I’ve never used a professional notebook computer as flexible as the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio. After only a few minutes with this device, it’s apparent that Microsoft has accepted the fact that they can and will develop a multi-tiered laptop machine with a changing body that remains elegant while doing all functions. We’ll have a genuine winner on our hands if this computer continues to function well after we’ve used it in work mode for a few more weeks.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s Mode
The thickness of this laptop computer is much more than that of most Surface products. It’s effectively two-tiered, with a top level that resembles a typical Surface notebook, with flat top and bottom sides and flat edges. Then there’s a second tier, which is roughly the same thickness as the first but is pushed back slightly, giving the top tier the appearance of floating over the surface it rests on.
The bottom layer features a series of apertures on the left and right, allowing for ample airflow and audio output. Fans are located to the left and right of the wrist area, and air is pushed out to the left and right of the wrist area (to the left and right of the touchpad).
The keyboard has a lively, tight, and responsive feel about it. The keyboard is quite similar to that found on devices like the Surface Laptop, although Microsoft has given the keys a bit more of a kick here.
This notebook’s touchpad is one of the greatest I’ve ever used. It DID take some getting used to, because the bulk of the top quality touchpads I’ve used in the past had a lot of give to them — more of a CLICK. This one scarcely moves – it functions more like a touchscreen, with optional touchpad feedback.
Touchpad feedback is an option in the Touchpad Settings for this touchpad. The intensity of the feedback can range from 0 to 25-50-75-100 percent. When the feedback is set to 100, the sensation is exactly what I’ve come to expect: a moving click. This touchpad provides a response wherever it is touched in the centre of the screen.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s Stage Mode
Some transforming or multi-mode notebooks produced in recent years have gone all-out, implying they’re optimised for all angles, turning backward and upside-down, going tent-mode, and so on. The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is available in three unique modes.
In case you have no idea about the model, the Laptop Mode is the traditional mode, meaning that the screen sits back and you might never discover there’s another way to use it. The display is flipped up and out in stage mode, so it’s propped up slightly over the touchpad at an angle (over the keyboard). The third mode is “Studio Mode,” which turns the machine into a tablet.
There is one time in Stage Mode where this machine is at ease. You can conceivably position the device at various angles, but magnets in the two pieces connect at this point (just between the touchpad and the keyboard), and the display is held firmly in place.
There is one position on this computer where it sits comfortably in Stage Mode. You can conceivably position the device at various angles, but magnets in the two pieces connect at this point (between the touchpad and the keyboard), and the display is held firmly in place.
You may adjust the tilt of the display to view movies or play games (with a separate controller). The magnetic mechanism; however, enables for resistance to accept input on the touchscreen with a finger or a stylus at this exact angle.
According to Microsoft, “Dynamic Woven Hinge” is made of woven fabric behind the display. Microsoft’s use of this cloth and this hinge results in a solution that appears to be durable enough to endure a long time. We won’t know for sure until we test the device for the aforementioned “very long period”. However, it now appears to be the most elegant implementation of a changing display hinge we’ve experienced.
This machine has a powerful speaker system. I was apprehensive that the audio quality would suffer as we moved modes from Laptop to Stage to Studio, but it was just as amazing with either. The transition from laptop to stage was the most surprising part of the show; it’s almost as if the chamber that Stage Mode produces acts to magnify the music.
According to Microsoft’s tech specifications, we have “Quad Omnisonic speakers, including four stereo 2-way speakers with invisible woofers,” so it comes as no surprise that the audio in this machine has some punch to it. The Surface Laptop Studio also supports official Dolby Atmos (as well as Dolby Vision), so we’re not about to play with Dolby encoded content of all kinds.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s Studio Mode
Studio Mode functions as a tablet mode with the display-backing elements stacked behind the touchscreen and nearly flat. It’s virtually flat because there are two elements in the back half and none in the front since you’ll recognise it in the photos in this review, but it’s still as flat as it needs to be.
The Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 will be bound to be utilised in this mode. This stylus works and fits so well with the Surface Laptop Studio that it’s surprising they’re not paired by default.
I’ve used this tablet with a variety of creative programmes, including Adobe Fresco (with Adobe Creative Cloud). The pen works with haptic feedback in any app that uses Windows Ink, making the experience seem to be more like a physical instrument than a digital stylus on a glass screen.
This is comparable to the above-and-beyond physical experience provided by this machine’s touchpad. After this, I’ll find it tough to utilise a stylus or a touchpad with anything less than the tactile feedback provided here.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s Slim Pen
The Surface Slim Pen is kept hidden beneath the front rim of the Surface Laptop Studio. Thanks to the region where the stylus is held in place on two sides, it feels much more securely fixed in place than any other stylus with a Surface product (without the use of a cover, keyboard, or loop).
The Surface Slim Pen includes an inbuilt battery that the Surface Laptop Studio can wirelessly charge. The stylus has its own tactile signals that integrate with Microsoft Pen Protocol, so it reacts to whichever programmes support MPP. This is most noticeable when drawing or painting, as it makes the experience feel more like a true physical material experience.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s Display
This machine’s display is indeed extraordinary. The screen is a 14.4-inch touchscreen with a refresh rate of 120Hz (120 frames per second image refresh rate) and a resolution of 2400 x 1600 pixels across its face (201 PPI). This display has rounded sides and a 3:2 aspect ratio.
While I’m not happy with the device’s display’s round corners, the design is quite effectively represented in the display’s bezels. When in Laptop Mode, the bottom bezel seems thicker than the rest of the tablet. When in either of the other two modes, all four bezels are the same size.
This display supports 10-point multi-touch, Dolby Vision, and has a contrast ratio of 1500:1. The only thing missing from this monitor is an anti-glare layer. That would make the entire package nearly flawless.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s Battery
When you use this tablet for extended design sessions such as using the pen, Adobe creative programmes, and ramping up the display brightness to maximum, the battery life will be negatively affected. The same is true for gaming at 120Hz frame rate or streaming games when not connected to a power supply.
However, like with any laptop machine designed for heavy duty creative work and/or media consumption, this Surface Laptop Studio won’t be out in the wild very frequently, not fully charged with the device’s supplied Surface power cord.
The worst thing this laptop has done off-the-record is drain roughly 10% of its battery in around 10 minutes when using Adobe Fresco with the Surface Slim Pen 2 and the display at 100% brightness, 120Hz refresh rate, and no battery saving at all. That kind of event has been quite rare in our use of the device thus far. This machine’s best off-cord performance in continuous use is a full day’s work, typing, and web browsing with no sweat.`
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio’s Wrap-up
This Surface Notebook Studio is the most impressive Windows laptop I’ve ever used. It makes Windows 11 feel like the logical next stage in the PC experience’s growth. It makes the strange concept of a double-hinge laptop display seem obvious and plausible. It isn’t scared to have a design that is substantially thicker than previous devices.
This would be the ideal laptop that could handle all of the varied types of business and artistic endeavors. This is also likely the best laptop for you if you’re searching for the main device to take advantage of everything Windows 11 has to offer at launch.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio we’re looking at includes an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The price of this configuration starts at around $2,699.99 USD. The base configuration of the Surface Laptop Studio has an Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and a starting price of roughly $1,599.99 USD.