Surface Laptop Studio review

Surface Laptop Studio review



The Surface Laptop Studio review is Microsoft’s latest premium 2-in-1 laptop, aiming to be the most powerful and versatile Surface device yet. With a unique hinged design that transforms between laptop, stage, and studio modes, the Surface Laptop Studio packs impressive specs and features into a portable but flexible form factor.

Surface Laptop Studio Review Key Specs

  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core H35 i5/i7
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (on i7 model)
  • RAM: 16GB/32GB
  • Storage: 256GB to 2TB SSD
  • Display: 14.4″ 2400 x 1600 touchscreen, 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 9 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.83 pounds
Feature Description
Design Unique hinged design for laptop, stage & studio modes; aluminum chassis
Display 14.4″ PixelSense touchscreen, 120Hz, Dolby Vision support
Performance 11th gen Intel Core i5/i7 CPU, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU (on i7), up to 32GB RAM
Battery Life Up to 19 hours video playback
Ports 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports, 1 Surface Connect port, 1 3.5mm audio jack
Cameras 1080p front-facing camera, 1080p rear-facing camera
Stylus Support Yes, Surface Slim Pen 2 storage and charging

As the flagship model of Microsoft’s Surface laptop lineup, the Surface Laptop Studio packs a lot of power and versatility into a thin and light 2-in-1 chassis. Its headline feature is the unique hinge design, allowing the touchscreen to pull forward and lay flat for drawing, sketching and other creative work. Close the screen, and it transforms back into a standard clamshell laptop form factor.

The Surface Laptop Studio ticks a lot of boxes in terms of premium build quality, specs and features. The 11th gen Intel H35 processors and Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti dedicated GPU deliver speedy performance for day-to-day productivity, content creation, and even light gaming. You also get a gorgeous PixelSense touch display with buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision HDR support, a 1080p webcam and excellent quad speaker audio.

“The Surface Laptop Studio‘s unrivaled versatility as a prosumer powerhouse revives the Surface Book formula.” — The Verge

But with a starting price of $1599, the Surface Laptop Studio sits firmly in premium laptop territory. Does its versatile 2-in-1 design and powerful internals justify the high cost? This in-depth review covers everything you need to know.

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True to the Surface brand, the Surface Laptop Studio sports a clean, minimalist aesthetic on the outside. Both the Iris Heart (platinum) and Obsidian (matte black) color options feature sturdy aluminum unibody construction with clean lines and subtle logo branding. Despite packing powerful components into a slim 0.7 inch profile, the Surface Laptop Studio feels reassuringly solid and durable in hand.

Of course the star of the show is the unique hinge mechanism, strongly resembling the now discontinued Surface Book line. The sturdy metal hinge allows the 14.4-inch display to pull forward and lay completely flat, while retaining firm stability in any position. Tucked beneath the display is a removable magnetic panel providing quick access for upgrades – a nice touch for future-proofing.

When completely folded shut, the Surface Laptop Studio review forms a standard clamshell laptop shape measuring a compact 12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches and weighing 3.83 pounds. This makes it nicely portable for on-the-go productivity. Open the display halfway creates “stage mode” which is ideal for watching movies and presentations. And pulling the screen fully forward into “studio mode” creates a natural canvas for drawing, sketching and other creative work – enhanced by full Surface Pen support.

Overall the Surface Laptop Studio nails the premium 2-in-1 form factor, offering incredible versatility without adding too much bulk or weight. The innovative hinge mechanism feels solid and robust – an important reassurance given constant repositioning in daily use. If you need a powerful mobile workstation that seamlessly transforms for work and play, the design here really shines.


While creative pros will appreciate the convertible design most, virtually every user will benefit from the stunning 14.4 inch display. The Surface Laptop Studio packs a Quad HD+ PixelSense touchscreen display spanning 2400 x 1600 resolution, with support for 10-point multi-touch input. Visuals really pop thanks to high 1500:1 contrast ratio and ample 400 nit brightness for easy viewing even in sunlight.

You also get smooth silky visuals while scrolling web pages and documents thanks to the blazing 120Hz refresh rate – a welcome upgrade from the usual 60Hz. Support for Dolby Vision HDR provides expanded contrast and vivid color for HDR-encoded movies and videos. And the 3:2 aspect ratio ensures less scrolling when browsing documents and web pages.

The display feels buttery smooth for inking and sketching with the Surface Slim Pen 2, thanks to fluid touch response and low latency. Palm rejection also works very well, letting you rest hands on the screen while sketching without accidental touches and smudges. Just note the Surface Pen is sold separately.

Between the high resolution, fast refresh rate, vibrant color reproduction and excellent touch response, the Surface Laptop Studio display shines as one of the best touchscreen laptop displays available. Just watch out for fingerprints with regular handling in tablet mode.


The Surface Laptop Studio review packs serious performance punch into its portable chassis thanks to powerful 11th gen Intel H35 processors and dedicated Nvidia RTX graphics. Available configurations include:

  • Intel Core i5-11300H CPU, integrated Xe graphics, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $1599
  • Intel Core i7-11370H CPU, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD: $2499

Our review unit packs the highest tier configuration – a quad core i7 CPU with 8 threads, plus Nvidia’s entry-level RTX GPU with 4GB GDDR6 RAM. This combo delivers blazing productivity speeds for office workloads, while also easily handling photo/video editing, 3D CAD software, game development engines and light gaming. Compile times also clock in very fast when coding.

In benchmarks the Surface Laptop Studio i7 posts excellent numbers compared to premium ultraportable competition:

  • Geekbench 5 CPU: 1390 single core / 5410 multi core
  • Cinebench R23: 4292 CB
  • PCMark 10: 6693 points

The entry level i5 configurations will offer good enough general productivity performance for most users despite lack of discrete graphics – particularly at the much lower $1599 starting price. But creators and power users will benefit greatly from the additional multi-core speeds and RTX 3050 Ti graphics found in the higher tier builds.

The laptop stays quiet under light workloads, with fans only spinning up occasionally when pushing intense sustained loads. The chassis does get noticeably warm when the GPU ramps up, but avoids uncomfortably hot temperatures. Overall the powerful specs translate into reliably fast real world performance no matter your everyday workflows.

Battery Life

Thanks to the energy-efficient 11th gen Intel processor (CPU power draw tuned down to 35W from 45W), the Surface Laptop Studio review posts solid battery runtimes that should get most users through a full workday:

  • Video playback: Up to 19 hours
  • Typical mixed usage: 10 to 11 hours

As expected, tasks and apps leveraging the discrete RTX 3050 Ti GPU impact battery life more severely. But even creative workloads like editing 1080p video in Adobe Premiere Pro offer over 7 hours uptime. For a productivity-focused portable pushing portable performance, the Surface Laptop Studio battery life shines. The included 102W power adapter juices back up in just over 2 hours as well.

The one unfortunate omission here is lack of fast charging support. Many premium ultraportables now offer large battery top ups within 30 minutes when time is limited. Still, the ample battery size combined with efficient components allows all day work on the go.


Beyond the flagship specs and innovative design, the Surface Laptop Studio impresses with a well rounded feature set:

  • Webcam: 1080p front-facing camera with Windows Hello face login support
  • Speakers: Quad Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Atmos (superb audio)
  • Microphones: Quad far-field Studio Mics for clear voice and video calls
  • Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Wireless: WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1
  • Security: TPM chip for enterprise encryption, Windows Hello biometric login
  • Stylus: Full support for Surface Pen and new Surface Slim Pen 2 (sold separately)
  • Software: Windows 11 Home, 1 month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

The front 720p webcam captures reasonably sharp video for virtual meetings and vlogging. And the unique pull-forward screen means you can position the webcam at more flattering angles compared to a typical laptop screen.

Audio quality stands out as truly exceptional, with loud volumes and rich bass coming from the speaker array – aided by Dolby Atmos enhancement. Just note headphone output seems average, without support for lossless HD audio. Connectivity essentials like WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt 4 ports give you speedy wired/wireless data and external display output. And Windows Hello IR facial recognition enables quick and secure logins.


The Surface Laptop Studio comes in two color variants and four base hardware configurations:

Iris Heart Finish (Platinum)

  • Intel Core i5, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD: ~$1599
  • Intel Core i5, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD: ~$1899
    Obsidian Finish (Matte Black)
  • Intel Core i7, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD: ~$2499
  • Intel Core i7, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti, 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD: ~$2799

Shoppers can upgrade storage capacities for $200-$500 at checkout, with up to 2TB available on i7 builds. Unfortunately neither the RAM or core specs can be customized further. Given the starting price is already quite high, adding upgrades piles on more cost quickly. Still, maxing out storage does pay off for large media files.

Should you buy the Surface Laptop Studio?

The new Surface Laptop Studio review brings incredible versatility to the premium laptop space, packing serious mobile workstation performance into a uniquely flexible 2-in-1 design. Its convertible chassis enables comfortable productivity, viewing, gaming and sketching without compromising sturdy build quality. The stunning 14″ touch display delivers rich vivid colors, silky 120Hz smoothness and excellent inking.

And configured with 11th gen Intel Core i7 processors plus Nvidia RTX graphics, you get desktop-class power for accelerating creative workflows, developing content, coding and even running modern games. Excellent connectivity from Thunderbolt 4 ports plus a comfortable keyboard and huge precision trackpad make for a well rounded experience as well. The ability to quickly upgrade internal storage down the road also keeps total cost of ownership sensible long term.

There are a few notable downsides holding back complete enthusiasm though. The $1599 starting price sits firmly in luxury territory – and desirable upgrades like discrete graphics and extra storage add several hundred more. Lack of RAM upgradability also disappoints on such an expensive device. And while battery life lasts comfortably through a full workday for productivity, it sits shorter than some ultraportable rivals. Fast charging support is another sorely missing convenience.

Still, for creative pros and power users needing workstation-level performance everywhere, combined with incredible versatility, the new Surface Laptop Studio shines as a premium mobile workhorse. This powerful convertible laptop comes Highly Recommended.



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