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Microsoft reveals its Surface Laptop Studio — its most powerful Surface ever

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·Technology Editor
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The Surface Laptop Studio features a display that can move from laptop mode to canvas mode. (Image: Microsoft)
The Surface Laptop Studio features a display that can move from laptop mode to canvas mode. (Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft (MSFT) today debuted the new Surface Laptop Studio, its most powerful Surface system yet. Starting at $1,599 and available for pre-order now, the Surface Laptop Studio is a Windows 11-powered convertible laptop that can be used as a standard notebook or as a high-powered canvas for writing and drawing.

The Surface Studio Laptop does this by using Microsoft’s flexible woven hinge, which allows you to bring the display forward to cover the keyboard to use Stage mode to watch movies, play games, or give presentations. Bring the screen further still and it will lower to lie nearly flat on top of the keyboard in Studio mode, letting you sketch, mark up documents, or take notes.

Microsoft isn’t the first company to offer such a design in a laptop. HP’s Elite Folio has a similar styling. But Microsoft promises the Surface Studio Laptop will blow you away thanks to its heavy-duty performance.

Powerful hardware

Inside, the Laptop Studio gets your choice of an 11-generation Intel (INTC) Core i5 processor or an 11-generation Intel Core i7 processor. You’ll also get either 16GB or 32GB of RAM and between 256GB or 2TB of storage.

The Core i5 model offers Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics, which means it won’t be the go-to for serious gaming or high-end video editing. Meanwhile, the Core i7 gets an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti with 4GB of RAM, making it the go-to for those who want to go to town with the Laptop Studio.

The Surface Laptop Studio can be laid nearly flat to use canvas mode. (Image: Microsoft)
The Surface Laptop Studio can be laid nearly flat to use canvas mode. (Image: Microsoft)

As for its screen, the Surface Laptop Studio gets a 14.4-inch touchscreen with a 120Hz refresh rate. To write on the screen, Microsoft has included its Surface Slim Pen 2, which magnetically connects to and charges via the bottom edge of the Laptop Studio.

Microsoft has also finally included Thunderbolt technology with the Surface Laptop Studio, meaning you’ll be able to easily connect it to external displays and get high-speed data transfer rates. According to The Verge, the company previously chose to leave out Thunderbolt connectivity in its products due to potential security issues.

The Surface Laptop Studio also brings along a new haptic touchpad and quad Omnisonic speakers with Dolby (DLB) Atmos, which should make for a solid gaming and movie watching experience. And for video chatting, the Surface Laptop Studio gets a 1080p front-facing camera.

Of course, the Surface Laptop Studio can also be used in laptop mode. (Image: Microsoft)
Of course, the Surface Laptop Studio can also be used in laptop mode. (Image: Microsoft)

The Surface line represents Microsoft’s vision for what it sees as the future of consumer and business hardware, and the Laptop Studio is clearly where the company wants to see Windows 11 devices go. The idea is to show consumers that Windows 11, and Microsoft’s software in general, is as versatile if not more than anything else on the market.

The Surface Pro line of 2-in-1s has done an exceptional job of doing just that, proving that Windows works as well on tablets as it does laptops. Now the company wants to show that it can add the firepower of a high-end laptop to the formula.

The Surface Laptop Studio follows Microsoft Surface Book line, which featured a detachable screen that could be used as a standalone tablet. That system’s base housed both its batteries and powerful graphics chip. But the Book is getting long in the tooth, which makes the Surface Laptop Studio your best bet for a high-powered 2-in-1 from Microsoft.

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