and 6129 in single-core and multi-core performance respectively.
Compute Score Performance
Interestingly, the compute score didn’t suffer as much when running on battery power. This is good news for those who need to maintain performance when rendering videos or performing other resource-intensive tasks while on the go. The compute score while plugged into power was 883564495, which is not too bad at all.
Comparison with MacBook Pro
Comparing the performance of the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 with a MacBook Pro (M1 Max), it is clear that the MacBook Pro performs significantly better. The M1 Max score is just shy of 70000, which is approximately 11000 points higher than the Surface Laptop 2’s score. However, it is essential to determine if this higher score translates into better real-world performance, particularly in rendering software.
Unfortunately, in terms of actual rendering performance, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 fell short compared to the MacBook Pro M1 Max. Despite having a 13th gen CPU and being a brand new device, it did not perform as well as the older MacBook Pro. The reviewer tested the laptop in various scenarios, but the Mac consistently outperformed the Surface Laptop 2.
In conclusion, while the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers decent performance when connected to power, it falls behind the MacBook Pro in terms of real-world performance. Despite the higher benchmark scores, rendering tasks on the Surface Laptop 2 were not as smooth as on the MacBook Pro. This is an unfortunate result for a new device with an updated CPU generation.
Slow Rendering Speed
One of the key aspects I noticed while using the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 for a video project was its slow rendering speed. I had a video project that was just under 20 minutes long and a couple of reels for Instagram or YouTube shorts that needed to be exported. However, the rendering time was unexpectedly long.
When I exported the YouTube shorts, which are typically less than 60 seconds long, it took approximately 2 and a half minutes to render them out. This was considerably slower compared to my experience with rendering on my Mac, where I would usually expect rendering to be at least two times faster than the actual video length. For example, a 60-second video would typically take around 30 seconds to render, while a 20-minute video would take less than 10 minutes.
However, with the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2, I noticed that the rendering speed was closer to real-time or possibly even slower than real-time. This became evident when I attempted to render the 20-minute video, which took longer than its actual length. Waiting for the rendering process to complete became quite challenging and frustrating.
In order to troubleshoot the slow rendering issue, I tried various approaches. Firstly, I connected an external hard drive to see if that would improve the rendering speed. Unfortunately, there was no noticeable difference. Then, I tried rendering the video on the internal hard drive, but the speed remained unchanged. I also made sure that the entire video was pre-rendered, but this did not affect the rendering time either.
Additionally, I experimented with rendering the reels in different formats to see if that would make a difference. Unfortunately, regardless of the format I chose, the rendering speed remained slow. This was perplexing, as Premiere Pro, the software I was using, should not have been so sluggish in conjunction with the latest version I was utilizing.
I expected that the latest version of Premiere Pro, released in early October 2023, would work seamlessly with the 13th generation CPUs and the RTX 460 present in the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2. However, it seems that there may be some compatibility issues impacting the rendering speed. It is surprising and disappointing to encounter such performance limitations in a device that boasts impressive specifications on paper.
When it comes to the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2, one major concern that I had was its performance. Despite running all the necessary software updates, I found that its performance was underwhelming, especially when compared to an older MacBook Pro. This was quite disappointing as I expected better.
Heat and Fan Power
Another aspect of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 that caught my attention was the amount of heat it generated during tasks like video rendering and gaming. The laptop heats up significantly and the fans are quite powerful. While this may be a good thing in terms of cooling the device, it can be bothersome for users who use a mouse alongside the laptop. The heat blowing out from the exhaust can make your hand feel warm and uncomfortable.
An Unfortunate Experience
During my gaming session, I noticed that some papers and a 5-dollar bill were moving off-camera. Surprisingly, it was the powerful fan blowing out so much air that caused this movement. It’s interesting to see a laptop that needs to spin its fans so high just to dissipate the excessive heat generated during regular tasks. This is quite unfortunate considering that the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is meant to be a premium device made with sturdy aluminum.
Inconsistent Heat Issues
It’s worth mentioning that I haven’t experienced such intense heat and fan power with the first version of this laptop or with other versions. This suggests that the heat and performance issues might be specific to the Surface Studio Laptop 2.
The Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a device that I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt. However, it fell short in terms of performance. When I tried playing Fortnite, a game that is known to be a good measuring stick for performance, I was disappointed. I could never reach a framerate higher than 60-70 frames per second. There were even instances where it dipped down to the 40s, which I found to be quite bad.
I have had better performance on other devices with Fortnite, so it was frustrating to see this laptop struggle. It should not perform that poorly with a game that is as well optimized as Fortnite. It’s worth noting that this is not a pre-production device or one that was sent to me by Microsoft. I purchased it from the Microsoft store like any regular customer would. I made sure to run all the software updates and ensure everything was up to date before conducting any tests.
Rendering and Photo Export
In addition to gaming, I also tested the laptop’s performance in rendering and photo export. The results were mixed. While it was relatively slow in my rendering test, it performed okay in my photo export test. However, it was not as fast as I had hoped it would be. This could be a concern for those who rely heavily on rendering and photo editing tasks.
Expectations and Conclusion
I had high expectations for the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2, especially considering its price tag. Although I am not a regular gamer, I expected it to perform better in gaming than it did. However, it is important to note that this laptop has many other impressive features and functionalities, which should not be overlooked. While it may not excel in gaming performance, it may still be a good choice for individuals who prioritize other aspects such as design, display quality, and versatility.
Design and Features
The Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is undeniably a masterpiece in terms of design. Its sleek and elegant appearance makes it a truly beautiful device. One cannot help but admire the vents that line the sides, which not only add to its aesthetically pleasing look, but also serve the purpose of heat ventilation. The majority of the heat is expelled from one side, while the other side features a similar fan configuration.
While the Surface Studio Laptop 2 may be visually impressive, it falls short in terms of performance. Despite receiving decent scores on Geekbench, real-life usage did not live up to expectations. When attempting to use the device for work purposes, it struggled to keep up and failed to deliver the level of performance expected from such a high-end machine.
Ports and Connectivity
Taking a closer look at the ports and connectivity options, the laptop offers a USB Type-A port and two USB Type-C ports. These ports are located on one side of the device, with no other ports available at the back. Additionally, Microsoft has included their proprietary charging connection, a headphone jack, and a micro SD card slot. However, it is worth mentioning that the absence of a full-size SD card slot may be inconvenient for some users, particularly those who work with larger cameras that rely on SD cards.
Given the underwhelming performance and lacking connectivity options, it is difficult to recommend the spec out version of the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2. If your main focus is rendering performance and you are considering purchasing this device, it would be wise to explore alternative options that can better meet your needs.
The Disappointing Performance
When it comes to the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2, I have to say that I wouldn’t recommend it based on my experience. It seems that the performance of this device is not up to par with what I would have expected. I have tried several different Premiere Pro projects on it, even projects that I have created specifically on this device, just to ensure that there are no compatibility issues with projects originally created on a Mac. However, it is clear that the device is not performing as well as I had hoped.
An Alternative: The Surface Laptop
On the other hand, I do have the Surface Laptop with me, and I am quite curious to see how it performs. While the Surface Laptop may not have the same level of performance as the Studio Laptop 2, it is an extremely slim and lightweight device with a solid build quality. I am particularly interested in its performance because it might be the perfect Windows device for me. I need something that can handle everyday tasks and run Windows 11 smoothly, while being lightweight and slim. With its 13th gen CPU, I have high hopes for its performance, although I know it won’t be as powerful as the Studio Laptop 2.
I must admit that I had extremely high expectations for the Surface Studio Laptop 2. My experience with the previous version was quite good, even though it was a year old at the time. However, if I can’t get at least comparable rendering performance on a device in 2023, with an RTX 4060, to my two-year-old MacBook Pro, then I am left feeling disappointed.
Overall, the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 has not met my performance expectations. However, I remain hopeful and optimistic about the potential of the Surface Laptop. It may not be the powerhouse that the Studio Laptop 2 claims to be, but it could be the perfect device for those who prioritize portability and everyday tasks. I look forward to testing its performance and seeing if it can meet my requirements.
Design and Features
The Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a sleek and modern-looking device that appeals to creators and artists. It boasts a convertible screen and touch screen capabilities, allowing users to easily switch between laptop and tablet modes. The inclusion of a pin adds even more functionality for artists who want to draw or sketch directly on the screen. Overall, the design and features of this device are well-suited for creative individuals.
However, when it comes to performance, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 falls short. While the base model may be sufficient for casual use, those who require heavy-duty tasks may find it lacking. For more demanding tasks, such as video editing or running resource-intensive software, it is recommended to use a desktop computer or a more powerful device. Unfortunately, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 does not provide the punch that one would expect.
Value for Money
Considering its performance limitations, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 may not be worth the money for everyone. If you are primarily interested in its convertible screen, touch screen, and pen capabilities, the base model should suffice. However, if you require a device that can handle more demanding tasks, it may be more cost-effective to invest in a desktop computer or another laptop model that offers better performance at a similar price point.
In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers excellent performance and versatility. Whether you are a casual user or a professional in need of a reliable device, this laptop delivers in terms of speed and responsiveness. The convertible mode and the inclusion of the pen make it an ideal choice for creative individuals who require precise control and flexibility in their work.
In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a powerhouse when it comes to performance. Its high-end specifications and powerful graphics card make it ideal for professionals and enthusiasts who require excellent performance for tasks such as graphic design, video editing, and gaming. However, its bulky design and weight may not be suitable for frequent travelers or those seeking a lightweight option. Nevertheless, if performance is your priority, the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 is definitely worth considering.
In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop 2 has some notable design features that make it an attractive choice for creators. The convertible screen, touch screen, and pen capabilities provide a versatile platform for artistic endeavors. However, its performance limitations may deter those who require more power and capability. Ultimately, the decision to invest in this device depends on individual needs and preferences.