The creative laptop-tablet combo from Microsoft’s Studio line is finally here, provided you have a minimum of $2K to spend.
Being indecisive when it comes to buying a new computer can get a little costly, and has in the past led you down a path of buying more than one gadget. These days, convergence is king, and tablets and laptops are very much the same devices for many machines, and so that might happen less and less, but one device is usually better at one of those functions than the other, and so it can still happen.
While 360 degree hinges and support for pens in Windows can help bridge those gaps a little more clearly, specialist devices tend to be the way through them.
It’s often not just enough to have a laptop with a tablet hinge, because that might be a real chunker of tablet, featuring something like a 15 inch screen and a considerable weight. Sometimes, these things need totally different form-factors, considering multiple uses as opposed to just adding a specialty hinge and hoping for the best.
Last year, Microsoft dabbled in something like that, reviving a concept we’re fairly sure we’ve seen Acer try once before with a specialty hinge that allows a laptop screen to not only work perpendicularly like a laptop, but also stand at an angle like a Surface Pro does, and then lie flat like a tablet, as well. It was coming in a professional-focused machine, the Surface Studio, but it was one that at the time — September 2021 — Microsoft didn’t have a release date for Australia on.
Fast forward a good six months, and Microsoft has exactly that: now.
Specifically, Microsoft’s 14.4 inch Surface Laptop Studio is coming to stores and online shops now, priced from $2399 in Australia and starting with a Intel Core i5 with 16GB RAM and 256GB storage, but able to be pushed to a Core i7 with 32GB RAM and 2TB SSD for a staggering $4649 if you have the dollar-bucks to work with.
Based on that pricing and specs, it’s pretty clear Microsoft is targeting Apple’s MacBook Pro 14 range refreshed from last year, but looking for folks who might want to draw and scribble on their screen, not just type against it. Interestingly, the Surface Laptop Studio will miss out on the recently launched Intel 12th-gen Core chips, opting instead for 11th-gen Intel Core H35s, and while it will be compatible with the Surface Slim Pen — and even feature storage underneath for it — that’s an optional $190 purchase on top of it.
However, at least folks can work out whether they need it for themselves, with the Surface Laptop Studio heading to store shelves now, yet another laptop choice in the assortment of options out.