What do you think about the Microsoft Surface Studio? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
My daughter who is eleven years old and is the artist in the family and a Lego Mindstorm programmer, watched the introduction with me, her eyes lit up and she asked, "dad, can I have one?"
She was blown away. I was so happy with this machine, even though it is twice the price of any iMac, I won't be buying it, but there is finally some competition. Apple has seemingly been slacking. My 2014 MacBook Pro looks identical to the 2012 model, which is identical to the 2015 model, the last one to come out. The iMac has not changed in many years either, it did become slimmer, but you would be hard pressed to see that.
Apple, like all companies, needs competition. I just can't wait to see what they will do and I wonder if they will they cancel showing the iMac. Apple doesn't do touch screens, and they are very unlikely to change their minds, as cool as it is, and there are people who use it. Last I heard, the authors of Penny Arcade cartoons use Surface to draw on.
So, what do I think of the Surface Studio?
I like it, a lot. I could see myself using it, but I would not ever use the touch screen, I own Surface, so I know how much I use the touch screen there. The GPU is, well, underwhelming. But the rest of the box, screen, CPU, memory, disk and everything, quite good. It does look like you can't expand the computer at all though.
My biggest peeve with Apple is the lack of expandability. Give me the option to buy bigger storage, add more memory, add a second hard disk when I need to. The surface can't be expanded, at all, and like the iMac, has to be replaced completely.
The hardware of the machine itself, is nothing new. Nothing that stands out, except perhaps the size of it. The machine is so expensive, that is the weakest part of it is that it could cost as much as $4,000-$5,000 in Norway, and for half that amount, you can get yourself much more than a serious machine.
What I took from the introduction, besides the obvious Mac envy, was that Microsoft is all out on creation. Of their surface line, all three models are pretty awesome. But the focus is on creative people making beautiful designs, how easy it is, how much of a design Windows 10 can offer. For me, as an example, I have only looked at Word as a word processor. I have never thought of Word as a productivity tool, when I saw the guy make a script with sketches on it, I had never seen such work being done in Word before. I had never thought of Word doing that. When the video played, and the woman artist drew and used the surface dial to rotate the image, pick colors, etc. and it was incredible. Mind blown.
For me, the whole introduction was all about creativity and how Windows 10 enabled it, and the surface dial was a key part of it. That is what I took away from the introduction. I honestly think watching this swayed me more towards Windows than anything I have seen in the past. If this is what we can expect from Microsoft, I just might join. Everything I do today is pretty much platform agnostic, but so far I have been pleasantly surprised by Windows 10, and Microsoft is trying to get us to go back to Windows and they even set the standard for machines and design.
The winner object of the introduction, the surface dial :
And Penny Arcade is already using the Studio to draw on:
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