I finally have time to review the Surface Laptop Studio and while I have owned some Microsoft Surface hardware, I think this device really hits it out of the park for many people.
To start with the Surface Laptop Studio has three modes laptop mode which is the traditional laptop look and feels. Then we have stage mode which allows the screen to code forward over the keyboard at a 45-degree angle. Finally, the tablet mode is where the screen covers the keyboard and you use the device like a traditional tablet.
I could see stage mode being very useful for touchscreen or touch-first apps like the new Android apps that are now on Windows 11 or for gaming. In Tablet mode I could see the Android apps being very useable along with the Microsoft Pen. I think for many users these three different modes will fill a certain nitch of users’ needs and gives the laptop a unique factor.
I am usually one for a large display even on a laptop but the 14-inch 3 x 2 aspect ratio display on Surface Laptop Studio is very nice and feels premium. I like how they used a 120-hertz screen which really makes this screen beautiful and very responsive since it’s a 10-point touch display. The resolution of 2400 x 1600 with a 1500:1 contrast radio was perfect for the size of the screen.
The other thing that feels very premium on this laptop is the keyboard and trackpad. They feel very MacBook pro like in the touch and feel. The mousepad is bigger than normal and supports gestures really giving it the premium feel like the MacBook Pro.
The Microsoft Surface Pen 2 has a responsive mode that makes you feel like you’re writing on paper. I love how the pen charges under the lip of the Surface Laptop Studio it’s very cool and gives you that premium feel. I do not feel the pen is as good as the Apple pencil when it comes to responsiveness but I think it’s very good for the most part.
Webcam And Mic
The webcam is a 1080p webcam for video calling like Zoom, Teams, or GoToMeeting. The built-in mics are dual studio mics with voice clarity. I used it in a few Microsoft Teams meetings and people said they could hear me very clearly.
I am happy to see Microsoft use thunderbolt 4 on this device I was disappointed to see only 2 – USB C Ports on the left side. On the right side is the Surface charging port and headphone jack. I would have liked to have seen more ports on such an expensive device.
I felt the battery life was very good personally I did not see any issues. On the Microsoft website, they say i5 gets 19 hours and i7 gets 18 hours. I did not test them that much but gaming on them using blue tooth and the GPU the battery life I felt was on part with my Macbook Pro or Dell XPS 9500. I feel Microsoft is in the right place with the life of the battery.
The one thing I thought was not the greatest was the speakers despite being Dolby Atmos did not sound the best to me I might be nitpicking I just felt the speakers could be better. I had no problems hearing people on my video calls but playing music on the laptop felt very not impressive.
The Intel Core i5 model with the built-in Intel Iris Xe Graphics was underwhelming. I get that this is a money saver but if you really want to do graphics work go with Intel Core i7 with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. Why can’t they offer a model in the i5 with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050? I just felt more variety is needed why force people to upgrade.
I do feel that this is a premium laptop at a very good price point I feel like a laptop with this kind of form factor from companies like Lenovo or HP would be much more for the same price. That being said this is a first-gen device and I would recommend you get an extended warranty to be on the safe side.