I wasn’t really excited about writing about the Surface Studio, which is why this is my first article on it, although the device came out a few weeks ago. But today, I walked by the Microsoft Kiosk at the Glendale Galleria and finally saw the Surface Studio with my own eyes. Needless to say, I was more impressed with the device than I ever thought I would be.
Let’s just say that the Surface Studio looked and felt like an iMac on steroids. The first thing that fascinated me was the 4500 x 3000 pixel resolution 28-inch screen, which looked even better than the screen on the 5K iMac.
I used my fingers to navigate the device, and the Surface Studio operated smoothly but not smoothly enough for a $3,000 machine. The one I tried had the Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM. For $500 more, you could have one with an i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. There is no way the Surface Studio is worth the price, but that doesn’t mean its not a really good product.
I picked up the pen and was hoping that since the Surface Studio is aimed at artists, using the Surface Pen would feel more realistic. The Surface Pen is fine for taking notes on the Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book. But an artist needs something that feels more smooth. The Apple Pencil, for example, is a much better device than the Surface Pen. If the Apple Pencil could work on the Surface Studio, it would be an artist’s dream come true. But don’t expect this to ever happen for obvious reasons.
Then, there is the Surface keyboard, which I love as much as the iMac keyboard. The keys have just the perfect amount of travel and tactile feedback, and the mouse operates smoothly as well, even if it doesn’t feel as exquisite as Apple’s Magic Mouse 2. There is a Surface Dial as well, but I didn’t get to try that out.
There were other people looking at the Surface Studio while I was writing notes. They were in awe of the device until they were told it would cost $3,000. And the price is the only major criticism (the others were minor frustrations) the Studio really deserves. Until the price comes down at least $2,000, it is going to be very hard for Microsoft to sell the Surface Studio — even to a niche audience.