Surface Studio 2: Tech

Is the Surface Studio 2 screen good?

Surface Studio comes with a 28-inch 4500 x 3000-pixel touchscreen.
The screen is great for creatives and comes with Adobe, DCI-P3 and vibrant modes.
The atypical 3: 2 aspect ratio is great for people who regularly work with multiple open application windows.

The 28-inch PixelSense Surface Studio 2 display is one of its best features. The screen has the same resolution of 4500 x 3000 (192ppi) as its predecessor, which provides equally clear icons and text and is more than enough for large digital drawings or vector illustrations and design projects.

When testing display with digital painting in Krita and 3D modeling in Blender, I found that a 3: 2 aspect ratio is a find. This is not typical for a monitor or monoblock but makes the screen look more like an artist’s easel, especially when you are standing at a 22-degree flat angle.

This aspect ratio also allows Studio 2 to open two application windows at the same time. This turned out to be useful when sketching, as it provided enough space for simultaneously placing on the screen my reference material in Vivaldi and canvas in Illustrator.

Finding out the X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter from Trusted Reviews, I saw that the display was perfectly calibrated for creative work. Below you can see a detailed description of the performance of Surface Studio 2 compared to the Wacom Cintiq Pro in our technical tests.

Specifications + characteristics

Review Price: $ 549
7th generation quad-core processor Core i7 7820HQ
16 GB or 32 GB RAM
1 TB or 2 TB PCIe NVMe SSD
28-inch touch screen with a resolution of 4500 x 3000 pixels
Nvidia GTX 1060 6 GB or GTX 1070 8 GPU GB
4 x USB 3.0 Type-A, USB Type-C, Gigabit Ethernet,
Microsoft Surface Studio 2 SD card slot – one of the most interesting all-in-one PCs on the market. The second-generation all-in-one hybrid graphics tablet aims to conquer eminent players in the design and creative PC markets, including the Wacom Cintiq Pro, as well as high-profile all-in-ones such as the new Apple iMac 2019.

Surface Studio 2 offers a number of custom features that in many ways make it better than both of the above models. Make no mistake if you have the money, you will struggle to find the best all-in-one than Surface Studio 2 for design, design, digital painting, video editing, and general creative work.

However, a few minor flaws make it difficult to get a 5/5 rating of “Trusted Reviews”. In addition, if you are just an ordinary PC user looking for a multifunction device, this is a complete excess; The Lenovo IdeaCentre line offers more profitable options.

Screen Display

A special hinge mechanism allows you to turn a 28-inch screen into a giant tablet and draw directly on it, like on Cintiq. However, what makes it good on the next level is that it allows you to install it at any angle, including the artists’ 20-degree station setup. Although Cintiq Pro offers an easel/whiteboard corner for drawing out of the box, if you do not invest in the optional Ergo stand, you cannot easily adjust its angle or set it so that it sits like a regular PC.

The surface pen is not as good as on Cintiq, which uses Wacom technology, and not Microsoft N-trig technology with an active stylus, but it is more than good. Support for 4096 pressure points and a 12-gram activation force provide enough sensitivity for pencil drawing and drawing. The re-displayed side button also makes it easy to customize inputs to suit your particular style or habits.

Combined with the optional $ 99 Surface Surface, which lets you flip through layers in Photoshop or adjust brush sizes on the fly, Studio offers one of the most intuitive drawing modes available. Although I know that many creators still prefer to use keyboard shortcuts just out of habit, so the dial is hardly required. Plus, shortcuts are easy to use because Studio 2 comes with a keyboard and Surface mouse in the box. Therefore, I recommend going to the store and trying the Surface Dial before buying.


The only problem is that the pre-installed pen does not provide enough resistance when sketching. Cintiq much better simulates the feeling of drawing on paper out of the box. Fortunately, you can easily fix this by investing in the Microsoft Surface Pen collection.

So far, so good; but you might think, hasn’t the original Surface Studio completed all of the above? And you would be right. Nevertheless, a number of small but important improvements to the screen and equipment make Surface Studio 2 a pretty decent step forward.

The resolution of 4500 x 3000 pixels is the same as the latest Studio model and remains more than sharp enough for creative work. It is distinguished by the fact that the maximum brightness exceeds 500 nits. Having opened our colorimeter, the screen peaked at about 540 nits.

Surface Studio 2 hardware performs most tasks, but it is outdated

The display is not the only piece of Surface Studio hardware to receive the update. To begin with, Microsoft abandoned the original i5 CPU option and increased the minimum amount of RAM to 16 GB. This is a big deal; i5 with a combination of 8 GB of RAM, which could be seen in the first-generation Studio, was not powerful enough for creative CPU loads.

This means that every version of Surface Studio will ship with a 7th generation Intel i7 quad-core processor. From there, you can have 16 or 32 GB of RAM and 1 or 2 TB of disk space. The parameters of the GPU are limited by the parameters of the previous generation Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 GPU.

These specifications should not be heard, however. During testing, I found that the considered best version of Studio 2 can work with intensive 3D-modeling, video editing, and large-scale digital painting projects. It also easily ran triple-A games, such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, in 1080p format with maximum graphics settings at a reproducible frame rate.

This is great, but the problem is that the hardware is still far from advanced. At this price, I would expect superior quality components, but Surface Studio 2 does not offer them. The processor has two generations, plus the GTX 10 series lineup has since been replaced by the latest Nvidia Series 20 RTX cards.

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