The Surface Laptop Studio feels a bit like the culmination of all of Microsoft’s Surface devices. This 14.4-inch convertible laptop has the basic form factor of the Surface Laptop, the power of the Surface Book 3, and an adjustable screen modeled after the Surface Studio. In that sense, the Surface Laptop Studio should appeal to creatives from all walks of life.
Easily the most defining feature of the Surface Laptop Studio is its adjustable screen. It sits on a Dynamic Woven Hinge that connects the screen to a second hinge so it can tilt upwards or lay almost completely flat on top of the rest of the notebook. Unfortunately, this special mechanism isn’t strong enough to hold the monitor at any height or angles like the iPad Pro or iPad Air with a Magic Keyboard can – which is arguably its biggest rival.
Surface Laptop Studio
Instead, this machine can only flip between three modes: stage mode, which places the display at a forward angle between the keyboard and trackpad, and Studio mode, where the screen is almost completely flat with the rest of the machine.
The good news is no matter what angle you put the display at, it looks simply stunning. The 14.4-inch panel offers up a 2,400 x 1,600 resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate. Microsoft doesn’t list the display’s maximum brightness, but it’s rated for Dolby Vision, one of the major HDR formats, and was astonishingly bright to my eyes.
As if the display wasn’t good enough, this convertible also features Dolby Atmos-capable Quad Omnisonic speakers that get plenty loud. So this is a real content consumption machine.
The display’s 120Hz refresh rate makes the drawing and scribbling notes feel intensely responsive. Plus, with the new haptics built into the Surface Slim Pen 2, it really does feel like you’re putting strokes onto paper or a canvas. And when you’re done using the pen it conveniently slips under the front bottom lip of the laptop where it also wireless charges.
The 120Hz refresh rate also makes the Surface Laptop Studio a potentially great gaming machine, especially if you pony up the cash for the extra Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti discrete graphics. That said, the Intel XE integrated graphics built into the Intel i5 on the base model should be plenty enough to power streaming games whether you’re using GamePass, GeForce Now, or any other service.
Diving more into specs, the Surface Laptop Studio comes in two models; one with an Intel Core H35 i5-11300H and only Intel XE graphics or an Intel Core H35 i7-11370H with an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti. From there, you can also configure your machine with either 16GB or 32GB of LPDDR4x memory.
Interestingly, all the storage options are based around removable SSD drives, so you can choose to have 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB of storage space and then increase the capacity at a later date. This is a big shift from the soldered storage options ultra-thin machines have been hobbled with for a long time now.
The Surface Studio Laptop is a mighty expensive machine that starts at $1599 and it is available for preorder now with an October 5th release date. Microsoft also announced plenty of other devices during its latest Surface hardware event and be sure to check them out here.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s SEO Updates Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.