We asked some experts if the new Surface Laptop Studio is what Microsoft needs to beat Apple in the laptop wars.
The Surface Laptop Studio is the replacement for the Surface Book 3, but this time around the screen isn’t detachable. Instead, it is hinged and can be tilted and moved to sit above the built-in keyboard.
Keep scrolling to see what experts in the industry think about the Surface Laptop Studio.
Can it compete with Apple’s MacBook Pro in the creative space?
“Apple has a strong presence in the creative space but Surface has given Windows a new level of credibility,” says Geoff Blaber, CEO at CCS Insight.
“Surface Laptop Studio will only help Microsoft build on that position. It’s unlikely to convert existing Mac users but it gives that segment more reason to consider Windows.”
But why exactly is the Surface Laptop Studio an attractive proposition compared to the MacBook Pro?
“From the initial impression of technical specifications, features, and competitive price point, Surface Laptop Studio has the potential to pose a strong competition for Apple MacBook Pro in the creative space,” says Malini Paul, senior research manager at IDC.
“The device, with up to Intel’s 11th Generation i7 processor, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 32 GB RAM, 2TB SSD, is powerful to meet the requirements of digital artists.
“In addition, full touch screen display (with up to 120Hz refresh rate), supported by Surface pen, and most importantly the flexible screen with Studio mode, all in a portable form factor, is expected to garner a lot of interest from the creative population.”
Can you see regular consumers buying it?
“As for normal people buying it, I’d say not just yet,” claims Anisha Bhatia, senior analyst at GlobalData.
“Laptops with detachable screens are more expensive and usually aimed at a productivity use case.
“The Surface Laptop Studio starts at $1599; any customization will push the price up, so I don’t see it for regular people who are more used to mid-range laptops priced between $700 to $1500,” Bhatia went on to say.
The Surface Laptop Studio has been marketed for business and for creatives, with not much emphasis being put on it being an everyday laptop.
“It’s an expensive, premium device. It’s unlikely to cater to the mass market but it will inspire similar designs from other manufacturers at more attractive price points,” Blaber goes on to say.
“It also shines a light on a broader Surface portfolio that offers a much wider choice.”
Paul also seems to agree with the previous comments, mentioning that it won’t appeal to that many regular consumers.
“From the first impression, Surface Laptop Studio will be predominantly for prosumers, in particular for the creators,” Paul clarified.
“Although, the optional Intel Core i7 model with Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti supports some gaming titles which might need to lower some settings to get a decent frame rate, the device is not made for solely gaming purposes.
“Instead, the high processing power, full touch screen, high refresh rate, Surface pen, along with the key feature – the Studio mode, will empower digital artists with a mobile form factor.”
Are laptops with features like detachable and hinged screens becoming more common?
“I can say that laptops with features like detachable and hinged screens are becoming more common, and will continue to do so as OEMs continue their display innovations across their consumer electronics portfolios,” Bhatia claims.
“The share of flexible form factors, like movable/detachable screens, is indeed growing in portable computing device ecosystem,” Paul went on to say.
“Overall, these flexible form-factors have reached close to a quarter of the product mix (laptops and tablets combined) shipped worldwide.”
A lot of technology is moving away from traditional archetypes and designs, as was seen with the book-like Surface Duo 2, with two panels instead of the usual one.
“Detachables and ‘2-in-1’ designs have seen huge momentum in recent years,” Blaber says. “The Surface Laptop Studio is furthering that innovation into the premium, high-performance segment.”