The Surface Studio Laptop 2 by Microsoft has been making waves in the digital art community, and for good reason. With its sleek design and powerful features, it has become a favorite among professionals and beginners alike. In this review, we will take a closer look at what makes the Surface Studio Laptop 2 a standout device for digital artists.
The Screen and Hinge
One of the standout features of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is the screen, and more specifically, the hinge that allows you to detach it from its main support and place it in front of you. This unique design enables you to draw directly on the screen, offering a more intuitive and natural experience for creative professionals.
A Step Above 360 Laptops
While there are other Windows laptops on the market that offer similar 360-degree capabilities, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers something different. With traditional 360 laptops, flipping the screen over to draw on it disables the keyboard, making it inconvenient for users who rely on keyboard shortcuts in their drawing programs.
The Importance of Keyboard Access
Most drawing programs available for Windows heavily rely on keyboard shortcuts, such as Ctrl+Z for undo or adjusting brush size. The Surface Studio Laptop 2 addresses this issue by allowing users to keep the keyboard accessible even when using the screen for drawing. This means that if you receive an email while in the middle of a drawing, you can quickly respond or do a quick search for a reference without losing your progress.
The Convenience Factor
The ability to seamlessly switch between drawing and typing is a convenient feature that may not seem significant to everyone, but it is highly appreciated by those who frequently use such devices. Being able to quickly access the keyboard by simply moving the screen up or sliding your hands underneath it makes multitasking a breeze.
A Love Letter to the Form Factor
As a creative professional, I have developed a deep appreciation for the Surface Studio Laptop 2’s form factor. The combination of its versatile hinge design and the ability to effortlessly switch between drawing and typing makes it a joy to use. It’s the perfect device for individuals who value convenience, productivity, and a seamless creative workflow.
In conclusion, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a remarkable device that caters specifically to the needs of creative professionals. Its unique screen and hinge design, along with the ability to keep the keyboard accessible while drawing, sets it apart from other laptops on the market. If you’re a creative individual looking for a laptop that offers both functionality and convenience, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is definitely worth considering.
I love the minimalist design of the Surface Studio Laptop 2. In pictures, it may appear a bit odd with its platter-style design and different layers, but when you see it in real life, the minimalist feel truly comes across. The laptop sits elegantly on your desk, and the different levels are not easily noticeable, which can be a little weird in photos. However, the design gives the illusion of a thinner laptop than it actually is.
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers the option to configure it with a discrete GPU, something that is not commonly found in other computers in the Microsoft Surface line or in 360 laptops. This added feature does come at a cost, quite literally. The laptop starts at almost $2000, making it a premium choice. The main selling point of this device is not just its specs, but its unique form factor. If you specifically desire this form factor and the discrete GPU, then the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is worth the price. Otherwise, it might be better to consider something like the Surface Pro.
Pricing and Regrets
The real starting price of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is around $2100, which is what I paid for mine. Two years ago, when I purchased the original version of this laptop, I made the mistake of getting the lowest configuration. It lacked sufficient storage, RAM, and a discrete GPU. While it was suitable for testing and reviewing purposes, it fell short in terms of actual usage, which was what I had intended for it. As you configure the laptop, the price gradually increases. However, I must clarify that the term “configure” might not be entirely accurate in this context.
Microsoft offers six pre-configured options for the Surface Studio Laptop 2, allowing users to choose the one that best suits their needs. This provides a nice level of customization and flexibility.
Considerations of Building a Desktop PC
While the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a great device, some users may prefer to build their own desktop PCs. By doing so, they can potentially achieve better performance at a lower cost compared to the pre-configured options offered by Microsoft.
Pricing vs Performance
When considering the value of the Surface Studio Laptop 2, it is important to factor in the price difference compared to laptops with similar specifications. Is the additional cost of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 justified simply for the ability to fold down the screen? This is a subjective question and depends on personal preferences and needs.
Changes from the Previous Version
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 does not have many noticeable changes compared to the previous version. Some minor updates include the addition of a USB type A port and a Micro SD card slot, which are convenient additions for users.
USB Adapter Issues
During the filming of a video, the author encountered a frustrating issue with a USB type A adapter. The adapter was stuck in the laptop and despite numerous attempts, it could not be removed. Unfortunately, the adapter ended up breaking in the process, rendering the USB port unusable.
Inability to Use Keyboard and Mouse
As a result of the broken USB adapter, the author is unable to use their keyboard and mouse with the Surface Studio Laptop 2. This is a disappointing and inconvenient situation, as it hinders the full functionality of the device.
Overall, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers a range of configurations and customization options. However, users should carefully evaluate the pricing and performance trade-offs compared to building a desktop PC. Additionally, while the addition of a USB type A port and Micro SD card slot is a welcome update, the author’s experience with a stuck USB adapter highlights potential issues.
USB Type C and Surface Charger
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 comes equipped with two USB Type C ports, which allows for easy connection to various devices. Additionally, it features a proprietary surface charger that plugs into a small slot. However, unlike other proprietary power chargers, this one has a magnetic connection. This means that if you accidentally trip on the cord, it will easily detach from the laptop, preventing any damage. This is a thoughtful design feature that ensures the safety of both the laptop and the user.
Beautiful Design and High-Density Display
One cannot help but admire the aesthetic beauty of the Surface Studio Laptop 2. Its sleek and elegant design is truly eye-catching. However, the visual appeal does not stop there. The laptop also boasts a high-density display with a resolution of 2400 pixels by 1600 pixels. This results in crisp and vibrant visuals that bring every image to life. Additionally, the laptop has a refresh rate of 120 Hertz, a feature not commonly found in Windows laptops. This provides a smooth and seamless viewing experience, particularly when watching videos or playing games.
3×2 Format and Touchscreen
Unlike most laptops that utilize the more common 16×9 or 16×10 formats, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 features a 3×2 format. This gives the laptop a more squared-off feel rather than a cinematic one. The choice between these formats ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, it is worth noting that the 3×2 format is particularly well-suited for drawing and creative tasks. Speaking of which, the laptop also functions as a touchscreen, allowing for easy navigation and interaction with the device. It supports multitouch gestures and also comes with pen support, making it an ideal tool for artists and illustrators.
Drawing and Artistic Capabilities
For those who are passionate about drawing or interested in learning the craft, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers a plethora of features and capabilities. The combination of the high-density display, touchscreen functionality, and pen support makes it a perfect canvas for artists. The accuracy and responsiveness of the pen allow for precise strokes and intricate details, replicating the experience of traditional drawing on paper. Whether you are a professional artist or a beginner, this laptop provides all the necessary tools to unleash your creativity and explore the world of digital art.
In conclusion, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a remarkable device that not only possesses a stunning design but also delivers exceptional performance. From its convenient USB Type C ports and magnetic surface charger to its high-density display and touchscreen capabilities, this laptop offers a seamless and immersive user experience. Its unique 3×2 format and drawing features make it an excellent choice for artists and creative individuals. Whether you are a professional or an enthusiast, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is sure to elevate your creative endeavors and provide endless possibilities.
The Surface Slim Pen 2
One of the key features that sets the Surface Studio Laptop 2 apart from its predecessors is the Surface Slim Pen 2. This pen, unlike older versions, offers a seamless and enjoyable drawing experience. The previous Surface Pens were known to be wobbly and frustrating to use, but the Surface Slim Pen 2 fixes these issues.
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 boasts improved performance, thanks to its upgraded hardware. With a more powerful processor and increased RAM, this device can handle even the most demanding digital art programs with ease. Artists can now enjoy a smoother and more efficient workflow, without any lag or slowdown.
One of the standout features of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is its high-quality display. The PixelSense display offers stunning clarity and vibrant colors, allowing artists to see their work in exceptional detail. Whether working on intricate sketches or adding the finishing touches to a digital painting, the display ensures that every line and color is rendered accurately.
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 has a versatile design that caters to the needs of digital artists. The device can be used in various modes, such as laptop mode, studio mode, or tablet mode, depending on the preference of the artist. This flexibility allows artists to work in a way that is most comfortable and conducive to their creative process.
Compatibility with Digital Art Programs
Another advantage of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is its compatibility with a wide range of digital art programs. Whether you prefer using Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, or any other popular software, this device can seamlessly integrate with them all. Artists can utilize their favorite tools and techniques to create stunning digital art pieces.
The Strong Magnetic Attachment
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 comes with a unique feature that sets it apart from other laptops – a pen that snaps magnetically to the bottom of the device. This magnetic attachment is incredibly strong, making it virtually impossible to accidentally lose the pen. Even when you slide the laptop into a bag, rest assured that the pen will remain securely in place. However, this strong magnetic attachment can be quite tricky to detach, which may cause some inconvenience and strain on the fingers.
The Drawback of Smooth Glass Screens
Drawing digitally on devices like iPads, Android tablets, and Windows tablets can sometimes feel unnatural. This is because the screens are made of smooth glass, which lacks the texture and resistance that we are accustomed to when drawing pencil on paper. To address this issue, some Wacom tablets incorporate a textured screen. Additionally, some users prefer to add screen protectors to their iPads and Android tablets to recreate the tactile experience of drawing on paper.
The Introduction of Haptic Feedback
In an effort to enhance the drawing experience on the Surface Studio Laptop 2, Microsoft has introduced a unique feature called haptic feedback. This feature adds a subtle shaking sensation to the pen while drawing across the screen. Although haptic feedback may be considered a gimmick by some, it does contribute to making the drawing process more engaging and enjoyable. It is worth noting, however, that this feature is not available in all programs but is supported in several.
An Illusion of Traction
While the addition of haptic feedback does not provide any actual traction to the pen, it does create the illusion of some resistance. This may not be necessary for everyone, but it does add an interesting element to the drawing experience. The slight shaking of the pen adds a touch of realism, making it feel more like drawing with a traditional pen on textured paper. It may not be a significant improvement, but it certainly enhances the overall enjoyment of using the pen on the Surface Studio Laptop 2.
In conclusion, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers a unique magnetic attachment for its pen, ensuring that you never lose it. The smooth glass screens of digital devices often lack the texture and resistance of traditional paper, but Microsoft has introduced haptic feedback to add a sense of realism. While not essential, this feature adds a fun twist to the drawing experience. Despite not providing actual traction, the slight shaking of the pen creates the illusion of resistance, making the drawing experience more immersive. Whether you consider it a gimmick or a valuable addition, the haptic feedback feature is undeniably intriguing.
The Surface Studio Laptop 2 boasts a neat, well-thought-out design. While it may not be considered epic or amazing, it is certainly an improvement from its predecessor. The older Surface Pen had a less appealing appearance, but the new pen looks much better.
When it comes to using the pen, one of the factors to consider is its performance with smoothing and streamlining features. The pen on the Surface Studio Laptop 2 does a good job of reducing wobble and providing sharper, crisper lines. While it may not be on par with other pen options like the Walkom pen or Apple Pencil, it still offers a decent drawing experience. It feels natural and holds pressure well. Moreover, there is no noticeable lag or delay in response, unlike the older Surface pens.
One of the standout features of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is its innovative screw screen design. The ability to fold down the screen is incredibly useful, allowing for a seamless transition between laptop and tablet modes. Additionally, the larger screen size of 14 inches provides more room for creative work, making it a great choice for artists and designers.
While the Surface Studio Laptop 2 has many positive aspects, it does have a few drawbacks. The pen may not be as advanced or precise as other options available in the market, which could be seen as a step down for some users. It also lacks some of the features and capabilities found in its competitors, such as the Walkom pen and Apple Pencil. However, if the focus is on a decent drawing experience without compromising too much on functionality, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is satisfactory.
In conclusion, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers a neat design and an improved pen compared to its predecessor. It provides a decent drawing experience with features like smoothing, streamlining, and tilt functionality. The screw screen design and larger screen size are major advantages, allowing for seamless transitions and more creative workspace. While it may not be the most advanced pen option available, it still serves its purpose adequately.
When using a Windows display, the size of the screen is crucial. For example, on a smaller screen like the Surface Go, it becomes harder to do tasks such as file management or hitting icons in applications like Photoshop or Clip Studio. However, on the 14-inch screen of the Surface Studio Laptop 2, these tasks are manageable. While it may not be amazing, it is effective in ensuring that you can hit everything you try to touch on the screen. Additionally, the screen itself is beautiful and well-designed.
One pleasant surprise with the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is the quietness of its fans. Even when performing intensive tasks, the fans do not create too much noise. Moreover, this laptop can be configured to be a powerful device, allowing you to perform various tasks with ease. If performance alone were the sole factor in evaluating this product, it would receive a positive review.
However, the main drawback of the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is its price. Starting at over $2000, particularly for the configuration with a discrete GPU, it becomes challenging to justify the expense. If you opt for a version without the GPU, the laptop becomes less bulky and more portable. However, Microsoft charges an additional $400 to $500 for more storage and RAM. This additional cost is difficult to justify, and it feels like Microsoft is overcharging for these features.
Narrow Market Appeal
Considering these pricing concerns, it seems that the market for the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is quite narrow. It appeals to those who require a portable device for drawing on the go while also needing a significant amount of horsepower. However, for most people, this combination of features may not be necessary or worth the price.
Overall, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 offers a good display and performance, but it suffers due to its high price and limited market appeal. While it may be suitable for a specific group of users, it may not be the best option for the average consumer.
Surface Studio Laptop 2 Review
If you have to draw on the go, you’re better off going with an iPad or an Android tablet and then also having a laptop or having a really nice laptop and then having an inexpensive XP pen or h on that, you can connect to that laptop. Especially now, since some of the smaller pen displays that are out, there only need a USB type C cable in order to run if you have the ports on your computer, that can pull enough energy to do that.
So, even though I absolutely love this product, I think it’s amazing, I don’t think I could ever justify the cost of it. But what do you think? Let me know Down Below in the comments. Do you think this could work for you? Can you justify the price? I’d love to know. Thank you all for watching and I’ll talk to you.
In conclusion, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is a top-notch device for digital artists. With its improved performance, high-quality display, and compatibility with various art programs, it offers an unparalleled drawing and painting experience. Whether you are a professional artist or just starting your artistic journey, the Surface Studio Laptop 2 is definitely worth considering.