Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Hands-on: Microsoft's Surface Studio is a Windows PC for the Mac crowd

Mark Hachman | Oct. 27, 2016
Its beautiful display and intriguing peripherals grab your attention, but this is more workstation than PC.

While the Studio doesn’t include the modular functionality that was hinted at in a patent filing, it does include a 5MP front-facing camera and a dual-mic array. Orally triggering Windows 10’s Cortana assistant (“Hey, Cortana!”) worked surprisingly well in the crowded demo room. I didn’t try the camera.

Surface Studio 
Microsoft says that front-facing ports would have interfered with the zero-gravity hinge. It’s still obnoxious, though. Credit: Mark Hachman

I’m not sure I like Microsoft’s decision to package its expansion ports inside the base. Microsoft essentially took its Surface Hub and tied it to a standard motherboard, encased it in plastic, and called it a day. The Studio puts four USB 3.0 ports inside the base, but points them toward the back, probably making it a pain to plug in anything. There’s an SD card reader and a headphone jack—again, facing the rear. Unlike the Surface tablets, there’s no USB port on the side of the monitor, which I rather miss.  Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi complete the package.

The Studio is a lovely piece of hardware, and I can’t wait to spend more time with it. But remember, it isn’t necessarily for you or me. Microsoft is clearly aiming this at the creative community who normally would buy a Macintosh. I’ll be interested to see how many actually make the jump.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.