Microsoft’s New Surface Laptop Studio Is Basically a 3-in-1 Windows 11 Machine

Microsoft’s New Surface Laptop Studio Is Basically a 3-in-1 Windows 11 Machine
Lay it flat, prop it up, or type on it like it's a laptop. (Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo)

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio is not your standard laptop. The company’s latest convertible can be used as a regular laptop or placed flat on a table like a tablet for drawing and writing. Then the Surface Laptop Studio’s dynamic woven hinge allows the display to pivot forward for binge-watching TV or giving presentations, exposing only the precision touchpad so that all eyes remain on the screen.

Microsoft calls the Surface Laptop Studio “the most powerful” of its laptop lineup. It’s equipped with a 14.4-inch touchscreen display with a screen resolution of 2400 by 1600. The display has a high refresh rate of 120Hz, putting it up in the ranks with tablets like the Apple iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S7 tablets and gaming laptops like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. It’s available with either an 11th-generation Intel Core i5-11300H processor and Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics or a Core i7-11370H processor with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti laptop GPU paired with 4GB of RAM. Both laptop models weigh about four pounds and feature removable SSD options, from 256GB up to 2TB.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio can be used as an easel in Studio mode, provided you have the new Surface Slim Pen 2.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

You can also use it in tablet mode.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

From the back

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

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Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

The keyboard looks comfortable to use, and the precision touchpad lets you use gestures.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

There are only two USB 4.0 ports for charging and connecting.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

The Surface Slim Pen 2 tucks underneath the Laptop Studio when not in use.

The Surface Laptop Studio is much thicker than the rest of the Surface lineup. When set on a table, there appears to be a bit of bulge on the bottom. That’s presumably where the components are situated. The display cannot be removed from the keyboard, either, a la the Surface Pro X. When I asked about it, a Microsoft spokesperson replied:

We continue to hear from customers that versatility and performance are two of the most widely appreciated aspects of Surface Book. Surface Laptop Studio takes that to the next level. Keeping people connected to the full power of the latest CPU and GPU, while providing multiple modes of use gives people the best of both with Surface’s signature premium design.

Microsoft included only two USB 4.0 Thunderbolt ports on either side for adapters and accessories, but there is a standard headphone jack and built-in storage and magnetic charging for the Surface Slim Pen 2, which features a built-in haptic motor and offers tactile feedback in Microsoft 365 apps and Adobe Fresco. The Surface Laptop Studio also has a 1080p front-facing camera and Quad Omnisconic speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

This three-in-one machine aims to be everything you need, with a price tag to match. The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio starts at $US1,600 ($2,211). You can preorder it now, along with the $US130 ($180) Surface Slim Pen 2.