Surface Studio: Specs, price, and who's going to want one

surface studio dial 3

Who has some extra dough to spend on a super fancy computer?

Microsoft is hoping that you do, and that you will use it to buy their new all-in-one desktop, the Surface Studio. The tech giant's new PC has some special features, though, to sweeten the deal. 

In IT Blogwatch, we learn all about the all-in-one.

So what exactly is the Surface Studio? Blair Hanley Frank has the details:

The Surface Studio is an all-in-one PC with an ultrathin, 28-inch, 4.5K touchscreen. The screen is mounted on...hinges that let it sit up vertically like a traditional desktop computer, and lower down to a drafting position, where the display is...inclined to the desk by 20 degrees.
The Surface Studio's base...holds the computer's brains. The base model features a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX965M GPU with 2GB of VRAM. That can scale...up to a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 2TB of storage, 32GB of RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX980M GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

What other special features does it have? Peter Bright fills us in:

The Surface a Bluetooth spinner and clicker with haptic feedback. Spinning the wheel can invoke...system functionality (such as changing the volume) or application features (such as the amount of a painting app); there's an API to allow third party software to provide Dial-specific can be used off the screen, or, when in studio mode, on the screen. When...on the screen, the Surface Studio knows exactly where the dial is, and can draw radial menus or other controls around the device.
This comes to its own...when being used with pen input; you can twiddle some property of the pen with your off hand while drawing with your dominant hand...This kind of two-handed pen input...shows that Microsoft is continuing to think about how people use and interact with computers, and trying to push new styles of interactivity.

But who is Microsoft targeting with the Studio? Gregg Keizer has a pretty good idea:

The...$2,999...Surface Studio...[is] pointed at creative professionals and consumers with big wallets...Microsoft's desktop was a play for consumers who blend personal and professional, and have plenty of money -- in other words, the same group that's buying Surface tablets and notebooks.
The Studio...will be available only in "limited quantities" throughout 2016. But it could provide some juice on the consumer side for Windows 10 in general.

So why is Microsoft focusing on a PC when the others seem to be pivoting to mobile technology? Will Oremus has a theory:

It makes sense that Microsoft’s growing hardware division would turn its attention to the desktop market. Productivity has always been its strength, mobile...its weakness.
PCs will probably never regain their central position in personal computing -- that mantle has passed to the smartphone...But PCs’ place in offices and living rooms, especially in relatively wealthy homes...may be more secure than industry watchers had imagined. And Microsoft’s big bet on Surface Studio suggests they’ll remain a staple of design studios and other specialized workplaces.

But does a Surface Studio make sense for you? John Brandon knows what it's all about:

What Microsoft has accomplished with the Studio is mostly a branding exercise. The Surface Book matches up perfectly with the Studio in terms of styling...operating system, touch input, and Microsoft apps.
Besides branding, it’s about ecosystem. If you use the desktop and the Surface Book, it promotes the idea of sticking with the same your workflow...Constant switching between devices with different operating systems tend to cause delays. We start up different apps, we manage different files.

So, are people excited to get a Surface Studio? Huenry Hueffman sure is:

Surface Studio has me 100% sold...Now I just need some life savings so I can spend them.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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