Microsoft has recently released its new Surface Laptop Studio, a creative workstation that replaces the unique outgoing Surface Book line with a slightly more normal laptop-like form. Released in September 2022, the top-of-the-line machine was geared up as a desktop replacement, rather than a thin and light notebook you can carry everywhere, and it costs from £1,449 ($1,399.99/A$2,399).
The Laptop Studio’s performance was a mixed bag. When tested with its highest specification, including the Core i7-11370H quad-core processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics chip, it performs well in everyday work, complex image-editing, and other fairly demanding general tasks, as expected. It did not however hold a candle to dedicated workstations of around the same price.
However, a new model running Intel’s latest 13th gen processor has recently shown up on Geekbench.
Nice laptop 👀https://t.co/vb4YsOvVCQ
— Gustave Monce (@gus33000) February 23, 2023
The new Surface Studio Laptop features the Intel Core i7-13800H processor and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU. It has been labeled “OEMEL,” or “Unnamed_Surface_Laptop_Studio.”
It is a significant upgrade from the previous model, and it is interesting to see how it performs in benchmark tests.
Last year’s model scores 1285 on Single-Core Score and 3686 on Multi-Core Score.
The new model scored 2564 Single-Core Score and 12463 on Multi-Core in Geekbench 6.
The Surface Laptop Studio doesn’t look too unusual at first glance, with its standard laptop design made of magnesium and aluminum and a traditional hinge at the back. However, it has a decent-sized and great-looking 14.4-inch LCD touchscreen with a slick 120Hz refresh rate, making it similar to the Apple MacBook Pro from the 2010s. It also has Windows Hello face recognition for logging in, four good speakers, a great keyboard, and a new “haptic touchpad” that brings Microsoft’s trackpads up to par with the best-in-class models from Apple.
But the real standout feature of the Surface Laptop Studio is its ability to transform into a drawing tablet. Grab the display at the top and twist it backward, and the screen magnetically unclips at the bottom so you can position it in “stage mode” on magnets hidden just in front of the trackpad, or fold it all the way down on to the deck in “studio mode.” Studio mode turns the laptop into a drawing screen with Microsoft’s excellent, but optional, Slim Pen 2 stylus, similar to its unique Studio desktop computer. It makes editing photos, sketching out ideas, and even marking up documents a breeze.
Another unusual design of the Surface Laptop Studio is the stepped back fan base that is hidden when on a desk. The base houses the discrete Nvidia graphics chip and H-series Intel processors, both of which are more powerful and generate more heat than the typical models you find in slimmer machines. The fans weren’t needed for general browsing and light work but kicked in after a minute or so of photo editing, being audible but not distracting.
Currently, the Surface Laptop Studio may not be suitable for those looking for a really powerful portable workstation as its performance may lack in some areas compared to better-specced, but less adaptable rivals at this price. The upgraded processor, likely coming at the end of the year, will hopefully help close the gap.