Surface Laptop Studio Impressions: Windows 11 With a Twist!
So this is the surface laptop studio, its the studio version of the surface laptop or the laptop version of the surface studio. I mean its both either way its an interesting idea, its not completely unique, but it is kind of curious now to see this in microsofts own surface lineup, um weve been so busy with so many other reviews that this is the first time im really getting to Check it out, but here we are so the idea. Is you have three different modes with this form factor? You have the standard laptop setup, then you have the halfway folded down easel setup where youre covering the keyboard, but you still have the trackpad and the touchscreen its called stage mode, and then you have a completely folded flat tablet setup all in one device. I guess its like a three in one, so the idea is like pretty cool i, but every time i see something like this. My first thought is always okay. What do you? What do you use each mode for so, of course, the laptop mode thats, the most familiar right, its the surface laptop studio? For a reason, its perfectly capable of that youve got a 3×2 aspect ratio like other surface devices, which is really nice for taller applications and multitasking in windows 11. Here and then, when you pull the laptop towards you and want to put it in this sort of easel position, you sort of pop the bottom of the laptop out from the magnets and then it naturally sort of wants to land on some more magnets.
In this 45 degree, position in this easel stand mode, its the only angle that you can set it up at now. This is this always happens whenever i go well. Who would want to use a something like this? I mean its cool that it can do it, but who would use it like this and then everyone who does use it like this comes out of the woodwork and loves to explain exactly how but im just going to say from my own use of laptops. Theres only a couple reasons: i would want a laptop to be folded over covering the keyboard, but still having the trackpad like this. So it is a touch screen and, of course, you still have access to the trackpad but yeah the way. Its sitting kind of reminds me of an ipad in a folio case. This is fine for watching videos or watching movies, also gaming, with a controller which ive seen a lot of in their ads with this guy and any touch first apps. Now there are android apps coming to windows 11 and those dont work as of yet, but they should be in an update soon. But if you do have touch first, apps theyll work here. The screen also definitely wobbles a lot less and feels much more sturdy. At this sort of anchored angle, as you touch the display with your finger, but also yeah, there arent that many touch first apps, that i use and ill get more to the app situation in a second anyway.
Lastly, you can just pop it open and fold it completely flat and its a tablet. You know its not necessarily as fun to hold and use like an ipad or even a surface pro, but when its totally flat theres your tablet. This would be your full time. Touch screen interaction and where a lot of your use of the new surface slim pen 2 would come into play. It doesnt sit totally flat. But from what i hear, a lot of artists would like it to be slightly propped up because its easier to sketch on, like that, so the idea, i really like, i think, its pretty cool you could even maybe get away with watching a video, not at perfectly 45 degrees, if you wanted to um but yeah, you might have heard of like the acer concept d or the hp elite folio. This is more of like the surface refined version of those ideas, but even at that ive noticed this version does have some weird build quality issues. So, of course, when this thing is in full on laptop mode, the screen portion is a bit thicker than a normal laptop, its way better than previous surfaces, where the whole computer is up top. But you can see its still thicker than a normal single screen, because its two layers, instead of one for the hinge, mechanics and thats fine – you barely ever – have to look at that, but the air gap around the outside of this display, i noticed, is very inconsistent.
Like i can see little gaps all the way around the screen that i just like wanted to squeeze shut. I thought that was really odd, but the rest of the hardware is pretty solid. Its the magnesium and aluminum casing thats very rigid and, if were being kind of honest, it looks a bit like a double decker, macbook pro type thing, so the silver is the only color and its got this top level, which is pretty slim and its. The full width all the way around and has all the ports then the bottom piece here is a smaller inset, but it obviously gives it much more internal volume. So when its just sitting on a desk, it kind of gives this illusion of a thinner, laptop, thats kind of hovering slightly off your desk, depending on your lighting honestly, i dont mind it. I do hate the ports layout, though, on this thing for all the positioning as like a creator focused laptop and something creative professionals. We use its like a macbook pro like every creative professional. I know i think all of them use an sd card for something at some point: no sd card reader on this laptop and then theres only two usbc ports on the side here with the surface, connect, port and headphone jack on the other side, now im happy To see that those two usb c ports are thunderbolt, 4. thats awesome for data transfer, so my sd card reader dongle will be fast as ever, but that leaves one port left for a mouse or any accessory.
I might use not amazing, but the rest of the design fundamentals are definitely here uh, especially with just the hardware, its very rigid. Even the keyboard itself is pretty nice, so its just a tiny bit of board flex, but the keys themselves are very clicky and well laid out. I havent gotten a chance to test the battery yet since i havent had it for long enough, but i have noticed the trackpad is really nice. This is something i was hoping to see more of with windows, 11 and more well optimized surface devices, and i am very impressed with the trackpads responsiveness and the haptic feedback, its honestly, its on macbook level. For me, its reached that level, which is especially helped by the fact that the display is also 120 hertz, love that even the webcam is pretty good, its only 2 megapixels but its 1080p. So i guess im only saying this because of how low the standards have been set, but hey its really quite decent with colors and exposure. I will say, though, the one letdown was definitely the speakers not a whole lot of room to have great speakers in this. Anyway, but theres no grills anywhere, it sounds to me like the sound, is coming from the keyboard and like from the side, vents, either way, theres almost no bass. If you care about good speakers on a laptop, this aint it, but anyway, microsoft has this laptop starting at 15.
99 and thats kind of where it starts to fall apart a little bit because, first of all, i dont think youd ever want this spec without the dedicated Gpu, so that means youre looking at at least 2100 and thatll get you the core: i7 16 gigs of ram half a terabyte of ssd and the nvidia geforce rtx 3050 ti and again havent had it for very long. Havent even run any benchmarks, but we know thats a decently capable cpu and gpu, but in the amd world, theres stuff dramatically outperforming this, and even the gpu is not super powerful. The one up side is, if you do want to go the external gpu route, which some people do with their laptop. You do have thunderbolt 4., but yeah. This doesnt have the highest end specs in the world, so one of my favorite surfaces ever was a surface laptop 3, the matte black version, and whenever i would consider using like a surface book or something else that would sort of convert into a two in one, The question was always: okay. Am i going to use the tablet version? Am i going to use the laptop version? Is it worth getting something slightly worse at each to have both? So then, this surface laptop studio has a slightly different proposition, which is in the name youve probably heard about the surface studio by now, the all in one desktop pc that tilts down dramatically into this easel position for all kinds of pen, art and drafting, and things Like that, so this laptop brings that third form factor on the go, but, unlike the desktop tilting it down like this, immediately covers the keyboard, which probably makes the new slim pen 2 a pretty mandatory accessory if youre going to get one of these.
Now again, if you know me, im not the greatest artist in the world ill admit, but i can still appreciate a good responsive pen and while this definitely isnt apple pencil levels of responsive, it is very usable and it adds some interesting features like a small vibration. Motor in the pen to simulate the feeling of writing on actual paper, which i dont know if it feels exactly like paper. So much as i can feel the pen vibrate a little bit when changing directions and it sort of feels like it adds a bit of a texture with certain tools, but nevertheless it really works. Well, with this laptop its got the shortcut button, its got the side button and whenever youre done using it, you can just snap it underneath the front lip of the laptop where it charges and lives with a very strong magnet you basically just you slide the pen In upside down – and it is strong and its not going anywhere, you kind of have to peel it back off now, heres the fun part. If you do slide it in the wrong way, uh right side up it kind of misses the laptop. But then all you got to do is just lift it up and it snaps into place its very satisfying. So look theres going to be a ton of new windows. 11 machines laptops coming out over the next weeks and months and theyre all going to have different focuses.
Some will have much better performance than this one. Some will have better screens. Some will have more ports, of course, but the theoretical advantage to the surface one is support. This design and the pen windows 11 has treated me pretty well for a couple days with the new start menu and the new animations and window controls for multitasking. I, like those a lot also, i noticed the touch targets get slightly larger and a little further apart when it detects that youre going out of laptop mode, but its also got a lot of weird quirks and missing ui features. I would highly recommend watching the verges full windows 11 review, video on their channel ill link it below, since i generally dont, do desktop os reviews, but yeah they cover a lot of stuff, and you know, as windows 11 improves this whole laptop will too. So i didnt get this laptop expecting to recommend it to most people, its obviously for a smaller group. Wholl find this easel thing useful or who will find this pen useful, but im also im glad it exists like. Where else are you going to find a laptop with a design like this, with a double decker layer to it like this, with this cool hinge, its just a lot of cool stuff going on so thats? Been it thanks for watching and definitely get subscribed here? If you havent already to be among the first to see what is coming up, youre, not gon na want to miss it catch you guys in the next one peace, hey whats up mkbhd here, and this laptop hey, whats up mkbhd here and this laptop.