At its media event today in New York City, Microsoft announced a new update coming to Windows 10 devices that’s focused on creativity and productivity tools, as well as two major new pieces of hardware: the Surface Book i7 and Surface Studio. The Surface Book is the second generation of last year’s original model, while the Surface Studio is the company’s all new, all-in-one desktop PC that’s aimed at the high-end, enterprise market with a starting price of $2,999.
Surface Book i7
The first piece of hardware that Microsoft announced today was the Surface Book i7, which has doubled performance from last year’s model and an improved 16 hours of battery life, 30 percent more than the first generation. The laptop’s name comes from its included Intel Core i7 Processor, and Microsoft said the top-of-the-line version outperforms the high-end MacBook Pro three times over.
As a companion to Surface Book i7, Microsoft also announced an all-in-one PC called Surface Studio that has the “thinnest LCD monitor ever built” and a 12.5mm thin touch screen. The 28-inch PixelSense Display has 13.5 million pixels and a feature called “TrueColor” that displays colors as close to they are in real life. The company said that there’s “no monitor like this on the planet.”
The PC can also fold down and lay at an angle, enhancing the “studio” aspect of the title and aimed at artists and drawing programs. The computer can be pushed down to a 20 degree angle using a “zero gravity hinge,” making it easy to adjust the viewing angle of the Surface Studio with just one hand. To help with adding new creation tools, Microsoft also introduced the “Surface Dial,” which can work off the Studio’s screen with various scrolling and adjustment controls.
When placed on the screen, the Surface Studio recognizes Surface Dial’s location dynamically and offers up new prompts, buttons, and toolsets for artists in apps like Photoshop. This allows users to “more seamlessly move through their workflow,” according to Microsoft, without having to fiddle with other toolbar options or programs while they’re working.
The Surface Studio’s processing unit is housed in the small silver box at its base. The cheapest model of Surface Studio includes an Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB SSD, 8GB RAM, and a 2GB GPU for $2,999. That jumps up to $3,499 for an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM, with the top-of-the-line model running for $4,199 with a 2TB SSD, i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and 4GB GPU. Pre-orders are up now, but the Surface Studio ships slightly later in the year, on December 15.