Surface Laptop Studio VS Competition
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio is a new product in the Surface lineup that features the form factor of the Surface Laptop 4 as well as some design cues from the full-size Surface Studio. It’s also more expensive than the Surface Laptop 4, but with better specs to justify the higher price. Both in terms of price and specifications, there is a significant difference between these two machines. On the face, however, they appear to be the same person. We’ve reviewed both, and we’re here to break down the differences between the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Laptop 4 so you can decide which one to get.
Surface Laptop Studio Price
The 13-inch Surface Laptop 4 with an AMD Ryzen processor starts at $1,000. If you want the 15-inch model, which comes with an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7, the price jumps to $1,300. At the high end, the Surface Laptop 4 with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD can cost up to $2,400. The new Surface Laptop Studio has a starting price of $1,600.
The price of the top-tier version has yet to be announced by Microsoft. The entry-level model includes a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. If you want the dedicated RTX 3050 Ti graphics card or a Core i7 processor, you’ll have to pay $2,099 — a $500 premium. Given the disparity in power, the difference in pricing makes sense. Both machines use 11th-generation Intel mobile processors, but the Surface Laptop Studio has the more powerful H35 chips, which can run at up to 35 watts. It also has the option of a dedicated graphics card, which the Surface Laptop 4 does not have.
Surface Laptop Studio Design
The Surface Laptop 4 and Surface Laptop Studio differ in design in that they are both traditional laptops that do not have detachable keyboards like the Surface Pro 8. The Studio model is inspired by Microsoft’s all-in-one Surface Studio and includes a screen hinge that allows you to swivel it down. It also has a bottom base that aids in airflow, which is one of the features we highlighted in our full review. The swivel screen has three modes of operation.
The first looks like a standard laptop with the screen pushed back. From there, you can either pull out the bottom of the screen to cover the keyboard, which Microsoft refers to as “Stage Mode,” or you can lay it flat on the key bed, which Microsoft refers to as “Studio Mode.” When we reviewed the Surface Laptop Studio, we found it to be a fun design and appreciated the different modes of use. In terms of looks, the slightly older Surface Laptop 4 comes out on top.
Microsoft offers the Surface Laptop 4 with a metal or woven Alcantara tray, in addition to four color options. The Surface Laptop Studio appears to have a more straightforward design, with silver aluminum wrapping around all of the body’s edges. We don’t know if it will be available in other colors, but we liked the rounded design of the Surface Laptop Studio, which helps it stand out from the competition. The Surface Laptop Studio, on the other hand, wins the design category solely because of its swiveling screen. It also has built-in charging for the new Surface Slim Pen 2, which the Surface Laptop 4 does not have.
Surface Laptop Studio Display
Despite their size differences, the Surface Laptop 4 and Surface Laptop Studio have screens that are very similar with a few key differences. They have the same aspect ratio (3:2) and a pixel density of 201 pixels per inch (PPI). The resolution is unimportant — each of the screens achieves the density at their given size — but they all fall around the 2,560 x 1,440 mark. However, there is one significant difference between the two displays. The Surface Laptop Studio has a refresh rate of 120Hz, whereas the Surface Laptop 4 has a refresh rate of 60Hz. Furthermore, the Surface Laptop Studio’s display supports Dolby Vision and has the previously mentioned swivel hinge.
Surface Laptop Studio Specs
Because the Surface Laptop Studio does not require a detachable screen, Microsoft has been able to include beefier specs that should provide significantly better performance than the Surface Book 3. You’re getting the 11th Generation Intel H-Series processor here, which is designed for high-end workloads to meet the needs of content creators.
Meanwhile, the Surface Book 3 only has a 10th Generation Intel U-Series chip, which is designed for ultra-portable laptops like the Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Air. The Surface Laptop Studio will also include an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU, which is expected to be noticeably more powerful than the 1660 Ti found in the Surface Book 3. The Surface Laptop Studio is the clear winner if you want the most powerful laptop.