The original Surface Studio was one of the strangest, most eye-catching, and enjoyable-to-look-at machines we’ve used: a giant 28-inch touchscreen with a computer in its base. Today, Microsoft announced Surface Studio 2: the same concept, an even more beautiful screen, and a healthy improvement to the computer specs.
The first-generation Surface Studio has a 4500×3000 28-inch display.
Driving the screen is either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 or a GTX 1070 with 8GB. This is a substantial upgrade to GTX 965M or 980M found in the first generation, with Microsoft claiming them to be 50 percent faster. Microsoft is continuing to use mobile parts in the Surface Studio, so in a sense these are “current-generation” chips; while Nvidia’s desktop RTX 2080s have just hit the market their corresponding mobile chips aren’t out yet.
The use of mobile parts extends to the CPU, and while this has received an upgrade, it’s a little more peculiar. It’s a 7th-generation i7-7820HQ, a 45W quad-core, eight-thread mobile processor with a base speed of 2.9GHz and a turbo of 3.9GHz. This is strange, because it’s an old part. There are 8th-generation H-series 45W mobile processors that bump the count up to six cores and 12 threads, and they increase the maximum turbo speeds, too. There’s no obvious reason why Microsoft has stuck with the older part. Microsoft has also dropped the 8GB configurations, giving a choice between 16GB and 32GB.
The other very welcome change is dropping the hybrid disks (large hard disks paired with small SSD accelerators) and the use of proper SSDs instead, with sizes up to 2TB.
Unlike the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2, the Surface Studio 2 sport a single USB Type-C port, replacing the mini-DisplayPort of the first model. This doesn’t, however, support Thunderbolt 3; it only supports USB and, we assume, DisplayPort video out.
Pricing starts at $3,499 for 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, topping out at $4,799 for 32GB RAM and 2TB SSD, with shipping expected some time in November.