Microsoft’s second generation of the Surface Studio has been officially unveiled today. It looks very similar on the outside, with a 28-inch display at 3:2 aspect ratio and the classic Studio hinge that lets this giant all-in-one PC convert into a nearly flat drawing mode. I got a chance to get an early look at the Surface Studio 2 at Microsoft’s press event in New York City today, and it’s good to see Microsoft has largely focused on the internals with this refresh.
The outside looks and feels identical to the same device that shipped two years ago. Microsoft has upgraded the display to be 38 percent brighter and have 22 percent more contrast, but it’s not immediately noticeable. The Surface Studio display was always stunning, and this is very much the same.
It’s really what’s inside that counts here. The original Surface Studio shipped with old PC components and a hybrid drive that just didn’t keep up. Microsoft has upgraded the storage to a 2TB SSD in the top model, or 1TB SSD in the base model. Unfortunately, Microsoft is using 7th generation Intel Core i7 processors in the Surface Studio 2, which aren’t the latest available. That’s a disappointing choice for this expensive hardware.
Alongside the storage boost, there’s even an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070. Both of these cards are very capable of gaming, although you’ll need to drop native resolution of the display down to really get the best performance in the latest games.
These Pascal-based Nvidia chips will also help boost video processing or image editing on the Surface Studio 2. Even the display changes will be welcomed by the creative community, and Microsoft is keeping its support of the sRGB color gamut, alongside DCI-P3 and Vivid modes for the display.
Microsoft has made the right changes to the Surface Studio 2 here mostly, aside from the processor. The company is taking preorders for this new model, starting at $3,499, and it should start shipping before the end of the year.