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Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2

A Creative Powerhouse with a Price to Match

Review  Laptop  October 13, 2023  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)


Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio 2 represents a bold leap in the world of hybrid laptops, designed for creative professionals with a penchant for power and a distaste for macOS. It builds upon the success of the previous model, offering a myriad of ways to interact with the device, thanks to its innovative design. Whether you need a traditional laptop setup, a stage mode for touch and trackpad interaction, or a tablet-like studio mode, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 aims to cater to your every need.

However, this versatile experience comes with a few caveats. First, the Surface Slim Pen 2 is no longer included, and you'll need to purchase it separately for $130 if you prefer a stylus for drawing or note-taking. The laptop's design is unique, with a pedestal-like keyboard tray that may look like it's floating when viewed from certain angles, but in reality, it's not the most portable option.

The laptop's screen is a highlight, offering a 14.4-inch touchscreen with a 2,400 x 1,600-pixel resolution, perfect for creative work. The keyboard is decent, audio quality is exceptional, and the touchpad is top-notch with haptic feedback.

Under the hood, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 boasts impressive power, particularly in graphics-intensive tasks, thanks to components like the Core i7-13700H processor, 64 GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU. The addition of Intel's Gen3 Movidius 3700VC VPU AI Accelerator opens doors to future AI-driven features, even though immediate benefits might not be readily apparent.

Connectivity options are comprehensive, with USB-C ports, USB-A ports, and a microSD card reader, along with Microsoft's Surface Connect magnetic charger. However, the laptop's weight and size, at 4.3 pounds and 24mm thick, make it less portable than many of its competitors. Battery life has also taken a hit, with only around 4 hours of usage on a looped-video battery drain test.

Furthermore, the laptop's enhanced performance comes at the cost of heat dissipation. The Surface Laptop Studio 2 can run very hot, especially under moderate loads, with heat venting from the sides and reaching uncomfortable levels. Despite the heat, the laptop remains relatively quiet.

Lastly, there's the matter of the price. The Surface Laptop Studio 2 starts at $2,000 and can go up to a staggering $3,700. The model tested, configured with top-tier components, comes in at $3,300, making it one of the most expensive laptops on the market.

In summary, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 offers exceptional performance and versatility, especially for creative tasks. However, its high price, reduced portability, and issues with heat dissipation might not make it the ideal choice for everyone. 

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✅ PROS ❌ CONS
  • Impressive graphics performance
  • Very nice screen
  • World-class touchpad for precise navigation
  • Runs very hot
  • Bulky and heavy, making it less portable.
  • Significant drop in battery life compared to the previous model.
  • The high price tag is absolutely ridiculous

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