Surface Laptop Studio Review – The Windows 11 Shape-Shifter
So the way this works is that when you open it up, it is in its first mode, which is called laptop mode. Obviously right, but you can also pull this screen forward and stop it right above the trackpad, and this is going to be the stage mode. Then you can pull it all the way down and its mostly flat, not all the way flat, but its mostly flat, and this is going to be their studio mode. Now i have been using two unofficial modes that microsoft doesnt advertise, but i just found that they are useful, and that is if you do prop it up just a little bit before you go all the way down in studio mode. The screen can be at an angle, its not like super super steady, but its steady enough to where its not going to fall down, especially if you are using that stylus or something on it, then also too, you can flip this all the way around and the Software will actually rotate itself, and this is good for maybe youre at a coffee shop and maybe youre somewhere, and you want to show somebody what youve been working on on your screen. You can just flip it around, allow them to see it and then, when youre ready to look at it yourself, you can just flip the screen back around towards you and windows will go ahead and reorientate itself, and i was scrolling through twitter and i came across Scott avery, which actually uses this same display mode when he has this docked with his multiple monitors, so this makes for a really nice clean setup.
This way – and i have to say when i am moving, this screen up and down left and right all around, i feel like this mechanism is a really strong and sturdy one, and you can see here from this inside, look how microsoft was able to achieve this And make sure the cabling and all that stuff is protected, but yeah it doesnt feel like this is going to wear down over time. Now this whole type of like two in one concept: isnt anything new ive, used laptops from hp and also more recently, acer that have this same type of concept, but definitely they are a little bit different. So with like the acer concept, d3 easel, that one was really cool because it gave you a little bit more options to have the screen a little bit more upright, where you still could access the keyboard. Underneath i mean that was really good for artists, but i think what microsoft has done with this is combine all the things that ive liked from other two in one type of devices like those and made it in one that actually has a really nice fit and Finish from the ground up, but also the mechanism itself is more suited for me, especially the stage mode where i bring it up like this, and this allows me to still have access to this trackpad. So i dont have to use my greasy fingers on the screen. If i dont want to, but yeah this mode is definitely going to be my favorite one that i have been using because ive been using it a lot to watch videos on or when i am playing games, and i have my xbox controller hooked up to this Thing it just allows me to bring it forward a little bit closer to me, and then it allowed me just to be really more engulfed into the experience, and you know since were already talking about gaming lets talk about how it is the game on this bad Boy, so you do have two different options.
When it comes to graphics, you can get some integrated graphics with the intel iris x, but of course, thats not going to be all that fantastic, but you also have the option to go with the nvidia geforce rtx 3050. Ti which is their laptop gpu? You got four gigabytes, a gddr6 gpu memory and that i will tell you just to kind of sum up. My gaming experience its going to be really good for 1080p gaming at high settings for a lot of the apps. Now for certain games like battlefield, i did have it running at the screens native resolution of 2400 by 1600 and i had it on high settings and i was ranging between like 50 and 70 frames per second, more so im around that 60 frames per second, which For me is perfectly acceptable for this type of resolution, but when i did load up a game like marvel avengers, which, according to the reviews, isnt the most optimized game um, i had to bump down those settings down to medium, and i was still averaging, maybe around. Like 45 to 50 frames per second, so it does depend on the game and how optimized it is. But i found like battlefield call of duty some of those more popular titles. I was able to do high settings at 1080p and still get a really good frame rate. Now, when you are gaming, though, the fans do kick up and they get pretty loud and thats a good thing, because theyre displacing the heat and they do have like a dual fan: design, where the cpu and the gpu is sharing that to be able to get That heat out of there um, but the good thing about this laptop, is that it does have quad speakers, and so they get really loud.
They have dolby atmos, so they have really good quality and that that spatial sound. If you do like that, but also too, i found that at max volume i was able to drown out the noise when i was playing a game like battlefield, but as soon as you go into the menus or you have any type of dialogue, those fans definitely Drown out the noise, so it definitely makes you want to go ahead and grab you a pair of headphones. Now i will say the only thing i want more out of these speakers is just a little bit more bass, its not a big deal for me, but thats. One thing that could be better, but one thing i really do like is that the sound quality is very consistent, no matter which display mode that youre in so, if you have the display pulled all the way forward or down or you have it standing upright. The speakers sound really consistent, um, but lets talk about the design of this laptop since were talking about heating and stuff, because yeah on the sides, you will notice the vents that are going to be pumping out the heat but yeah. So you have this kind of platform design where the a lot of the main components are at the bottom and then it kind of raises up and goes outwards, and this is where your keyboard, your trackpad and the display is going to be living.
And so generally, i will say that i do like the design of this laptop. I think it looks nice and it weighs about four pounds, which is a little bit heavier than the surface laptop for the 15 inch version of that which comes in at like 3.4 pounds. But the weight for me is not an issue. I think its really distributed. A lot better with this, but then also on the left hand, side of this laptop. You will find something for the first time on surface products, and that is usbc thunderbolt 4. So now you have the option for some really good, fast transfer speeds and also you can charge this laptop up with one of those ports, but then also on the right hand, side. You will find that surface connect port that allows you to plug in the charger that comes with this very easily, then also, you will find a headphone port, and so i like all of those ports, especially the thunderbolt 4, but i really do wish that this had A sd card reader because they do target this towards creatives and people who might be videographers or photographers and sd cards, is what we use most of the time, and i would definitely like to have that option, so i dont always have to bring a dongle now. This also has the biggest track pad that microsoft has put on a surface product, so you have plenty of space here for multi finger dressers that are built into windows 11, but also it does have an improved haptic feedback engine inside of it.
So you can get some really nice feedback when youre clicking and doing things, and so i have to say that the trackpad is really good. The keyboard above it has some really good feel to it and its also backlit and its also giving me a little bit of those macbook vibes. But i like both of the input options that you have on this, but ive also been using this cool little mouse right here for about a week as well – and this is the ocean plastic mouse and so 20 of this mouse is made out of recycled ocean Plastic and its a really nice little bluetooth mouse, but im not going to be using it as my primary mouse, because it doesnt have any side buttons. I need extra buttons for editing and stuff, but i think it is a really good cause and i like the fact that they are using recycled material out of the ocean which we have to get cleaned up and so now lets talk about this screen. So you have a 14.4 inch, pixel sense flow display, and so this does run at 120 hertz, which is a first for a surface product and of course, 120 hertz looks fantastic when youre watching videos playing games and doing anything in between um. So i find that the colors on this screen look really good. I really do like the dolby vision support that goes really well with that dolby atmos support with the speakers and so yeah.
This is a 10 point, multi touch screen and when you are moving windows around on it, you do have some bigger target areas. It feels like so its really easy to manipulate this as a tablet, but one of my favorite things to use with this screen is actually the new slim pin 2.. So this is in the surface lineup here, and one of the improvements this year is going to be the sharper pen tip. So this is going to give you more accurate results when you are writing on the screen, and also what i really like about this pen is that this right here, the tip is actually can be used as an eraser. So you can erase things on your screen, but also you can press in on it. So when i do press in one time i have it set to open up microsoft, whiteboard and then, if i do double press, i have it where i can take a little snip of the screen and then also too, when i press and hold i have it Set up to open up microsoft, paint – and so the good thing about this is that you can customize what this button does um in the settings, so you can have it open up whatever program or app that you want, but let me get microsoft, whiteboard back open Here and let me show you something well, actually, i cant show you, because you have to kind of feel it to believe it, but thats the fact that this pin does have haptic feedback built in.
So when you are drawing in an app like this, it will make it feel, like youre, actually writing on paper now. The one thing i have noticed with this, though, is that sometimes initially when i start drawing and whiteboard it takes like five seconds or so for this type of feedback to to go ahead and start. You know taking effect. So maybe that can be fixed with a software update. I dont know, but it is a really cool feeling that i really do like and it does work with other apps as well um, some of your video editing, apps and other things. I will be able to give you that same feedback, but yeah its these little touches that really make this kind of go a long way. But the best part about this pin is what happens when youre not using it and thats, because it does have some dedicated storage underneath this surface laptop studio. So you can slide it underneath right here and boom. It magnetically attaches to the bottom of it and thats. Just really cool and it is going to be charging the pin up when it is stored in this location, so yeah. I just think that this type of location and setup here is very smart for microsoft. Now, really, the only bad thing about this pen is that it doesnt come included with this surface laptop studio. So you have to buy it separately for 130 bucks, but its one of those things that i think they should just include it because its such a useful tool to go along with this.
But now lets take a break from the hardware. For a second and talk about the software, because this is one of the first devices that ships with windows 11. So yes, the next version of windows. But one of the main things about this new update is that its mostly going to be visual changes that people are going to be focusing on including myself for this video because im liking. Everything that i see here so one of the first things you will notice is that the taskbar is now centered. Instead of being on the left hand, side like its traditionally been, but you can go into the taskbar settings if you want and you can go down to taskbar behaviors and now you can move that over to the left hand side if you want – and it has A nice little animation that happens there, but yeah im, leaving it centered for now, and one other thing that you will notice is that the start menu has now been has now been redesigned, so you dont have those towels that you used to have in previous versions. So you basically have a more straightforward design where you can see your apps here and you can scroll through them. Then also you have your power menu down here on the bottom right hand, side, but yeah its a little bit more of a streamlined, feel that you get with some of these uh menu systems here and then there is also this new widgets button here.
That gives you a selection of a few widgets from weathers and stocks, and you know entertainment and stuff – and you can add a few more widgets down here, but there isnt like a widget store where you can find a lot of third party widgets. All of these widgets are basically tied to microsoft and msn and stuff. Now, also with your kind of your quick settings down here in the bottom right hand corner this has been redesigned. I like the way this looks, but i do wish little changes like the bluetooth section right here had the same option as the wi fi to allow me to be able to hit a little arrow button right there and be able to see all the other bluetooth Devices that i can easily connect to or disconnect from, but one thing that is a little weird and also inconsistent – is that when you go into the control panel here – and let me do this right to type function right here um, you will see that the control Panel is going to still have that old school look to it, and it definitely is just seems out of place for this more modern update with windows 11. So um yeah, i mean you, have this old school feel right here, maybe its just for legacy reasons. I dont know um, but i definitely would have liked to see this kind of get more of an update just like the rest of the os, and so those are most of the visual changes that i do like in windows, 11, but theres.
One kind of internal one thats going to be great for gamers, like myself and thats called direct storage, and so direct storage allows games to be able to bypass a cpu and be able to load things directly onto the gpu a lot faster. So this is going to be great with loading times and games and also when its trying to draw in things in the distance in the game, all the things are going to move a little bit faster when games start taking advantage of this, and so this is Really cool and i like to see microsoft adopting some of the things that theyre doing with the xbox series x over to their windows, computers, and i really hope that we do see the quick resume feature. One day because it looks like were heading down that road and i think when that comes thats, gon na be great, and what youre seeing right now is coming from the 1080p front facing camera and what youre hearing is coming from the dual microphone. So what i can see right now, this does look really good and microsoft said they spend a lot of time with face detection, so the cameras will be able to do a better job at auto exposure and white balance and things and next to the camera. You will find an ir sensor that allows this system to work with windows, hello, which is their very fast and efficient facial recognition that allows me not to miss having a fingerprint scanner um on this laptop but yeah overall, video quality to me right now looks pretty Good and so look if you havent been able to tell already i really like this thing and i think its one of these devices that can appeal to a lot of people.
Now it does have a sixteen hundred dollar price tag and the base model comes with an intel core, i5 processor and also those integrated graphics. But of course you can upgrade to that intel core i7 and also that 3050 ti. If you want so look, i think uh creative people videographers, you know photographers and and people like that – can take advantage of this screen and the different capabilities of it. But i also think people who are just looking to replace that tablet. Laptop combo, like i talked about before, where youre looking for an all in one device that, where you look at the price point and you compare what it costs to buy a good laptop and a good tablet, you might see the price of this equaling what it Would cost to buy those two devices separately, but no matter what i think microsoft is off to a good start with this, i do want to see more powerful graphics options in the future to really turn this more into a better gaming machine there that will allow Me to do maybe going up to 1440p at high settings, but until the next version of this im gon na enjoy this one for now.