Microsoft Surface Studio 2+: A slim and flexible all-in-one PC

Launched back in October 2018, Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2, a 28-inch all-in-one (AIO) computer, was well received by critics. But by 2022 it had become obsolete, being based on 7th generation (14nm) Intel Core processors. A significant delay compared to the current 12th generation (10nm) chips, not to mention the upcoming 13th generation of silicon. That said, the Surface Studio’s innovative and versatile design, with its ingenious hinge, has always helped it stand out.

Surface Studio 2 was therefore eligible for an update in the form of Surface Studio 2+. The new model retains the same design as its predecessor, but now runs on an 11th generation Core i7 processor for ”
CPU performance improved by 50%“. Also included is an Nvidia GeForce RTX Series 30 GPU for ”
doubled graphics performance“, according to Microsoft.

Experience Surface Studio 2+ at Microsoft

Let’s see what it is in detail.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+

Charles McLellan/ZDNET photos

Design

Like its predecessors, the Surface Studio 2+ is an unconventional AIO design, as the main PC components are located on the bottom instead of the back of the screen. The 28-inch touchscreen can easily move between portrait and landscape orientation thanks to Microsoft’s “zero gravity” hinge.

The vertical orientation is intended as a traditional “productivity” mode, while the near-horizontal orientation is a “creative” mode (the Studio 2+ comes with a Surface Pen that magnetically attaches to the left or right side of the screen). These features, along with the machine’s high price, prove that this machine is primarily aimed at creative professionals.

The 28-inch touchscreen consists of a PixelSense panel with a resolution of 4500 x 3000 (3:2 aspect ratio, 192 ppi), with sRGB and DCI-P3 color profiles and a contrast ratio of 1200:1. No changes here from the previous model, which isn’t a bad thing as the screen remains bright, crisp and comfortable to use. The Surface Studio 2+ screen has Gorilla Glass 3 protection and support for the Dolby Vision standard. The impressive borders around the screen, which were acceptable in 2018 (with an 83.5% front panel coverage), on the other hand, seem a bit dated in 2022.

The base measures 250mm wide by 220mm deep and 31.45mm thick, barely slimmer in profile than the Studio 2. two USB-A 3.1 ports (5 Gb/s), three USB-C USB4/Thunderbolt 4 ports (40 Gb/s), an RJ-45 Ethernet port (1 Gb/s) and an input/3.5 mm audio output. You can use the USB-C ports to drive up to three external 4K displays at 60Hz, giving creators a potentially large canvas. One thing the Studio 2+ lacks is an SD card reader, a detail present on the Studio 2.

Surface Studio 2+: Ports

Image: Charles McLellan/ZDNET

The Surface Studio 2+ may have a high price, but you should be able to maximize its life with a set of replaceable or repairable components (via a network of authorized service providers).

Functions

The Surface Studio 2+ gets a welcome processor upgrade from Intel’s 7th Gen Core i7-7820HQ to the 11th Gen Core i7-11370H. However, this is a laptop processor with a 35 watt TDP, and Microsoft didn’t see fit to include a 12th generation chip. When asked about it, a Microsoft spokesperson pointed out that this processor was sufficient for the workloads that the Studio 2+ could be subjected to, and highlighted the advantages of the GPU, especially for creative professions. On the graphics side, there is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU with 6 GB of dedicated video memory. With 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, these specs match those of a high-end laptop.

Wireless connections range from Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1 to Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. However, it is not at the top, as Wi-Fi 6E is now quite common. The Bluetooth standard is also in version 5.3. The Studio 2+ does not support Xbox Wireless technology, which was present on the Studio 2. The machine integrates the same 1080p webcam with infrared support for Windows Hello facial authentication. There are also stereo speakers (with Dolby Atmos support) and two microphones.

The GeForce RTX 3060 GPU gives you access to Nvidia’s suite of video and audio tools that use AI techniques to eliminate background noise such as keystrokes or fan noise. You can also add custom virtual backgrounds to video calls, dynamically track your movements in video, and improve image quality in low-light conditions.

According to Microsoft, the Surface Studio 2+ meets the “Secured-core PC” standards by applying the principle of “zero trust”.

Performance

The 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H processor delivers a significant performance boost over Studio 2’s 7th Gen Core i7-7820HQ. core and 45.6% in the multi-core test.

However, the Surface Studio 2+ is overtaken in the multi-core test by Huawei’s MateStation X, which is powered by an eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800H chip. A 12th generation Intel Core processor, such as the 12-core Core i7-1260P (4 performance, 8 efficiency) would have been better.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+: Geekbench 5 CPU

Graphics: Charles McLellan/ZDNET

To assess performance against different workloads, we used the PCMark 10 benchmark, whose tests are grouped into three categories: Important (starting applications, web browsing, video conferencing), Productivity (writing, spreadsheets) and Creation of digital content (photo editing, video editing, rendering and viewing).

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+: PC Mark 10

Graphics: Charles McLellan/ZDNET

The Surface Studio 2+ lags behind the MateStation X in every category except for digital content creation, where the powerful Nvidia GPU stands out. Nevertheless, both AIOs comfortably exceed the PCMark 10 scores required for this type of device, namely 4100 for Essentials, 4500 for Productivity and 3450 for Digital Content Creation.

When it comes to running graphics-intensive applications such as games, the Surface Studio 2+ takes the edge over the MateStation. We ran two 3DMark benchmarks: Night Raid (a DirectX 12 test for PCs with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (a DirectX 12 test for gaming PCs):

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+: 3DMark

Graphics: Charles McLellan/ZDNET

The Surface Studio 2+ performs twice as well as the MateStation X on Night Raid and 4.7 times better on Time Spy. Something to assure its ability to handle demanding graphics applications, including some games.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+: thermal image

Image: Charles McLellan/ZDNET

After a long run on PCMARK 10, the bottom of the Surface Studio 2+ felt just warm to the touch with minimal fan noise.

Found

There’s currently only one configuration for the Surface Studio 2+, which means you’re stuck with Microsoft’s $5,589 CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage. The Studio 2 offered 16GB or 32GB of RAM, 1 or 2TB of storage, and also had an SD card slot, which the Studio 2+ lacks. The design and 28-inch touchscreen – both excellent – ​​remain unchanged, while the new model adds support for Thunderbolt 4 and upgrades wireless protocols with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

So should you buy the new Surface Studio 2+? If you’re an avid Windows user and are drawn to the versatility and build quality of the Surface Studio line, then Microsoft’s changes are worth a shot, although we would have preferred to see a 12th-gen Core i7 processor. .

If you don’t need stylus support, a zero-gravity hinge, and a powerful GPU, there are more affordable alternatives.


Technical sheet

Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ // Surface Studio 2

  • BONE : Windows 11 Pro // Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor : Intel Core i7-11370H // Intel Core i7-7820HQ
  • Diagram : GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6 GB) // Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB), Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB)
  • ram : 32 GB (DDR4) // 16 GB, 32 GB (DDR4)
  • Storage : 1 TB (SSD) // 1 TB, 2 TB (SSD)
  • Screen : 28-inch PixelSense touchscreen, 4500 x 3000 (3:2, 192ppi), Gorilla Glass 3, Dolby Vision // 28-inch PixelSense touchscreen, 4500 x 3000 (3:2, 192ppi)
  • Bluetooth : 5.1 // 4.1
  • Wireless : WiFi 6 (802.11ax) // WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Camera : 1080p+IR // 1080p+IR
  • Sound : 2.1 speakers with Dolby Atmos, dual microphones, 3.5 mm headphone jack // 2.1 stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, dual microphones, 3.5 mm headphone jack.
  • Ports : 3x USB-C (USB4/Thunderbolt 4), 2x USB-A (3.1), Ethernet RJ-45 (1Gb/s) 1x USB-C, 4x USB-A (3.0), Ethernet RJ-45 (1Gb/s ) ) ), SD card reader.
  • Buttons : volume, power // volume, power
  • Sensors : ambient light / /NA
  • accessories : Surface Pen // Surface Pen
  • Security : TPM 2.0, Windows Hello authentication // TPM 2.0, Windows Hello authentication
  • Design : all-in-one with “zero gravity” base and hinge // all-in-one with “zero gravity” base and hinge.
  • Dimensions : Bottom: 250mm x 220mm x 31.45mm — Display: 637.35mm x 438.9mm x 12.5mm // Bottom: 250mm x 220mm x 32.2mm — Display: 637.35 mm x 438.9 mm x 12.5 mm
  • Weight : 9.56 kg // 9.56 kg.
  • In the box : Surface Studio 2+, Surface Pen, Surface Keyboard, Surface Mouse, power cord with grip release cable, quick start guide // Surface Studio 2, Surface Pen, Surface Keyboard, Surface Mouse, power cord with grip release cable, quick start guide.
  • Price : €5589 // N/A

In alternatives

Source: “ZDNet.com”

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