Best designer laptops compared: Surface Laptop Studio, Pro 8, and more

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Microsoft announced a new version of the Surface Pro last week, as well as the Surface Laptop Studio. The Surface Pro 8 looks a lot like a logical evolution of Microsoft’s tablet / laptop. Some of the more notable upgrades include a 120Hz display with thinner bezels, support for Thunderbolt 4, and a reworked surface keyboard that includes dedicated space for storing and charging the new Surface Slim Pen 2.

Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop Studio has a unique hinged display and more powerful hardware. This is effectively a replacement for the Surface Book 3, with a three-point adjustable display that can be laid flat for drawing or upright to provide a more traditional laptop experience. This laptop is equipped with an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU and a quad-core, 4.8 GHz, 11th generation Intel processor.

Perhaps the coolest thing to come out of the event was the Surface Slim Pen 2, which aesthetically resembles any other stylus, but includes haptic feedback to simulate the subtle tactile response you get when putting on a pen. on paper. While the inclusion of a stylus isn’t revolutionary, the improvements to the overall user experience are nice to see.

But how does the new Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio stack up against other laptops that take up powerful creator and user space? We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites below for comparison based on our first impressions and specs, with full reviews to follow in the coming weeks.

Compared to Surface Laptop Studio

We chose the 14-inch models of the HP Specter X360 and the Acer ConceptD Ezel because of their competitive price, which includes a stylus, and also for their ability to reorient themselves creatively. (New Microsoft devices don’t include the Surface Slim Pen 2, which costs $ 130 separately.) Spectrum is technically a 2-in-1 and can function effectively as a tablet if you flip the screen, although it doesn’t keep it at an angle quite like the Surface Laptop Studio. The Concept D Ezel, meanwhile, can turn its screen and stand up like an easel or lay flat like a tablet.


Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

The Surface Laptop Studio comes equipped with a three-point adjustable display that can be laid flat or upright, as well as an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU and a quad-core 11th generation Intel processor.

We’ve also added Laptop Studio’s predecessor, the 13.5-inch Surface Book 3. The screen may not bend or flip over, but it can still function as a tablet when detached from its keyboard. We considered adding the 15-inch version of the Surface Book 3, but its starting price of $ 2,300 Made it just a bit overpriced when stacked compared to its competition.

Still, the Surface Laptop Studio sets itself apart by offering greater battery life and possibly a superior dedicated GPU option than any of these other machines. It also has the distinction of being the only laptop in our lineup to boast a 120Hz refresh rate, a feature typically reserved for gaming laptops. You will usually have to turn to a gaming-grade laptop if you have. need a high-end GPU.

Surface Laptop Studio Comparison

specification Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio HP Specter X360 14 Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel 13 inch Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5 inch
specification Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio HP Specter X360 14 Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel 13 inch Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5 inch
Starting price $ 1,600; $ 1,730 with pen $ 1,100 (HP tilt pen included) $ 1,200 (Acer active stylus included) $ 1,600; $ 1,700 with pen
Operating system Windows 11 Windows 11 Professional Windows 10 Home or Pro Windows 10 Home
Display 14.4 inch 13.5 inch 14 inch 13.5 inch
Resolution 2400 x 1600 1920 x 1280 or 3000 x 2000 OLED 1920 x 1080 3000 x 2000
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pixels Per Inch 201 PPI 163 or 267 PPI 157 PPI 267 PPI
Brightness 500 nits 400 or 1000 nits 340 nits 400 nits
Refresh rate 120 Hz 60 Hz 60 Hz 60 Hz
Aspect ratio 3: 2 3: 2 16: 9 3: 2
Dimensions 12.72 x 8.98 inches 11.75 x 8.67 inches 12.9 x 9.0 inches 12.3 x 9.14 inches
Thickness 0.74 inch 0.67 inch 0.90 inch 0.90 inch
Weight 3.83 lb (4.0 lb Core i7 models) 2.95 lbs 3.8 lbs 3.38 lbs
Indicated battery life 19 hours 15 hours 14 hours 15.5 hours
CPU 11th generation Core i5-11300H or Core i7-11370H 11th generation Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1165G7 10th Generation Core i7-10750H 10th Generation Core i5-1035G7 or Core i7-1065G7
GPU Integrated Intel Iris Xe or GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4 GB graphics card Integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB or 1650 Ti 4 GB Integrated Intel Iris Plus or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q 4 GB graphics card
RAM 16 GB or 32 GB 8 GB or 16 GB 16 GB 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB
Storage room Up to 2TB NVMe SSD Up to 2TB NVMe SSD 512 GB NVMe SSD Up to 1TB NVMe SSD
Ports 2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, 1 x Surface Connect 2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, 1 x USB-A, 1 x MicroSD 1 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support, 2 USB-A, 1 x full size SDXC card reader, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 1 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, 2 USB-A, 1 x full-size SDXC card reader, 2 x Surface Connect
3.5mm headphone jack Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera N / A N / A N / A 1080p, 8MP
Front camera 1080p 720p 720p 1080p, 5MP
Biometrics Hello Windows Fingerprint reader, Windows Hello fingerprint reader Hello Windows
AC adapter Surface Connect, 60 W (Core i5 models), 95 W (Core i7 models) Type-C, 65W Canon DC, 135W Surface Connect, 60 W (Core i5 models), 95 W (Core i7 models)
Colors Money Blue, black, silver White Money
Wireless options Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Compared to Surface Pro 8

The unique form factor of Surface devices makes them hard to compare, but the Lenovo Yoga 9i and Apple MacBook M1 Air have a strong case for ultraportables outside of the Surface ecosystem that cater to creatives, and we also include the previous generation. Surface Pro 7 in comparison.

Like previous generations of Surface, the new Surface Pro 8 doesn’t come with a stylus or keyboard to boot. The new slim stylus 2 and Signature Surface Pro Keyboard will cost you $ 130 and $ 180, respectively, but can also be bundled for $ 280. Obviously, the other laptops we’re discussing come with built-in keyboards, and the Yoga i9 includes the stylus as well.


Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The new Surface Pro 8 is Microsoft’s biggest upgrade in years. The upcoming 2-in-1 supports Thunderbolt 4, a 120Hz display, a better camera, and a more modern appearance.

The Lenovo Also shares many of the same hardware specs as the Surface Pro 8, with options for an 11th gen Core i5 or i7 processor. It does make a few compromises, especially in the resolution and refresh rate of its display. These caveats, however, could be overlooked by anyone who needs to save a little more money.

The MacBook M1 Air is really the outlier of this range, not only because of its operating system, but because it’s also the only laptop we chose that doesn’t have a touchscreen or can function as a 2 in 1. However, it strikes a solid balance in terms of features, performance, and price.

The Surface Pro 8’s biggest draw – aside from its unique form factor – is the display, which offers the highest resolution and refresh rate among the competition below. It is also the only model with a 4K rear camera.

Surface Pro 8 comparison

specification Microsoft Surface Pro 8 MacBook M1 Air Lenovo Yoga 9i Microsoft Surface Pro 7
specification Microsoft Surface Pro 8 MacBook M1 Air Lenovo Yoga 9i Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Starting price $ 1,100; $ 1,380 with stylus and signature keyboard $ 1,000 $ 1,250 (Lenovo Active Pen included) $ 750; $ 1,010 with stylus and signature keyboard
Operating system Windows 11 MacOS Big Sur Windows 10 Home or Pro Windows 10 Home
Display 13 inch 13.3 inch 14 inch 12.3 inch
Resolution 2880 x 1920 2560 x 1600 1920 x 1080 2736 x 1824
Touchscreen Yes No Yes Yes
Pixels Per Inch 267 PPI 227 PPP 157 PPI 267 PPI
Brightness 450 nits 400 nits 400 nits 395 nits
Refresh rate 120 Hz 60 Hz 60 Hz 60 Hz
Aspect ratio 3: 2 16:10 16: 9 3: 2
Dimensions 11.3 x 8.2 inches 11.97 x 8.36 inches 12.57 x 8.51 inches 11.5 x 7.9 inches
Thickness 0.37 inch 0.63 inch 0.61 inch 0.33 inch
Weight 1.96 lbs 2.8 lbs 3.02 lbs 1.7 lbs
Indicated battery life 16 hours 15 hours 15 hours 10.5 hours
CPU 11th generation Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1185G7 Apple M1 chip 11th generation Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1185G7 10th Generation Core i3-1005G1, Core i5-1035G4 or Core i7-1065G7
GPU Integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics card Apple M1 graphics Integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics card Integrated Intel UHD graphics or Intel Iris Plus graphics
RAM 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB 8 GB or 16 GB 8 GB or 16 GB 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB
Storage room Up to 1TB NVMe SSD Up to 2TB NVMe SSD Up to 1TB NVMe SSD Up to 1TB NVMe SSD
Ports 2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, 1 x Surface Connect 2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support 2 x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4 support, 1 x USB-A 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, MicroSD card reader, 1 x Surface Connect
3.5mm headphone jack Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera 1080p and 4K, 10MP N / A N / A 1080p, 8MP
Front camera 1080p, 5MP 720p 720p 1080p, 5MP
Biometrics Hello Windows fingerprint reader Fingerprint reader, Windows Hello Hello Windows
AC adapter Surface connection, 60W Type-C, 30W Type-C, 65W Surface connection, 60W
Colors Silver grey Gold, silver, gray Silver, black Silver, black
Wireless options Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0


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