Along with some great software updates and an optimistic philosophical argument for technology in our lives, Microsoft announced two important pieces of hardware at their 2016 event in New York. One is an upgraded version of one of the best laptops on the market: Surface Book. The other is an attempt to redefine the desktop computer: Surface Studio.
A Surface for Everyone
People want more battery life, more power, more moar! With that in mind, Microsoft announced the Surface Book i7. It packs 16 hours of battery life, twice the graphics of the old Surface Book, and three times the graphics of the comparable Macbook Pro 13″. Microsoft is really going for the crown with this one, for a top-tier price of $2,399. That seems like a bargain compared to what comes next.
Your Desktop is Now Your Surface Studio
Finally, the pièce de résistance, the Surface Studio. It’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of hardware that will set you back $2,999. It is an all-in-one desktop PC that is dominated by its screen. It is meant to be a floating sheet of pixels, which draws you into an immersive creative experience. The hardware should fade into the background, as you effortlessly move the screen up and down, draw on it with the Surface Pen, and scroll around with the new Surface Dial.
The moment that Dial touched the screen blew my mind. It just might be the sleeper success of the event. Want to use the Dial, but don’t want to drop three grand on the Studio? No problem. Update to the new Windows 10 and you can use the Dial, too!
With 13.5 trillion pixels (more than 4K), the thinnest LCD monitor ever, and realistic colours, the Studio may very well be worth the price. Directed at professionals and artists, it means to turn everyone into a creator.
Surface Studio will come with either an Intel i5 or i7, up to 4GB of GPU from NVIDIA, and up to 32GB of RAM. A work of art, and an absolute beast of a machine. Yes, Microsoft has the iMac directly in their sights.
Who is Everyone?
The “Everyone is a Creator” theme is fantastic, and truly gave this event an uplifting and inspiring tone. Microsoft sounds like it is on a mission to make these cutting edge technologies more accessible. All this pricey hardware makes me wonder who “everyone” really is though. It is an interesting contrast to Facebook’s and Google’s missions to bring the internet and education to the third world.
Yes, the initiative to push out the free Windows 10 update is commendable. However, I think we are a ways off from a reality of children in public schools playing with HoloLenses, and casual doodlers using a 28″ all-in-one that costs twice their rent. Instead, this was more of a showcase of what architects, developers, and other professionals will be able to accomplish when their company buys this expensive hardware for them.
I can’t see myself typing up an article on the Surface Studio, but that doesn’t mean I don’t REALLY want one!