In context: Microsoft Surface Studio lineup of all-in-one PCs is likely aimed at enterprise customers, where the high price point and relative lack of upgradability aren't such sore points. Even so, it would've been nice to see a current-gen CPU in a machine that costs this much.
At its Surface Event 2022, Microsoft finally unveiled the successor to its four-year-old Surface Studio 2 all-in-one desktop. The new Surface Studio 2+ features upgraded internals while the exterior remains mostly the same, which might explain why the company didn't think it was worth bumping up the version number.
Microsoft's AIO PC keeps all its components in a small Mac mini-like enclosure that acts as the base of its stand, allowing the screen to be thinner. It ships with Intel's 11th-gen Core i7-11370H, a CPU launched in January 2021. It's disappointing that Microsoft didn't opt for a more modern Alder Lake processor — or even an AMD alternative such as Rembrandt — especially considering the price of this computer.
The graphics card has seen a massive upgrade, moving from an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 to an RTX 3060 Laptop GPU with 6 GB of VRAM. Surprisingly, the Surface Studio 2+ only has a single configuration, with 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1 TB SSD awaiting users out-of-the-box. However, if the device is anything like its predecessor, these parts should be user-upgradeable.
Microsoft kept the 28-inch PixelSense screen with 4,500 x 3,000 pixels (192 PPI), but it now has Dolby Vision support. The Zero Gravity hinge makes adjustments effortless and allows users to tilt it almost horizontally, making it easier to draw or take notes on the touchscreen.
Connectivity is another area that saw some improvements bringing it more in line with modern machines. The new Surface Studio 2+ has three USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4 ports (with external display support), two USB-A, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 1 Gbps Ethernet port. It supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, and Microsoft even added an ambient light sensor.
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ is priced at $4,299 by itself or $4,499 if you want the Surface mouse, keyboard, and stylus bundled in. You can preorder it today, and it will start shipping on October 25.